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Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On

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In 2013, Topper’s first year as a Mühle Glashütte dealer, our best selling watch of the brand was the Seebatallion. For those unfamiliar with that watch, the Seebatallion is Mühle Glashütte’s extension of their popular S.A.R. Rescue-Timer. Its most signature aspect was the way that it combined the features of a dive and pilot watch. It also featured an attractive and somewhat conservative blue dial. This year, Mühle Glashütte has come out with another dive watch, called the “Kampfschwimmer” (“Combat Swimmers”). The watch is named for the German Navy’s oldest and most highly-trained special unit which operated missions at sea, on land and by air. While the watch shares much in common with the Seebatallion, it features many unique design aspects and a sawtooth-like bezel that is inspired by its namesake.

Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The 2013 Muhle Glashutte Seebataillon (left) and the new Kampfschwimmer (right).

Before we get to that bezel, I wanted to talk about what it has in common with, and how it’s physically different from the Seebatallion. In general, it shares the same foundation, but is much simpler. Both watches feature 44mm cases although the SeeBataillon is in titanium and the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer is in stainless steel and 2.4mm thicker. They also both have an external bezel, crown at four o’clock, and 300m of water resistance. The Kampfschwimmer sheds most of the instrumentation features: The chapter ring is bare, it features thin stock hands instead of pilot style hands, the bezel does not have any Arabic numbers and relies exclusively on stick markers. The Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer also features a unidirectional bezel versus bidirectional on the Seebataillon, and its lugs are wider and longer. The shade of blue on the dial is a vibrant cobalt, while the Seebatallion features a navy dial. Instead of utilizing the Seebatallion’s Indian Rubber strap which features endpieces that perfectly fit the contours of the caseline, the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer features a synthetic “sailcloth” fabric strap that is similar in composition to the strap found on the Longines Legend Diver or the Omega Dark Side of the Moon. Instead of featuring a deployant clasp it features a light tang buckle.

Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The 2013 Seebataillon (left) is slightly thinner at 12.7mm than the new Kampfschwimmer (right) at 15.1mm.

Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Another view of the Muhle Glashutte Kampfschwimmer.

Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A close up shot of the bezel.

The “sawtooth” bezel is, of course, the watch’s most dominant attribute. While most dive watches feature a bezel with ridged edges, the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer takes it to a whole other level. The design cue seems both taken from the sawfish that is at the heart of the both the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer’s 50 year anniversary logo on the caseback, and from watches such as the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf.

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Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The sawfish on the back of the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer.

As would be expected by its design, the 60-ratchet bezel is incredibly easy to grip and turn. Also unique, are its markers. Instead of featuring five-minute spacing that lines up with the hour markers, they are placed every three minutes. Muhle’s press release describes this as a feature to match the typical tasks and training language of the actual Kampfschwimmers. How will it affect those outside the German Special Forces? After a moment of getting used to it, it’s really the same as any other sixty-minute bezel as it features long and easy to distinguish quarter-hour markers.

As it is with the more robust Rasmus 2000, mechanically, the watch features a modified Selita SW200. Muhle adds some of their signature components such as the blued screws and their own regulator system. These modifications have been well covered in other posts on aBlogtoWatch, with my favorite being in Ariel’s review of the Terranaut Trail III. The Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer retails for $3,899.

I’ve probably had a half dozen conversations with friends about the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer’s unique bezel, and everyone has had their own take. More than any watch I can recall seeing, the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer seems to screams out. How do you feel about this bezel?

Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The raised hour markers on the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer.

Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The nine o’clock portion of the dial and bezel edge of the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer.

Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The black date display and slight sunburst pattern on the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer.

Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The sailcloth strap of the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer.

Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The light tang buckle at the end of the sailcloth strap.

Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Another view of the sailcloth strap of the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer.

Rob Caplan is a fourth generation watch retailer whose family owns Topper Fine Jewelers on the edge of Silicon Valley in Burlingame, California. Topper is an authorized dealer of Muhle Glashutte, Nomos, OMEGA, Glashütte Original, Longines, Zenith, Ball, Bremont and other fine Swiss & German watch Brands.

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  • Ayreonaut

    SW200.  $3899.  No.

  • Piero

    I like the bezel, it looks like it has lume, it would be nice to see a picture in the dark.
    The red triangle pointing up and the 3 minutes markers on the bezel are too weird for me for a dive watch…
    It looks too thick for a 300 m watch and a bit too expensive for SW 200.

  • Zzyzx Good question. I wonder if the crystal is thicker. I say this as the bezel is  thicker (not that that proves anything). But if so, perhaps that is done in the interests of greater impact strength even though the water resistance is the same (and may be limited other elements such as crown sealing, etc.)

  • BIGCHRONO

    The “Buzzsaw Bezel” could be heftier than Seebatallion’s, so they amped up the thickness a bit to support extra mass.

  • A face not even its mother could love. That dial colour is actually quite stunning, but the rest of the watch is rather gross and hides the dial. Why on earth would a dive watch have such a wimpy handset, and even wimpier buckle tang? That looks like the buckle to a dress watch, not a heavy duty dive watch that you could also drop into a sock and swing around as a formidable weapon.

  • bichondaddy

    Well…I am not a dive watch fan to begin with….and this watch does nothing to change my mind!  First of all…what’s up with the strap?  Second…nearly $4 grand for an SW 200?  Isn’t that the movement Invicta uses in most of its “high end” automatics?  ( I use the term loosely!  Invicta and high end are oxymorons…right? )

  • spiceballs

    I like the design cues of the Ks but for me the execution just doesn’t seem to work as well as the Sb?  Date would be so much better placed above “6” on both. Ks strap seems more of an afterthought, and the price, hmmmmm  – – – ..

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