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15 telemeter watches

Telemetry can be defined as using specialized equipment to send, receive, and measure data over a long distance. The equipment for the purposes of this article is the wristwatch. We will be reviewing 15 of the best telemeter chronograph watches.

Before we jump into the background of telemeter watches, watch complications are often focused on aesthetic design rather than function. As a result of modern technology, such as smartphones and smartwatches, wristwatches have become obsolete. 

For example, scuba divers typically use dive computers rather than dive watches for timing purposes. However, this is not to say wristwatches with interesting complications should no longer be produced. So let’s begin the journey of highlighting telemeter scale watches. 

About Telemeter Watches

The telemeter scale is based on the speed of sound in relation to distance, an example being calculating the distance from when the event first becomes visible to when it becomes audible. You may use a telemeter scale with a chronograph watch to determine your distance in various situations. Thus, telemeter scales tend to go hand in hand with chronographs due to the multiple timing capabilities.

Telemeter Watches Purpose

Soldiers used telemeter watches during World War II as it allowed them to determine their distance from their target. For example, a soldier would fire missiles and start the chronograph timer. Once the soldier heard the target being hit by the missile, they would stop the timer.

They would then read the telemeter scale of the wristwatch, and the reading would allow the soldier to know the distance they are from the target that was hit. Another instance where the telemeter scale may be used is to measure a lightning storm.

For example, one would start the chronograph once the flash of lighting can be seen and then stop once the sound is heard. The chronograph hand lines up with the telemeter scale, and one would then read the scale and know how far away the storm is.

The Best Telemeter Watches

Now let’s look at the specific telemeter watches.

Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope (ref. 329.

Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope (ref. 329.

With all the recent commotion of the Omega MoonSwatch, the Speedmaster Chronoscope is a breath of fresh air because this is a Speedmaster without the hype. This timepiece combines the Speedmaster Moonwatch with Omega Chronographs of the 1940s. Our focus here will be the steel version of the Chronoscope.

The Chronoscope comes in at 43mm in diameter, 13.22mm thick, 48mm lug-to-lug length, and a lug width of 21mm. It wears excellently given the larger dimensions; the lug-to-lug length allows it to be maintainable on the wrist for medium to smaller-sized wrists. 

Also, the watch comes in three dial variants in the stainless steel models, a blue dial with silver sub-dials, a silver dial, and a panda configuration (silver dial with black sub-dial layout). The Chronoscope uses a two-register sub-dial layout with a snail dial design in the center.

The movement housed in this timepiece is the Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 9908. It is accurate to between 0 and +5 seconds per day variance, making this the most accurate watch movement on the list.

The only negative is the odd 21mm lug width, as 21mm straps are more difficult to source. Either way, this watch looks best on the stainless steel bracelet that Omega created.

Overall, I feel that Omega has produced a fine timepiece that strays slightly off the path from your standard Speedy watch. The Omega Chronoscope is priced at $8,600 (leather strap) or $9,000 (steel bracelet)  

Patek Philippe 175th Anniversary Chronograph (ref. 5975R-001)

Patek Philippe 175th Anniversary Chronograph (ref. 5975R-001)

Patek Philippe is part of the “Holy Trinity” of watchmaking and arguably the best watchmaker in the world. They are also renowned for their complications, including annual calendars, moon phases, and chronographs. 

The particular model we will review is the 175th Anniversary Chronograph in rose gold. Patek produced only 400 models in the rose gold version, making it an extremely sought watch, and even now, it rarely appears on the secondary market.

In terms of case sizing, the Patek is compact for a chronograph with a diameter of 40mm and 10.25mm thick. This means that it is extremely wearable for daily wear and can easily tuck under a tight cuff. 

The movement within the 5975R-001 is the caliber 28-520 base. This caliber maintains a power reserve of up to 55 hours. This movement features a column wheel and a flyback function that allows for continuous timing capability.

These features come together uniformly and establish the 5975R-001 as a premium chronograph and appropriate for the 175th anniversary edition timepiece. A critique of this timepiece would be its availability, given that it is an anniversary edition and is limited. Thus, if you intend to purchase this, the secondary market would be your best option.

Longines Telemeter Chronograph (ref. L2.780.4.18.2)

Longines Telemeter Chronograph (ref. L2.780.4.18.2)

Longines has an illustrious history dating all the way back to 1832. They were once considered a rival to Rolex before the Quartz Crisis, but times have changed. Nonetheless, this means that Longines has a rich heritage in its archives to refer to. Many of Longines’ recent releases have been stunning, and the Telemeter Chronograph is no different.

