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The Swabian Wolfgang Heinrich has founded a new watch brand. This news in itself would not be worth reporting. But the start-up that the watch enthusiast, who lives in the Stuttgart area, is now launching on the market via the Kickstarter platform is a tough one. HEINRICH TAUCHER.
I had the opportunity to learn a lot of interesting information in a personal exchange with him. So if you ever wanted to know what considerations are behind the design and what exactly is the Heinrich brand, you should read on. The “first work” of Heinrich is called HEINRICH TAUCHER. With a design, which is reminiscent of the diving watches of the late 70s, but still creates something very special, HEINRICH has definitely aroused my interest. And the best: Wolfgang Heinrich sent me two versions of his new watch straight home. You can read my first impressions and all the exciting background information in the following review.
Wolfgang Heinrich – the dream of an own watch brand
Actually, it couldn’t have turned out any other way. Someone who is a hobby diver and lives near the German watch capital of Pforzheim is almost obliged to create his own watch in diver’s design and bring it to the market. As a child of the 70s and 80s, Wolfgang Heinrich absorbed the iconic designs of those eras. Now the first watch of his new brand has become a diver’s watch – and a very personal one. “I wanted to launch a watch that was even more based on my personal taste or my ideas of a watch. To achieve this, I also needed my own brand. This is where HEINRICH came from. I am particularly attracted to old diving watches and their designs”.
If you remember diving watches from brands like Bulova, Citizen, Blancpain or Doxa, you will soon notice where the inspiration for the angular design of HEINRICH TAUCHER comes from. Nevertheless Wolfgang Heinrich emphasizes the independence of his new diving watch. “I didn’t want to create yet another Diver-Hommage watch, but to make something independent”.
The first impression – HEINRICH TAUCHER
The independence of the new HEINRICH TAUCHER is immediately noticeable. This diving watch is different. That starts with the dial. Who is used to the classic indices at the minute display will be surprised here. Only the hour display is worked into the dial in abstract forms. What this is all about, you will find out later.
The HEINRICH TAUCHER is a quite massive timepiece. The angular, square design of the case is definitely an eyecatcher. Seemingly flowing is the transition to the stainless steel bracelet, which looks like integrated. The black bezel with the orange indices also fits perfectly to the design of the late 70’s. I got my HEINRICH TAUCHER in two versions, which are now on the table in front of me. On the left side with a blue dial, on the right side with a green one. Good that I don’t have to choose. This decision would be difficult, because both versions look very nice and promising.
Promising is also the first impression with the quality. The finish of the dial, bezel, case and bracelet is first class. A hurdle on which many newcomers and microbrands fail. “I have taken great care to integrate a high quality for all components, as well as not to neglect the details, but also put a lot of work into it. The watch is built and adjusted in Pforzheim not far from Stuttgart. The quality control is also done there (pressure test, water resistance, dust control etc.) […] before it is shipped from Stuttgart”, Wolfgang Heinrich tells me. Good conditions, planning and organization are essential for success in the watch industry. In this point HEINRICH stands out from the competition.
Whether HEINRICH TAUCHER can confirm its very good first impression, we will now find out by taking a closer look at the individual components of the timepiece.
The case is made of brushed stainless steel and has a diameter of 41mm. Between the bars it is even 47mm. So the HEINRICH TAUCHER is not very delicate, but appears dominant on my wrist, which I like very much. This is even intensified by the angular, square design. The height of the case is 11,5mm. The processing leaves nothing to be desired.
The dial is protected by high quality and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. To make the 70’s charm perfect, it is slightly domed. Here you will find another refinement. The sapphire crystal has a special anti-reflective coating. This ensures that the time is always easy to read, even in bright light. With a diameter of 7mm, the screw-down crown also has a sufficient size. The ribbed surface also ensures that the watch is much easier to handle when winding, for example. Small details like the slightly highlighted HEINRICH logo further enhance the already good overall impression.
I especially like the case back, which has a maritime design with a high recognition value. In order to further strengthen the independent character of the new watch brand, the HEINRICH logo is also found here. The signatures on the case back are engraved in high quality.
The case is waterproof up to a pressure of 20bar. So if you really want to go diving with the HEINRICH DIVER, you could do so without hesitation down to a depth of 200 meters.
The movement of the HEINRICH DIVER
Anything other than a mechanical movement would be out of place in a diver’s watch. Therefore HEINRICH uses an automatic movement. But not just any automatic movement, but a Sellita SW200-1 Swiss-Made automatic movement. This is known for its reliability and longevity.
If you do not have the watch on your wrist for a longer period of time, the power reserve is 38 hours before you have to rewind the timepiece. The Sellita movement is equipped with 26 jewels and generates 28800 vibrations per hour.
The dial – a slightly different diving watch
Wolfgang Heinrich knows how to polarize with his HEINRICH TAUCHER. The biggest difference to a conventional diving watch is on the dial. “I have deliberately decided to omit the minute index on the dial”. The dial contains only the hour display in the form of stylized shapes as indices. So if you were to take the HEINRICH DIVER with you on a dive, you could read the time to within 5 minutes. Those who have often taken a diver’s watch under water know how important accurate time management is. Is that why the HEINRICH DIVER is now a bad diving watch? Not at all.
It is not intended for use as a nautical instrument. Wolfgang Heinrich explains: “I am aware that for some people this triggers a discussion of principles and polarizes somewhat. But it should be clear that the watch will probably never be used as a diver’s watch. The classic diver’s watch has had its day. In the meantime, ultra-modern diving computers are taking over the time-honoured function of the diver’s watch”.
