Mon 3 Dec 2012
Union Glashutte – one of the better German watchmakers along with its sister company, Glashute Original. While not in the same league as A. Lange, Union Glasshute used to do some good stuff, before the company was recently repositioned to have all ETA-based movements, dropping the in-house Glashutte Original movements. This Tradition Automatic Chronograph here is one of the older breed of Union Glashutte watch, and is a great, all-German, no-frills chronograph.
Here’s a beautiful head-shot of this rare breed of German Chronograph, with its tritium coated hands and indexes, all on a equisitely understated matte black dial. The subdial layout is a tri-compax, with the running seconds at 3 o’clock hour totalizer at 6 and minutes at 9 o’clock.
You can just catch the edge of the bezel which is knurled, just like the surrounds for the pushers. The crystal is sapphire, which is always great, especially on older watches like this one – probably from the late 90’s. The case shape is a good usable 39mm, which is more than enough for many, but far too little for some of the trendier folk. I personally find it just big enough, but I could do with 2-3 extra millimeters.
The bracelet is superb, and screwed together, which was also a rarity back in the 90’s. This is a really well made timepiece! Clasp is a non-locking double butterfly style, with friction locks and a deep engraved Union Glashutte logo.
Last but not least, the movement. This Tradition Chrono features the 48 Jewel, Union caliber 26-31. This is a less decorated version of the Glasshute Original Caliber 39, and lacks many of the refinements such as the extensive decoration and swan neck regulator. The rotor has some nice Geneva striping, but the bridges are quite bare. However, its still a very unique and reliable movement that gives it that extra bit of personality over many other Valjoux pieces these days.
Sorry for the lack of a wrist shot, but I forgot to take one and I ended up selling this watch already! I really enjoyed my time with it and I urge anyone that is interested in this kind of timepiece to get one because its a very cool watch, and with all the current Union watches going to ETA-only, these will be rare.