As promised my love affair with German made watches continues into 2015 with two excellent watch models – and both with Schönheit – elegance!
The first is another of my favorite Brunos which is now at long last in my collection.
It’s the elegant Bruno Söhnle Sonate 17-23109-241 which features a Stainless bi-color gold/silver ion-plated case and I confess it was the case that first attracted my interest. It has quite unique fluted sides which is both remarkably elegant and a feature that’s actually quite rare to find, especially in this price range and I personally find it very attractive.
The dial is silver coloured and finely textured, the inner portion as tint square indents and the outer minute chapter background in very fine circular lines. It also features a Date Window @6 which is of the “triple view” style, where the day before and after are represented. This is always useful when one or both main hands cover the Date window, and being longer than normal as you see, means that one of the dates is always visible and you should know the current date. I note from articles here and there that it’s not just me that has a likeness for this model, as it seems to be one of the most sold out models and often on back order from the Manufactory (such a lovely word the Germans use). Not being available here in the UK, I purchased this via a Berlin dealer.
This model is powered by the excellent Swiss Quartz Ronda 1006 (8 jewels) which as usual with Bruno Söhnle is refined and customised in house. The watch face whilst furnished with gold hands is fortunately very easy to read and viewed clearly via a Sapphire Crystal, which has an Anti-reflective coating. The case sides are in gold with wonderful fluting around the circumference, which is continued on the highly polished stainless bezel. The bi-colour combination used to great effect to lift this model well above the usual style and gives added elegance.
This model is Water Resistant to 3 ATM, the case lugs are very slim and straight in keeping with a number of their models, 20 mm wide and the strap as always from Bruno, an excellent quality calf leather with crocodile pattern and signed pin buckle. However despite the obvious quality of the strap I found this particular one just a little too stiff for my liking, so in some images you will see I have fitted a favourite Rosario Leather strap in red, which is much softer and my colour preference for this watch – it’s certainly more comfortable for me. I think my days of firm hard composition leather or stiff cored straps is long gone, but that’s just old age I’m afraid.
The case dimensions are perfect in my opinion for a dress watch at 38.7 mm diameter and very slim at only 5.8 mm depth, and gives a sleek, quality look on any wrist size and shirt cuffs are no problem whatsoever.
I’ve tried to take some images that show off the fluting as I think it such an important part of the overall look of this watch.
Certainly one of my favourite models from their Quartz range, though I’m looking forward to checking out their mechanical models this year and will Post my comments and thoughts on these once completed.
Note – like many of the Brunos, the snap stainless steel back is really close fitting, so ‘care’ is the watchword when changing the Renata 315 battery, otherwise it’s too easy to scratch the back. And better to use a watch press to replace the back.
Another Quartz Bruno I’ve noted is the excellent Pesaro 111 model 17-13073-121 which again has a modified Swiss Quartz Ronda 7004 movement, with Day and Date. Yet another model I find I like. There are a few versions of this, starting with the Pesaro 1, then 11 and now 111, each emphasizing different aspects of the dial. However for me the latest Pesaro 111 is the one I prefer, basically owing to the elegantly contoured black hour and minute hands (reminiscent of the older Calatravas) that give excellent contrast against the beige dial and it’s particular configuration. The Pesaro 11 for example has infill hands which although still elegant and I understand luminous, for a dress watch I find the high contrast black steel is my choice.
The Big Date aperture @1 is highly visible as is the curved Day of the week scale at 8 to 12 with it’s precise black pointer. A good sized seconds sub dial @6 completes the dial works and the overall look for me is both attractive and clear. In fact a feature of most Bruno Söhnle models is their knack of producing excellent dial clarity even with multiple complications – perhaps others should take note.
This model also features a screw down crown, 100m Water resistance and screwed lugs instead of the usual spring-bars which is very much upmarket, including the excellent Sapphire clear view Crystal. There is also an exhibition back and the entire watch is fashioned from high quality stainless steel. The strap is slightly wider at 22mm in high quality calf leather, which scales nicely with the larger case size of 43 mm diameter by 14 mm depth with pin buckle. As I may have said and it’s worth repeating, I always find BS straps to be some of the most comfortable to wear.
There are other versions of the Pesaro 111, including an alternative deployment bracelet version.
I now have a small collection of Bruno Söhnle watches and I wear them frequently, though they are all Quartz, so this year I’m looking to acquire one of their latest mechanical models, some of which look very interesting as they are very highly regarded. On first looks they promise much when considered against their excellent Quartz range and I look forward to checking these in some depth in the near future.
The above image shows a model from their range of mechanical automatics, the Lagomat Day-Date model in three versions and once again shows off the design elements that Bruno Söhnle are so good at – elegance and readability without clutter. Note the Day is indicated in full @12 in addition to the Date and very reminiscent of the Rolex Day-Date, was first produced in 1956 and good ideas are well worth repeating.
Bruno Söhnle Uhrenatelier Glashütte/Sa as a Company was founded in 2000, though first started off back in 1957 as a distributor of Swiss watches. Their first watch models in-house were sold in Hungary from 2005, and in 2006 they purchased the former Assmannhaus in Dresdner Straße in Glashütte in Saxony, from where all Bruno Söhnle Quartz and mechanical watches are now produced. In 2008 they produced their first mechanical model to considerable praise within the Watch Industry and since then have been and are, going from strength to strength, their latest models are a delight to peruse in their latest 2014/15 brochure. The Bruno Söhnle reputation is well founded and they’re receiving awards each year for product excellence.
Certainly the Bruno Söhnle models I have in my collection are in my “keepers” case, as I can’t see me parting with any one of them anytime soon and and I love wearing them – which is surely an accolade in itself!