TCM Crono Sorci Verdi Mancino - 30 minutes on the wrist
If you talk about “Sorci Verdi” (Green Mice) in Italy, you are probably referring either to the famous Royal Air Force bomb squadron of the same name or to the TCM Crono Sorci Verdi Mancino. My comment is a bit of a provocation but in a good way, because it makes me proud to see that, in a country that is worldwide known for its fashion creations, sport cars and motorbikes, local manufacturers are starting to craft mechanic watches too.
The TCM Crono Sorci Verdi Mancino has been around for a while and has been featured on Horbiter in the past already, this timepiece has been part of the brand's collections for many years, to be more precise since the creation of the brand itself in 1999. Over the years, the Italian manufacturer has skilfully managed to gain access to a sector that, traditionally and culturally speaking, has always been dominated by Swiss brands. The company's diverse collections of watches, which are clearly inspired to Italy and the story and deeds of its army – in particular of its air force squadrons -, have slowly become small iconic timepieces in a world of big names.
The success of this brand lies in its courageous idea to improve the quality level of its product and find its niece within the watches market by deciding to only craft limited editions or limited-number-series of timepieces. If you own a first edition of the TCM Crono Sorci Verdi Mancino, please place it next to your computer screen to compare it to the TCM Crono Sorci Verdi Mancino appearing in this picture and you will clearly notice the substantial differences existing between the two models.
Terra Cielo Mare is slowly taking the position that traditionally belonged to Panerai when it was still run by Vendome, that is to say that of a company focused on the limited production of timepieces and fully artesanal crafting, an authentic Italian brand equipped with Swiss technology (a fully in-house-built caliber would make this brand the only 100% Italian watchmaker.) The TCM Crono Sorci Verdi Mancino is my second favourite TCM after the Tazzoli, which I still consider as the most authentic watch crafted by this brand after its rebirth (you can find an article about this timepiece on here). Due to the nature of their layout, which doesn't leave too much room for a designer's creativity, chronographs rarely stand out, but, as its name suggests it, the Mancino (left-handed) features an odd layout, where the crown and the chronograph buttons are positioned on the left hand side of the watch.
The “sandwich” dial features Arabic numerals, a spiral tachymeter scale (that allows the user to measure speeds between 20 kilometers per hour and above 390 kilometers per hour), embossed indexes in SuperLuminova with three mice (the famous Green Mice) appearing on the initial part of the scale. The push button used to start and stop the chronographer sports a thin red ring that is painted in the very same shade of red as the nail varnish that the wives of the pilots used to lightly decorate the fuselage of their husbands' aircraft before a battle. The three Green Mice, in a different design, are also featured on the watch case, which is made in AISI316L steel, it has been polished and satinated and is 44mm thick. The case is quite thick and so is the Valjoux 7750 caliber used (many Swiss manufacturers using non-in-house-built calibers decide to internally codify the name of the caliber, but the Italian brand actually sports the original name of the caliber and its origin, a sign of honesty towards its customers.)
Once you have worn it, you will see that this is a chronograph with a double personality: the dial, which is slightly overcrowded, is clearly vintage-inspired, whereas the case, with its rectangular shaped lugs is that of a modern chrono. Vintage-inspired is also the very well designed leather strap made of rolled leather. For years we have been subjected to stiff leather straps but TCM has come up with a strap that is softer than velvet and features a pin buckle clasp made of steel. The TCM Crono Sorci Verdi Mancino retails at 2,980€, the right price to pay for a traditional chronograph with an original history, Italian designed and Swiss produced, a special feature that allows the brand to use the Swiss Made wording. Hoping to soon see this timepiece featuring a “Made in Italy” wording on its case I am still wondering what should one do if they want to buy a TCM Crono Sorci Verdi Mancino but they are not left-handed?
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®