Deutsche Uhremacher-Genossenschaft Alpina

A nice new aquisition to my collection – the Dugena Calendar Moonphase.  For those unfamiliar with the name “Dugena” it was established in 1917 in Eisenach as a branch of the Swiss brand Alpina.  The name is an acronym of “Deutsche Uhrenmacher-Genossenschaft Alpina“ (German watchmaker association Alpina) and soon became a brand in it’s own right.  A somewhat fragmented ownership over the years in 2009 it became part of the the newly founded “Nova Tempora Uhren und Schmuck GmbH” and is becoming a collectible brand worldwide.

Dugena Calendar Watch

Dugena Calendar Watch

40mm x 9mm so nice and slim, elegant too with its beautifully formed gold plated stainless steel case. With a silver dial and separate Month and Day windows, a Day pointer in blue. The hour, minute and centre seconds hands are polished gold and the moonphase a colourful sight which matches the deep blue cabochon inset to the gold knurled crown.

This is what they call a quartz analogue – with mechanical month and day wheels plus the moon-phase.  The quartz movement used is the Miyota 6P80 and I have found it to be accurate and very reliable.  It has a recessed pusher to adjust the month and the crown has two pull-out positions for setting the time, day and moon indicator.
Don’t confuse the moon-phase with a day and night indicator.  It works on a 29.5 day cycle and is normally set either at new or full moon.  Setting the watch is quite tricky as the different parameters have to be set within certain times.  The Month and Date are neatly synchronised too, which makes it quite a careful process.

Polished gold back

Polished gold back

On the wrist

On the wrist

The solid case back is polished gold and engraved with the serial number and water resist info – the watch is 5 bar resistant, so not for swimming. The crystal is sapphire so pretty scratch resistant.

It comes with a nice soft matte reptile strap of 19.5mm length and 20mm ( at the lug) tapering to 16mm at the polished Dugena gold engraved buckle.

All in all a rather elegant watch with a beautiful case design reminiscent of Jaquet Droz and it makes for an excellent addition to my collection.

The style of this particular Dugena model is very pleasing though perhaps sadly may not be available now and I don’t see it in todays line-up, which will be a real shame in my opinion.  But as the company will once again soon be fully German owned and driven, they are certainly worth a look.

Slimline Botta Argos

The Botta International Award winning design – the Argos Quartz Titanium watch is one of my favorites. A German Manufactured Klaus Botta design with a gold plated Swiss Ronda movement.

Botta Argos Titanium

Botta Argos Titanium

With a slightly darker than usual ultra light weight slim Titanium case and matching bracelet, allied to the RONDA Slimtech 1005 Swiss movement, this is a seriously smart high end Quartz model.

It’s a good 39mm in diameter but with a height of only 5.9mm is one very neat watch. It weighs just 55g and must be one of the lightest bracelet watches around. The strapped version only weighs an amazing 28g! – you simply don’t realize you’re wearing it!
Clean black & white contrasting features of the modern slightly minimalist dial face makes it outstandingly easy to read. The crystal is Sapphire and pretty much scratch resistant and also being a flat plane is virtually reflection free.
The black center seconds hand is sized carefully to suit the numerals and minute graduations, thus making it not only easy to see, but a very precise read.
The same principle is used on their Single Hand “Uno” and “Solus” models to very good effect.

Dial detail

Dial detail

The case and bracelet fit very neatly together, the bracelet being easily adjustable with the usual pin set up and has a push button closure.
Water Resistance is 30m or 3 ATM.

So are there any negatives regarding this super little watch?

Well yes, I have three issues – firstly the crown. It is very small and crucially – it’s smooth! It is not knurled or figured in any way and as a result is extremely difficult to operate – Maybe acceptable if the watch did not have a date change, but this one does!
I’ve found the only way is to wear a pair of surgical gloves and even then it’s difficult.
I now keep a pair handy in my watch box and must admit that they’re actually quite a useful item to have. They give that little bit extra grip which is so useful when dealing with small screws or bracelet pin spring collars etc. And secondly the bracelet whilst smooth and comfortable does not have a micro adjustment (usually on the clasp) so in other words it is dependent on link removal only for fit – an omission in my opinion. And thirdly the hands and dial markers are not luminous, so for night outside use, forget it. (I note by the way that the more modern Botta models do have lume now – pity they missed out in these early days)

But all things being equal the Botta is one of those true “design” watches that simply shouts quality and is equally at home during the day or as a sophisticated dress watch for evening wear. Incidentally with this ultra slim configuration it suits ladies or gents equally.

On the wrist

On the wrist

I’ve had this watch for over a year now and it still looks as it did that first day I opened the box. Like many a watch collection, watch models are on display in glass topped watch boxes and cabinets. Every so often it’s “wear time”, when you select a watch for that day or evening and I have to say it gets quite a bit of wrist time!

