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Sternglas launches the Hamburg as an automatic watch in dark blue bronze. The result is a watch that shows how well the timeless Bauhaus look goes with the maritime touch of the Hanseatic city of Hamburg….
The Hamburg in new splendor
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Sternglas has dedicated its own men’s watch to its hometown of Hamburg, which the authentic company from the Hanseatic city offers in no less than six color variants. In the meantime, the collection called Hamburg has become the bestseller in the model range. The recipe for success? You have to backtrack a bit to find out. Founder Dustin Fontaine and his team have been known for timeless Bauhaus-style designs since 2016. The affordable timepieces have bagged several design awards in the past seven years that the company has now been in existence. Combined with the maritime look, inspired by old navigation instruments, and charming stylistic touches here and there, it’s easy to see why Sternglas customers reach for the Hamburg so often and with such pleasure.
Reason enough for Sternglas to regularly present special editions of the bestseller. Currently you can find several new limited and non-limited references in the collection. Perhaps its most striking representative is the signal yellow Hamburg Edition Neuwerk. The fact that this striking timepiece sold out quickly speaks volumes. Today, I will focus on the Hamburg Automatic dark blue bronze, the somewhat more dignified sister model.
Fans will remember that this is not the first time that Sternglas has reissued the Hamburg as a bronze edition. Only last year, a similar special model was presented for the brand’s sixth birthday, albeit with an olive-green dial. There is also a cheaper quartz version with a dark blue dial at a regular price of 299.00 euros. It looks confusingly similar to my test watch today.
The inexpensive Bauhaus recommendation?
Automatic or quartz – that is and remains a question of faith. Most people feel they belong to one camp and stick to it. That’s why I assume, that many of you find the Hamburg Automatik Bronze so interesting, because of its drive. Mind you: at a price of 429.00 euros, the automatic version is only slightly more expensive than its quartz sister. And anyway: less than 500 euros for an automatic watch seems to be a good deal, right? At least that’s what we have to find out in today’s watch review.
However, the case is more important than the movement and explains why this special edition is needed. We have to clarify something right at the beginning. Although it says bronze on it, it doesn’t mean that bronze is in it. Yes, the case is bronze-colored, but that doesn’t mean it’s made of a copper-tin alloy. Instead, the 316L stainless steel case is covered by a PVD coating. This process makes the stainless steel case even more resistant to scratches, higher quality and more durable. To find a PVD coating on a watch for only a few hundred euros is remarkable.
The only drawback: unlike a classic patina, the alloy here does not undergo any development. In other words, it does not oxidize and thus does not change its appearance. Whether one likes this or prefers classic bronze alloys is a matter of taste. First and foremost, I would like to emphasize the excellent quality of the case and its coating.
The Hamburg DNA
By the way, the reddish brown color of the case is supposed to be reminiscent of the brick facades of the Speicherstadt. The reference to Hanseatic architecture becomes even clearer when you turn the Sternglas Hamburg Automatic dark blue Bronze over. The manufacturer has engraved the silhouette of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the case back. This makes this particular Hamburg a must-have – and not just if you’re from the Hanseatic city or the surrounding area. By the way, there are more small but fine details. However, all that in its own time.
With a water resistance of up to 5 bar, the Sternglas Hamburg Automatic dark blue bronze passes for splash-proof. Diving is out of the question, but that was not an option anyway. The Hamburg is an elegant dresswatch for daily use and not a toolwatch. However, thanks to its durable case, you can take the watch with you on sailing trips, to the beach or anywhere else. This is also due to the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, the hardest watch crystal. The choice of materials can compete with the premium segment!
More details of the Sternglas Hamburg Automatic dark blue bronze
Inside ticks an automatic movement from Miyota. The 8215 was first used in a timepiece over 45 years ago. It has earned its lasting success through reliability and robustness. With a power reserve of 42 hours, it is sufficiently powerful. There are only deductions in the accuracy, which is -20 to +40 seconds per day. However, you have to accept such trade-offs if you want to wear an inexpensive watch. Besides seconds, minute and hour, a date complication is on board.
Blue is the maritime color par excellence. However, the dial, which is kept in a strong dark blue, is only perfectly set off by the bronze look, which creates an exciting contrast. When worn, the Sternglas Hamburg Automatic dark blue bronze radiates something warm, very homey. This is a watch you just like. It has something very Nordic and at the same time rustic, never seems technically cool, but also not old-fashioned and dusty. I think the best way to convey this is through the watch photography. In the dark, the hands shine through their luminous coating. Sternglas relies on a Nemoto luminova. Then another detail really stands out. The tip of the second hand is shaped like a buoy.
The Sternglas Hamburg Automatic dark blue bronze on the wrist
On the wrist, the bronze Hamburg is worn with a vintage Italian-made leather strap. With its mocha color and rough surface, it is the perfect choice for this watch. If you do think a change is the right thing to do, you can swap out the strap using the quick-release system. You don’t even need any more tools for that. Sternglas even talks about only 10 seconds. I didn’t time it, but I can confirm the simple strap change. The strap is released by pushing the internal pin of the spring bar inwards. Interchangeable bands are also offered by Sternglas. The procedure there is the same: push the pin inward, place the band exactly between the horns and let go – that’s all it takes.
Bands require a width of 20 millimeters. And while we’re on the subject of dimensions, the diameter of the movement is quite practically chosen at 42 millimeters. It suits everyone. More important, however, in my opinion, is the length between the lugs. At 45 millimeters, it’s pleasantly short, which means that you can wear the watch even with a slender wrist without any problems.
My conclusion about the Sternglas Hamburg Automatic dark blue bronze
A good Bauhaus watch is all that counts. This is perhaps a somewhat bold statement. But if you own a Bauhaus watch with character, you can consider yourself lucky. The Sternglas Hamburg Automatic dark blue bronze is such a Bauhaus watch. And when I speak of character here, I specifically mean the Hanseatic style with which the Bauhaus design was woven into an attractive overall work of art. The Hamburg homage feels natural and at no point too intentional or forced. This watch celebrates the Hanseatic city without degenerating into a tourist souvenir. Elements like the stylized Speicherstadt or the colors, blue and reddish brown, contribute very effectively in the background.
In addition, I also want to praise the quality, which is, as always, on a high level, typical for Sternglas. Sapphire crystal, a PVD coating, stainless steel, a leather strap – what more could you want? Perhaps a better accuracy of the movement. However, that is bought in. A price premium would have to be passed on to the customer 1:1. And then the attractive price of 429.00 euros would certainly no longer be feasible. So you have to know what you really want. If you are looking for an elegant, versatile Bauhaus watch with high recognition value and good quality, and at the same time want to save your wallet, you can’t avoid this successful dress watch.
All further information about the watch, Sternglas and other topics I have linked you as always in the following!
10% off all Sternglas watches – use code WATCHDAVID 202310