Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Surprisingly Appealing Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Power Reserve

A fairly-priced German watch with mechanical presence and a true sense of style, making it the highlight of the collection.

| By Denis Peshkov | 4 min read |

Let’s cut to the chase. In my book, the Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Power Reserve takes the crown as one of the most aesthetically pleasing, if not the most attractive watch currently offered by the brand. I’ve appreciated certain pieces in the Belisar and Noramis collections, and Union Glashütte consistently demonstrates a keen design sensibility, proving that the brand’s watch designers are skilled and unafraid of experimentation. However, this particular timepiece, embodying all the hallmark features of Union Glashütte and especially the 1893 series – from the enamel-lacquered dial to the railway track minute ring and blued steel hands – presents an unexpectedly captivating appearance. To grasp my perspective, glance at the same watch but with a different dial execution. Despite sharing the same lineage, the grey dial variant stands out as a striking beauty, leaving one to ponder whether an external influence played a role in its captivating allure. Like you know, in the story of Philip of Cognac, or Henry FitzRoy, Duke of Grafton. But I digress.

German in origin from the overall appearance, with the unmistakable imprints of Handaufzug and Gangreserve flanking the small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock and the power reserve indicator positioned at 5 o’clock – not to mention the prominent Union Glashütte logo – this timepiece captivates with a remarkably fresh, subtly asymmetric and harmonious dial design. It almost feels like the love child of a boutique watchmaking atelier, while the 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Power Reserve is a Swatch Group High Range division brand’s creation – our own Frank and Robin, who visited the brand recently, even found a bit of F.P. Journe influence in this watch, which should really be taken as a compliment. 

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The leaf-shaped central hour and minute hands crafted from blued steel are right at home here on the textured, sandblasted blue-grey dial’s main space, encircled by a white enamel lacquered chapter ring featuring a minute track in black and Arabic indices denoting the hours. The small seconds sub-dial seamlessly merges with the chapter ring, creating a cohesive, uniform element. The power reserve sector (0-20-40-60) overlaps with the chapter ring, as if the blued pointer has gracefully swept through, akin to a windshield wiper clearing snow. An elegant rectangular date aperture at 3 o’clock, with rounded corners, enhances the dial’s levelled composition. This is a departure from my usual preference of not having the date window at all. This dial is a three-dimensional beauty that turns heads.

The straightforward stainless steel case, measuring 41mm in diameter and featuring a sloped bezel and a domed sapphire crystal, is an ideal canvas to showcase the meticulously executed dial. The case boasts a mix of brushed and polished surfaces that complement the dial without overshadowing its elegance, striking a harmonious balance. With a thickness of 12.23mm, the proportions of the case are well-balanced, ensuring that the 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Power Reserve sits comfortably on the wrist. In that regards, it’s more German than Swiss, no doubt about it.

The knurled crown, embellished with the Union logo, stands out and offers a comfortable grip for time setting and winding of the movement; the Handaufzug (hand-wound) calibre UNG-56.S1, a unique creation in collaboration with the Swatch Group’s ETA, exclusive to Union Glashütte. The transparent caseback, fitted with a sapphire crystal, provides a generous view of the nicely finished movement.

The UNG-56.S1 adheres to the typical German design with a three-quarter plate adorned with Glashütte stripes and golden engravings, including the brand’s logo at the centre, the “60 Stunden Gangreserve” (60-hour power reserve), “20 Rubine” (20 jewels), and the “Made in Germany” inscriptions. The balance cock, also featuring Glashütte ribbing, showcases the “Silizium” engraving and a small Si medallion (set by hand), indicating the use of a silicon balance spring; this choice enhances the movement’s resilience against magnetic fields, temperature fluctuations, and shocks. The blued screws and polished elements contribute to the visual delight. At the same time, the movement’s narrative is enriched by including features such as the manufacture’s own ratchet system, stop-second device and indexless regulation system, the latter immediately apparent to the trained eye.

To finish this short review, I went back to the extensive Union Glashütte’s current catalogue and remained in support of my earlier statement. This 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition is the better-looking watch of them all; I suggest you do the same to see if you agree.

The Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition Power Reserve is paired with a dark blue calfskin leather strap exhibiting an alligator-like embossed pattern. I feel a Suede grey strap will also be a harmonious variant. The price is EUR 2,680, which feels extremely fair for a watch of this level of execution, with a proprietary movement and a high level of detail on the dial. Production isn’t limited. For additional information, please visit

9 responses

  1. Feels like a product of Glashütte.
    Which is (almost) always a good thing.

  2. This is a great watch for the price.

    It hits lots of notes cleanly. 41mm is awfully big, though.

  3. Why do you give what looks to be a good and affordable watch, but that is unavailable?

  4. This also makes the point why all dress watches should carry some decent water resistance. 10bar here for this style of watch is impressive. This will be worn on leather, but the peace of mind if you fall of a boat or get pushed into a pool is nice. Grand Seiko I am looking at you. How can you reshape the case of the SBGW231 into the new SBGW305 with a beautiful beads of rice bracelet but then keep 30m water resistance. The same goes for many of the SBGY line, again 30m. It is all about peace of mind, and versatility.

  5. A classic nice finished and in these times reasonably priced . 😀

  6. I would make the purchase of the Union Glashütte 1893 Johannes Dürrstein Edition if it came in 37, or 38mm, however it is to large at 41mm for my wrist size.

  7. Will someone ask these chuckleheads why this watch and this brand isn’t available in the U.S.? After all, GO, their parent brand, is available.

  8. Is an indexless regulator system adjustable and if not, is it considered better than an adjustable regulator system? An answer would be helpful. Thank you.

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