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Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Buben & Zörweg isn’t typically known as a watch maker because, in my understanding, they produce very few of them. Rather, Buben & Zörweg is more commonly known as a maker of very high-end watch winders, safes, and other presentation items meant to show off your collection of fine timepieces and other stuff. Back in 2012, we debuted the brand’s first timepiece which is this Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar, and I’ve finally gotten a chance to see one of these interesting watches hands-on.

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Buben & Zörweg is likely slowly releasing the limited edition Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar watches that are, of course, decidedly niche. Less than 250 of them will ever exist. What first struck me about the Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar watches was the movements which were designed and produced by watchmaker Martin Braun – who I’ve always respected. He is known for the now defunct Martin Braun brand, and later, the brand Antoine Martin. Braun is among the select watchmakers out there who also do work for other brands, which is good because Martin is always curious about trying new things.

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hands-on with the Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar, you realize that the watch itself is very cool. It has an extremely modern feel that fits in with the larger scope of Buben & Zörweg products. The case and dial quality are really nice, and it is clear that Buben & Zörweg did their homework when it came not only to design but also to finding the right suppliers.

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

On the wrist, the Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar is by no means small, but it does look very cool. At 46mm wide, the Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar is offered in either 18k rose or white gold, or in solid platinum. Given the amount of precious metal in the case, these are nicely weighted timepieces. One of the most interesting case design details is the black onyx section inset to the side of the lugs. This acts to visually reduce mass and keep focus on the roundness of the case. Given the customization options available for this and other Buben & Zörweg products, I’ve seen images of the Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar watch without these black lug inserts as well.

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

As an even more limited edition, Buben & Zörweg also offers the “One Perpetual Calendar Deluxe” that has a ring of baguette-cut diamonds around the bezel, more diamonds in the crown, and on another ring around the side of the case. This probably wouldn’t be my first choice… but some people just need that extra dazzle of diamonds.

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Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Lovers of purely classic design will probably not fall in love with the Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar since the brand really wanted to give the timepiece a very contemporary feel. This is the type of watch you want if you enjoy modern high-end minimalist architecture and furniture, where materials and just a few sparse lines are what define an object. Normally, this only works on watches when you apply more Bauhaus design themes. However, the Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar is neither cluttered nor minimalist. It uses a lot of modern design principles, choosing to celebrate the grace of “large” unadulterated surfaces, but at the end of the day, the design fits into a minimalist home without being at all minimalist. You might not like the design, but I think you’ll agree it is well-done for what it is.

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The mostly symmetrical dial takes some time getting used to, but I think it works very well. I appreciate how Buben & Zörweg designed it to have some openwork views into the movement, but done in an extremely tasteful manner. Given that this is a perpetual calendar, Martin Braun focused on promoting the most important calendar indicators such as the date (big date indicator) which used two semi-exposed discs, and then windows for the day of the week and the month. A small round window to the immediate right of the 12 o’clock hour indicator is used for the leap year indicator.

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Dial legibility is pretty good even though I am not convinced that the watch needed skeletonized hands. Materials and finishing are very good, and the One Perpetual Calendar certainly has a “big brand” build quality to it. Flip the case over, and you’ll find a view of the Martin Braun-designed caliber BZ01-MHO manually wound mechanical movement which has a power reserve indicator. The watch has a long power reserve total of 156 hours and is produced from 312 parts. It does, however, operate a bit slower, with a frequency of 18,000 bph (2.5Hz). With that said, Braun designed the movement to be as accurate as possible with a silicon anchor and escapement as well as his “Dynamized Swiss Escapement (DYS Escapement).” The dark finishing on the movement surfaces is nice and adds to the modern feel of the Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar.

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Attached to a thick strap and comfortable on the wrist, this watch feels like it fits in so much more with classy yet highly contemporary homes, furniture, and cars much more than many other of today’s luxury watches. Buben & Zörweg even designed a special winder with a “crown claw” design to wind this and other manually wound timepiece with the Buben & Zörweg Time Mover Handwound. That is a cool yet pricey accessory for this and other manually wound watches with complications such as perpetual calendars that are a pain to reset all the time if the watch runs out of power.

Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The two gold versions of the Buben & Zörweg One Perpetual Calendar watch are limited to 99 pieces each (the diamond-decorated “Deluxe” version is limited to 9 pieces) and the platinum model is limited to just 49 pieces. Rare and very cool, this is what finding fun high-end luxuries that your fellow watch nerd friends probably don’t even know exist is all about. Prices are $65,000 in 18k rose gold, $69,000 in 18k white gold, and $92,000 in platinum. buben-zorweg.com

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Comments

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  • Diverging Clear

    Beautiful piece.

  • Sure like the movement view from the back. The front of the watch is a mess. An opening on the dial showing part of the movement is a great idea but this implementation looks too contrived. And the date really bothers me. They don’t need the prior/following digits displayed and if they really feel the need to show where the hidden wheels are, then why did they not use the same design idiom for the day of week and month indicators? Either way could be fine (I guess) but the top and bottom of the dial don’t match. As is, the bottom circles look like sub-dials/registers with missing hands.

