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Previously considering an IWC and just had a 24hr epiphany on Dornbluth watches....

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Hello Folks,

As the newbie, it'll come as no surprise to you vets that I am blown away by the beauty of these watches. I recently had my watch collection stolen Crying or Very sad which included a Steel and Black Rolex Daytona (which I coveted) and an immaculate/irreplaceable 1965 Rolex Oyster Precision (my Father's 21st present)...plus a Breitling and Omega for good measure.

So now thinking how I can replace my beloved time pieces. I have a thing about blue dials and the IWC Portuguese 7 day power reserve, Laureas edition caught my eye. However doing my research on this £9k watch led me to the Germanic door of D.Dornbluth... I have spent the past 24 hours immersed in the blogosphere (much to my wife's displeasure) reading all I can about these amazing watches and their creator. I am now in a genuine dilemma, which is as follows...

Now I have seen the light do I sit on my hands for 12 months and ask Dirk to make me a 99.2 "Big Blue" like Dornblogger (if he doesn't mind me copying his idea, and if Dirk is amenable Wink but I might go for applied silver numbers, to avoid being a complete copycat) or do I give in to the need for instant gratification and buy a black dialled 99.4 or 99.2 from one of his Dutch or Australian distributors?? or god forbid do I return to the IWC, which I can have on my wrist this week? I know, I know, you'll tell me the wait is worth it...but I have one last curve ball...

I have pretty slender wrists at just over 6 inches (but my daily wear is a Panerai Submersible Tritium Dial, so not averse to large watches), and part of me was wondering if I should hold out for a 04.0 (rocking horse proverbial I suspect) like the "Stealth" model also owned by Dornblogger...?

Dornblogger - don't fancy some equity release by any chance?

Thoughts comrades?

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2 An option on Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:45 pm

Welcome, and here's an idea for you...

You could purchase a new 99.2 through one of Dornblüth's AD's, then send it to Dirk for a dial change. My guess is that he'd be amenable.

Cheers!

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3 Good suggestion... on Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:59 pm

Good suggestion dornblogger, I'm waiting for the catalogue to come through the post so I can have a decent look at the options before making a decision.

I have to confess in a moment of weakness I went back to try on a black IWC Portuguese 7 day Power Reserve (£6.5k) and it remains a damn beautiful watch.

The one thing I'm not sure on regarding the 99.2 or 99.4 is the size of the sub-dials. IWC seems to have made a decent fist of making the watch look balanced and the dials only knock out the 9 and 3 but leave the other numerals intact. I think their sub dials are slightly smaller (and equal in size)...

Perhaps it's just making the mental leap about buying something unseen in the flesh - I scoured Bond Street & Burlington Arcade's specialist watch shops in the vain hope I might stumble across one just to see the size, weight and look of of the 99's but no joy. Must be a rare breed as none of the specialists were aware of the brand...

Don't suppose anyone on the forum lives/works in London and wouldn't mind me having a peak?

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4 Understanding your thoughts on Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:17 pm

I am a newbie as you, but I took the plunge a month ago and bought a 99.1 with a black dial. I have also been fascinated by the matte silver dial / stealth version but I'll stick to the black dial with white numerals for the moment. Bought a black croco strap with white stiching, looks great I think.
Have a Panerai Base Logo myself and the even larger IWC Yacht Club Chrono Portuguese but the 99.1 is still a favourite of mine. When you wind the watch it is much more heavy and defined than the IWC and Panerai - I like that very much.
I am also still very interested in the IWC 7-days Portuguese, it's a beauty but the price is steep compared to the 99.1. Do yourself a favour and buy a Dornblüth, I am sure that you will not regret it. To own a watch made in only small quantities has something special to it and the workmanship is second to none at least in that price category. The fact that you are able to talk directly to the persons making the watch is also very interesting.

Well, look forward to hear what you decide upon.

Regards

Michael



Last edited by Designaddict on Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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5 Good input... on Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:36 am

Michael,

Thank you for your considered response, seems we share a similar taste in watches. Interesting that you mention the weight, as that was one of the few points where I felt the IWC fell down, it simply doesn't feel substantial enough to warrant the £9k price tag. Having gone back today (yet again) and tried the Laureas Blue and the normal black dial 7 day IWC side by side, I wasn't as convinced by the blue dial which inclines me to take the leap into the world of DD (as the black dial IWC is more comparable with the black dial DD).

