B-Uhr watches are pure simplicity, and so the brands making these ever-popular watches compete on the details and the price, and at €400 inclusive of VAT this watch is without doubt a good deal.
This new pilot watch by Steinhart, available from August 2015, has all the characteristics of the type, with a large 44 mm brushed stainless steel case, 14.2 mm thick, solid caseback, black dial, and numerals and hour markings with generous luminescent paint. The hands are blued, adding a subtle touch of colour.
The central second hand has the stop-second feature, so that when the crown is pulled out to set the watch, the second hand stops moving and can be restarted in synchronization with a time signal. The crown has the conical shape with a short cylindrical neck that was one of the typical design patterns for this component.
As in many of Steinhart’s pilot’s watches, water resistance is specified as “limited, no swimming or shower:” this is simply the literal interpretation of the normal 3 Atm/30 metre water resistance of most watches, which are suitable for everyday use and therefore stand up to splashes and rain, but which are not suitable for showering, bathing, swimming, snorkelling, diving etc.
The strap is in leather, with the double rivets on either side of the case that were a typical feature of B-Uhr watches. The solid caseback is engraved with a pilot caricature, an extra touch by Steinhart: you don’t see it when you’re wearing the watch, but I must say I would have preferred just a plain caseback. The 1930s B-Uhr watches had casebacks often with no markings at all, with the type and serial numbers stamped on the inside. Some brands (such as Stowa) place this data on the outside of the caseback.
The movement is the Swiss-made ETA 2824-2 in its “Elaboré” version (the second in a scale of four quality levels, Standard, Elaboré, Top and Chronomètre). It is self-winding, with a power reserve of 38-40 hours.
Reference and price
The Steinhart “Nav B-Uhr 44 Automatic A-Type” is article number F0322, and its price is €400 inclusive of VAT, €337 without VAT, shipping costs to be added. Available from about end of August 2015. It can be ordered direct on the brand’s website www.steinhartwatches.de.