Union Glashütte Introduces The Newest 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph
Union Glashütte is a brand that I somehow often forget about, but it’s not because I don’t like its horological creations. Au contraire, I really like some of Union Glashütte’s watches, so the announcement of the new 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph was once again a reason to check in with the brand. This limited-edition chronograph celebrates 130 years of Union Glashütte timepieces. Produced in a run of 300 units, the Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph is a tribute to the classic chronograph pocket watches of decades gone by. It comes with a special manually wound movement that takes a step back in history and a fantastic-looking vertically brushed dial.
Before we get into the 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph, let’s take a quick step back to Union Glashütte itself. As I said, I often forget about the brand somehow, which is weird because UG produces some very nice pieces. I like the Noramis Date Sport dive watch quite a lot, and the Belisar Date Sport Pro is a great, more serious diver. The Belisar Chronograph is another good offering, and lastly, the 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Power Reserve in blue is a stunner. That last watch hails from the same collection as the piece that the brand announced today.
The 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph
The special 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph is part of the brand’s 1893 collection. The line celebrates traditional style and combines it with Union Glashütte’s rich history in watchmaking. It’s a permanent collection that offers three different base models. The first is the 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Moon Phase, and the second is the mentioned 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Power Reserve. The last is the 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph, which rounds out the trilogy honoring the brand’s founder Johannes Dürrstein.
The Moon Phase and Power Reserve models are available in multiple variations. When it comes to the chronograph, however, before today’s new version, there was one release back in 2020. The tri-register chronograph debuted as a 127-piece limited edition in rose gold and an unlimited standard stainless steel version. Both are elegant, traditional chronographs with a white enamel dial, Arabic numerals, and blued hands. Today’s new addition to the lineup features the same overall style but has some interesting twists.
The new 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph comes with a beautiful dial
The first thing that immediately stands out is that this chronograph has two registers instead of three as its predecessors did. If we zoom in a bit more, you will also see that the dial is quite different. The new Chronograph features a vertically brushed silver dial that looks absolutely stunning. I much prefer it over the white enamel dials of the previous models. The dial features large Arabic numerals in black. The large registers cut off the numerals at 2, 4, 8, and 10 o’clock. Usually, I am not a fan of cut-off numerals, but here, they seem to fit the overall design nicely.
The large white registers contrast the silver dial quite well, and they are finished with circular brushing, creating a nice effect. As you can see, the running seconds indicator has a traditional font for the numerals, while the 30-minute counter utilizes a modern font. Not only that, but the minute counter also has numerals marking every three-minute interval, one of the small details that make this such a cool watch. The blue syringe-style hour and minute hands make the time easy to read, and the central chronograph hand is also blued and contrasts nicely with the silver background. Additionally, the small seconds and 30-minute counters have blued hands in different styles. A date window sits located at 6 o’clock and, unfortunately, is placed rather far up. I would’ve loved to see it align with 5 and 7 o’clock numerals. Nevertheless, I adore the looks of the watch.
The case and ETA-produced UNG-59.S1 movement
While the dial is the absolute eyecatcher, let’s address the basic specs. The stainless steel case comes in at 42mm wide 14.23mm thick, and 21mm between the lugs. It is water resistant to 100 meters and equipped with a sapphire crystal on both the front and back. The case also features a mix of brushed and polished finishes, accentuating its elegant shape. On the right flank, you will find the rectangular pushers and the branded crown for operating the movement.
Speaking of which, Union Glashütte equips the watch with its caliber UNG-59.S1. This hand-winding movement is specially made for the brand by ETA and was first used for the previously released model. This is, of course, because Union Glashütte is part of the Swatch Group, just like ETA. This 25-jewel movement operates at 28,800vph and features a 60-hour power reserve and a silicon hairspring. The movement is neatly finished with blued screw, perlage, and vertical stripes, making it a pleasure to look at.
Impressions of the Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph
The Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph is fitted with a blue calf leather strap and a folding clasp. It matches the overall aesthetic quite nicely, but I would swap it for something a bit less classic-looking. The first thought that comes to mind is a silver-gray nubuck strap to match the dial or maybe a lighter blue fabric strap with a nice pattern. But overall, I have to say that I love the looks of this new piece. There are small things that I would love to have seen handled differently, but it’s hard to judge whether they would stand out on your wrist from just looking at pictures.
The first is the placement of the date window. As I said, it would have been nice if it had been slightly lower. Admittedly, though, this is probably a restriction of the movement architecture, so not much can be done about that. Another thing I’m not crazy about is the German “Limitierte Edition” text. For me, it doesn’t add anything of value to the dial side. Why not mention more practical info or even nothing at all? Those are the two main details that I didn’t love. But despite them, this new 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph still looks really cool.
A limited edition that will sell out
The watch celebrates the 130-year history of the brand in style. As a result, I am sure that all 300 pieces of this limited-edition chronograph will sell out fairly quickly. Especially knowing that the watch has a retail price of €3,600, it’s hard not to compliment Union Glashütte for creating a watch that seems fairly priced for what you get. This is something the brand is known for and that I should keep in mind because there are so many great watches in the UG collection. This 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph is just further proof of that.
For more information, visit the official Union Glashütte website. Feel free to also share your thoughts on this new 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Chronograph in the comments section.