This post is going to be about a quartz watch. Not a quartz watch of major historical significance, nor one of any particular design note, but simply a quartz watch that a friend of mine recently purchased.
Why? It’s simple, really. It’s can be easy for us to forget that for much if not most of the watch-owning world (and let us not forget that there are people who walk amongst us who don’t even wear a watch [perish the thought!]), buying a new watch is something that you do when the one that has been serving you well dies; that for most people, the old watch is quartz, and the new one will also be quartz.
I was set a task. A friend was in need of a new watch after his Citizen (purchased in the early 1990s) had reached the point where it required CPR every morning to get it moving. He gave me the following requirements – under A$400, dress watch, time and date, quartz, and able to be examined and purchased in person. Not an uncommon set of requirements, I’d wager.
It’s easy to find watches which fall into that category; you can get some good looking reliable Seikos for that price, amongst other brands, but what if you think you want something more interesting? More distinctive? What then?
Well in this instance, after some browsing and consultation (Seiko – pass. Citizen – pass. Swatch – pass. Tissot – pass. Skagen – pass. Various other brands – pass etc), a previously unknown brand was discovered – Bruno Söhnle Uhren from Glashütte.
So who is the Mr Söhnle? Well he entered the watchmaking industry in 1957, became a watch distributor in 1978 and in 2000, founded his eponymous brand. They are mainly known in Germany for moderately priced quartz watches but in recent years, they have expanded into manual wind and automatic watches. These all carry the Glashütte/ SA mark as being made in Glashütte, with modified movements that are Unitas and Sellita based. Their information states that in general, about 70% of the movement is done in their workshop in Glashütte.
Their quartz watches, such as the Atrium (Ref. 17-13-055-721) that was purchased, use Swiss Ronda movements. Rhonda is second only to the Swatch Group as a movement manufacturer in Switzerland.
The Atrium is 38.3mm in size with a sapphire crystal back (why?) revealing a Ronda 6004. Its overall design is a very classic design with, for me, definite German design aspects, particularly with regards to the large date window at 12. A classically styled, conservative and quite good looking watch with pretty decent dial finishing, it comes on a butterfly deployant buckled calf strap
This brand is solidly within a moderate price range, and if this watch is anything to go by, Bruno Söhnle seem like a option that is worth considering if you’re looking for a conservatively styled quartz watch (for yourself or as a gift) at this price point. Their models vary hugely in style, and although they do both men’s and women’s lines, because of the moderate size of the men’s watches, I’d consider them pretty much unisex. I’ve not yet had the opportunity to look at their mechanical models but would be interested in doing so.
Bruno Söhnle are so new in Australia that they are currently only available online through Define Watches, but you should soon be able to see them at some of Define’s ADs. My friend’s was purchased via SVW in Sydney and one month after its purchase, he is still loving it.