I'm still awaiting the brochure to properly weigh the options between a 99.2 and 99.4. Initial thoughts being that the 99.4 benefits from a better symmetry of sub dials to the 99.2, however the 99.2 power reserve is a more useful feature to me than the date dial. Does anyone else, who benefits from having witnessed both in the flesh (read metal), have a view on the look of the 99.2 vs the 99.4?

Another question for the forum would be the merits/demerits of the applied numerals vs painted. On Dornbloggers' Big Blue the white numerals work really well creating a really crisp look, but traditionally I've preferred the touch of quality symbolised in the applied silver numerals (I particularly liked this feature on a Breitling Colt GMT I had, blue dial, silver numerals).... dilemmas dilemmas...

p.s. have to admit I'm quite excited to find out what James Partridge's unique Dornbluth looks like.... not sure if you've been following his thread

Piers

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6 Symmetry on Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:21 pm

Piers

Being a designer I would definately choose the 99.4 with it's more balanced dial, but if you feel that the power reserve is more useful then I would not hesitate asking Dirk if he could make the power reserve indicator with the same diameter as the seconds indicator. I can see from the pictures that the dial has identical engravings for the subdials so it's only the graphics that should be changed a bit and the hand of course, but maybe Dirk can make a custom made hand for you.
If I was to design my own dial then I would definately opt for the applied silver numerals on a black enamel dial or the silver matte version and with stainless or silver hands - quite close to the IWC 7-days but still very much a Dornblüth of it's own right.

Rgards

Michael

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7 99.4 on Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:27 pm

Hi Michael,

I agree the symmetry in the 99.4 appeals to me the most, and actually I could live without the power reserve in exchange for getting the watch in 2011.

The Amsterdam Watch Company have exactly that watch for sale at €4600, with the applied silver numerals (although photos aren't high res)

Looks like pretty good value compared to the IWC - which I can pick up second hand for £6,250, but it's still a lot to spend on something you've never seen on your wrist... I dread the package arriving and just thinking "no" - and with such a niche market, not as easy to re-sell as the IWC if I fall out of love with it I presume...

I'm still awaiting Dirk's catalogue but I'm pretty close to biting the bullet on the 99.4...... I think.... Neutral

Piers

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8 99.4 on Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:40 am

Piers,

Think you might be right regarding resale value, IWC's ought to be easier to sell than Dornblüth due to the well-known name but more and more people are discovering the virtues of these German watches and they are hard to get 'pre-used' so I would'nt worry, though. Another thing you have to keep in mind is the vast amount of Portuguese watches on the 'pre-used' market, making it difficult to sell fast unless low price.
Are there not any Dornblüth owners living near you so that you could try the watch on? I have tried both the 7-days IWC and the 99.1 that I now own. They are very similar in size but the IWC seems a bit larger due to the narrow bezel and it is also a bit thicker. With the IWC follows a lot of prestige so if one buys a watch in order to impress others then it's definately the IWC to choose, on the other hand if one wishes a very special watch that only very few people owns and only very few knows about then Dornblüth is the right choice.
IWC has the inhouse-made movement, Dornblüth is partly built on a ebauche (ETA Unitas)and maybe altered between 50-75% (Regulator), so if 'inhouse' is important, then you choose IWC.
Having both an IWC and the 99.1 I feel that the Dornblüth looks more sturdy and is the epitome of the classic mens watch (not dress watch). The IWC is more refined, more in the direction of a dress watch. The Dornblüth is an understated watch - I like that, the IWC is more flashy.
I think that the 99.4 for sale at AWC is a bit strange in its composition; black dial, white hands and gold numerals (yes!).

Regards
Michael

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Hi Piers,

Welcome to the forum!

I'm lucky enough to own both a 99.1 with a white enamel dial and an IWC Portuguese 7-day Automatic with the black dial. I love my Portuguese, and it's the one I wear to work 5 days a week. As you'll have seen, the movement is absolutely stunning and makes the back of the watch as handsome as the front.

My 99.1 is my 'special occasions' watch. It does wear a little smaller than the IWC. To be honest, I hadn't noticed a difference in weight between the two watches, and I'm not sure that I could say that one feels significantly better quality or better made than the other.

The difference for me is that my Dornblueth has an artisanal, hand-crafted charm which the IWC does not. The Dornblueth is different, individual and just feels like it was made by someone who loves and cares about what he or she is doing; the IWC doesn't have quite the same distinctive feel.

