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The KronowerK Otaniemi Date is the second watch from Finnish newcomer KronowerK. The promise: a wristwatch that convinces with a timeless classic design, good quality and a lot of attention to detail – all this with an unconventional copper dial. Sounds promising!
A Finnish microbrand conquers the watch market
KronowerK is perhaps one of the most exciting microbrands on the market right now. A brand that has great potential not to disappear tomorrow. Founded at the beginning of 2020 by the two watch enthusiasts Reima Koivukoski and Nikolaus Libby, KronowerK does not stand for cheap fashion watches off the rack. The two young entrepreneurs can already look back on many years of experience in repair services and as preowned watch dealers. Skills that now benefit the two of them, because KronowerK also offers precisely these services – watch repair and trading.
About one and a half years after its own founding, the time has come. The brand is introducing a second model after the pilot project, the KronowerK Otaniemi Time Only. The time gap shows that at KronowerK, care, quality and attention to detail are far more important than short-term success. First manufacturer photos and information of the KronowerK Otaniemi Date raised the expectations. “A fusion between design, crafts and nature” KronowerK announces promisingly. Timeless, modern and comfortable to wear, plus durable and easy to repair.
But one of the most exciting details, in my opinion, is the dial made of copper. We’ve seen bronze enough in recent years. But copper? Will KronowerK set the next trend here? The KronowerK Otaniemi Date is in the premium segment. Here, it has to compete with the established rivals from Longines, Atlantic or Union Glashütte. Will it succeed? I would like to find out in the watch review.
My first impression
The KronowerK Otaniemi Date is a watch that I like at first glance. The copper dial makes it stand out from the crowd. I haven’t seen the chemical element in its pure form on a timepiece; only as a bronze mixture. The design quickly reveals that the KronowerK Otaniemi Date is meant to be a dress watch. Simple, classic and suitable for any occasion. The special charm is the certain rusticity, which can be seen for example on the stainless steel case, the traditional leather strap or the roughened dial. Reima Koivukoski and Nikolaus Libby have placed great emphasis on making as many components as possible by hand.
I can’t see a drop in quality because of this – rather the opposite. The finish of the surfaces is remarkably good. The founders’ years of experience in the watch industry certainly seem to pay off.
Those who appreciate Scandinavian design for its minimalism, restraint and functionality will not be disappointed by the KronowerK Otaniemi Date. Especially with components such as the crown, the case back or the buckle, KronowerK does without elaborate decorations or the like. Less is more.
The KronowerK Otaniemi Date on the wrist
One of the great strengths of the KronowerK Otaniemi Date is its feel on the wrist. This is partly due to the very soft leather strap, but also due to the case size and its shape. The brown leather strap is high quality stitched and comes with a stainless steel pin buckle. The width of the lugs is 20 millimeters.
diameters of the case vary between 39.5 and 41.5 millimeters, which is due to the fact that it is handmade in the Finnish workshop. A case size within this range will fit any wrist, whether narrower or with a larger circumference. Combined with the neutral design, I would even go so far as to say that the KronowerK Otaniemi Date is not a designated men’s watch. The copper timepiece also suits any lady. What I find amazing is the quite low height of just 9.5 millimeters, despite the automatic movement. Thus, the KronowerK Otaniemi Date looks anything but clunky.
Classic and timeless – and therefore always in fashion. This makes the KronowerK Otaniemi Date a daily rocker on the wrist. The occasion no longer plays a role. However, you should be aware that you will attract attention with this comparatively unusual dress watch.
High-quality workmanship, easy to repair – the case
At its core, the circular case consists of a central structure that curves into the lugs. The bezel and the case back sit on top. It is made of exceedingly scratch-resistant and durable stainless steel, with surfaces that are lightly polished and brushed, allowing the KronowerK Otaniemi Date to retain its handmade look. An eye-catching feature is the sunburst finish on the caseback of the dresswatch. Three simple, neatly engraved circles accentuate the round case shape. Like the middle section, the closed case back is made of stainless steel. This is a guarantee that, with good care, the watch will still look like new years and decades from now.
Talking about good care: KronowerK itself claims to have developed the components in such a way that the watch is easy to maintain and repair. This is certainly thanks to the know-how of company co-founder Reima Koivukoski. The expensive repair service can be saved.
The flat sapphire crystal, like the stainless steel, is very resistant and protects the dial from shocks or other influences. A use of sapphire can be expected in this price range. The KronowerK Otaniemi Date is water resistant, at least to a depth of 50 meters. This doesn’t make the watch a diver, but I don’t think that’s necessary either. Splashes of water in everyday life do not pose a problem.
Finally, the outstanding workmanship of the materials should also be mentioned at this point. That’s just the advantage of traditional craftmanship.
The movement of the KronowerK Otaniemi Date
Inside the KronowerK Otaniemi Date, there is a 2892/A2 movement from ETA, which is made in Switzerland. It is perhaps one of the most famous movements from ETA and came in its first version already in 1975 on the market. The automatic movement impresses with its low profile, an enduring power reserve of 48 hours and 28800 vibrations per hour. In my opinion, KronowerK made a good choice with this caliber. Its proven robustness as well as its longevity match the values that the Otaniemi Date also embodies.
A hand-hammered dial
The rectangular date window at 3 o’clock gives the KronowerK Otaniemi Date its name. The interesting design consists of a rough copper base on which sits the polished index ring. In the middle of it, there are the manufacturer’s lettering and two small screws, the meaning of which is hard to figure out at first. They actually stand for the two company founders, a very creative idea in my eyes.
The dial doesn’t do without handmade components either. It is hand-hammered and the hands are handmade.
Lastly, we need to talk about the copper. When buying the KronowerK Otaniemi Date, you should be aware that like any metal, it will oxidize over time. And if you look at the dark gray church steeples in your city, it will quickly become clear how the KronowerK Otaniemi Date will eventually look. One advantage: over time, each individual Otaniemi Date will develop its own unique look, depending on how much you expose the watch to the environment. If you want to preserve the light rosé look of your watch, you can order the KronowerK Otaniemi Date lacquered.
My conclusion about the KronowerK Otaniemi Date
I have to admit that my first KronowerK watch impressed me a lot. You think you have seen every kind of watch by now and then you are surprised by a Finnish timepiece, which knows how to convince with handmade components and very good quality. The interesting copper dial should not go unmentioned, which I have not seen before either.
With a price of 2,520 euros, the KronowerK Otaniemi Date is located in the premium segment. Considering the craftsmanship and the quality, the price for the dresswatch is absolutely justified.
KronowerK is not resting on its success and has already announced another watch in the meantime. In the next step, the Finnish brand plans to launch a diving watch. Besides selling their own watches, KronowerK is also active in the watch trade and repairs your used timepieces – a coherent overall package!