When the first Datograph was introduced 10 years ago, it became the brand’s (and some say, the industry’s) new benchmark in chronographs. The caliber L951.1 was made completely in-house, the first chronograph built from the ground up in something like the previous 20 years – and it opened the floodgates. Signature elements included the high-speed flyback mechanism and a patented, precisely indexed jumping minute counter. It had a platinum case, blackened silver dial, and beautiful (in my opinion) applied Roman Numerals, which do not appear on the updated version from 2012. And of course, there is that lushly oversized date window. The movement took six years to develop and was beautfully decorated and visible through the sapphire caseback. If you have one of these, it is a collector’s item.
The second Datograph was launched last year, replacing the original. It has an UP/DOWN power reserve indicator, giving the 60-hour power reserve status (compared to the original 38 hours). While the original case was 39mm, the UP/DOWN is 41mm, and the Roman numerals were replaced by baton hour markers. The movement featured a few improvements, such as a larger mainspring (hence the longer power reserve).