Not perhaps the best-known player on the Glashütte block, Union Glashütte is no newcomer to the watchmaking scene and started producing pocket watches in 1893. Now a part of Swatch Group’s portfolio, like fellow brand Glashütte Original, Union Glashütte upholds the region’s distinctive Saxon approach to watchmaking but with more contained prices. Celebrating the Gaisberg Race for classic automobiles held in Salzburg, Union Glashütte releases a retro-inspired chronograph with a panda dial known as the Noramis Chronograph Limited Edition Gaisbergrennen 2023.
Organised by Baron Von Preuschen, the first Gaisberg race was held in 1929 as cars raced around Salzburg’s scenic mountain routes. Interrupted by the war, the race resumed in 1952, but a string of fatal accidents led to the demise of the hill climbing race in 1969. Revived in 2003, the Gaisberg Races are now organised as regularity runs for classic cars in the historic city centre and at the Salzburgring race track. Touring cars, race cars and sports cars in the categories “prior to 1945” and “from 1946 to 1969” will be revving their engines on the 8th of June to see who can clock up the target time down to 1/100th of a second.
Designed to measure elapsed times, Union Glashütte’s chronograph recreates the look of the 1960s and 1970s stopwatches with mushroom pushers, a panda dial and a pronounced domed sapphire crystal over the dial. The polished 100m water-resistant stainless steel case has a diameter of 42mm and a thickness of 14.5mm. A pusher tucked into the case flank at 10 o’clock is used to adjust the date.
The large dimensions of the case translate into a large and highly legible panda dial with a white background and two sizeable black sub-dials. Arranged horizontally in the dial’s centre, the counters are snailed and feature white printed markings and numerals. The totaliser at 3 o’clock relays the 30-minute elapsed times of the chronograph; the one at 9 o’clock is for the running seconds and a well-integrated date window with a black background. A black peripheral track indicated by the central chronograph seconds hand tracks elapsed times. Unlike the Belisar Chronograph Speedster released last year, the Noramis does not have a tachymetre scale. The distortions created by the box sapphire crystal underscore the vintage charm of this watch.
Similar to the applied indices and faceted arrow-shaped markers used on the Noramis Date model, they are crafted in rose gold for additional contrast on the chronograph. All the hands are rose gold, and the hour and minute hands have a streak of Super-LumiNova. Last but not least, two chequered black-and-white racing flags echo the colour scheme of the dial and are a nod to the Gaisberg Race.
Delivered with two straps, the aerated black rally strap gives the chronograph a sportier vibe, while the cognac-coloured calfskin strap dresses it up.
One of the tricks to keep the price in check can be discovered on the reverse side of the watch, where a sapphire glass reveals the UNG-27.S2 automatic movement, a cam-activated chronograph beating at 28,800vph. Based on a modified Valjoux 7750, the calibre has a beefed-up power reserve of 65 hours and is fitted with an anti-magnetic silicon hairspring. The rotor bears cut-out letters forming the word UNION and is decorated with thick Glashütte stripes.
Availability & Price
The Union Glashütte Noramis Chronograph Gaisbergrennen 2023 is a limited edition of 200 pieces and retails for EUR 3,600. For more information, please consult union-glashuette.com.