German watch manufacturer Mühle-Glashütte tends to fly under the radar in the West, or is often confused with its other local competitor, Glashutte Original. But the brand has produced some solid timepieces as well as boating instruments that tend to appeal to the rugged adventure sailor or classy yacht enthusiast – or, you know, an accountant that has an interest in the sea, and an expendable income. New for 2018, the brand unveils its latest addition to the “Functional Wristwatch” collection, the Mühle-Glashütte Yacht-Timer Bronze.
The bronze case measures in at 44mm in diameter and 12.2mm thick, with the crown being placed at 4 o’clock. While I suppose I understand where this could give the watch an original look, I feel like it gives it a lopsided and overall unbalanced design which, to me anyway, is counter-culture to the yachting community. I also tend to think that because of where the crown is located, the watch may look and feel a bit smaller on the wrist. The blue bezel against the bronze case and canvas exterior of the strap provides a simple but attractive harmony, and I can’t help but think about its blatant nautical theme. Fitting nicely into the bezel is a domed sapphire crystal, rounding the watch out even more.
The dial is a different story. The dial is matte blue in color, and is the same shade as the bezel – making the watch superbly legible. I can’t deny that I’m in a blue-dial-fatigue state lately, but this is one of the most attractive yachting dials I’ve encountered. The lumed triangle indices break up what could be a stale dial perimeter without being oversized or annoying, the matching date window at 4 o’ clock is subtle enough to not be intrusive, and the matching logo and ’30 ATM’ text are small and compliment the color of the dial; something that allows them to both stand out, and blend in simultaneously. The flat, brushed baton-style hands provide a simple, but easily-readable contrast and have a thick profile. While the watch shares a lot of similarities to the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer, the blue variation makes for a handsome nautical take on what I would argue is the proper way to combine utilitarian and attractive properties in a watch dial.
Interestingly enough, and likely to the deterrent of the most hardcore yachting world, the water resistance is down to 30 ATM, from the Rescue Timer’s 100 ATM. This is likely because of the exhibition caseback (we’ll post pictures when we receive them) that displays the heavily modified Sellita SW-200 movement. One of Mühle-Glashütte’s claims-to-fame is its patented “Woodpecker Neck Regulator,” similar to a swan neck regulator. While I don’t have the space here to give an in depth analysis of the technology, the basic idea is that impact shock to a watch can knock the index hand and change the position of the balance shaft (though we are talking way more of a shock than a David Bredan lamp post situation), thus throwing the watch’s regulation into who-knows-where. The Woodpecker module allows for downward pressure to the index hand that prevents upward motion, thus protecting the watch’s regulation from a violent impact. In addition, Mühle-Glashütte adds their own decorated rotor, so there is some visual flair to see through the caseback.
I find the watch attractive, if not a bit generic in overall perspective. The Yacht-Timer Bronze is in a unique position where it’s reminiscent of models I can’t quite put my finger on, but still within a realm of its own. To me, this feels like a solid attempt to get in on the bronze craze with a decent offering and a minimal amount of soul. While it’s not necessarily something I would aspire to add to my collection, it’s certainly a highly legible, visually clean, and significantly nautical-esque timepiece that I don’t imagine will have a hard time selling – especially considering its low production numbers.
Price for the Mühle-Glashütte Yacht Timer Bronze will come in at $2,950. The watch is limited to 500 pieces. muehle-glashuette.de