Watchuseek Blog

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Donald Corson Dresdener Regulator Watch

Dresden and the surrounding regions in Saxony such as Glashutte are hubs of watch making in Germany. Many popular watch brands, as well as unique independents hail from this region. One such unique player is Donald Corson, who produces finely hand-crafted timepieces in tune with the generations old tradition of watch making. He only makes 2-3 watches a year, and they are all specially made to order.

Donald Corson's most interesting timepiece in my opinion is Dresdener Regulator watch. A wonderful homage to the region, as well as a well-made timepiece with built-in German character. Aside from high technology cars and other modern instruments, few know that this region of Germany is known for their charming figurines and toys. It is an aspect of Germany that few outsiders are aware of, and it adds a distinct warmth to a culture that is not know for it.

I feel that the Dresdener Regulator watch has a degree of this fun and whimsical attitude, combined with the master work of a hand-crafted timepiece. The layout of the dial was inspired by a pocket watch made by Syffert in Dresden back in 1807. It used three equal sized dials, each with different style hands to tell them hour, minute, and seconds. This is the basic principle of a regulator style watch, but done differently here. Much of the watch's special character is in the design of the hands.

Some movement parts are base ETA, that Corson painstakingly decorates and reassembles to make suitable for the unique three-hand layout. The rest of the movement was design by Corson, and hand made and assembled to provide for the subdials. The movement is plated with ruthenium, that gives it that dark gray look, while Cotes de Geneve polishing is later applied. The gentle round curves of the bridges as well as the layout of the gears is almost artistic, while the exposed sapphire covered caseback provides the clear view.

At 39mm wide, the case is a solid size without being too large or too small. The final versions of the watch will be in 18k red gold. The dial is interesting being a combination of natural slate rock, as well as having Cotes de Geneve polished ruthenium plated metal on the outside framing the subdials.

You can visit the Donald Corson website (link above) to view more images of not only the Dresdener Regulator watch, but also images of the manufacturing process, and how a real "boutique" watch is made - a fascinating process that easily takes enough time for Corson's 2-3 watch a year output to sound reasonable. Working with watch makers like Donald Corson is an excellent want to have a truly unique watch, as well as a close connection with the individual making the watch. This adds an addition emotional layer to ownership that few large watch makers can replicate.

By Ariel Adams

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Habring Time Only 2009

A small company in Austria..

Habring is probably one of the smallest watch manufacturers, with a production that hardly reaches 50 timepieces per year. Habring is located in Austria, and owned by Richard and Maria Habring. This small company exists since 1985, but it wasn't until October 2004 when their first wrist watch bearing the Habring2 name on the dial was produced.

Exactly 5 years after the introduction of their very first Habring² model, Habring now introduces the Time Only 2009 model. Whilst the watch was introduced with an ETA (6498-1) powered movement 5 years ago, Habring is now proud to say that they are on their way to become a full blown watch manufacturer, creating their movements in-house. Their new manufactory caliber A09 automatic movement is based on the ETA train gear, but has an in-house developed bidirectional winding system. This has been developed by Habring to increase the easy of carrying out service on the A09 movement. The automatic winding system that they developed, can be removed by their watchmaker within seconds, to access the basic movement for service. Habring also has a manual wound movement (A09M), which doesn't have the in-house bidirection winding system of course. When buying a Time Only 2009, you can choose between these movements for the same retail price. Personally, I would opt for the automatic mechanical version (A09), since this one has this special developed winding system.
So, what do you get for 1950 Euro?

An individually engraved watch, with serial number 01 - 2009 till 12 - 2009 (or any other year of production) between the lugs at 6 o'clock. The watch comes with a domed sapphire crystal and a sapphire crystal case back. The Time Only 2009 has a 42mm diameter and a water resistancy of 50 meters.

You can have the watch customized by choosing a dial from either silver, copper, galvanic blue or galvanic black. If you have any other ideas about the dial, you can file a request at Habring. Hand and hour markers are either gold plated or rhodiated.

The A09 movement has a diameter of 30mm and is shock protected according to DINS and NIHS standards. The manual wound version (A09M) has a power reserve of 57 hours and the automatic version (A09) of the movement has a power reserve of 48 hours.

Wait... there is more?

Yes, a Habring2 handmade wooden box made from brushed and oiled Oregon-pine with integrated spare part compartment with a set of spares comes with the Time Only 2009. And because you'll probably leave that set at home when travelling, you can request a travel pouch with integrated spare strap on request.

Munichtime and Viennatime

Both Munich and Vienna have a watch event this year. The Munichtime and Viennatime are an excellent opportunity to meet with over 50 watch brands. From the leading companies in the watch industry to small and independent watchmanufacturers like Habring.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Schauer Kulisse Edition 14 Chronograph Watch Collection

From German Schauer watches comes the Edition 14 Chronograph watches from their Kulisse collection . Beautifully rendered to be both modern and utilitarian, the timepieces embody the spirit of functional design simplicity.

Schauer chose to use a modified Swiss ETA Valjoux 7753 automatic movement in the Kulisse Edition 14 watch. Using a high grade version of the movement, the originally tri-compax array of subdials was removed to created a bi-compax subdial layout. This altered the chronograph from having a 12-hour to a 30 minute timing max, but the dial design is clean and invitingly attractive. The left subdial is used for the watch seconds, while the right subdial is a counter for the chronograph minutes.

