Hands-On Review: The Heinrich Taucher 2 — A Dive Watch From A One-Man-Microbrand
Let’s start honestly: this is going to be something new, and particularly so for me. I’m a guy in my twenties who likes to watch soccer, and lately, I’ve also been into watches. I’m far from expert status, but that doesn’t hurt my enthusiasm for the watch world. I take a positive view of it. It just means that there is still a lot to discover. When I got a call asking if I would like to review a watch from a microbrand, I didn’t hesitate for a second. So let’s dive together into my first hands-on review of the Taucher 2 from Heinrich watches. A microbrand brand meets the newcomer watch enthusiast.
Stuttgart, in the southwest of Germany, is primarily known for its car manufacturers. Porsche has its origins here as well as Mercedes-Benz. Between all these international heavyweights, Wolfgang Heinrich founded the microbrand Heinrich Watches in 2021. His idea was to create a tribute to the diving watches of the ’70s in combination with current specifications. Financed through a Kickstarter project, the brand then brought its first watch to market later that year. It’s a diving watch with the simple name — Taucher (“Diver” in English). Now the watch’s follow-up is almost ready to launch. The next dive watch from the brand is the Taucher 2, which will be sold directly through pre-order on the brand’s website. Let’s take a look.
The Heinrich Taucher 2
Let’s start with the watch’s exterior. Even if the name lacks a bit of creativity, a second and third look at the watch is worth it for the details. We have a case that measures 41mm in diameter and around 42mm from lug tip to lug tip. The brushed stainless steel case contains the Swiss Sellita SW200-1 Elaboré movement. This doesn’t make the Taucher 2 stand out directly from the competition, but it does everything right. Heinrich Watches uses a reliable and well-known movement. A wide stainless steel ring was placed on the enamel dial, which gives the watch a visual depth. The box-shaped sapphire crystal enhances this effect.
Nevertheless, the elongated hour indexes coated with Super-LumiNova C3 are visible from any angle. Only the date indicator looks a bit lost on the dial. If you fan no-date timepieces, the brand will also offer those.
The unidirectional 120-click bezel, just like the dial, features an inset steel element. This recurring element is a nice touch that’s only noticeable upon closer inspection. Talking about recurring elements, the wave engraving on the outside of the bezel looks neat and appears to be of rather high quality. It also makes a direct link to the previous model, which also had the wave pattern on the bezel. The Taucher 2 is water-resistant to 200 meters and features the large crown typical of a diver’s watch. On it is engraved a lion’s head on a black background — the logo of the microbrand and an allusion to the Baden-Württemberg state emblem. All of the smaller engravings also feel well manufactured when you run your fingertip over them
Climbing the ladder
As mentioned initially, I am still relatively new to the watch world. Of course, I can distinguish between a Cartier Tank and a Patek Philippe Nautilus. I know that the Speedmaster was on the Moon and that you can wear a Batman or Hulk on your wrist. And, of course, the design of Richard Mille can be pretty divisive. But in all the articles I’d read, videos I’d watched, and podcasts I’d listened to, I hadn’t yet come across a steel ladder bracelet. And that’s precisely what the Taucher 2 has. The shape is reminiscent of a ladder by omitting every second link in the middle section. This means that air is constantly coming to the wrist, which I have found very pleasant while wearing the watch. If you are a fan of the steel ladder bracelet, I also found out that the Zenith Chronomaster El Primero A384 Revival is worth a look.
A shark made in Germany
Wolfgang Heinrich designed the watch by hand in Stuttgart. The first draft, still on paper, was then digitized step by step. Finally, he sent the design to the watchmaking city of Pforzheim, not even 50km away. There, just like the Taucher, the Taucher 2 is also manufactured. The 45-year-old Heinrich credits the diving watches of the ’70s such as Certina and Doxa as his inspiration. We can find the ’70s watch DNA on the case back. A laser engraving of a diver fighting a shark is there to allude to the diving magazines of the decade. It’s the fight of the small against the big, similar to microbrands fighting against industry giants. With the corona pandemic and uncertain economic times, the little ones get eaten faster and have difficulty surviving in the big shark tank.
However, the name of the Heinrich Taucher 2 is not only intended to tie in with its predecessor. The microbrand also intends to continue on economically. While the brand has sold 254 units of the Taucher (from €555) so far, the standard Taucher 2 has a pre-order price of €819 for the first four weeks. A meteorite-dialed version will be available for pre-order for €990 for the first four weeks as well. This is already in somewhat of a different price segment, but still reasonable for what you are getting. In my interview with him, Heinrich stated that the first milestone will be to sell 250 units of the Taucher 2. Pre-orders through the brand’s website will commence next week, and according to the maker, there should be about six months between order and delivery.
Opinion of a newcomer watch enthusiast
The debut of Heinrich Watches was successful, and with the Taucher 2, the microbrand from Stuttgart consistently continues its path. A combination of select materials, high-quality craftsmanship, and exciting details whet the appetite for more. Therefore, in our interview, Heinrich also announced the third watch. More information should come about that at the end of 2022. It was an exciting experience to deal intensively with just one watch, wear it, and pay attention to every aspect. And how often do you talk to a watch designer, microbrand or not? I am not yet an expert in the exciting world of watches, but I got to learn about some new aspects through this review, and now I know what steel ladder bracelets are.
Let us know your thoughts on the design of Taucher 2 in the comments, and for more information, visit the Heinrich Watches website. If you like what you see and would like the pre-order the Taucher 2 starting next week, sign up for the mailing list for all future updates.