In a little room underneath Basel I sit with the humble and talented Mr. Klaus Ulbrich of Temption Germany. Temption is one of those underdog watch brands that I have been rooting for, for years. I have written about their watches a lot on aBlogtoRead.com - and reviewed a few as well (such as the CGK203 and the Cameo). Which you can search for easily. This is the first time that I have actually gotten to meet Mr. Ulbrich and it is an honor to meet the man behind these watches.
Why Temption isn't more popular is a mystery to me. Little German brands such as this sort of stay in a small club. They don't advertise much (or at all), nor are they widely distributed. Temption is one of those brands many people can afford, but that you need to hunt for. It amazed me to learn that much of Temption's business comes from Japan. The Japanese watch consumer is known to be knowledgeable and finicky - so their adoption of these pieces means a lot. Could Temption also do well in other markets? Probably, but the real question is whether or not Klaus could make enough watches. Welcome to one of the many issues a boutique watch maker must struggle with.
What I like about Temption aside from their design is the focus on utility and quality. These are nicely made pieces that feel good on the wrist and look like they were designed using Feng Shui. According to Temption, the design process melds German Bauhaus with Japanese concepts of balance and a mixture of technical and organic aesthetics. While not for everyone, most of Klaus's designs are attractive in my opinion do balance form and function very well (as well as value).
The watches seen here are the new for last year CM05 and the Temption CGK205. You'll notice that the CGK205 still says CGK204 on the dial - I am not sure why. It is essentially a CGK204 with a new metal bracelet. The CGK205 will be Temption's flagship watch using a nicely decorated Swiss ETA Valjoux 7751 automatic movement. Based on the 7750 chronograph, the 7751 adds a moon phase indicator, annual calendar, and synchronized 24 hour hand (AM/PM indicator). In my opinion this is a very difficult movement to design a good looking dial around - and Temption does a pretty good job at it.
As a sign of humility or design, the Temption logo is always black on black (or white on white). You have to look at the dial in the right light to see the logo - else the dial looks logoless. Most Temption watch dials are black, but the occasional light model shows up as well. For instance the CGK204 in white with black and red trip is an amazingly bold piece with a slick design. There are also other pieces with yellow, blue, and other trims for other Temption pieces.
The CM05 had a special limited edition for the Japanese market that was all black called the "Black Rain." That was what Klaus was wearing and I wanted to show it to you as it is a very neat looking, but simple piece. You can click above for links to more full length articles on the CGK205 and CM05.
Temption has usually impressed me with their bracelets. Having a boutique brand that makes bracelets is impressive enough. This one uses all horizontal steel links and reminds me of some of those older Porsche Design bracelets that are now classics. I believe that the CGK205 and CM05 use the same style bracelet. Leather and rubber straps are also available.
Speaking of Porsche Design, sometimes I feel as though Temption's watches look like an intersection between the DNA of Porsche Design and Alain Silberstein. Does anyone else see that? Good stuff all around and I recommend these timepieces for those who enjoy the look and concept.