Sunday, February 18, 2018

Seven Days with the Sternglas Zeitmesser

(February 20th, 6:52 AM Eastern Time).
This is a formal announcement that I have been retained by Sternglas Zeitmesser to assist them in the North American market (effective Tuesday, February 20th) and as such, I will no longer be able to write about them here on Tempus Fugit or in other outlets as it would create a conflict of interest and not be in the best interest of honest watch coverage and reporting.  This happened very quickly (over less than 24 hours), but I felt it important to update this review as quickly as possible to ensure full disclosure.  

NOTE - This review was actually completed a few weeks ago.  A few additional photos were taken today - Sunday, February 18th.

Courtesy of Zeitmesser

A week has come and gone, and another review is officially in the books.  But this one was a bit different than I expected it would be.

I had heard about Sternglas Zeitmesser a few months back, and I was curious.  While more expensive, mechanical watches are usually the focus of most watch reviews, I wanted to get a sense of just what 199 Euros would get you.  Ordinarily, lower price means lower quality, and you can see where the money wasn't spent in terms of manufacturing.  Not so with Sternglas!

The most important thing to get out of the way is that this is, indeed, a quartz watch.  But I am coming to believe more and more that having multiple mechanical watches can, in fact, be more of a headache than it is sometimes worth.  I have about 5 mechanical watches in dire need of service that I just have not got around to dealing with owing to the time and expense.  I suspect that if I was once again a "one watch" guy, then I would feel a bit more pressure to get the service done.  But the other thing that I am finding?  A lot of brands (both small and mighty) are making some very appealing quartz watches that look good, wear well, and don't fall apart the day after the warranty expires.

Now the first thing that strikes you is the design of the watch itself.  It is Bauhaus to the core, the dial layout is clear and the date window is particularly well executed.  Easy to read, and the date window does not obscure any part of the indices, although the 3 o'clock marker is somewhat shorter than it's corresponding indices, it is actually very well balanced and very pleasant to look at.

The movement is from the folks at Ronda - the 714.  And now we get back to the auto/mechanical vs. quartz debate.  In Glasgow there are Celtic and Rangers, Edinburgh has Hearts (my club) and Hibernian.  And the watch world has NO Quartz and WHY NOT Quartz?  And as I said earlier, I am finding myself more and more in the WHY NOT Quartz camp.  Now in fairness to the NO Quartz faction, I agree that perhaps one of the most annoying parts of any quartz watch is the rather obnoxious tick-tick sound and the jump of the second hand.  Sometimes, it is rather inelegant.  But you will notice the second hand of the Sternglas Zeitmesser solves that problem... it doesn't have one!  And in terms of a design choice, I have to be honest it adds a certain something to the overall experience.  Hours and minutes pass, but you do not find yourself obsessing over the passing of 60 seconds.

The watch case (and in this version, "Milanaise" bracelet), are of stainless steel.  And the diameter is one that is going to appeal to a larger and growing group of people at 38 mm.  

And once again we see, 38 mm is plenty big.  The thin bezel adds depth and gives the impression of something a tad bit bigger.  At 38, it is a watch that can be worn pretty much every day.

And let's talk about the "every day" aspect of the Sternglas watches.  The straps and bracelet come STANDARD with quick change spring bars so that you could switch from one to the other in the blink of an eye, without a tool of any kind -

And the benefit of this is (at least to me) very obvious - you can have three different looks for not a lot of money.  You can purchase additional straps, directly from Sternglas Zeitmesser for 29 Euros each.

Courtesy of Sternglas Zeitmesser

Courtesy of Sternglas Zeitmesser

The overall finish of the watch was beyond reproach, and priced at 199 Euros, you can actually tell where the money went.  

Or less gently stated - this watch kicks the shit out of the stuff that Daniel Wellington is pushing.  I hate to be blunt, but if Sternglas Zeitmesser ever decided to push into the North American market, they would give the folks from Sweden a very real run for their money.

The watch has been a true joy to wear.  The fit and feel are smooth, balanced and just that little bit of heft to know that your wearing a watch, not a gold plated piece of brass with an eponymous name.

The bracelet was, at first a little challenging - and I would STRONGLY encourage everyone to be careful putting it on as it does require a wee bit of digital dexterity.  But on the upside, the bracelet allows for the ULTIMATE in micro adjustment.

And all of the little details are there, and that gives an even warmer and fuzzier feeling ; )

To sum up, for 199 Euros this is a watch I would buy and wear proudly without hesitation.  And Sternglas, if you're ever looking for North American representation, I am available ; )

Here are the pertinents, straight from the source -

A Bauhaus-style fine watch with high quality sapphire crystal. A reserved & filigree clock without annoying bells and whistles. Clear lines, shapes and colors. Our STERNGLAS timepiece is clear, minimalist and minimalist.
  • Diameter 38 mm
  • RONDA caliber 714 movement
  • Domed sapphire crystal
  • 5 bar (50 m) Waterproof
  • 4-fold screwed stainless steel bottom
  • 24 months warranty
  • Pointer color dark blue
  • Dial color white
  • Bracelet color Milanaise 

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