Since the launched of the sold-out Steinhart Yachtimer Plexi - Ltd Ed 100pcs, Steinhart is now unveiling an on-going version of this exceptional chronograph, extending the collaboration with Gnomon Watches, the first and sole authorized dealer for the brand based in Singapore. With over two decades of steadfast partnership, the close connection between Steinhart and Gnomon Watches has resulted in numerous collaboration pieces that combine the impeccable Swiss-made quality with exquisite designs specially reserved for those who yearn for a truly exclusive experience.
Steinhart Yachtimer - Gnomon Exclusive
Like rare antiques and vintage cars, many vintage timepieces can often fetch exorbitant prices for a whole range of factors including scarcity, historic significance or simply the great stories they tell. But there’s something most of us can probably agree on, vintage watches hold an ineffable beauty that ages like fine wine. In an endeavour to rekindle an incredibly rare prototype sports watch design from the 1960s, we worked with well-respected German watch manufacturer Steinhart to create a masterpiece of a chronograph that pays tribute to a momentous event in watchmaking history.
At a time during the late 20th century when yachting was increasingly rising in popularity, watch manufacturers were in the race to develop sports timepieces for yachtsmen. Just like car racing, one of the prerequisites of yachting included the function of time recording, this called upon the designs of racing chronographs for the production of sailing watches, therefore giving birth to a historic prototype that became a foundation for modern-day yachting watches. Drawing inspiration from this eminent prototype from the 60s, the Steinhart Yachtimer shares a close appearance with highly collectable vintage racing chronographs, compellingly representing a brief phase of experimentation in the early days of nautical timepieces.
The Steinhart Yachtimer is housed in a grade 316L stainless steel case crafted with a high level of refinement in its fit and finish you’d expect from a brand that prides itself on excellent build quality. Measuring in with a case diameter of 42mm, a lug to lug distance of 49mm and a thickness of 14mm (15.2mm including the sapphire crystal), the dimensions here feels truly fitting for a modern chronograph. Accompanied with a substantial screw-down crown and a set of pump chronograph pushers, the watch exudes a bold and confident presence on the wrist, feeling just like a valiant yacht captain on the course of an intrepid marine voyage.
Combining modern watchmaking craftmanship, an intricate mix of skilfully brushed and polished surfaces, the case of the Yachtimer Plexi showcases fine satin brushing above the lugs, transitioning to a highly-polished finish at the side of the case and the edges of the bezel. The attention to detail presented by Steinhart on the case alone is simply outstanding, revealing a smooth chamfered edge on the lugs, allowing light to pleasantly play over the rims. For an extra refinement, the lugs gently curve downwards to meet a diagonal dip, hugging the wrist comfortably. Despite being considerably slim and wearable for an automatic chronograph, the watch is wonderfully equipped with a capable 100m of water resistance, an essential feature especially for a daily driver. The premium build carries through to the solid 22mm brushed stainless steel bracelet, tapering down elegantly to 18mm at the Steinhart-signed milled clasp.
Distinctive arch-shaped scale for yachting
Like many iconic chronographs, the Yachtimer features a fixed steel bezel displaying the tachymeter scale for the approximate measurement of speed over a fixed distance. The bezel has been given a slim and streamlined look, diverting attention onto the dial where all the action is.
Inspired by a rare 1960s chronograph prototype, the matte off white dial of the Yachtimer captures numerous beautiful elements of vintage ‘60s ‘exotic’ dials bearing squared indices on the sub dials, a unique attribute that remains incredibly sought after by collectors till this very day, making this collaboration piece such a winner that stands out from conventional chronographs. At the outer edges of the dial, the applied square hour indices pair splendidly with the crisply printed red minute track to bring a great deal of definition to the watch. When it comes to chronograph dial designs, the Yachtimer Plexi adopts the classic “3-6-9” layout with three contrasting black subdials. Yet again, no detail has been spared here, each of the subdials are embellished with an array of concentric circles finished with a spectacular sunburst effect.
Whole new 100m slim case with curved lugs at 14mm
The most notable trait of the dial is perhaps its distinctive arc-shaped scale printed in green, white and red beneath the 3 o’clock subdial. Other than looking visually captivating, this peculiar feature is intended for yachtsmen to calculate the average speed of yachts over a defined distance (in nautical miles) in conjunction with the use of the chronograph function, a historic characteristic well-acknowledged by avid vintage watch connoisseurs. As a mark of this extended collaboration between Steinhart and Gnomon Watches in the creation of this release, the watch sans the Gnomon logo that was found imprinted underneath Steinhart’s applied logo previously, resulting in a neat sober dial aesthetic.
As the on-going version of the Plexi edition, the dial is protected by a domed sapphire crystal, a fitting choice for a watch to be worn more on a daily basis, while the domed shape crystal continues to accentuate its vintage appeal. Being one of the oldest and most traditional crystals utilized for wristwatches, the pleasing curves produced from acrylic crystals remain seemingly irreplaceable by any other types of crystals, especially for purist vintage watch collectors.
ETA Valjoux 7753 automatic chronograph
Setting itself apart from many chronograph offerings on the market, the Yachtimer Plexi is driven by the ever-reliable ETA Valjoux 7753 automatic chronograph movement (in its native and predominantly unmodified base form, an uncommon sight in this day and age), a Swiss-made integrated chronograph caliber essentially deriving the same family as the venerable caliber 7750, a movement that has undeniably became an timekeeping icon in horological world for its robustness and impeccable mechanical performance. This 27 jewel movement operates at a rate of 28,800 beats per hour (BPH) and features a healthy power reserve of approximately 48 hours.
Through the see-through display caseback, the back of the watch unveils a stunning view of the chronograph movement which showcases its delicate inner workings complete with Steinhart’s custom-engraved golden rotor.
Discovering the fusion of a timeless design and the highly-respected watchmaking standards of the Swiss — this majestic collaboration unquestionably marks yet another remarkable milestone for both Steinhart and Gnomon Watches in pushing the first ever collaborative chronograph timepieces with designs for every-day wearing in mind. Born out of the unceasing passion from a community of zealous watch lovers, this is the result of a combined effort of design, refinement and a whole lot of dedication to create one formidable chronograph.