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Steinhart Racetimer: The Rocking Racer Wristwatch
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Following the modern Le Mans GT series, to which we recently added a chronograph, it's time for a retro feel to our motor sports collection.
With the Racetimer series, Steinhart takes us back to the days when auto racing was not yet dominated by computers and the riders were adventurers with gasoline in their blood, often risking their lives to win races.
Man, when Steinhart knocked him out of the park, they sent him straight from the galaxy. Recently, they launched their premium line of internal watch movements, which is the base of the highly decorated Unitas 6497 with lots of new and beautiful components. It was super cool and shocking, but there was something about their new Racetimer chronograph that blew me away. Sure, these are just another Valjoux 7750 chronograph (there's nothing wrong with that), but they do have the look of a classic racing chrono.
Steinhart has released its latest racing-inspired models and without a doubt some of the most famous racing-related watches of the past which have recently been released with great success. Obviously the Tudor Heritage Chronograph in blue comes to mind.
Now, let's finish this. Yes, it's clearly inspired by the Tudor Chronograph both new and old, but I've also seen hints from Heuer and a bit of Seiko. While Steinhart is known for making tribute watches, I wouldn't call the Racetimer a tribute. Rather a vintage-inspired watch with clear aesthetic roots. To put it bluntly, if it didn't resemble the wristwatch of the era it was trying to imitate, it would likely fail completely.
Okay, it's over, to this damn sexy watch. The Racetimer has a 44 x 16mm titanium casing with 22mm lugs, a display back and a domed sapphire crystal. The case is a bit large for my taste, but the proportions from the dial, to the color coordinated tachymeter bezel are spot on. The use of titanium here does keep the weight low, exceeding the large casing. Inside is a hardworking Valjoux 7750 with custom Steinhart gold rotors, which is a nice touch.
The Swiss Racetimer engine performs 28,800 vibrations per hour in a 44 mm diameter titanium chassis, driven automatically by a gold rotor, which can be observed through the glass back of the stainless steel case.
The Racetimer is fitted with a 44 mm (16 mm thick) titanium case and is driven by the automatic movement of the ETA Valjoux 7750. This movement has a gold rotor with the Steinhart logo cut and this can be seen through the back cover of the exhibit.
Embedded in the polished stainless steel bezel, one invented the tachymeter inlay, which can be used to measure speed with the aid of a screw press which operates the chronograph function. The time and day / date can be adjusted via screwed knobs, if the Racetimer has to spend several days resting in the garage.
Shake it lightly or a few turns of the crown and the engine starts working again just like in the nature of Swiss watches.
There are still tough choices about the "paint job" you should choose.
Dial and Case
The contrasting color of the sub-dials makes them stand out from small seconds, and (for the blue and white dials) brings the very fast timing function forward, which of course will be very important in racing situations (he says somewhat tongue on the cheek). Additionally, you have a matching tachymeter inlay on the stainless steel bezel.
It's a cool case and all, but the dial is just not my taste. There is so much going on that it's hard to explain. Big shapes, color fields, lines, numbers, applied markers, and more come together to create something that's dynamic, fun and exciting, but not overwhelming. Perhaps my favorite single element is the orange line traversing the dial, separating the inner sub-dial from the outer index, marking the active date and second windows and creating a Tudor-like trapezoid that holds the chronograph register. It's a simple element that organizes all of the information while acting as a contrasting highlight: a really nice design.
But perhaps the greatest success of all is the three different color palettes. Black, blue or brown, there are no wrong choices in the group. Black is totally charcoal gray with black, cream and orange highlights and a black bezel. Obviously, it has a Tudor Homeplate chronograph for inspiration. The brown color is then a mix of rust and maroon with taupe and orange highlights and a rusty bezel. This way of color surprises me, as I usually don't like brown watches, but I happen to find them very attractive. Maybe it's because it reminds me of the Seiko 6138-0040 Bullhead. Lastly, and possibly my favorite, is the blue variety. The navy, cream and orange colors complement each other perfectly and the dark blue frame puts it all together. This one is a Tudor Monte Carlo palette remix.
Color is definitely something you have a choice here too. I'm torn between a classic blue-and-white combination and a brown dial with darker brown and beige accents. However, there is also a gray dial with black and white accents. In addition to the color choices, you can choose to pair the watch with a leather strap with contrast stitching, or a titanium bracelet.
I was directed to this watch by fellow watch enthusiasts and I have to say this is to me the most attractive watch I have seen this year. I love the style, I love the quality of the finish and I love the value for money that is attached to all Steinhart watches. This is truly the watch that has topped the "We Wants Muchly" list right here at Beastie Folly.
Of course, since this was Steinhart, they also had a ridiculously low price tag. Without VAT, a Racetimer costs less than $ 1,000. Considering everything that's in it and the perfect dial / color tone, I think a lot of watch nerd's have just found a new chronograph to add to their collection.
It costs $980 including VAT, which is great value for a titanium-wrapped valjoux powered chronograph.