The design of the Telemeter timepiece is based on a chronograph watch produced by Longines in 1933. The watch measures a round case of 41mm and houses the Caliber L688, an automatic movement with a column-wheel chronograph. The column wheel within the movement makes this timepiece special, as this typically appears in high-end chronographs.

The Telemeter Chronograph features a sapphire crystal and an exhibition case to view the movement. The timepiece’s dial features a three-register sub-dial layout with a 4:30 date position. The dial is white lacquered with black numerals. The watch features blue steel Breguet hands that exude elegance and finesse.

A few negatives of this watch are the lack of water resistance and the date wheel. This watch is 30m water resistant, which means, at most, you can wear it while washing your hands. The second is subjective; the date wheel is positioned at 4:30 and is awkward. 

Tissot Telemeter 1938 Chronograph (ref. T142.462.16.032.00)

Tissot Telemeter 1938 Chronograph (ref. T142.462.16.032.00)

Tissot is currently hitting it out of the park with its heritage-inspired pieces, and this includes the Telemeter 1938 Chronograph. This timepiece is exquisite in design. It features a two-register sub-dial layout, measuring running seconds and chronograph minutes.

Two dial variants are available, black with gilt accents and a silver dial with blue hands. The watch is 42mm in diameter, 13.9mm in thickness, and 22mm lug width. The chronograph pushers are ovular in shape. There is no lume on the dial.

Thus, these design elements make it a dressier design. The timepiece features a sapphire crystal and an exhibition case for the wearer to marvel at or show others, as this could be a conversation starter.

The numbers and sizing lean towards a medium to large wrist size. However, I recommend trying on the watch in person before making a decision. The price of the watch is $2,025.00

Oris Big Crown Telemeter Chronograph (ref. 01 674 7569 4064-07 5 21 56)

Oris Big Crown Telemeter Chronograph (ref. 01 674 7569 4064-07 5 21 56)

The Big Crown series of Oris watches was built to be used as pilot military watches. The Telemeter Chronograph within the Big Crown series seems very fitting due to the nature of the telemeter scale and its association with the military. 

This is a true tool watch in form and function. Each detail of this watch has a reason for it, from the lume to the plexiglass crystal and more. We will highlight some of the key features below.

The Oris is 43mm in diameter, 21mm lug width, and features an exterior telemeter bezel insert. The crystal is actually a plexi-domed material; this harkens to vintage watches. 

I’ll add that plexiglass may scratch easily, but you can buff out scratches with Polywatch and a microfiber cloth. The large crown allows wearers with gloves to access and wind the movement. So, Oris considered a variety of users when creating this timepiece.

Negatives of this Oris timepiece are the odd lug width of 21mm and the lack of water resistance at 3 bar. One would hope that a military field watch could withstand harsh environments and be able to take a beating on the battlefield. The watch is priced at $2,025.00 

Eterna 1940 Chronograph Telemeter (ref. 7950.78.54.1261)

Eterna 1940 Chronograph Telemeter (ref. 7950.78.54.1261)

Eterna has had a significant impact on the watch industry. Without Eterna, there would be no ETA and no Swatch Group dominance within the watch industry. So we should appreciate their existence along with their Chronograph Telemeter timepiece.

This timepiece screams 1940s design and takes the wearer back to when watches were utilitarian tools. The telemeter has a case diameter of 42mm and 14.1mm thickness. It features a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating, making it less reflective when worn outdoors or under intense lighting.

The Telemeter features large rectangular pushers and a large crown for easy access. There are two variants, one with a black dial and gilt accents and the other with a black dial and silvery white accents.

The movement is unique as it is a flyback chronograph. This means that the user can reset the chronograph timer without stopping it, which is convenient when timing something continuously. In my opinion, this is a beautiful timepiece.

The case is curvaceous, and it wears comfortably on the wrist. However, a couple of critiques are that it may be difficult to find an authorized dealer to try on Eterna watches and the 4:30 date wheel that disrupts the symmetry of the dial.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 18 (ref. CAR221A .FC6353)

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 18 (ref. CAR221A .FC6353)

The Carrera and Monaco are icons of TAG Heuer. But the Carrera Calibre 18 will be in the spotlight here. The Carrera has all the features you would want from TAG Heuer. There is no “TAG” on the dial; the dial features a panda configuration (silvery dial with two grayish sub-dial registers) and multi-faceted lugs associated with the Carrera case. 