    Actually, I do like the hands and that they are skeletonized is fine by me as they did a nice job with them and they seem to match the bezels around the date elements as well as the hour markers.

    Boy that watch looks thick!!! A golden hockey puck?

    Since the watch does not appear to be have a seconds hand, I wonder if they could have made a seconds gear/wheel (not concentric with the canon pinion) which could peek out a bit from the dial opening to show that the watch is still running. Even better would be to see the escape wheel in the dial opening.

    • Sevenmack

      I have to disagree. The dial looks great, especially with the partial skeletonization. There is a second hand, but it is thin, so it is a little hard to see when it lines up with the hour and minte hands. All in all, Mark, this is a nice watch. I’d wear it.

      • There is a seconds hands? Really? Best seen in which photo? In the #2 photo (where the hands show 4:16) the minute hand clearly does not have a seconds hand on top of it. Am I missing something here?

        • Sevenmack

          Well, I thought I saw a second hand. Apologies on that. The rest of my opinion about the watch still stands. Like it and would buy it. Doesn’t look like a mess to me.

          • Here is a dirty (but it wasn’t that quick) hack job on the dial. With some work, I think it could look pretty good.

          • egznyc

            Well, it’s certainly an improvement. But still … Kind of looks like an old-fashioned propeller (two-bladed) running through the middle of the watch. The windows above are the cockpit windows and the windows below are the wheel holds. Hmm … I’m surprised Bremont hasn’t done this sort of thing before. 😉

    • Martin Cerny

      Hockey Puck, that’s a real creative comparison, certainly there is some similarity. Would really like to wear the watch and see how it feels on the wrist! The movement is nice (Martin Braun, got some potential). Design, looks like from the late 90’s, obsolete. The entire watch, not my taste at all, but sure some people will like it. But not sure who will buy. The price is a bit unrealistic. However we live in a free economy and B&Z are definitely serious accessories makers.

    • Coert Welman

      The thickness was one of the first things that caught my eye as well. A quick rough calc based on measurements from the photo shows this to be 17mm thick. Combine that thickness with a portly 46mm width and hockey puck is not a far-fetched analogy at all.
      I share your sentiments on the lack of second hand and the dial side of things. Your mock-up is a significant improvement. The movement finishing is also really sub-par for a watch in this price range.

  • SuperStrapper

    I like it! Maybe because I’m Canadian I don’t mind the ‘golden hockey puck’? Sounds like a divine award to me!

    I enjoy the execution. I am not surprised that Antoine Martin is involved here, because that name ca to mind as soon as I saw this, with that football jersey font in the calendar readout and oversized looking balance wheel.

    I there a $2500 version in steel? I’ll take it.

    • Sevenmack

      Agreed. Not fond about the gold. But the dial looks great, especially with the partial skeletonization. Of course, it is clear that we are in the minority. But that’s usually the case for me anyway.

      • Sevenmack

        Also, perpetual calendars tend to be thick. The case of my Citizen Calibre 9000 is very thick and it is an Eco-Drive quartz. So a mechanical perpetual calendar at this price point would be similarly thick.

        • egznyc

          Well, this reviewed piece certainly is quite thick. And that’s not something to my liking, particularly given its 46mm diameter. Then again, maybe that’s preferable to a 40mm watch in the same thickness. Oh well. Too bad the front doesn’t look as good as the back.

          • Radoe

            I actually find the movement finishing to be poorly done for the price level.
            In particular, the engraving on the power reserve shows drilling marks and burr.
            Photos 5 and 13 show a weird discolouration on the right side where the lug meets the case, that looks like an artefact of soldering the lug.
            In general there’s nothing luxurious and high end to its appearance.

          • Marius

            I agree with you. Looking closely at the pictures, one can certainly see that the finishing is not exactly top notch.

      • somethingnottaken

        If you don’t like the Rose Gold, it’s available in White Gold and Platinum too!

  • BNABOD

    like others have said that sucker is thick but then the movement side is a treat to look at.
    the date though reminds me of a victorinox model which I find well fugly. the leap year indicator is odd up there at 12.02 can we put that in the back, leap years are not that frequent. anyhow a seriously niche watch for a seriously niche company.

  • DanW94

    The split dial is visually odd. It doesn’t offer an attractive enough view to warrant it. And the leap year indicator makes me think of a camera window on a smartphone. It’s a miss for me, but agree with others that the movement side is nicely done.

  • Shinytoys

    I’ve never quite seen a face like that before. The complications are interesting.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I love it , but,……………….
    1…The opening of the face in the middle, although different , doesn’t work
    2…What use is a leap year indicator to anyone ? ugly hole
    3…The dials need to be solid, to make it a little more legible
    4…The date window is a mess, Just show the date with a white border, you need do away with both circles
    5…Dress watch ? I could never wear a shirt with this brick on my wrist
    6…I love the back,

    • somethingnottaken

      The leap year indicator is necessary for setting the watch, but it probably should have been placed on the back of the movement.

  • iamcalledryan

    Very nice looking movement.

  • Larry Holmack

    Pretty cool looking watch….

