For the very first time, Steinhart is unveiling an astounding chronograph model produced in 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 Plexi - Ltd Ed 100pcs
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 Plexi - Ltd Ed 100pcs shares a close appearance with highly collectable vintage racing chronographs, compellingly representing a brief phase of experimentation in the early days of nautical timepieces.
Being a limited run of only 100 pieces and exclusively for Gnomon Watches, the Steinhart Yachtimer Plexi 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 (excluding the domed 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.
The bulk of many automatic chronograph pieces may often be seen as a huge drawback, especially those with smaller wrist sizes (Yes, we’ve heard you). For this reason, the case structure of the Yachtimer Plexi distinguishes itself as a fresh new revamp from previous chronograph iterations from Steinhart such as the Ocean 1 Vintage Chronograph. With this latest compact case design, Steinhart enhanced its comfort and wearability with the increased curvature of the lugs that effectively contours gracefully to the natural shape of the wrist, a welcoming upgrade for those who desire a close, snug fit.
Distinctive arch-shaped scale for yachting
Combining 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.
Like many iconic chronographs, the Yachtimer Plexi 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.
Whole new 100m slim case with curved lugs at 14mm
Inspired by a rare 1960s chronograph prototype, the matte off white dial of the Yachtimer Plexi 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.
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 unprecedented collaboration between Steinhart and Gnomon Watches in the creation of this limited release, the Gnomon logo is proudly imprinted underneath Steinhart’s applied logo in a deep, forest green.
Individual serial engraved
As the name suggests, the dial is protected by a domed plexiglass acrylic crystal, a fitting choice for a watch of this nature with its warm, vintage appeal as the crystal forms attractive distortions at various angles. 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.
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.
Wrist-shot on a 6.2" wrist
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. Limited to only 100 pieces, the caseback on each individual piece is engraved with a unique serial number out of 100 pieces to guarantee utmost exclusivity.
Discovering the fusion of a timeless design and the highly-respected watchmaking standards of the Swiss — this majestic collaboration unquestionably marks a remarkable milestone for both Steinhart and Gnomon Watches as the first ever collaborative chronograph timepiece. 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.