Also, this watch is extremely wearable compared to the Monaco, which wears large due to the flat case back and slab-like sides. Let’s inspect the details of the Carrera.

The Carrera watch wears svelte with a 39mm case diameter. It features a sapphire crystal for protection. The dial layout is clean and simple with minimal information on the dial. The Carrera features a date wheel at the 6 o’clock position, which can easily be missed, thus maintaining symmetry on this gorgeous yet simple dial. 

The watch is 100m water resistant, which is a nice feature to have as it means you can technically swim with it. Overall, this timepiece maintains lovely vintage styling in modern form.

A negative aspect of this Carrera model is that it is discontinued. So, you would have to source this from a third party or secondary market.

Zenith Captain Chronograph (ref. 03.2117.4002/23.C704)

Zenith Captain Chronograph (ref. 03.2117.4002/23.C704)

Zenith is known for creating one of the first automatic chronograph movements in 1969, the El Primero. But Zenith is also known for their military pilot watches; we will inspect one of them here. 

The Captain Chronograph features a dual-register sub-dial layout. Therefore, unlike the typical three sub-dial layout, it is extremely legible, and the dial is not cluttered. There is plenty of lume on the dial of this Zenith to make it ideal for activities in the skies.

The watch measures 42mm in diameter, 12.5mm in thickness, and 50.2mm lug-to-lug length and features a sapphire crystal and an exhibition case back to view the gorgeous automatic movement. 

The winding crown is large for easy gripping, and the chronograph pushers are rectangular with vintage styling. The case of the Zenith is mainly brushed with very little polishing, which is appropriate as this is not a dress watch.

The Zenith features the 4002 caliber movement that allows for approximately 52 hours of power reserve and is a high-beat movement. An interesting aspect of this particular El Primero movement is that the second position of the crown (typically associated with adjusting the time) allows the user to adjust the date. 

Junghans Meister Telemeter (ref. 27/3380.02)

Junghans Meister Telemeter (ref. 27/3380.02)

Within Junghans, there are two iconic collections, the Max Bill and Meister collection. For this list, we will be looking at the latter collection, specifically the Telemeter chronograph watch. 

This modern watch draws inspiration from Junghans’ first telemeter and tachymeter scale chronograph watch created in 1951. The Meister Telemeter is a vintage style yet features a casual enough appearance. It is available in a black dial as well as a silvery white dial variant.

The case of the watch measures 40.8mm in diameter and 12.6mm thick. It comes with the option of a steel bracelet or leather band. I recommend the stainless steel bracelet because it is easier to source a good aftermarket strap than a bracelet. 

The watch comes with a domed sapphire crystal and exhibition case back, showing off the nicely decorated movement. The chronograph pushers are ovular in shape. It is also 50m water resistant, which is not bad for a dressier chronograph watch. Having experienced this watch in Asia, photos do not do it justice.

The sapphire crystal is highly domed, and it wears very comfortably on the wrist due to the compact case profile and slimness of the watch. I was tempted to purchase it at the time but held back. The watch retails for €2,290.00

Alpina Alpiner Chronograph (ref. AL-750SG4E6)

Alpina Alpiner Chronograph (ref. AL-750SG4E6)

Alpina is associated with classically styled sports and tool watches. The Alpiner Chronograph is part of that heritage. The Alpiner Chronograph is similar to the Heuer Carrera mentioned above as it features a silver dial with two grayish sub-dials.

The difference is that the sub-dials here are in a vertical arrangement, thus adding a nice touch to differentiate it from other chronograph watches. The case size is 41mm in diameter, and there is a sapphire crystal protecting the watch dial.

Upon first inspection, it appears that this Alpiner is a two-register sub-dial arrangement; however, it features three sub-dials. The running seconds sub-dial is nicely camouflaged at the 9 o’clock position. There is also a date wheel at the 6 o’clock position.

Despite the layout arrangement, this watch appears symmetrical. Moreover, a great added design element is the pump-style chronograph pushers. This is just tempting the wearer to start the chronograph timer of this timepiece.

Although this watch is discontinued in production, it is possible to source this through the secondary market, given the lack of demand for the brand. But a positive is that it can be bought at a bargain price.

