Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Blue Collar Vs. White Collar- Steinhart Nav B-Uhr 47 Premium Automatic Vs. Steinhart Nav B-Uhr Gnomon Boutique Edition

Hi folks! It's been 6 months since my last review. Yes, the sinister combination of parenthood and a demanding day job had pretty much sapped me of the much needed time and strength to write another review... Until now.

On the pedestal today are two brothers that might have been separated at birth. One had probably spent his youth in swanky surroundings while the other had sprouted from humbler roots. Yeah, the hands are a dead giveaway, I guess.

Anyway, it was through sheer patience and coincidence that I acquired these two pieces. I had gotten the blue collared sibling about a year ago after a pretty long wait. However, when the sibling with the gold lapel was launched a couple of months ago, I was skeptical, to say the least. But when it finally hit our shores, I was sold, as soon as I wound it, but I'll get to that later.

Aesthetically, the two are rather different, although both cases are 47mm. The Gnomon Edition comes with a sterile dial (clean and spartan), white markers and hands, brushed bezel and blue out-lined hands. The Premium edition comes an almost sterile dial (Steinhart Logo at 12 o'clock), off-white markers, revised diamond crown (looks almost onion-like to me but not like the bulbous onion crowns found on Chronoswiss timepieces) and a polished bezel. The font of the arabic markers are also a little different between the two. The premium has bolder but slightly smaller fonts. However, it has a thicker and more closely spaced minute markers.

Other visual differences can be seen on the cases. The Premium edition is slimmer and bears a smaller crown. The lug arms are also thinner. The thicker case of the Gnomon Edition could be necessary as the the movement ensconced within could be thicker.

The Premium offers a window to the most important difference between the two pieces, literally. Safely encased within is a Soprod A10. The matching and distinctive off-white markers and matching gold hands pretty much got my vote but it was the Soprod A10 that really sealed the deal for me as soon as I wound it. Buttery smooth were the words that leapt into mind immediately. It does not have that loud winding sound nbut is a lot more muted and has a more pleasant feel compared to the ETA 2824. Not that much friction.

Now, though a little boring, the Gnomon comes with a solid case back. However, this is where it's status as a boutique edition is made known via a huge etched Gnomon Watches logo that occupies the entire case back.

On the lume front, the Premium has that bit of edge thanks to the slightly different markers.

Both fit rather neatly and comfortably on my average-sized wrist. However, the Gnomon edition's diamond crown, as with the other Steinhart diamond crown that I've experienced, can be uncomfortably painful. The revised crown on the Premium is a lot more tolerable. that said, both are equally easy to operate. Especially for someone like me, the best description would be - a manicurist's nightmare.

the Gnomon edition looks more rugged, in my opinion, while the Premium looks more refined. Mainly because of its gold accents, thinner case and smaller crown. I can't help but think of the Gnomon edition as a blue collar (thanks, coincidentally to the blue accents on the hands), beer guzzling guy who won't hesitate to get his hands dirty, modifying his alfa romeo on the weekends, while the Premium piece reminds me of a more refined gentleman, sipping on his single malt and dragging on his cigar every evening.

Personally, the unmarked, sterile dial of the Gnomon edition has a certain appeal. A certain subtlety that is difficult to put into words. Such unbranded pieces tends to tug my heart (and Purse) strings. It's got that sensual appeal. Kind of akin to a girl in a sexy outfit. Showing all but not showing much at the same time.

As with most Steinhart timepieces, you get what you pay for. Both watches are pretty much "bang for your buck" pieces. Oh did I forget to mention, the 22mm lug width makes strap options plentiful. So, what's not to like about them?

The sad thing, however, is the Gnomon Edition seems to have ceased production. I'm just guessing as I do not see it on Gnmon Watches' website anymore. Also, I have not seen stock replenishment for quite some time now. It will be sad if this is replaced by the Stenihart Nav B-Uhr 47mm Automatic.

But, fret not. As the Premium has come to the rescue! Man! I love the feel of the Sopord A10!


Steinhart Nav B-Uhr 47 Premium Automatic
Case Dimension : 47mm.
Lug Width : 22mm.
Case Thickness : 12mm.
Crystal : Domed Sapphire.
Movement : Soprod A10.
Power Reserve : +/- 42 hours.

Steinhart Nav B-Uhr Gnomon Boutique Edition
Case Dimension : 47mm.
Lug Width : 22mm.
Case Thickness : 14.2mm.
Crystal : Domed Sapphire.
Movement : ETA 2824-2.
Power Reserve : +/- 42 hours.

Pros :

- Value for money. Bang for your buck.
- Very smooth winding feel. Buttery smooth. (Nav B-Uhr 47 Premium).
- Versatile.
- Well made and finished.
- Workhorse movement that is tried and tested (Gnomon Edition).
- Beautifully clean sterile dial (Gnomon Edition).
- Simplicity at it's best.
- Very well balanced design.
- Very easy to operate crowns.
- Comfortable crown design ( Premium edition).

Cons :

- Possibly discontinued. No listed on Gnomon Watches website anymore (Gnomon Edition).
- The Premium would look better on a completely sterile dial.
- Painful diamond crown ( Gnomon Edition).

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