So the HEINRICH TAUCHER is rather a watch that celebrates the design of diving watches from past design eras. The missing minute hand has another function which should not be ignored. I myself noticed a certain deceleration when wearing it. One looks less to the exact observance of the time. The result – a certain reduction in stress, which has worked wonders for me. I haven’t been this relaxed in a long time.
Does the HEINRICH DIVER still deserve the title “diver’s watch” because of its special features and its very own character? For me in any case. Even the missing minute mark has its inspiration, which Wolfgang Heinrich explains to me. “There are such cases from the past. The Glashütte Spezimatic Diver, for example”.
The design of the dial is extremely successful. The two iconic colours of the dial, in addition to the indices in the classic design, provide the special retro charm. The dark green and deep navy blue cut a fine figure in the ‘sunburst look’. Whether and when further colour variations will be added depends on the success of the Kickstarter campaign. HEINRICH TAUCHER.
The indices are filled with Swiss Super-LumiNova. The luminous mass is applied cleanly and evenly and looks very noble in the dark. That the HEINRICH TAUCHER has its own characteristics and is not just living in the past is shown by loving details such as the small Easter-Egg that Wolfgang Heinrich built into the second hand. It has the silhouette of the Stuttgart television tower with the red-white antenna. A diver’s watch with a genuine Baden-Württemberg design.
The black rotating bezel is unidirectional and has 120 clicks. It is made of sapphire crystal. The processing is very high-quality. The orange markings are printed cleanly. That behind the design of the watch is a long development with ingenious ideas, you can also see on the bezel. This picks up the design of the fluted crown and the back with the wave pattern.
As mentioned at the beginning, the HEINRICH TAUCHER has a bracelet with a special design. Since the design between the bars is interspersed with fine lines like the bracelet, it looks as if the bracelet is merging into the case. A design element which I like very much. The bracelet is a stainless steel mesh bracelet with brushed links. The angular and rough design of the case is well taken up here again. The stainless steel buckle is once again engraved with the logo. That simply looks good!
Ratchet buckles are essential for a diver’s watch strap. They ensure that the bracelet can only be extended by clicking on it. This is another consistent way of picking up elements of a diver’s watch from the past.
After all, on dives the watch has to fit around the sleeve of a wetsuit. Inserting and removing individual links here each time would therefore be particularly tiresome.
The wearing comfort of the stainless steel bracelet was very good and comfortable for me.
Much love for detail – an insight into the design process of a logo
How much love for detail is in the new HEINRICH TAUCHER, you will know when you know the process of creating the logo. Wolfgang Heinrich is very pleased with the final version of his logo, which consists of a lion framed in a crest and wearing a crown. “The logo alone was an extra project. But I really like it now.
It simply matches the watch,” he says. The watch founder cannot and will not deny his Baden-Württemberg origin. Just like the TV tower second hand, the logo also contains a small Easter egg. The lion with the crown is inspired by the coat of arms of his home state.
My conclusion about HEINRICH TAUCHER
The days leading up to the launch of the Kickstarter campaign, with which Wolfgang Heinrich wants to finance his new brand, are once again stressful. Until the watch enthusiast is satisfied with his new watch, a few minor design changes are still needed. Nothing serious and in my opinion nothing necessary; for example the reduction of the logo on the dial. Here and there a few more signatures on the rotor and the case back. Furthermore, they are still working on the homepage. Perfection is certainly not a bad prerequisite in the watch industry.
The HEINRICH TAUCHER itself cut a good figure in my test time on the wrist. What I would like to emphasize are the points quality and design. These are usually not yet fully developed for a new watch brand. With HEINRICH it is different. The quality left nothing to be desired at any time and can easily keep up with the big brands from the same price segment. If you consider that I have tested two pre-series models, the level is very high. Furthermore, you can see how important Wolfgang Heinrich was in the design of his watch. Even though the watch is based on the great models from the 70s, Heinrich has created a completely independent design line. I am curious to see what the next watches of the new brand will look like.
Now, for whom the watch is suitable…
The die-hard diver may find it a little difficult at the beginning. The HEINRICH TAUCHER breaks with many “traditions”. Just think of the missing minute line. But this was calculated and intended from the beginning. The HEINRICH TAUCHER is not a nautical instrument, but a watch for everyday life and for enthusiasts. In the foreground here is a good and sporty, yet elegant design with references from the past.
The HEINRICH TAUCHER is therefore interesting for all who are interested in a watch with a characteristic design and a lot of quality in the middle price segment. Also all those who love the charm of the old diving watches from the 70s will find a great pleasure in the watch made in Pforzheim. Wolfgang Heinrich also attaches great importance to the German origin of his brand. “The local focus, also on the German language in the model name or on the case back was important to me”. That this evokes associations of quality and care among national and international customers should be obvious.
Although HEINRICH with its watches as of July 2020 is not yet on the market, first prognoses about the success of the brand can be made. In view of the successful design as well as the good quality, this should be at least partially assured. Furthermore Wolfgang Heinrich is not completely inexperienced in the watch business. After all, HEINRICH is already the second brand that the Swabian has founded. Nevertheless, he is down-to-earth: “In the end, it is the market that decides whether the watch is liked or not”.
On Kickstarter, the “market” has the opportunity to buy the watch for 540 euros + shipping at the start of the campaign. Depending on the success, we can look forward to further colour variations. But until then we have to wait and see!
So if you are thinking about buying this special watch, you can subscribe to the newsletter on the website http://heinrich.watch. Wolfgang will use this way to inform you about the next steps and the start date on Kickstarter.
Gallery HEINRICH TAUCHER
You find HEINRICH watches here:
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