  • Marius

    $65,000 is a huge price for a watch of this category, or, should I say lack thereof.
    The design is trying hard to make this watch appear more interesting than it really is, the movement is OK, and the brand name is basically inexistent.
    For $65,000 you could buy much more interesting watches from prestigious new and age-old brands. You could get a Moser Perpetual Calendar, an Audemars Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, a Patek Annual Calendar, or even a Lange&Söhne Zeitwerk, so its beyond me why anyone would prefer a Buben over these watches.

    • Sevenmack

      Because you like it and want it. Also, the partial skeletonization. All in all, it is a matter of choice. And that’s enough for both those who want it and those who don’t.

      • Marius

        I don`t think that is a skeletonized watch, it looks more like a cut-out of the dial.

        • Sevenmack

          As I wrote earlier, it’s a partial skeletonization, not a full one.

          • Marius

            I understand your point, but what I am trying to say is that skeletonization and cut-outs are two totally different things. Skeletonization is hugely expensive, and, in my opinion, this is not a partially skeletonized dial but rather a cut-out.

          • Sevenmack

            That is your opinion. Based on everything I have learned, this is a partial skeletonization. Thanks for your thoughts. Bye.

          • Radoe

            Yeah, for very large values of “partial” and the wrong think to skeletonize…
            That’s a hole in the dial right there, not a skeletonized watch – which according to most definitions out there (from Patek Philippe’s website, horological associations glossary and even Wikipedia) refers _to the movement_.
            And mind your tone; there’s no need for that dismissive, passive-aggressive arrogance.

          • Sevenmack

            You are not my father or God, so you can tell me nothing. Have a nice day.

          • I_G

            Sevenmack, I am your father. This is not a skeletonised watch, just a cut-out on the dial.

          • Sevenmack

            Given that my father has been dead for 20 years now, that would be impossible. You would be better off minding your own business. Bye.

          • Radoe

            You’re not his father (although not really sure about god), so… you can’t tell him anything.

          • Andrew Bistak

            Welcome to the internet, everyone. Where all are welcome to take their own opinions as fact, and then scoff at well documented truths. Yay humanity!

          • Radoe

            Welcome to you too, Andrew!
            To clarify, what exactly is the documented truth here?

          • Andrew Bistak

            Sorry, it was a general statement that I accidentally tacked onto your response. Actually, Radoe, your comment above was the only one referencing any real information (regarding PP stance on skeletonization), which can be found elsewhere with other high end brands as well. I was more directing the comment to other unnamed contributors and their disregard for facts, as minimal as it may be.

        • Coert Welman

          And I say true skeletonisation can only be done by a piranha.
          What a silly fight over a definition that has an actual definition in industry. The only thing skeletonised on the dial side are the hands BTW.

      • Lawrence Mouslg

        The subject of horological nomenclature & identification isn’t finite. A person is either still learning or has chosen to be wrong.
        What definition should be given to RSmiths openworked series 2, & it’s scrap of dial. Equally difficult is my seiko beater with day date aperture.
        Skeleton, maybe flayed would be better but the key is the removal of flesh to leave the bones of the movement. A modification process. A skeleton remains. You could design a lightweight movement but it wouldn’t be skeletonized it would simply be Cal.SkelXX.

        AP states “the challenge of openworking is skeletonizing the movement”

        Open interpretation is great for horology. I know a brand stating it makes watches “in house” buying only the movement, hands, case & other small parts.

  • Bert Kanne

    The presentation case and winder is a much better execution than the watch it holds…

  • cg

    It is a beauty…at quite a price. hmmm. This watch or a restorable Vincent Black Prince? Sorry… Vincent wins!

  • somethingnottaken

    Too big for my wrist, and (far) too expensive for my budget. Legibility appears to be good enough, though not great. Yet despite all this, I still like the design.

    Any chance this will be your next monthly give away? 😉

  • Costin HUREZEANU

    I have mixed feelings about this one. For some reasons, I like the front (no comment about the size, though). The dial and overall layout is somehow peculiar, though attractive to some people – I am one of them). But the back, the close picture of the movement … I own 4 German watches, from 3 Glashutte producers and I never saw something that rudimentary 🙁 I do not expect Voutilainen nor Dufour finishing, but still! It has a 65k + tag price, so they must bring something more than an appealing – for some – dial. In this range I can point to many, many other better timepieces. Did I mention its thickness?! Sorry, but this is NOT a dress watch. And, if it is not, what exactly is it?

  • Roman Klime

    Can someone explain, why is the hole at 12 needed for? Looks like camera lens for making selfies.

  • Lawrence Mouslg

    Having just been looking at the Chinese tourbillion movement which, although simply machined, is without faults. This watch would drive me mad, the plates look like parts from different watches. Some of the stripes are way out. There’s a screw that doesn’t fit right. I could live with the back. I couldn’t live with the apertures. For this money the date and number wheels should align perfectly and changing the minute number spacings is a strange decision.
    The Chinese watch review was positive but criticised a number of details which, to my eye, would annoy less during ownership. Without considering the 50k+ difference in price!