Dan Henry 1939 Military Chronograph

Dan Henry 1939 Military Chronograph

Dan Henry is a well-known watch collector within the community. He set out to create great-looking watches with vintage styling. He also intended these watches to be accessible and affordable to a large audience. One of those timepieces is the 1939 military chronograph. 

According to Dan Henry, he wished to pay tribute to chronograph watches of the 1930s because of their beautiful dials, along with the vast amount of information on the dials. Surprisingly, Dan Henry watches offer enough variations in their watch models that will likely suit a lot of people. Let’s inspect the 1939 chronograph in more detail below.

In terms of sizing, the case measures 41mm in diameter, 13.9mm in thickness, and 49.2mm in lug length. The watch features a 22mm lug width, so you can easily swap out the strap for a host of aftermarket options. Thus, this watch wears beautifully and comfortably on the wrist. 

The timepiece features a sapphire crystal and is available with two dial color options; chocolate with gilts accents and silver with blue accents. There are two sub-dial registers on the dial. Also, date and no-date options are available for this timepiece, but I am drawn toward symmetry, so I’d recommend the no-date version.

Also, might I add that this is also the most affordable of all the watches discussed today due to it housing a quartz movement manufactured by Miyota. Lastly, the 1939 chronograph is limited in production so get them while you still can. The watch is priced at $270.00 

Hanhart Pioneer TachyTele

Hanhart Pioneer TachyTele

The Hanhart Pioneer TachyTele has a military history that dates back to 1939. According to Hanhart, the watch’s name comes from the two sets of scales on the dial, the tachymeter (used for measuring speed) and the telemeter. 

The Hanhart’s lower chronograph pusher has a distinctive red covering, and this was introduced in 1938 as a warning mechanism to prevent pilots from resetting the stop timer. The red color on the pusher was previously a red lacquer painted over the chronograph pusher, but it is now manufactured out of ceramic/ plastic to ensure longevity.

The Pioneer wears remarkably well, given the case diameter of 40mm and 15mm thick. The watch features a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. The dial is available in off-white or black; both colors contrast well and are easily readable. 

The ETA 7753 automatic movement is the watch’s heartbeat, with 42 hours of power reserve. This is a good, tried, and tested movement. Overall this is a solid timepiece with excellent build quality, and it will impress the wearer.

I find it difficult to criticize this timepiece as it is a “Swiss Army Knife” given the 100m water resistance, screw-down case back, lumed hands, and numerals, along with a fluted rotating bezel. This is as much of a tool watch as one could buy without many compromises. Pricing of this watch starts at €1,990.00 

Poljot Strela Chronograph (ref. OF38CYS)

Poljot Strela Chronograph (ref. OF38CYS)

Many may have not heard of the brand Poljot Strela since the brand comes from Russia. The Poljot Strela Chronograph’s greatest claim to fame is being the first watch to go to space on the 18th of March, 1965, as it was used during the mission. 

So this is Russia’s equivalent of the Speedmaster Moonwatch. This was significant at that time because Russia was engaged with the USA in the Cold War and the “Space Race”.

The Poljot Chronograph watch has a case diameter of 38mm, a thickness of 14.8mm, and a lug-to-lug length of 46mm, thus making it a very compact and wearable watch on the wrist. The dial of the watch is white with a two-register sub-dial layout. The dial is unique as it features multiple concentric circle patterns on the main center dial and sub-dials.

The movement contained within the watch is the Poljot manual winding Caliber 3133. The movement can be seen through the exhibition case back. It is nicely decorated with Geneve stripes. The movement features a power reserve of 48 hours, which is decent.

But the magic of manual winding watches is the wearer’s connection with the watch because you need to engage with it by winding it at least every 2 days; otherwise, it will stop.

Although this timepiece is limited to 300 pieces, it is also the most affordable mechanical watch on this list today, coming in at under $900. Several online stores sell this watch from Europe. So, if you are interested in purchasing it, then do some research before taking the “giant leap”. 

RGM 455-CE Classic Chronograph Enamel

RGM 455-CE Classic Chronograph Enamel

RGM is an American watchmaking company that was established in 1992 and coincidentally the year of my birth, making us both 31 years of age at the time of this article. Watches of the 1940s inspired the design of the 455 classic chronograph model. 

The particular model being highlighted is the enamel version. Enamel is a difficult material to work with, and this tends to result in more failures than successes due to the heat treatment applied to the dial. 

