Hands-On With The Vandaag Schallmauer Automatik Chronograph
Two years ago, the young German brand Vandaag released its first watch. It was the quartz version of the Schallmauer we see here today. Its timeless design combined with some interesting details set it apart from other microbrand offerings and saw it gain popularity. The brand followed up with other models, including the Tiefsee dive watch. Now, two years after its launch, Vandaag brings back its very first model in the form of the Schallmauer Automatik. The brand has replaced the quartz movement with a Swiss automatic chronograph and has added a number of upgrades based on owners’ feedback. Four new models of the brand’s signature chronograph will be available for pre-order on Kickstarter. I’ve had a chance to check one out myself for the last few days. Now let me give you my thoughts on the new Schallmauer Automatik from Vandaag.
Re-releasing an upgraded version of your debut watch is a tricky thing. There is always the risk that it won’t live up to expectations, or that the new and higher price scares away part of the audience you have built. However, when you add enough value and variety into the new model and keep the price reasonable, it can just work. And I do believe that Vandaag has achieved this with its latest watch, the Schallmauer Automatik. But what exactly does this new watch have that its €299 predecessor doesn’t? Well, the first clue is in the name and can be seen through the sapphire case back. A Swiss automatic chronograph caliber from Sellita replaces the quartz movement. This major upgrade inside is paired with a couple of aesthetic changes and even some practical upgrades. Let’s take a closer look at how the Schallmauer Automatik holds up on the wrist.
Vandaag Schallmauer Automatik
As you have already seen, I received a prototype of the “Old Radium” version of the chronograph. Three other versions — a black dial, a blue dial, and a panda dial — will also be available. The Old Radium version features a reverse panda configuration, with its lume and numerals all in a pleasant warm shade. This suits the watch’s vintage aesthetic in my opinion. Should you not be a fan of this fauxtina treatment, the other three versions will be for you. Whichever of the colorways you go for, you’ll be able to enjoy the watch on the incredibly comfortable brown (or black) Italian-made leather strap. The strap has received an upgrade from a two-stitch construction to a fully stitched reinforcement parallel to the spring bar. This provides a more rustic look and additional strength.
The Schallmauer Automatik maintains the familiar 42.5mm (50mm lug-to-lug) case size of the original quartz version. However, it gains a little bit in terms of height in order to accommodate the automatic chronograph movement. It jumps from 12.2mm to 16.3mm (including the crystal), to be precise. This means that the Schallmauer Automatik is tall on the wrist. As such, it is best left on the original leather strap. When worn on a NATO, it would become rather top-heavy. That said, on the wrist, it wears surprisingly well for its height. This is likely thanks to the strap, as well as the redesigned, downward-curving lugs, which maintain an elegant line, and which fit the wrist nicely. Other than that, details like the 120-click bi-directional bezel, the red date wheel, and the signed black rotor (visible through the sapphire case back) add plenty of charm and detail to these watches.
Launching today at 9:00 PM CET on Kickstarter, the Schallmauer Automatik is bound to please fans of the brand, as well as those looking for a fantastic deal on a vintage-inspired chronograph. The lucky first 20 to pledge to the campaign will receive a watch of their choice for just €999. The next 20 will pay €1,099, and so on, with four different price points under retail (with 20 watches available each). There will then be a final batch of 320 watches available for €300 under the RRP of €1,699 (€1,399).
I think that if you take a look at the specs below, you’ll find the price of these watches to be more than reasonable for what you get. I know I enjoyed the time I spent with this one on my wrist, which simply flew by. Because of this, I’m sure future owners will enjoy theirs as well for many years to come.
As always, share your thoughts with us on the Vandaag Schallmauer Automatik in the comments down below! And if you like it, make sure to check out the Vandaag website and Kickstarter campaign.
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