Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

When you consider a watch from independent watchmaker Andreas Strehler, you first need to be OK with the fact that you'll be wearing a men's watch with a butterfly on it. As you can see, the papillon ("butterfly" in French) logo is a prominent part of Andreas Strehler's designs often seen in the movement, but here, as a logo on the dial for the Andreas Strehler Time Shadow which is his new entry-level (relatively speaking, of course) watch. This is the first movement he has made without a butterfly design actually integrated into its architecture. Andreas Strehler has further done a pretty admirable job of "de-feminizing" the butterfly in the context of watchmaking to make it more comfortable as an adornment for men. With that said, I told Andreas I still thought it would be cool if some college-aged girl decided to get a tattoo of his logo on her lower back...

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I met up with Andreas Strehler at SalonQP in London and checked out his newest steel-cased watch that he refers to as the Time Shadow with is dark dial. All these blacks are hell on watch photography as the colors literally absorb light. Aside from some small legibility issues, the timepiece looks really handsome in person - and certainly distinct from the crowd. At its core, you are getting a unique movement produced in-house by a well-respected watchmaker in an overall distinctive-looking package.

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Functionally, the Andreas Strehler Time Shadow watch only indicates the time with hours and minutes - the former being on a disc to the left of the dial in a "semi-digital" manner, while the minutes use a more traditional off-centered dial to the right. There aren't a lot of fancy tricks going on, just an easy-to-understand layout with the information most people want to view at a glance. Legibility is pretty good, but purists will probably not like the overlapping dials as well as the fact that the minute dial doesn't have a complete ring of indicators.

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The orange area in the hour ring where the current hour is read is actually done with SuperLumiNova paint. This means that in the dark, the current hour should be silhouetted against the lumed area for a cool effect. Additional SuperLumiNova is also used for the minute hand. It is actually sort of uncommon for these more formal independent watches to use luminant, which is why I decided to dwell on this fact and point it out to you. Also, it is worth noting that the watch hands are produced in-house by Andreas Strehler.

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

All the Andreas Strehler watches I know come in the brand's original-looking case design which is a combination of a cushion and TV screen shape. Size is quite modest given the shape, and I recommend it for those who commonly wear sleeves. The case (here in steel) is 41mm wide and 37.3mm tall. It is rather thin as well, and could easily work as a dress watch or something a bit more formal depending on your attire and personal style. I should note that the Andreas Strehler cases are very comfortable while being worn. Moreover - and this is something which is very important for independent watchmakers - you get the sense that there is a lot of original design DNA here so you won't confuse an Andreas Strehler design with anyone else's product.

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

When you purchase this or any other low-production timepiece from an independent watchmaker, what you are really spending money on is the movement. More specifically, the time that went into the movement. It is like buying a painting. Your value assessment is a combination of time spent on the composition and the skill/talent displayed therein.

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the Andreas Strehler Time Shadow is the new Andreas Strehler caliber "Time Shadow," produced from 132 parts operating at 3Hz (21,600 bph) with a power reserve of 72 hours (three days) between two mainspring barrels. Movement finishing uses a lot of satinized matte surfaces but also a lot of hand-beveling. It is a simple, albeit very beautiful and well-conceived Swiss movement that is sure to get approval by picky horological enthusiasts.

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Andreas Strehler Time Shadow Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Andreas Strehler isn't trying to go mainstream or anything with the Andreas Strehler Time Shadow, even if it is his new "basic" model. The Andreas Strehler Time Shadow will still be part of a very small limited edition of just 8 pieces. It is possible that, if successful, there will be new dial versions in the future. Just don't hold off for that, since Andreas Strehler is of course an independent watchmaker, and if there is anything you can't do with these guys, it is rush them. For this first steel watch from the independent brand, the price for each of the eight limited edition watches is 56,000 Swiss francs. astrehler.ch

What do you think?
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  • Nelson

    This watch is cool but the butterfly ruins it.

  • Looks like some kind of Hello Kitty to me. At under $10K the in-house movement and unique look might fly, but $56K is a lot of cheddar for a 2 hander. Movement finishing looks nice though.

  • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

    Can I have one with unicorns instead of butterflies? I find those more masculine…

  • IanE

    Nice concept but a bit pricey even for Strehler. The lume/hour cutout would, I think, work well as a date display [one could even have a daily rotating lume disk changing colour behind the date as the day progressed!]. I can live without this 2-hander, but his moonphase (esp the 1 day in 2 million years one, the Sauterelle à Lune Perpétuelle) is one of my grails (which I will have to live without!).

  • iamcalledryan

    Your opening sentence cracked me up Ariel.

    Really like this watch, plenty of character for a small indie of his standing. AS walks a slightly different path to some of the others and I admire him for it, but he is no less a great watchmaker – this is the guy to bring you the Opus 7 and the 2 MILLION year moon phase gearing!

    • iamcalledryan

      I have no issue with a well executed butterfly

      • IanE

        Indeed – and I often get butterflies just contemplating movements from some of the great Indies!

  • chris c

    Very metrosexual (is that still a trendy term?). Anyway, its not something a Lumberjack like me could pull off, which im sure Strehler wont be too bothered by!

  • DanW94

    I really like the case shape and the off beat dial, but at first glance it appears the butterfly is some sort of screwed up cat face (as Mark mentioned below). The logo should have been done in a more mature design (it looks a little cartoonish), perhaps with a touch of orange.

