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German Watch of The Week: Steinhart Nav B-Uhr 44 Gun Metal A & B Type
Steinhart Nav B-Uhr 44 Gun Metal B Type
Steinhart is a brand with a reputation for manufacturing watches that achieve a level of craftsmanship and a keen aesthetic feel that goes far beyond its price tag. Even after all these years as a Steinhart devotee, I still find myself pausing while browsing the Steinhart website, wondering, "How did they sell that watch at that price?" The Nav B-Uhr II B-Type Steinhart, a fitting homage to the classic German observation pilot watch, was recently purchased by me, and it definitely lives up to Steinhart's reputation.
As noted in my early impressions of the Nav B-Uhr II B-Type, this is a recreation of the original observation pilot watch produced in the late 1930s and early 1940s for the German military Luftwaffe (air force). While Lange & Sohne was the main manufacturer at the time, IWC, Laco, Stowa and Wempe also provided stock. As seen in the photo below, Steinhart is a faithful recreation of the original style, staying true to the original dial design to the tee. Steinhart has even forgotten about placing any logos or text on the dial for a historically accurate design. Some of the original German pilot watch manufacturers continue to make them today, but none for the frenzy of under $ 600.
The Steinhart Nav B-Uhr II B-Type is operated by an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement with hack seconds, unlike the original pilot, who used a pocket watch movement. It also features a domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. It is remarkable that with these two components alone, Steinhart can reach such a competitive price point. But unfortunately, these prices won't last long, or the ETA movements that are currently driving the watch will soon be replaced by other brand names. The moments of a ubiquitous and sometimes reachable ETA move are about to pass, so for those interested in securing this deal, act fast.
The B-Type dial is where its resemblance to the original German pilot watch really achieves. And as a historical match, the B-Type also achieves what to me is the hallmark of pilot watch style, a sense of wide-scale. The clean and spacious dial is a characteristic I love on a traditional pilot watch, and a defining feature of the B-Type.
The B-Type dial is black with contrasting white markings and fonts throughout the dial are sterile and straightforward. White hash marks for seconds / minutes coat the outer edge of the dial, with every fifth hash lengthened and paired with a numeric marker. Also, at the 60 second / minute position, an upward arrow appears, according to historical standards.
The hallmark of an observation-style pilot watch is the presence of an inner clock ring with a numeric marking 1 to 12. The Steinhart Nav B-Uhr II B-Type also has a dot at each clock position. Looking back at the original German pilot's watches, it seems like some display these dots while others don't.
The B-type hand is the style of a blue steel roman sword, however, unless viewed from an angle or in very bright light, the blue color may be difficult to see, and the hand appears black. The ends of the hands are perfectly aligned with the hour or minute rings. For the minute hand, the inside white of the hour hand is aligned with the innermost end of the minute hashtag. I love this detail, because it not only makes the watch easier to read, it also adds to its quality and value. The seconds hand is white and extends all the way to the outer edge of the dial, enhancing the impression of spacious space.
Superluminova C1 is found on the hands of the hour, the dots on the clock ring, every second / minute hash and every tenth second / minute marker. From what I understand, this fits the overall intent of the dial design, which is to draw your attention to the passing minutes and seconds, which are of the utmost importance to the crew.
Cases and Construction
The B-Type case closely resembles the original design, but appears slightly rounder and softer in comparison. This provides a more comfortable wear and a more versatile style. At 44mm in diameter and over 14mm in height, the case is considerably smaller than the previous model, which used a pocket watch movement and was used as a test kit.
When buying the B-Type you can choose between a red onion or a diamond crown, and the unit I bought had the latter feature. Featuring a pull-out design, the B-Type crown is easy to adjust and rotate. I find it especially helpful when I don't wear the watch for several days in a row.
