I have a really strong affinity to the small, independent German watch maker Temption. I have two of their watches, the CGK203 and the Cameo (click on those links for my reviews). Each year they try to release a new model, and I eager await what they have to share. Last year it was the beautiful Cameo, and this year is the CM05. While the Cameo was a totally new design for the brand, the CMO5 is more of an evolution on their classic look. Emphasis here is on build quality, and the simple design aesthetic that made the Cameo as popular as it was.
Temption is proud that the CM05 is totally screwed together. There are no rivets, studs, or pressed points (though the sapphire crystal might be an exception). As such, you can see the screws in the caseback and all over the bracelet. The case itself is in high-grade steel and 42mm wide and 11mm tall (very wearable). The case is 100 meters water resistant as well. The sapphire crystal is 2.6mm thick and domed for strength (also AR coated on the inside). It is a satisfying look and makes for a good every day wear.
The dial reminds me of UTS watches, and is very Germanic. Simple and highly functional with a Bauhaus theme. The dial is a matte black with a black on black Temption logo and a small frame around the centrally mounted date window (that is also a black disc). Temption places a black disc over the central axis of the hands to hide the connection point. It is a new style for them, even though others have done it. It keeps the look of the face cleaner. The hour markers and hands have luminant applied to them. It is a modern looking watch dial in a very pure form, with a distinct emphasis on understated artistry – exactly what many men are looking for. It is actually easy not to appreciate the dial at first, but look at it, think about it, and then look at it again in a little while and then see how you feel.
The rotating bezel is an odd element on the case. I really like Temption’s older style rotating bezel. Not sure how I feel about this new one. It is certainly more style oriented, and I would have to live with it for a bit before coming to a conclusion on it. Plus, it is sort of a GMT pilot’s bezel and the watch has no GMT hand. So it is just another place for hour markers maybe. Don’t forget that the crown has Temption’s signature onyx stone cabochon in it. Even if the watch dial is almost bare, the movement is nicely decorated. Temption puts another sapphire crystal on the rear of the watch with a view into the finished and perlage polished Swiss ETA 2892A2 automatic movement. Looks like a slightly new type of decor for Temption watch movements.
One of the best parts of the watch is the bracelet. In fact, Temption most always does a good job with their bracelets, and this one it totally new. From the outside it is all horizontal links in brushed steel to match the case. Though looking on the inside you can see how it is constructed (again, lots of screws holding it together and an inner connection link). Temption has comfort in mind as well. In addition to the full size links, Temption provides two 3/4 size links for a more precision fit when sizing the bracelet. It closes via a butterfly deployment clasp that has the Temption logo engraved in ti, and blends in with the rest of the bracelet pretty well. The bracelet is also thick at 24mm wide, and nicely integrated into the watch case (that is sort of lugless).
You can tell that the Temption CM05 certainly has a “small workshop” feel to it, but is also a very cohesive watch that is put together with the refinement of a fine piece of Jewelry. I look forward to checking it out soon. Price is not too bad at about $2,325 (1710 euros). Plus it is a good type of look for those who miss the early to middle 80s IWC/Porsche Design watches. While the watch is not part of a limited edition, Temption makes under 1000 watches a year, so these aren’t gonna be a ton of these around. They should start being available in April 2010.