At Monochrome, we like many types of watches. We love the sheer beauty of Haute Horlogerie and can get slightly lyrical when we muse about the different types of finishing on German silver bridges. But we also love vintage watches (hey, we started a vintage section yesterday) and we love tool watches. And there’s a link, because vintage watches, at least the dive watches, the chronographs and the marine chronometers of yesteryear, served a genuine purpose when they were designed and built. Today there are still brands, like Sinn, Doxa, or Glycine, who make tool watches for real world application. Mühle Glashütte distinguishes themselves by building rugged tool watches designed for the rigors of sea life.
We especially like the Seebataillon GMT used by the German Navy and their legendary S.A.R. Rescue-Timer made to the specifications of the DGzRS (German Maritime Search and Rescue Service). These are real-world, robust timepieces, which accompany Mühle-Glashütte’s marine chronometers, marine time systems and other nautical instruments. The M 29 Classic, while benefitting from the rugged design application of its fellow compatriots, deviates from the tool watch category and instead is a watch tool. As such, it caught our attention.
The M29’s scientific looks may seem out of place, but the distinctive style is a celebration of Mühle-Glashütte’s watchmaking tool heritage. Before making watches, the company originated in 1869 as an instrument company for watchmakers. Robert Mühle produced measuring instruments, the M 29 one of them, to meet the exacting expectations of the watch industry.
The M 29 had the ability to make precise measurements to a hundredth of a millimeter. When you come from a tradition of precision, as Mühle-Glashütte does, over 140 years to be exact, then your rigorous standards find their way into every watch you make. The M 29 Classic is a tribute to this history, and a modern interpretation of the company’s meticulous commitment to accuracy and reliability.
The M 29 Classic uses a Sellita SW 200-1 movement, but Mühle-Glashütte adds a patented woodpecker neck regulator, indigenous rotor, and surface finishing. The Swiss SW 200-1, known also as an ETA clone, mirrors the ETA 2824-2 and performs with equal dependability. As expected, the movement is 4 Hz with a 38 hour power reserve.
Unlike so many who simply put an ébauche movement into a case, Mühle-Glashütte makes time measuring instruments (watches), and from their patented woodpecker neck regulator to the three-quarter plate to the automatic bridge and rotor, the company is crafting a movement for its watches; these are watchmakers at work.
The 42.4 mm case design is identical to the 29er Big (another watch model) with its alternating brushed and polished steel, screw-down crown between crown guards, and anti-glare sapphire crystal with transparent caseback. The case is water resistant to 10 bars (100 meters or 330 feet), and the watch comes with either a leather strap or steel bracelet.
The dial is the story. The calibrations from the original measuring tool decorate the updated chapter ring, which uses a red seconds hand, red orientation points and a red outline for the date window. Whether the cream dial or the black dial, the hour/minute hands have a contrasting color. Couple Mühle-Glashütte’s in-house movement regulation with the scientific precision of the dial, and you have a watch tool for a watch.
From measuring instruments (tools) to time measuring instruments (watches), Mühle-Glashütte captures the story of their origins with their M 29 Classic.
Price: $1,899.00 (with leather strap) $1,999.00 (with stainless steel strap). More info via the Mühle Glashütte website.