Mühle Glashütte Terranaut III Trail WatchNovember 27, 2011 • By Ariel Adams
Over the last few years my level of interest in Mühle Glashütte watch has increased a fair amount. Their sport offerings are getting more cleverly designed, and this Terranaut III Trail is a slick looking casual sport watch that looks like it borrows a page out of the Bell & Ross playbook. What you essentially have is a simple 40mm wide steel watch with two dial and two case options that seems to work for most activity minded guys.
What were the Terranaut I and II watches all about you ask? Well actually the collection complete with versions I, II, and III already exist and you can read more about them here. This new version is the "Terranaut III Trail" and adds a model that looks appropriate to wear while and while not driving a Land Rover through the bush. Like I said the cases are 40mm wide and done in steel. Both dials are available in PVD black steel as well. The cases have AR coated sapphire crystals and are water resistant to 100 meters. Style wise the cases are fine. They don't hold the appeal of the watch on their own though.
If you are going to buy this watch it is for the dial. For me the first question is "what is less expensive? The Muhle Glashutte or the Bell & Ross Vintage BR 123 Carbon watch?" Answer is the Muhle Glashutte. True they don't look exactly the same but it is hard not to make the comparison visually. The two dials Muhle Glashutte offers for the Terranaut III trail are similar, but not the same. Oh, and they make use of that now trendy "aged tan" color.
As Muhle Glashutte puts it, one is ideal for minimalist lovers over rugged terrain (they say "trails"). The minimalist part I get, not the rugged part. This dial has just hour indicators and a gray colored cross hairs in on the face. It is also probably my favorite with its clean looks and arrow-style seconds hands. The other dial is "ideal for wearers who place high value on exact time measurement." Because there is a minute scale? Oh, I though those people were interested in mostly quartz and perhaps chronograph watches, silly me. The centrally mounted date window that uses a black disc is a good touch.The dials are lumed with SuperLumiNova as well.
Inside the watch is a Swiss Sellita Sw 200 automatic movement (ETA 2824 basically) that has apparently been Teutonically modified by Muhle Glashutte. Changes includes a custom rotor and a "woodpecker neck regulation." Last I checked this was called "swan neck regulation." Are woodpeckers more German than swans? Is this a joke or an actually different movement part? I don't really know.
Attached to the cases are black "Russian" leather straps. I don't know about you but I prefer French leather. By the way, if anyone knows what is implied by "Russian leather," do let me know. As you can see, the straps are available with and without tan colored contrast stitching. Overall these are good looking watches that will be easy wearing choices for many people who appreciate the German functionalism with enough style to keep it from being boring. The Terranaut III Trail watch collection starts at 890 Euros.