However, RGM has performed an outstanding job in their ability to produce the Grand Feu real glass-fired enamel dial. The white enamel dial compliments the steel blue hands. The center of the dial features the snail-like tachymeter scale, adding a subtle touch to this timepiece.

The case size of the watch is 38.2mm and 13.9mm thick. Lug-to-lug length is 47mm, and lug width is 20mm, which ensures plenty of aftermarket strap options. For me, these measurements are the sweet spot, as I prefer watches that are 50mm or under in lug-to-lug length. 

According to RGM, the automatic movement is decorated with Cote de Geneve stripes and perlage finishing. But a downside is that this movement is covered by the stainless steel case back. The watch retails for $7,950.00 

Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph (ref. MB125581)

Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph (ref. MB125581)

The final watch is the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph. This is arguably the most unique in design and function. As this is a Monopusher chronograph, there is only one pusher on the watch that controls the chronograph timer. The pusher is an extension of the crown. 

In addition, the 1858 line of watches is part of the high-end range of the Minerva watch collection from Montblanc. This collection is gaining more attraction, and what better way to start than with their Monopusher Chronograph.

The timepiece has a 42mm case diameter, and the stainless steel case is finished immaculately with satin brushing. The dial features two tones, namely black and cream/ beige color. There are two sub dials on the dial, making it simple and convenient to read from. 

This watch features a sapphire dome crystal that shows off the vintage style. The timepiece features lume on the handset and numerals. The Monopusher is also 100m water resistant. In my opinion, these features help to make this timepiece a great GADA watch (Go Anywhere Do Anything).

A negative of this watch is the branding; Montblanc watches are not that popular. But this means discounts can be obtained on their timepieces. This Monopusher Chronograph sells for $5,400.00  


In conclusion, watches with telemeter scales are not exactly a new or groundbreaking technology. Those who appreciate the chronograph complication along with the scale will likely do so for aesthetic reasons. The watches listed above are not intended to be a full guide of telemeter scale watches.

But they are a gateway into telemeter timepieces. And to end on a quirky note, John F. Kennedy once stated that “we must use time as a tool, not as a couch”, and so a reminder that watches are made to be used as tools.

Best German Watch Brands

Switzerland and Japan typically come to mind when one thinks of watch brands and watchmaking. However, a third country to the party is Germany. Germany has a rich history of watchmaking, and as an indicator, German brands are somewhere between Swiss brands and Japanese brands when considering different factors. Today we will discuss a variety of brands, including A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte Original, NOMOS, and more.

History of German Watch Brands

There are varying accounts of the origins of watchmaking in Germany. Based on my research, German clock-making and watchmaking trace their roots back to the 1700s in the town of Pforzheim. Several watchmaking institutions were established in Pforzheim to create job opportunities and a workforce at that time. These and the demand for wristwatches became a catalyst for Glashütte, eventually becoming a vital region for watchmaking in Germany.

The impact of World War I on German watchmaking had the effect of reform. The War brought about the significance of the wristwatch as it shifted focus away from pocket watches and their production. World War II also significantly impacted German watchmaking as many factories were destroyed due to heavy bombing, and as a result, they closed.

Following World War II, whatever watchmaking within Germany was taken over by the State, and progress waned. Following the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, signs of innovation and evolution returned. Several of the watch brands in this discussion were founded or re-born following 1989, so this was a crucial period in German watchmaking history.

German Watch Brands vs Swiss Watch Brands

Let us consider how German watchmakers compare with the Swiss in a variety of characteristics. Firstly, the label “Swiss Made” means something special to the general public. Thus, given the public perception and marketing, Swiss brands have a point over German brands, but this could soon change with time.

Regarding the variety of brands, Switzerland trumps Germany due to a broader array of Swiss brands at every price point. Historically, watchmaking has been the “bread and butter” of the Swiss manufacturing industry.

Even as I look at my current collection of watches, over 40% are Swiss Made, and the rest are made up of Japanese brands. This is not to say that German timepieces are lacking, but Swiss Made watches are more accessible and promoted.

In terms of build quality, German watch brands take a point over their Swiss rivals. Germany is a country renowned for their high-quality engineering, including watches. Some German watch brands use submarine steel, Tegiment steel, and hardened coating, to name a few features. German watches are also typically sturdy and have tight tolerances.

