If you want a modern German Bauhaus watch produced affordably but in small quantities, you have some great options out there. For those made with in-house movements, a lot of people flock to Nomos – but there are some even more boutique and interesting brands available that are worth consideration. My favorite continues to be the ultra-rare brand Temption, who continues to produce only a few hundred watches per year. Their current flagship product is the Temption CGK205 model watch, and it has been slightly updated for 2016 with a new lug system.
According to Temption founder Klaus Ulbrich, the new lug system which was designed to elegantly attach both a strap or bracelet is both unique and unparalleled on the market. The Temption CGK205 first came out in 2011. Only a year later, Temption released the slightly updated CGK205 Version 2 which made some technical and design changes. While this 2016 iteration of the Temption CGK205 is still technically a “version 2,” it might be proper to actually call it CGK version 3 given the apparent change to the lug system.
Visually, it seems very difficult to tell the difference between this 2016 Temption CGK205 and the CGK205 version 2 that was originally debuted in 2012. One difference that consumers should appreciate is the inclusion of both the steel bracelet and the leather strap with the watch – without asking the consumer to choose. That is a nice addition, and I always (always) appreciate it when watches come with multiple straps. It is even better when that means a strap as well as a metal bracelet.
So what is so special about the lugs? Well, you first need to understand that Klaus is super OCD about the little things which can take away from the appeal of a finely made timepiece. In this context, the issue is how sometimes the same watch doesn’t look as good on a strap as it does on a bracelet. Temption points to unattractive gaps and segments which do not flow together harmoniously. For someone obsessed with German Bauhaus and Japanese wabi-sabi design, this makes a lot of sense. Klaus even shared pictures of other watch lugs and strap connection systems which display what he feels is unattractive.
Temption, like most boutique watch makers is run by someone with a singular vision of what timepieces should look like in their own super subjective opinion. They aren’t trying to produce highly marketable timepieces that will sell in mass amounts, but rather they create the watches they want and hope that enough people around the world share their taste so that they can continue making a living by making timepieces. So when you see a boutique watch maker who has prices that you feel are a bit higher than what you might want to spend on that type of product, you only need to consider the price it costs them to produce these watches in small quantities, often using local suppliers, and whose sales margins must fund their operation as well as pay their bills. What I am trying to say is that timepieces such as this from companies who produce under 1000 (or far fewer) watches per year are less like buying a commodity and more like buying hand-made art.
The monochromatic dial and simple legible looks of the Temption CGK205 aren’t for everyone, but if you like the looks of an Omega Speedmaster, chances are than you’ll see value in a design like this. In fact, the Speedmaster is perhaps the most successful watch around to embody the type of design language you see in the Temption CGK205 and other similar watches. Moreover, the dial design isn’t purely minimalist as one might argue upon quick inspection. There are decorating and design elements in there such as the slightly recessed subdials, design of the hands, black onyx cabochons in the crown and chronograph pushers, as well as the integrated style of the bracelet design.
The Temption CGK205 case is 43mm wide in finely made brushed steel. Tech specs are scant, but according to Temption, the watch weighs 190 grams with the bracelet and 129 grams on the leather strap. There is an AR-coated sapphire crystal over the dial, as well as one on the rear of the case over the movement as an exhibition window. Inside the watch is the Swiss ETA Valjoux 7751 automatic movement. This is a 7750 with some added features such as a complete calendar, 24-hour hand (AM/PM indicator – not GMT hand), and moon phase indicator.
A signature design feature of Temption watches is the black-on-black logo, which is a cool touch. With all matte surfaces, the dial and overall design seriously emphasizes legibility and utility. You need to appreciate that, at its heart, this is a German tool watch, but one with a designer twist. This is what you get when you like the looks of Porsche Design but want something way more niche and small production. With the included bracelet and strap, along with strap changing tools, the Temption CGK205 for 2016 isn’t a bad value for what you get, priced at 2,980 Euros ($3,278 USD). temption.info