And almost every time I do it’s fair to say that it’s a watch that often draws comment wherever I go.

I’m quietly rather pleased at that. So Barman? – I’ll have another Gin to go with my slimline, if you please!!

Attesa – the ultimate watch?

The Citizen Attesa ATV53-2833

Perfex Multi 3000, Solar powered Eco-drive (with 2.5yrs power save),Radio Controlled (US, Japan, Europe), Titanium (Druratec Ti), Double coated AR.

The ultimate watch?

I took possession of this just the other week and it has NOT been off my wrist since – What a watch!
My biggest surprise was when I opened the box –

Whilst listed as around 42mm diameter (ex crown), this has none of the elegance of my previous Oceanus Manta – It is one very SOLID piece of kit!  Maybe the lug to lug measurement could be an issue for small wrists? – We’ll see.
However this model is incredibly clear to read despite a quite busy dial, the big broad luminous hands so easy to see against the black dial.

With double AR and not much on the dial that’s actually reflective anyway, it is very, very impressive.
Unlike my Navihawk this model has a centre seconds hand which I personally have always preferred. It doubles as a Radio signal pointer to indicate signal strength and receive confirmation.
A Charge level display @10 shows the secondary battery state and I note it points to the centre of each level, so level 3 is fully charged, which is around 130 to 180 days. Also at the same location on the dial is an indicator which shows which transmitter the watch is using – this is location dependent on the setting youv’e keyed in as your Home etc.
UTC displays permanently @12 and the mode selector is @6 and is operated by pulling out the crown 1 click and rotating left or right.

World time – Simply set your home town, which will show in the  display @9, press a button and the hands immediately move to your own time. The previous hands time then jumps to the digital display. It has 43 cities built in to the programme and you can also manually set odd Time Zones or a new city.

Dial detail

Dial detail – packed but superb broad analog hands stand out clear

The case is really solid and does away with the ever larger slide rule bezels that virtually no-one uses – the watch is much cleaner as a result. The plain bezel is actually coloured a dark brown, but as the image here shows, it’s really quite subtle. The two pushers either side of the crown are also brown.
The crystal is outstanding with probably the best double AR I’ve seen. It is very clear under any lighting situation and the dial information is clearly laid out.
There is also a rather cool LED orange glow light feature available to illuminate the digital displays if needed. And the hands and numerals have an improved lume – certainly much improved from my old Navihawk.
This model also has a full auto Calendar (with Daylight savings times), 24hr 1/100sec Chronograph, 99 minute Timer and two individual Alarms that can be set in world time or Home time.

It also has a nice broad bracelet – starting at 24mm and tapering to around 20mm at the clasp, which features a slider adjustment for when you’ve had too large a dinner!

Fits even a small 6.7" wrist

Fits even a small 6.7″ wrist – just . . .

Whilst it looks neat even on my smallish wrist at 6.7″ – it is deceptive being nearly 54mm lug to lug (and this might be a problem as the main case extends past the normal line of the lugs and almost into the strap profile) and is about as big I as would want to take (42mm diameter and 12.6mm height) – but it sits neatly enough, just, and the fact it’s Titanium means that after a minute you don’t even know it’s there!

Finally – the Radio Control – This watch due to my UK location, picks up the DCF  77.5kHz signal from Mainflingen, near Frankfurt/Main in Germany and I live 700 miles from the transmitter. It picks up the signal every time, usually at high strength (H) and synchs in around 2 minutes. I don’t even take the watch off and I’m one restless sleeper….! (Note the watch has 5 receivers (US, Europe, China and Japan).

So one of the most practical watches around for my money – Solar powered, absolute RC accuracy, World Time easily set, Chrono, Timers, scratch proof Titanium with the Duratec coating and the clearest crystal I’ve seen………

So…What’s the downside, the faults and the points I maybe don’t like?

That’s easy to answer – NONE

Quite simply for me this could be the Ultimate

I love it!

Note 1 – Movement – Cal.No.U60
Note 2 – Perfex 3000 system features –
1 – JIS Type-1 anti-magnetic
2 – Impact detection system
3 – Hand correction function

Update February 2015  – However after some years I found I was not wearing this model – why?   The answer to that was I suppose the fact that after wearing and owning it for some time I realized the lug to lug dimension was in practice just too big for my smallish wrist.  It over overhung the wrist and couldn’t wrap around the wrist and to change the bracelet for a strap wasn’t really an option.   The case shape and the non standard bracelet fixing didn’t lend itself to change.  So as my mantra at that time was – if I don’t wear them – they go . . .  simple as that.    Hey Ho!  😉