Union Glashütte launched recently the last piece from the trilogy marking the 175th anniversary of the birth of Johannes Dürrstein, founder of the brand. Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph is powered by a manual-winding calibre and brings the same white enamel with black printing. A touch of red was dedicated to the chronographic complication.
A trilogy of classic complications
Union Glashütte celebrates the 175th anniversary of the birth of Johannes Dürrstein. The German brand has prepared three conservative watches featuring classic horological complications: a power reserve (with small seconds), a triple calendar with moon phase (additional small seconds and 24h display) and, last but not least, a chronograph (with date). All pieces are powered by hand-wound movements and feature lovely white enamel dials evoking the traditional features of the pocket watches of the Johannes Dürrstein era.
More information about the history of Union Glashütte can be found in this article.
Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph
Part of a charming collection, the 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph surprises with a set of appealing features (enamel dial with a classic chrono layout and a hand-wound movement) at a very attractive price point. For those with a weakness for precious materials, the watch is also available in an 18-carat rose gold case.
With pocket watches in mind
Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph presented here comes in 42mm diameter stainless steel case. The dimensions are very generous for this very classic piece and some might argue that is much too big. But this watch (and the trilogy) was designed with the pocket watches style in mind and that explains the physical characteristics.
The watch is well proportioned. The wide concave caseband is satin-brushed, a decoration extended over the long and curved horns. The choice of finishes has a series of advantages: less prone to fingerprints marks, superficial scratches are masked by the matt finish.
On the right side, we find the traditional “U” decorated crown and the chronograph’s polished rectangular pushers. The watch is covered with a straight sapphire crystal with a chamfered edge. The crystal makes a nice combination with the raised and bevelled bezel.
Another exterior element that worth mentioning is the folding clasp that received an extra decoration – hand-made perlage. On the exterior buckle can be observed again the “U” logo of Union Glashütte. The back is covered by a see-through case back.
A classic enamel dial
The 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph received, like all the pieces of the trilogy a beautiful white enamel varnish dial. Again, we can recognise elements that were once found on pocket watches.
The watch’s face is visually pleasing: large Arabic numerals as hours markers surrounded by a quite wide railtrack used for central chronograph seconds but also by the minutes. A nice touch is represented by the red indices inside the register at each fifth index.
The top of the dial proudly wears the name of the brand. You might easily notice the beautiful font used for lettering. Note the reflection of the hand on the enamel dial.
The chronograph uses a central seconds hand and two recessed subdials: a 30-minutes counter at 3 o’clock and a 12 hours totaliser at 6 o’clock. The last bears an aperture that reveals the date. Quite a subtle implementation that does not obstruct the overall view.
The running seconds are displayed in a subdial at 9 o’clock. In the same area was printed the “Handaufzug” – hand-wound, as a mark of the calibre’s type. This mark is symmetrically balanced on the right side by the “Chronograph” mark. And all is well balanced by the “Made in Germany” printed on the lower side of the dial.
The dial uses blued Feuille-shaped (leaf) steel hands. While the watch face reminds of vintage and pocket watches, the leaf hands bring an interesting flavour to it (since this type of watch hands is not as widely used as other shapes). The legibility is excellent per se. In the absence of light, the time cannot be read due to the lack of any luminescent material. But adding some will destroy the classic theme so it is perfect as it is.
A visible movement to be enjoyed by enthusiasts
Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph is powered by the Calibre UNG-59.SI. The movement is a 4 Hz manual wound with an impressive power reserve of 60 hours. The “Si” comes from the silicon balance spring that has amagnetic properties.
The view of the back reveals the attention that Union Glashütte gives it to the movement’s decoration. The bridges are designed and produced in house. The rest of the components are entirely decorated by the brand. It can be easily noticed the Glashütte stripes and the perlage. The blue screws contrast the gilded gear wheels, the balance wheels and the main bridge engravings. While it is not the most compelling calibre architecture but considering the under 3k € price tag (2.827 € incl. 16 % VAT), the watch offers a nicely adorned movement.
Elegance is an attitude
Based on a series of misconceptions, I have not followed Union Glashütte carefully. Only recently I had the chance to fully discover the brand. And I was impressed and ashamed. Impressed by exceptional pieces that hide not only a robust heritage but also technical details worth mention. Ashamed that I allowed myself to stay away from a German brand that offers much more than a first look reveals. Moreover, the bang for the buck is definitively a strong point on this one…
Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph is a tempting proposal. The wristwatch features a set of lovely details in a classic package and it is powered by a good looking movement. It offers a nice, solid but comfortable feel on the wrist. The chronograph function has prompt pushers with good feedback. All these at a pricepoint rarely achieved these days.
Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph Technical Specifications and Price
- Stainless steel D007.459.16.017.00 – €2,900.00 / £2,600.00 / 元 22,800.00
- 18k rose gold D903.459.76.017.00 – €11,000.00 / £10,100.00 / 元 83,000.00 – Limited to 127 pieces
- Hours, minutes, small second
- Date display in dial window, date correction using corrector at 10 o‘clock
- Chronograph function with 60-second, 30-minute and 12-hour counters
- Hours, minutes and small second
- Second stop
- Silicon spiral spring
- 60-second and 30-minute chronograph counters
- Chronograph mechanism with cams
- 3 push-buttons (including corrector at 10 o’clock)
- Date display on dial
- Power reserve of up to 60 h
- Movement dimensions: 13 ¼“, dia. 30.00 mm, height 7.30 mm
- Silicon spring, indexless regulation system, second stop
- Jewels: 25
- Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz)
- Height: 14.23 mm
- Diameter: 42 mm
- Glass: Sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating on both faces
- Case-back with sapphire crystal
- Water resistance:
- Up to 3 bar (corresponds to 30 m) rose gold
- Up to 10 bar (100 m) Stainless steel
- White enamel varnish
- Hands made of blued steel
- Brown calfskin with pin buckle made of 18-carat rose gold
- Black calfskin with stainless steel fold fastener