Looking through the rear of the watch you can view the decorated movement through the sapphire caseback window. Notice the high level of perlage and other polishes on the surfaces, as well as the blued steel screws and signed automatic rotor. Schauer is know for their high grade steel watch cases that offer a superior level of fit and finish. Like the caseback window, the watch crystal is sapphire and slightly domed.

The case is 42mm wide, by 15mm deep, and is water resistant to 50 meters. The bezel has the now signature Schauer screws that doubly serve to enhance the instrumental look of the watch, as well as be additional hour markers. Bezel screws have commonly been a simple, but effective look for creating a more masculine and functional feel to any timepiece. Dial design is superb. Like a sketch pulled from the desk of an architect, the large opens spaces serve as visual breathing room between the slender dials and hour markers. There is a date window carefully inserted at the 6 o'clock position. The Edition 14 watch is a timepiece born for function, and merely is attractive as a positive consequence. Hour markers as well as the hands are covered in C3 SuperLuminova for darkness viewing. Schauer intelligently made the hands very bold and to stand out against the dial for extreme visual clarity. The plump, robust nature of the hands is a charming contrast against the austere dial design - which is available in both black and white. Most other watches of this ilk would have had thin, hard to read hands against this style face, but Jorg Schauer knows better though. Also note how the hands are precisely the right length for the size of a dial, another indication that Schauer watches are designed by a dedicated watch making professional.

In addition to high grade cases and quality dials, Schauer is regarded as maker of fine watch bracelets. The Edition 14 watch has at least four options in the strap/bracelet department. The watch is available with a rubber or leather strap, as well as two metal bracelets. First is the classic mesh steel bracelet (the "Artus") that watch lovers known Schauer to render impeccably using thick metal (this bracelet is available on many of their timepieces). Second is a five link metal bracelet that interestingly uses almost squared links to compose the design - Schauer calls it the "Kubus." All strap or bracelet choices match the style of the watch and dial well.

Prices for the Schauer Edition 14 watches start at about $3,550.

By Ariel Adams

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Watch2009 News

Dear all,

Please find the latest news and list of exhibitors at Watchuseek is giving away 50 entry cards and offers all others a EUR 10.00 discount on the normal price of EUR 25.00. Interested? Send an e-mail with your full name, address and phone number to

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sinn Modell 6000 Finanzplatzuhr

Frankfurt am Main is the financial heart of Germany and therefore also being referred to as 'Mainhattan'. A very large number of banks, insurance companies, investment companies and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange are located within a radius of just a few hundred metres in the financial centre of Frankfurt am Main.

Frankfurt am Main is also the city of Sinn Spezialuhren. Founded in 1961 by Helmut Sinn, this watch company specialized in very functional watches. When Lothar Schmidt acquired the company in 1994, Sinn became even more technology driven and embedded all kinds of new materials and inventions, like TEGIMENT (hardening) technology, U-boat (submariner) steel, special oil, HYDRO technology and exposed these new watches and technologies to endurance tests of all sorts (extreme cold, heat and depth for example).

However, besides these mostly sporty watches, Sinn Spezialuhren also honors the Frankfurt financial district with the Finanzplatzuhr models. These watches are at least capable of showing two different timezones, and most of them are able to display three different timezones. The 6000 model has an additional chronograph functionality as well.

The Sinn Modell 6000 Finanzplatzuhr celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Although the credit crunch is not over (yet), Sinn wants to share their joy by introducing two limited Modell 6000 Finanzplatzuhr watches.

The Modell 6000 Anniversary II (or Jubiläum II in German) watch in stainless steel, limited to 100 pieces worldwide and the Modell 6000 Platinum (Platin in German) limited to 10 pieces only. Technical specifications of these watches are very similair, with exception of the used material for the case (and in weight ofcourse).

Above is the stainless steel Finanzplatzuhr 6000 Anniversary II, with a brown galvanized dial and rhodanized hourmarkers. Below is the Platinum version, featuring an engraved anthracite galvanized dial with rhodanized hour markers.Both watches have the same movement ticking inside, the trusted ETA/Valjoux 7750 caliber. This movement has a module added for the timezone functionality. The rotor of the movement is engraved with the skyline of Frankfurt am Main. The mechanical automatic movement has DIAPAL technology, to ensure a lubricant free escapement. When oil isn't used, there is no problem of preventing the oil from aging in an escapement. Without lubrication and without causing friction, established by the use of special materials (diamond pallets), long-term accuracy of the movement and particularly of the escapement can be assured.

Also, the Modell 6000 is water resistant to 100 meters (10 bar of pressure) due to its double sealed crown and pushers. The sapphire crystal on both sides of the watch is anti-reflective and the watch case of the stainless steel model is polished. The platinum watch case is polished as well.

The dimensions of the Modell 6000 Finanzplatzuhr are 38.5mm (diameter) x 16.5mm (height), which makes this watch suitable for any banker's wrist.

The Modell 6000 Anniversary II watch will be available in October 2009, for 2.950 euro (100 pieces only). The Platinum watch will be available in november 2009 and has a price tag of 19.900 euro (10 pieces only).

Both watches come with a 5 year warranty by Sinn Spezialuhren.

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