Everyone deserves a really nice classic watch. Actually, let me be more clear because “classic” is probably the most common term in the watch industry, that and “heritage.” A classic (or “Klassik” for my Deutsche friends) watch in this sense refers to the vintage decorating on the watch using metal engraving machines. This practice is called guilloche, and probably best done by the Germans today. Benzinger being the master.

Because this style of decoration is so “classic” in the watch world, I think every one should have at least one example of it. Such beauty is really hard to appreciate unless you are looking right at it, as it is a very visual type of splendor. Limes is unusual in the small watch making world for making their own cases, and some dials. That is one of the ways that they can keep costs down. Owned by Ickler, Limes is a thoroughly German brand with a well-priced and attractive line.

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One of their best watches from a style and value perspective is the Limes Klassik Cartouche. A basic watch with an automatic ETA 2824-2 movement, it is a workhorse and a looker. The Klassik Cartouche focuses on making the most of its visual appeal. As such the highly decorated case is lined with vertical engravings a large “onion” crown, sandwiched between two sapphire crystals (one for the case-back window). The movement is nicely decorated for the price with some gold accented parts, blued screws, and perlage polish on surfaces.

The watch dial is done in a very turn of the century traditional sense. The beautiful number font is totally old-world classic formality, and really nicely done in this context. The blued steel hands with little circles shout high-end formal watches from when watches first become available. Germans have a bit of a think for looking to the past, and these watches, while thoroughly antique in look, and totally modern in every other way.

Obviously I really like this particular Limes watch because it looks great and is an excellent value. Right now this watch can be had on eBay for a tad over $1,000. I’d go for it, as these watches don’t enjoy extensive distribution in the US.

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See Limes watches on eBay here.

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