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The Findeisen F-1253 Prussian Blue S is already the third model from the young brand of the same name, which was only founded in 2017 near Bamberg, Germany. If you already thought of another microbrand and wanted to leave this blog disappointed – It’s worth reading on! Because unlike the competitors, Findeisen relies on a movement from German production. What other highlights await you, you can read in the following review…
How East Prussian cities inspire a watch design
The Bavarian brand Findeisen is the heart project of its founder Martin Zettl. If you want to understand design, material selection and the concept behind the young watchmaker, you should first learn a bit about their history. Martin Zettl, a watch enthusiast from Bavaria, borrowed the name Findeisen from his family. His great-great-grandfather Karl Ferdinand Findeisen was very passionate about urban studies in Germany, and (as a Saxon!) he was particularly interested in the historic province of East Prussia. Exactly therein lies the unique selling point of Findeisen. Each watch produced in Nuremberg recites in its design the history of a former East Prussian town. So far, two models have been launched, theming Allenstein and Königsberg, today’s Olsztyn and Kaliningrad.
The third and newest watch was introduced in the summer of 2021. The F-1253, a striking toolwatch, pays homage to the port city of Memel, now known as Klaipėda and an attractive tourist destination. 1253 dates the founding of the city. Good to know: those interested in the history of Memel can read about it in the booklet.
Although Martin Zettl’s great-great-grandfather was also a passionate watch enthusiast, he has nothing directly to do with the brand named after him. You might get that idea. A watchmaking dynasty does not exist here. Price-wise, Findeisen sets the bar high. To get the information right away: the F-1253 is priced at 2,900 Euros. This alone makes it clear that Findeisen is striving for higher things. Is the stainless steel diver worth the money?
At least that’s what the packaging suggests. Findeisen promised me an Optimus box in advance. This is available as an option to the conventional Simplex box and impresses with its high-gloss look. You can tell that a lot of thought has gone into this and a lot of attention has been paid to detail. The curved, airy Findeisen F is emblazoned on the top. Inside the Optimus box itself, you’ll find additional stainless steel links and a small pin-on crest, also embossed with the curved F – very chic!
At first sight of the Findeisen F-1253 Prussian Blue S, you can actually see that Martin Zettl did not exaggerate with his description. The diver’s or tool watch actually looks significantly different than the representatives from watch reviews of the last months. No circular indices, no circular case and most importantly, no typical bezel as you usually see – round and kept in the colors of the dial. The Findeisen F-1253 Prussian Blue S visually sticks out. The most striking design element is without a doubt the angular bezel in paddle-wheel look, which gives the watch enormous recognition value. Through and through, the F-1253 makes a hardened impression and lives up to the term toolwatch. It also has a high-quality feel.
The case back is a bit more playful. More about these details in a moment. In a separate box, a sporty NATO strap is included, which will also have to be tested later.
The Findeisen F-1253 Prussian Blue S on the wrist
First, though, I put the reference F-1253-PB-S on with the three-link stainless steel bracelet. The weight increase on the wrist is immediately noticeable. This tool watch weighs 198 grams with the unclipped strap. The considerable weight is hardly noticeable on the timepiece, which is probably also due to its moderate size. At 41.5 millimeters, the F-1253 fits any average wrist – intelligently chosen dimensions. However, the length between the lugs, which is 47 millimeters, is also crucial. What really appealed to me, however, was the flat height. Despite the automatic movement and soft iron cage inside the case, the Findeisen F-1253 Prussian Blue S rises just 12.5 millimeters. A sporty value!
Right off the bat, I couldn’t tell you in what situation the F-1253 would be out of place. The generously used stainless steel and the timeless blue tone make the wristwatch a visual all-rounder that can be worn on any occasion. Both ambitious recreational divers and businessmen will get their money’s worth here. On my Nice vacation a few weeks ago, the watch would actually have been the perfect daily rocker. But then slimmed down on the maritime-sporty NATO strap.
An edgy watch
The angular case is made of durable stainless steel. All surfaces were bead blasted in the Nuremberg production. The visible result is a fine, grainy and matte shimmering structure. This achieves the functional character of a genuine Toolwatch. The quality level is in no way inferior to the premium competition from Germany and Switzerland. Here, I would have expected that we would have to accept cutbacks. That is not the case.