I've had a few questions about the Type-water B's resistance after I posted my initial thoughts on it. It appears that the water resistance of all Steinhart non-diver watches is “limited water resistance, no swimming or showering” as listed on the company website. After reading some on watch forums and through personal use, I think it's safe to say that this watch with limited water resistance is safe for rain, hand washing, and all other daily tasks that require it. your hands are a little wet.
To me, these limits are not deal-breakers, and insofar as they help lower the cost of a Steinhart watch a little, I agree. In my experience with the B-Type and other Steinhart watches, I have found the quality of Steinhart build and attention to detail to be exceptional and I believe that the lack of water resistance is not a sign of poor workmanship.
Strap and Wear
The Nav B-Uhr II B-Type features a brown leather strap with double buttons, white stitching, and stainless steel hardware signed to match the watch case. I find it quite comfortable, and unlike some other studded straps I've worn it has a lot of flexibility where the buttons are. When I bought the Steinhart it actually arrived with darker brown straps without buttons. Steinhart responded very quickly to my emails about blending and quickly forwarded me the appropriate studded ropes. These two leather straps are high quality and are the perfect aesthetic companion to the military B-Type style.
Since it's summer in New York, I've been wearing a Steinhart with a NATO nylon strap as it provides a lighter, more comfortable garment. The green and brown NATO straps pictured here are from Maratac.
The B-Type is fast becoming my daily watch. I find its versatile style and moderate size make it easy to choose from for casual use. I've found that it pairs well with business formal wear when worn with leather straps, and right at home with shorts and a t-shirt when wearing NATO nylon.
When it comes to accurate remakes of the German pilot's watches of the 1930s and 40s, you have a few options. Laco and Stowa, both original watchmakers, each have watches available today that are very similar to the B-Type, but cost nearly twice as much. I would love to get one of each to do a side by side comparison. How do they stack up? Do you pay for the name, or do the Laco and Stowa models offer a lot more. These are questions that should be left unanswered for now. But for now, what I do know is that the Steinhart Nav B-Uhr II B-Type, with its ETA 2824-2 movement, sapphire crystal, excellent design implementation, and outstanding build quality can be yours for less than $ 600. So, if you're a collector of pilot's watches, or just love the observation-style look, take Steinhart's Type-B seriously, you can't really but not. Shop now on Gnomon Store.
Steinhart Nav B-Uhr 44 Gun Metal A-Type
The Nav B-Uhr 44mm Gun Metal A-Type is Steinhart's newest Pilot, with a new sleek casing for better wearability, and in a vintage style. Made in Switzerland and powered by the Swiss Made ETA2824-2 automatic movement that shows through the open back case, paired with a threaded crown for even better water resistance, this watch is made to be cool and sure to amaze.
Steinhart Nav B-Uhr II 44mm Metal Gun A-Type is manufactured to the highest Swiss standards. With full stainless steel bead blasted to give a rustic vintage look that fits the current Neo-vintage trend, but not only to attract attention. The XL Pilot Crown is located at 3 o'clock and can be screwed down to prevent too much water penetration.
Another major highlight is the dimensions of the case. It has a much slimmer height at 12mm with shorter and narrower lugs. All of this results in an overall calmer appearance, with a better wrist fit for everyday wear.
Next, a double anti-reflective coating is carried out on the bottom of the dome's flushed crystals. This is a watch that looks like it was worn by German Luftwaffe pilots during World War Two, an artifact worthy of being exhibited in a museum. This watch is set to stand out from the crowd.
The Pilot-style dial is designed using a historical model - a matte black dial paired with a nostalgic and charming military broadsword hand.
The Steinhart Nav B-Uhr II 44mm Gun Metal A-Type comes with a vintage tapered Pilot-style strap, which tapers and matches the gray metal casing.
Overall, we back Steinhart's latest update to their Nav B-Uhrs pilot watch by being the right size for many pilot watch enthusiasts, and those looking for an era-looking watch. This Steinhart watch comes with a two-year Steinhart international warranty. Get one now today!