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Much like every individual timepiece has a story, every company has one, as well. For some, the impetus for watch manufacturing was to create a novel tool to help divers track their elapsed time underwater. For others, war precipitated demand for an equally cheap but reliable wristwatch that could handle the rigors of battle. For the team at Fledderman von Rieste, the origin story is grounded in a familial connection spanning decades. Its newest model, the Münchner, pays respect to this history while taking a modern approach to a number of classic design aesthetics.

To understand the motivation behind Fleddermann von Rieste, you must rewind time almost a century. During the Great Depression — a time when the purchase of any non-essential good would have been daunting — the founder’s great-grandfather used what money he had to purchase a timepiece. As a farmer, this would have represented a significant investment. After putting the watch to use for many years, it has since been handed down through the family tree to where it currently resides: with the team behind Fleddermann von Rieste. The introduction to this heirloom became the catalyst for the creation of their German Inspired, Indiana Designed, Swiss Made watches.

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The debut of the Münchner represents Fleddermann von Rieste’s flagship foray into the small-seconds watch market, as well as their inaugural launch on Kickstarter. The Münchner name is derived from Bavaria’s capital city – a vibrant and eclectic destination with rich history apparent at every turn. The Münchner is available in a trio of dial options. Each of these iterations features a medical-grade, stainless steel case that measures a generous 44mm in diameter.  The 11mm thickness makes for a relatively svelte profile. The lug-to-lug measurement spans 52mm, which translates to pronounced wrist presence, especially taking into consideration that the Münchner is almost all dial. The lug length, however, is mitigated by the downward slope of the lugs. This deliberate design decision was made to improve wearability for any wrist size.  The lateral sides of the case feature a pair of parallel lines engraved horizontally. This detail pays homage to the twin spires of the Frauenkirche, an iconic piece of architectural design.

Each dial option for the Münchner features a playful combination of contrasting colors. The three choices are Victory Blue, Charcoal, and Antique Map. All of these features applied arrow indices in the cardinal directions, with Arabic numerals in between. The result of this combination makes for an almost “field watch” style appearance with hints of flieger flare. In line with this aesthetic is a robust, knurled crown at the standard 3 o’clock position. The calling card of the Münchner is the brand’s first use of a small-seconds complication. This 60-second circle is encased by a square and utilizes the same contrasting colors as the arrow indices and numerals.

The Antique Map reference features a subtle beige coloration with strong crimson accents interspersed throughout the dial – notably in the dial text, subdial numerals, and arrow indices. The Arabic numerals and square surrounding the small seconds are clad in blue. The whole package combined feels like a subtle bit of American patriotism. The ashen grey of the Charcoal dial features yellow and black accent colors. The Victory Blue is the most basic in coloration, with a navy hue throughout, aside from white indices, grey accents, and a red, small-seconds hand. The hour and minute hands are filled to the brim with lume for ease of nighttime viewing. The presence of small crown guards supports the fact the Münchner is not intended as a dress watch, but rather a timepiece that can be worn in the vast majority of day-to-day activities. Other details that make this possible are the scratch-resistance sapphire crystal and the water resistance rating of 100 meters.

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Powering the Münchner is a Sellita SW260 series automatic self-winding movement. This Swiss-manufactured, 31-jewel workhorse is time-tested and respected in the horological community. A 38-hour power reserve ensures that the timepiece is always ticking when needed. Each version of the Münchner comes with an Italian-grain leather strap to accommodate the 22mm lugs. The concept of the Münchner began back in December of 2020 and has now progressed to the point where pre-orders are open. Just launched via the popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, the initial “early bird” price per unit is $550 USD. At the end of the campaign, the full MSRP is $899 USD — so, if the style of the Münchner appeals to you, it would behoove you to get in on this release early. Shipments are expected to take place in December, just in time for the holidays!

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