Thursday, 7 November 2013

Smitten By Simple Elegance - Steinhart Nav B-Uhr 47 ST1 Premium Gold

What???!!! Another pilot watch? Haha! I guess you should be rather bored by now, seems like it's usually either pilot or diver. And worse, another Steinhart? I couldn't believe I'd actually purchase such a dressy piece myself. Well, you see, this ain't your usual Steinhart pilot or flieger as some would prefer to call it. This is rather different from the usual Nav B-Uhr range. I've actually kinda given up hope on getting this watch but when Gnomon's boss called me one evening, I broke all traffic laws (and possibly some laws of physics to get to the shop before closing time. After a tough couple minutes, I decided on this particular piece.

The main difference is really what's under the bonnet but I'd like to focus on the aesthetics first. Firstly, it's a sandwich dial. I particularly like the visible stencil of the Arabic markers. Next, there's the seconds sub-dial. It's an anthracite sunburst. I  find this little disc particularly stunning and an aesthetic coup as far as the facade is concerned. Now before we move to the rear, let's examine the case.

The case is finished in satin brushed stainless steel. The 22mm lugs are short and slightly angled. I'm not sure what this crown should be called. It's not a diamond, neither is it bulbous like an onion or pumpkin. Anyway, It's not as painful on the wrist as their usual diamond crown. But I find the protrusion from the case is a tad too much. Now, on to the main event...

Through the case back, we can see what really is the difference. Instead of a regular 6497 with decoration and Geneva stripes, we have bright, shiny base gleaming with glory through the exhibition case back. Yes, this is Steinhart's foray into in-house movement. This is the ST1 Premium Gold. Actually, to call it an in-house movement might not be legally correct. You see, it's essentially a UNITAS 6497 base movement. to be honest, I'm not really an expert when it comes to movements, but from what my untrained eye can see, they've replaced the regulator with a swan neck regulator. The Steinhart logo is clearly seen on one of the wheels. and the 3/4 bridge is designed and made by Steinhart. Also, unlike a regular UNITAS 6497, this handsome crafted machine boasts a low beat of 18,000vph (versus 21,600vph on a regular UNTAS 6497).

This range comes in three offerings - Gold, Silver and Anthrazite. Each come in either 44mm or 47mm cases. The local AD, however, only brought in 2 gold and 2 silver (a 44mm and a 47mm in each). I decided on the gold as it was more uncommon. Hoever, I must add that the swan eck is more prominent in the silver.

I have several other 47mm Steinhart pilots and this one does not wear any differently. Like the others, there's a slight bit of overhang thanks to the slightly straighter lugs. The crown does not cause as much pain as the diamond crown found on their chronos.

The lume is exactly a Seiko lantern but it's good enough for me. It's a nice shade of turquoise, actually.

I absolutely love the look of this rendition of the Nav B-Uhr. As a pricier, premium range, I reckon the folks at Steinhart did a good job at making subtle changes to differentiate it from the regular offerings. Price-wise, it's actually quite a few scales higher than the normal range. But bearing in mind this is an in-house calibre, or at least one with quite a few modifications, I reckon it's still relatively well priced.

Case Size : 47mm.
Lug Width : 24mm.
Movement : Steinhart ST1 (UNITAS 6497 base).
Power Reserve : +/- 42 hours.
Case Material : Stainless Steel
Water Resistance : 30m.

Pros :
- Beautifully crafted.
- Dial is clearly differentiated from regular Nav B-uhr.
- Very nicely finished ST1 movement.
- Easy to use crown that doesn't hurt or cut into the back of the palm.
- Clean and easy to read dial.

Cons :
- Price is just a tad on the high side.
- Not readily available.
- Crown protrudes a little too much from the watch case.
- Lugs should be angled a little more to reduce the overhang on smaller wrists.

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