  • patrick bremer

    Ariel – I would LOVE to read an article that speaks to how these companies (indies and/or the big boys) actually come up with some of these prices. In this day and age of sophisticated and efficient manufacturing, surely that should result in a REDUCTION of the cost to produce these watches, no?!?! Is it truly supply and demand…. are there really enough people year in and year out that have the coin to be spending 50-100k on a watch?? I would argue that there is not enough demand for all these high-end watches, which is why you’re starting to see Romain Jermone watches being sold on Touch of Modern and other “discount” websites.

    • iamcalledryan

      Hi there,

      It’s probably worth explaining that the term “independent” is used to describe a very small, usually very traditional brand that takes no short cuts and often prides itself on using old-world techniques to their fullest. Some small indie brands do use modern techniques but they do not tap into a large collective pool of savings, and many of them are still hand cutting and polishing all of their components – that has very little to do with the ‘day and age’. When you see a 50k watch from a brand like this you are paying for labor hours, and exclusivity – not in a vain sense of the word, but genuinely due to the limited production and high demand. The bottom line is that there are collectors passionate enough about a handmade or traditional, or wildly avante guard watch enough to want it despite this lack of availability, so they are prepared to pay what it takes. There is no doubt that with a change of approach these brands could make more watches for less, but it goes against their small atelier ethos and the ethos that the collectors want to buy into. There is enough room in the industry for very cheap and very expensive mechanicals – long story short, there is no unalienable right to own a hand-crafted or low-output luxury mechanical watch! If you want a mechanical watch of decent quality but have no allegiance to brand, they have never been more accessible, varied and affordable in present values of cash. This is specifically because of the point you raise.

      Audemars Piguet is technically independent in that it is not owned by a conglomerate, as is Rolex, and for those sorts of brands your point is most valid. Manufacturing processes could indeed be used to maintain a basic level of quality and dramatically reduce price. Movement manufacturers are now able to charge less for the same product and that is why today you can start up a brand very easily and why there are more than 300 of them! HOWEVER, brands like AP and Rolex take a different approach, one that is hard to notice all the time because visually their products appear unchanged over the years. They use modern techniques to make BETTER watches, to innovate, to explore new materials and processes. They charge more for their watches because they are better than they used to be. The very things that make vintage Rolex so charming today (lume patina, dial fade) are down to shortcomings in the old processes and will be less and less evident in their modern models 50 years from now.

      Now that they have got here they could indeed charge less but a) why should they? They are businesses that make a wonderful product with enough demand at their present price and b) they would have less profit to reinvest in development so it would be a commitment to stability but not to exploration and improvement.

      I think you are also right about demand, there is a rising stock issue in the industry and I do not think it stops at the high end. There is no doubt room for a “cull” of some exorbitant models and brands. But I see the value in AS and I see the value in AP and Rolex, as well as scores of others.

  • SuperStrapper

    What a joke. All the petulant children fell overthmseves to hate on the sapphire hublot at approximately the same cost as this (probably just because people feel like they should hate anything Hublot and don’t have the thought capacity to ask themselves why) but at least it flexes some technical ingenuity and uniqueness. This thing, as far as I can tell, is a 55000 franc butterfly logo on a 1000 franc watch. I can’t wait for someone to say how better finished this movement is over the unico. This was finished by the keebler elves.

    Boring, uninspired, and laughably executed.

    • iamcalledryan

      I like both of them. This one has clearly better finishing (not a chamfer to be seen on the Hublot), and look at the spokes on the third and fourth wheels – awesome. The Hublot is cool for very different reasons, and I too find the tutting and mocking to be more tedious than a new colour scheme on a Big Bang!

    • Marius

      So, people who don’t like Hublot are petulant children? What about people who don’t like Andreas Strehler? Are they petulant children as well?

      Also, I don`t see the reasons for Hublot being so unique and technologically advanced. I mean, the Big Bang design is not exactly highly original, and the sapphire case was first introduced by Richard Mille. Plus, Hublot doesn’t actually manufacture the sapphire case themselves, they outsource it to a Swiss manufacture who produces it for them.

      • SuperStrapper

        I didn’t say anything of the sort, and as you’ve done in the past you’re putting words into my mouth to foster your argument.

  • funNactive

    For a watch, I like to be able to tell the time at a glance – this would be a little too hard to decipher at certain times.

  • Nothing wrong with the butterfly; the guy’s name plastered across 1/2 of the dial is what bothers me. His other offerings don’t have this “feature” – why did he think that on a minimalist watch, his name was a proper design element?

    • BNABOD

      Good question

  • Omegaboy

    I’m guessing the huge bridge plate hides a quartz movement, and the balance wheel is just for show. Why didn’t they just cover the entire movement while they were at it?

    • Smarterboy

      Would you say the same thing with A. Lange & Söhne’s watches too then?

  • BNABOD

    Sadly this type of watches needs to be handled and looked at under a loupe to truly show its shine. The pics as usual do not do this watch much justice even though overall I am just not that attracted to it. At first glance I thought “here it is again another boutique company offering a Mioyata powered watch with a pug looking butterfly logo”.
    The enormous name on the dial could have been toned down to meet the shadow effect. Either way it is too much coin for my purse

  • I_G

    The good idea on this watch is the hour indication, that could be enhanced by making it into a day/night indicator, i.e. from 6am to 6pm the “Sun” (gold circle) would rotate behind the hour numerals, from 6pm to 6am the “Moon” (silver circle). And the butterfly… fuck it