Monochrome Watches
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Just Because

Staudt Having A Bit Of Fun With A Not-So-Automatic Prelude Chronograph

"If you can read this, my rotor has fallen off!"

| By Robin Nooy | 3 min read |

In business, some might argue there is no such thing as “No!”. Yvo Staudt, the passionate young man that’s the driving force behind Staudt Chronometrie, likes to think so at least. So what happens if a client wants something Staudt doesn’t offer in its admittedly impressive catalogue of mechanical watches? Does he get told off, and sent looking elsewhere, or did Yvo find a way to grant him his wish? A collector from Kuwait can tell you the full story, or Yvo for that matter, but we learned the origins of this fun little project called the Staudt “This Used To Be An Automatic” Prelude Chronograph. And that should already guide you to what makes it stand out!

We like to think collecting watches should be primarily about having fun, and not about taking things super-serious from time to time. Let your hair down, enjoy life, and find moments that will become memories for a lifetime, that’s the idea. And although there is plenty of seriousness going on in the watchmaking industry, there’s still loads of fun to be found if you know where to look! The man from Kuwait I mentioned in the intro is the instigator for Yvo Staudt having a little fun as well. When the collector reached out to Yvo for a manual chronograph, which has never been part of the collection as of yet, Yvo jokingly said “We could just screw off the rotor!”. An idea was born, and a watch was made, end of the story you’d think. Client happy, Yvo happy, everyone happy! But the story doesn’t end there…

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No, this story has a second chapter if you will. One where the bespoke piece gets a follow-up in the form of a limited edition of 20 pieces (10 per colour). Staudt created this just to have a little fun, really, and it’s not like it’s groundbreaking stuff. It started out life as a second-generation automatic Prelude Chronograph, which we reviewed last year. It still has a 41mm wide and 13.6mm tall stainless steel case and still has a bicompax chronograph dial in black or white. There are minor changes to the dial though, such as the inclusion of a tachymeter scale and now Breguet-style applied numerals. The biggest giveaway this is different, however, is the printed “This Used To Be An Automatic” at the bottom!

Turning the watch over, you’re greeted by what used to be an automatic Valjoux 7753 chronograph movement. But, as said, Staudt got rid of the rotor that usually gave it the energy to tick, and instead replaced it with an 18k gold-plated bridge emblazoned with the Staudt logo. It still works perfectly fine, it just needs to be wound by hand now! (we won’t bore you with the specs, they are down below). The goal was to give a discerning client what he wanted, and they’ve achieved just that, and a little more! If you think this is cool, you’re lucky to know there are still some available! If not, there’s always the automatic version to fall back on.

This special edition of the Staudt Prelude Chronograph is limited to 10 pieces per dial colour and comes on either a black or brown alligator leather strap with a buckle. It’s available directly through Staudt Chronometrie for a price of EUR 5.100.

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4 responses

  1. The value isn’t really there, is it?
    It’s expensive simply because it’s limited, I guess. Otherwise the modifications to the movement are really cheap to do. And the rest, case, dial, dial side elements aren’t special.
    So this should not cost much more than a Longines chrono. And in those you get a technically improved Valjoux design.
    Spirit chronos are better finished, certified chronometers and have technically superior movements. At thousands less. Their flyback has a display back and a decently finished caliber. If they through away the rotor and save a 2mm they could charge 6k? What if they also make it limited? 7?


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