Overall, I love both watches, and consider myself extremely fortunate to have both. If I could keep only one, however, it would without question be the Dornblueth.

I look forward to hearing what you choose!

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Mark, I could'nt agree more! I think your description of the differences between the two watches is spot on.
When I talked about weight or heavyness in an earlier post I meant in fact the feeling when you turn the knob when winding the watch. The Dornblüth is very different to wind compared to the IWC - much more coarse but also adding to the artisanal and hand-crafted impression as you described.
Yes, the simpicity of the dial is beautiful but also the fact that the difference between the face of the watch and the rear is so great that it surprices me over and over - I really enjoy to dwell by the simpel black and white dial for some minutes and then turn the watch over and watch the stunningly beautiful movement!
Another thing is the fact that the Dornblüth is a mechanical watch compared to the 7-days automatic movement. To me it's a daily pleasure to wind a watch, the feeling of the mechanism together with the sound - an extra positive dimension adding to the overall impression.

Regards
Michael

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Designaddict wrote:Mark, I could'nt agree more! I think your description of the differences between the two watches is spot on.
When I talked about weight or heavyness in an earlier post I meant in fact the feeling when you turn the knob when winding the watch. The Dornblüth is very different to wind compared to the IWC - much more coarse but also adding to the artisanal and hand-crafted impression as you described.
Yes, the simpicity of the dial is beautiful but also the fact that the difference between the face of the watch and the rear is so great that it surprices me over and over - I really enjoy to dwell by the simpel black and white dial for some minutes and then turn the watch over and watch the stunningly beautiful movement!
Another thing is the fact that the Dornblüth is a mechanical watch compared to the 7-days automatic movement. To me it's a daily pleasure to wind a watch, the feeling of the mechanism together with the sound - an extra positive dimension adding to the overall impression.

Regards
Michael

Sorry, I misunderstood your post when I was replying. I agree with you that winding a Dornblueth is one of life's wonderful little tactile pleasures (my wife would roll her eyes if she heard me saying that!) - so much so that after reading your post, I took my 99.1 out of its box and wound it, just for the sheer pleasure of doing so!

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P-Bo wrote:Hi Michael,

I agree the symmetry in the 99.4 appeals to me the most, and actually I could live without the power reserve in exchange for getting the watch in 2011.

The Amsterdam Watch Company have exactly that watch for sale at €4600, with the applied silver numerals (although photos aren't high res)

Looks like pretty good value compared to the IWC - which I can pick up second hand for £6,250, but it's still a lot to spend on something you've never seen on your wrist... I dread the package arriving and just thinking "no" - and with such a niche market, not as easy to re-sell as the IWC if I fall out of love with it I presume...

I'm still awaiting Dirk's catalogue but I'm pretty close to biting the bullet on the 99.4...... I think.... Neutral

Piers

Have you come any closer to a decision? Very Happy



Last edited by Designaddict on Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:48 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Mark wrote:
Designaddict wrote:Mark, I could'nt agree more! I think your description of the differences between the two watches is spot on.
When I talked about weight or heavyness in an earlier post I meant in fact the feeling when you turn the knob when winding the watch. The Dornblüth is very different to wind compared to the IWC - much more coarse but also adding to the artisanal and hand-crafted impression as you described.
Yes, the simpicity of the dial is beautiful but also the fact that the difference between the face of the watch and the rear is so great that it surprices me over and over - I really enjoy to dwell by the simpel black and white dial for some minutes and then turn the watch over and watch the stunningly beautiful movement!
Another thing is the fact that the Dornblüth is a mechanical watch compared to the 7-days automatic movement. To me it's a daily pleasure to wind a watch, the feeling of the mechanism together with the sound - an extra positive dimension adding to the overall impression.

Regards
Michael

Sorry, I misunderstood your post when I was replying. I agree with you that winding a Dornblueth is one of life's wonderful little tactile pleasures (my wife would roll her eyes if she heard me saying that!) - so much so that after reading your post, I took my 99.1 out of its box and wound it, just for the sheer pleasure of doing so!
.


Mark, I know exactly what you mean with your wife rolling her eyes Very Happy Much of this watch collecting is about emotions and subconsciousness - exactly like looking at art, but difficult to explain and easily misunderstood, sometimes you are better off not saying anything Very Happy That why it's great with this Forum where you can share your opinions among other watch Affecionados

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