So, expect nothing less, as this is German engineering at its pinnacle. Concerning movements, the Swiss have a wider variety of standard use movements that have been shared throughout many brands, namely ETA, Sellita, STP, Soprod, and La-Joux Perret.

German watchmaking is outshone here, but this does not tell the bigger picture regarding in-house manufacture movements, as German watchmakers have a host of in-house movements. For example, NOMOS has the in-house Alpha hand winding movement within their Club Campus series of watches at $1,500 MSRP.

That is great value for money when considering the price of in-house movements from Swiss brands, which typically begin at much higher price points. Now, we will inspect several German watch brands in more detail alphabetically.

1. A. Lange & Söhne – German Watchmaking at Its Finest

A Lange Sohne

A. Lange & Söhne was founded by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in 1845 in Glashütte. But they were severely affected by World War II as their production ceased in 1948 due to the division and occupation of Germany. Following the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, A. Lange & Söhne was re-born with the efforts of Walter Lange, the great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange.

My grail watch brand is A. Lange & Söhne because they are the only watchmakers that assemble every watch movement twice in a process called the “two fold assembly” process, which allows the mechanical pieces within the movement to be adjusted to perfection.

In addition, their most affordable watch (The Saxonia) is finished to the same standard as their more expensive watches, such as the Zeitwerk and Datograph. The Lange 1 Moon Phase is highlighted because of its distinct designs to A. Lange & Söhne. It has an asymmetrical dial, yet it is beautiful and interesting.

The dial layout contains the hour and minute hands, small seconds, large date cut-outs, moon phase, and power reserve; this is perfectly imperfect. The movement of the watch is displayed by the exhibition case back and finished to the highest standard. So I recommend this brand wholeheartedly as you will be amazed by it on many levels.

Notable Watches: Grande Lange, Zeitwerk, and Datograph.

2. Archimede – Outdoor Companion

Archimede has roots going back to 1924, with Karl Ickler founding their original family business. Following the dormant period of the brand during World War II, it was rebuilt by Karl’s two sons. The company is now managed by Thomas Ickler and remains an independent and family-run business. In 2003, Archimede came to the forefront with their modern release models and as we know the brand today.

What makes Archimede interesting is their variety of designs with their tool and vintage-styled watches. My friend Kim purchased the Archimede Outdoor in 2018, and his opinion of the watch is that it is of “…military grade and can handle tough environments and handle extreme conditions”, so it is a great watch for exploring and an excellent choice for a GADA Watch (Go Anywhere, Do Anything).

The Archimede Outdoor model has a barrel-like shape with 39mm or 41mm case sizes. The Outdoor models vary with simple 3 hands with date or chronograph and are extremely anti-magnetic. But what makes this ready for the wild is that the watchcase uses a hardened coating and is 200 meters watch resistant, so you can dive, hike, cycle, and surf with it. 

Notable Watches: Pilot and Klassik.

3. Damasko – German-Made Watches With Robust Construction

What makes Damasko watches great and robust? Maybe it is because they use submarine steel and have a hardened coating.

A key watch model of their current lineup is the DK30 range of watches; these contain their in-house A26-1 movement. This is impressive at the starting retail price of €1,645. The watch’s blue or black military-style dial also contains cross hairlines, which allows the watch to remain legible and yet adds an extra touch to it. This watch is a great tool with robust construction and Damasko’s hardened coating, enabling them to withstand more hits than a heavyweight boxer.

Notable Watches: DS30 and DC Chronographs.

4. Glashütte Original – Elegant Watches Designs With Innovative Watchmaking

Glashutte Original Karree Perpetual Calendar Moon

When I think of Glashütte Original, elegance and innovation come to mind. Glashütte Original has roots dating back to 1845, but I wish to focus on the brand in its modern form, which began in 1994. Since then, it has represented high-end watchmaking, which is obvious when viewing its finishing and movements.

In 2000, Glashütte Original was acquired by the Swatch Group but still remains distinctly German in design and heritage. My first experience with Glashütte Original occurred in March 2017 when I visited the Glashütte Original Boutique in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore with a friend. Richard Goh, Boutique Manager, pleasantly greeted us.

We sat down, and Richard allowed us to try on a variety of watches; one of the models that stood out to me at the time was the Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date in blue and gray dials. I remember being impressed by the beautiful dials, sturdiness of the case, and finish of the movement through the exhibition case back. Since then, I’ve told myself that I will own a Glashütte Original watch.

Notable Watches: SeaQ and Pano.