The diving bezel, one of the few points of criticism of the F-1253, is a bit different. The clicks engage cleanly, but there is some play. That may be complaining on a high level, but at least we are on a premium level. On the other hand, there is praise for the unusual shape of the bezel. It reminds me a bit of a paddle wheel. Two advantages can be identified. First, this shape is easier to grip, especially with gloves under water. Second, the Findeisen F-1253 Prussian Blue S stands out among its competitors this way. ‘The watch with the angular bezel’ remains in the memory.
The dial is particularly easy to read under the installed sapphire crystal. Findeisen has given it triple anti-reflective coating on both sides so that disturbing light reflections do not occur in water or in the open air.
The case back with the creative engraving successfully rounds off the good overall impression so far. To be precise, the coat of arms of the city of Klaipėda adorns the back of the case here. It is the clearest indication of Findeisen’s reference to East Prussian towns. Findeisen specifies the water resistance of the F-1253 at 20 bar, or 200 meters. Divers will get their money’s worth.
A premiere in the Findeisen F-1253 – the movement
With the Findeisen F-1253 a real novelty is waiting for watch lovers. The Toolwatch is the first wristwatch in which the A26.2 manufacture caliber is used in the TOP stage – premiere! In general, we should talk about the fact that Findeisen dares to go its own way and use a movement from German production. Much more obvious would have been the competition from ETA or Sellita. Findeisen’s decision proves innovative spirit and courage and should therefore be evaluated positively. Before it is inserted into the Findeisen F-1253, the selfwindig movement is slightly modified and renamed. As FW 4251, it comes with a power reserve of 42 hours at 28800 vibrations per hour. Findeisen specifies a fine regulation in 5 positions. Thus, it should advance a maximum of +5 seconds per day. This accuracy can hardly be topped!
To make sure that the movement is not upset by anything and that it is anti-magnetic and shock-resistant, it is embedded in a soft iron cage. More precisely, a three-part magnetic shield and ethylene-propylene-diene rubber ensure that the DIN standards 8308 (shock resistance) and 8309 (antimagnetic) are met and even exceeded.
With the easy-grip crown, the hands and date can be set precisely as well as easily. What caught my eye was the size of the practical crown protection, which already starts in the area of the lugs.
Dial and bracelet in detail
The name of my test watch Prussian Blue is by no means a marketing invention, but is based on a coincidence. Martin Zettl had two colors in mind when designing the Findeisen F-1253. Besides the black variant, it was precisely the shade of blue known as Prussian Blue. What color could be more appropriate?
The dial and indices are made of one piece. The 12 o’clock double index is reminiscent of a historical city coat of arms. Thanks to Super-Luminova luminous material, you can accurately read all important information at any time. Orange color accents add a sporty touch. You’ll find them at the tip of the second hand as well as the hue of the printed DIN standard.
Compared to the excellently crafted case, the quality of the stainless steel bracelet including the diving extension does not drop. Its angular design picks up the contours of the watch. Findeisen describes the clasp as an in-house development. With a fine adjustment, the stainless steel band can be precisely adapted to the circumference of the wrist. I was convinced by the quick-change system, which allows you to replace your stainless steel band in seconds without any additional tools. For example, against the beautiful NATO strap, which is my personal favorite.
My conclusion about the Findeisen F-1253 Prussian Blue S
Findeisen is an exceedingly unusual newcomer in every way. Putting the name and prior knowledge of the company’s young history out of your mind, you could no doubt get the idea that you’re dealing with a premium toolwatch from an established manufacturer. It is impressive to bring a model to the market from nothing within four years, which seems so mature in terms of quality as well as appearance, as if it could already have been on the market for fifty years in the tenth generation. Teething troubles like the play of the bezel are normal and should not be overrated.
In summary, I think there are three aspects that make the Findeisen F-1253 Prussian Blue S an extremely successful tool watch. High quality, an appealing design with recognition value and a story behind the brand. Sure, you can’t conjure up tradition, but the basic idea of the city theme is convincing. The highlight is not obvious at first glance, as it is the heart of the F-1253. The FW4251 sets the bar high. Such standards are not self-evident even in this price range. Which brings us to the topic – the price of 2,900.00 Euros. I consider it justified in view of the very good overall package.
I am curious to see what will happen with Findeisen in the future. The F-1253 has awakened the curiosity in me to take a closer look at the release of the fourth watch. That is a good sign!