Cvstos Challenge GT II Chrono 'Pride of Nigeria' Watch
© Photography: Justin Hast

The first thing to note is the size. This is a huge watch and feels it, even compared to the rest of Cvstos‘ Challenge Chrono collection. The fact that it says it’s 44mm is a bit of a misnomer; that’s just its width. In length it’s closing on 60mm. Needless to say, that’s too big for me. It overhangs my wrist on both sides. But on anyone with a bit of muscle, this is a beast of a watch. Size isn’t everything, but it makes on hell of an impact.

Not that the Challenge GT II Chrono wouldn’t make its presence felt in any size, of course. It may have flashes of rose gold, but this is a serious sports watch. The steel core of the case could survive a bomb blast, and the immensely satisfying chronograph pushers feel solid enough to time one too.

Style-wise it’s in the Richard Mille/Franck Muller camp of more-is-more. There’s a lot going on. The rose gold bezel alternates brushed and polished, the prominent blue screws and machined indentations give it a stark, industrial shape, and the dial… well, in the standard Challenge GT II there’s a fair amount going on. Here, it’s the main event.

Rather than a host of different indicators clashing for attention, most of the dial is taken up by the Nigerian coat of arms. Two horses represent dignity; a shield Nigeria’s fertile soil, and the eagle crowning it all represents strength. Obviously, the usual whites, reds and blacks have been swapped for pure rose gold, but the detail is extraordinary, right down to the Nigerian national motto across the bottom: Faith and Unity, Peace and Progress.

I’m sure that for any Nigerian national, that is meaningful enough to bring tears to their eyes. For me, I can only say that it has as much detail as the rest of the watch – which is, to say, a near-excessive amount. The only downside though, is with all of that gold, it can be a bit on the hard side to pick out the hour and minute hands.

Behind the crest you can see elements of the movement; less so than on other Cvstos models, but enough that it adds some extra flavour. The ring of machined blue steel in fact looks almost like a purely aesthetic choice rather than a piece of the movement. It works magnificently.

This isn’t a watch you’ll find everywhere, and I don’t just mean because it’s a Frost of London exclusive (the one pictured is no 3 of 3), but because it’s a gloriously over the top watch. Everything from its size and finishing, to its extraordinary coat of arms, are over the top and, while I might not be able to wear it, I simply can’t help but love it.

Price & Specs:

      • Model name: Cvstos Challenge GT 2 Chrono Blue Steel & Rose Gold ‘Pride of Nigeria’
        Ref: B10107.4575001
      • Dial/Case: 44mm diameter, tonneau-shaped stainless steel/blue case, rose gold bezel
      • Movement: Caliber CVSTOS 577
        Frequency: 28,800 vph
        Functions: Date, chronograph, hours, minutes, sub seconds
      • Power reserve: 42h
      • Water resistance: 100m
      • Price: £29,200

Available on Frost of London’s website.