5. Hanhart – High-Quality Military Chronograph Watches

Hanhart has Swiss-German roots, having been founded by Johann A. Hanhart in the village of Diessenhoffe, Switzerland, in 1882. In 1902 he relocated his company to Schwenningen, in southern Germany. Hanhart created the world’s first reasonably priced mechanical stopwatch in 1924, and ever since then, they have been renowned for stopwatches and chronograph watches. 

The iconic Steve McQueen was a notable wearer of Hanhart, specifically the Hanhart 417 Chronograph Watch. The modern iteration of that watch is the Hanhart 417 ES Chronograph Watch in 42mm and 39mm case sizes.

These are faithful to the original watch by combining design with history with the 2-sub dial layout on a lovely leather bund strap. The watch is ready to be worn and taken into action like it was intended to be when created as a military tool watch.

Notable Watches: Pioneer One and Pioneer MK I.

6. Junghans – The Original Minimalist Watch

Junghans watch

Junghans personifies the saying that “less is more”. Junghans was founded in 1861 and, in 1866, began making clocks. In the 1930s, Junghans began fitting their movements within wristwatches, and in 1946, they ventured into chronograph watches.

Moving forward, the 1950s was the catalyst for Junghans as we know them today, and they began working with Max Bill (scholar of Bauhaus) in designing kitchen clocks. In 1961, Max Bill worked with Junghans to create a wristwatch, which has since become the brand’s icon that watch enthusiasts admire.

So it’s no surprise I am promoting the Junghans Max Bill collection consisting of automatic, hand winding, chronograph, solar, and quartz models. Each utilizes the simple dial layout consisting of minimalism and thin lines as hour and seconds markers. 

Some models even contain small Arabic numerals and small seconds, but one look at them, and you can tell the models are all related. The Max Bill collection also includes a variety of case sizes from as small as 32.7mm to 40mm. Thus, this collection can be for any gender as it is clean, simple, and does not contain superfluous features.

Notable Watches: Chronoscope, Form A, and Form C.

7. Laco – One of the Original Flieger Manufactures

Laco was founded in 1925 and is famous for being one of the five original Flieger manufacturers for the pilots of the German Luftwaffe. Their watches were created to be large, legible, and built for battle. Yet, Laco watches are distinct and simple.

Typically, Flieger watches are larger in size, 46mm, and upward, as they were designed to be as legible as possible when flying in the skies. But the watches I choose to recommend are smaller and suitable for wearers. The Aachen and Augsburg Flieger watches are notable because they represent great value and tradition. The price point begins at $410 MSRP, which is exceptional as it’s accessible and affordable.

Those models are available in 39mm and 42mm sizes, making them suitable for various wrists. Also, those watches have black, blue, and white dial variants. My preference is the black for due to the connection with the original Flieger watches. However, the white dial makes for great summer wear. Thus, if you can, give the brand an opportunity and open up your horizon.

Notable Watches: Leipzig and Heidelberg.

8. Montblanc – Traditional Instruments

“The pen is mightier than the sword” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1839. Montblanc is a very famous brand within the sphere of writing instruments. However, many may not be aware that they are a German brand. In 1997, Montblanc added time-telling instruments to its catalog, and it has grown ever since.

The Montblanc watch that should be on your radar is the Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph GMT (with R200 movement). One look at this watch, and you are mesmerized because so much is happening on the dial. The timepiece consists of three sub-dials with the main time and GMT on the center dial, then on the lower left is the running seconds hand, and on the lower right is the chronograph minutes counter. 

Also, most people tend to miss the day and night indicator on the peripheral of the 8 and 9 o’clock markers, which is a subtle touch on an elegant watch. Easily missed is the date indicator on the peripheral of the 3 and 4 o’clock markers. These details allow the watch’s dial to appear symmetrical and beautifully proportioned. In my opinion, this is the icon within the Montblanc watch collection.

Notable Watches: 1858 and Heritage Collection. 

9. Moritz Grossmann – Haute Horology

From a modern perspective, Moritz Grossmann was founded in 2008 by Christine Hutter. She had acquired the right to use the name of the famous German Watchmaker. Since then, the brand has gained a following with high-end watch collectors due to the brand’s artisanal hand finishing to that of the standard of true haute horology. According to reports, Moritz Grossmann produces approximately 200 watches a year.

The Heritage collection from Moritz Grossmann is simply stunning and they have created masterpieces in every detail, from the proportions of the watch, dial color, and hands on the dial to the engraving on the movement. These are the reasons why the brand charges upwards of €29,400 for their watches. In my opinion, Moritz Grossmann creates works of art on your wrists, which are worth every cent they charge, but that’s just my two cents.

Notable Watches: Central Seconds and Universalzeit.

10. NOMOS Glashütte – Classic Designs & Beautiful In-House Movements

Nomos Glashutte Autobahn Director's Cut A3

NOMOS Glashütte can be considered a new kid on the block in German watchmaking as Roland Schwertner founded the company in January 1990. The style of watchmaking by NOMOS can be regarded as Bauhaus, given that many watches feature simple dial layouts with modern designs.

A unique set of aspects of NOMOS that should be highlighted is their in-house movements and product finishing. The Alpha Hand Winding movement and DUW automatic movements are great value-for-money in-house movements that do not break the bank, and typically, in-house movements indicate innovation from the brand.

The case finishing of NOMOS watches is typically mirror-polishing to a high standard. The movement decoration includes ribbing and a perlage finish, which adds beauty to such an outstanding watch. The NOMOS watch I highlighted is a watch I previously owned, the Club Campus Nacht in 38mm. The story of how the watch entered my collection began with Baselworld 2017.

NOMOS presented this as a watch to be gifted following graduation or a great achievement. The Club Campus contains a sterile case back (also available in the exhibition case back) if one wants it engraved with a special message. I love this idea. I was impressed by the case finish and thinness of the watch (being less than 9mm thick) due to the in-house Alpha hand winding movement.

My experience with NOMOS has been very positive, but a critique is that the lugs are very long for the case size. The long lugs also show a sizable gap between the strap and the watch case. However, these criticisms are easily overcome on larger wrists or the use of a one-piece nylon strap.

Notable Watches: Zurich World Time, Orion, and Ahoi

11. Sinn – The Ultimate Tool Watches

Sinn watch

Sinn has a well-documented pilot and military history, having been founded by Helmut Sinn (pilot and flight instructor). An interesting fact is that Sinn produced the cases for early Bell & Ross watches. Since Sinn’s inception, its focus has been on military watches and cockpit clocks. Also, Sinn utilizes submarine steel for many of their watches cases along with Tegiment coating, which makes their watches highly resistant to scratches. 

Moreover, some Sinn models include dehumidifying technology built inside via a capsule. The capsule indicator on the side of the lugs shows when the watch has accumulated too much moisture, and then at that stage, you should contact Sinn to get the watch serviced.

The Sinn 556i is a great watch, though; firstly, the case size of 38.5 mm and a thickness of 10mm. These measurements make it a universal size, as those with small to medium wrists can wear it. Also, the dial is glossy black, and the gold-plated rotor of the watch has been customized by Sinn to add an extra depth of quality. Overall, the Sinn 556i is fantastic, over-engineered, and dependable.

Notable Watches: Sinn 104, Sinn 856, and Sinn U1.

12. Tutima – Best of Both Worlds

Tutima may be a lesser-known watch brand, but they produce both tool and dress watches with immaculate quality, thus making them ideal to be on your radar. Tutima was founded in 1927 in Glashütte and specializes in military and tool watches.

I highlight the Tutima M2 Seven Seas diver watch and the Patria dress watch range. The Tutima M2 Seven Seas is a dive watch released in 2022. The watch has several dial color variants, including blue, yellow, green, and red. Although colorful dials are not something revolutionary, these colors make the watch feel more trendy and suitable as a fun weekend watch. 

Furthermore, the Patria range is a hidden gem in German watchmaking as it contains an in-house hand-winding movement with excellent case, dial, and movement finishing comparable to watches costing upwards of $10,000. The Patria comes in stainless steel or 18K rose gold, but, in my opinion, go for the stainless steel option as it is a bargain and can be had for less than the price of a Rolex Submariner on the secondary market.

Notable Watches: Saxon One and Grand Flieger.


In summary, we’ve inspected several German Watch brands that should be on your radar. From my own experience, having owned the NOMOS Club Campus, I can attest that German watchmakers offer exceptional quality that can be seen and experienced in the metal better than in images. 

Also, with many Swiss watch brands raising prices regularly, it is a great time to purchase your first German watch or add more to your collection. It will only be a matter of time before word gets out on German watch brands and their popularity skyrockets. To my audience, danke!

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