Introducing

The Wempe Iron Walker, a New Sports Watch with Integrated Steel Bracelet (Live Pics & Price)

Great looks, great quality, fair pricing... A collection that ticks many boxes.

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | ic_query_builder_black_24px 9 min read |
Wempe Iron Walker - Steel Sports Watch Integrated Bracelet

There’s no denying the current trend for the luxury sports watch; stainless steel watches with shaped cases, relatively thin profiles, a combination of luxurious appeal and sturdiness and, most importantly, integrated bracelet/case design. In addition to the usual suspects (AP, PP and VC), we’ve seen multiple brands presenting their own (accomplished or not) vision of a luxury sports watch recently, in all price segments – from accessible to ultra-high-end. And today, there’s a new member from an unexpected brand… Meet the Wempe Iron Walker Collection, a new steel sports watch with an integrated bracelet.

Wempe, Retailer and Watchmaker

Wempe is one of the most famous names in the watchmaking industry and is renowned as a retailer of luxury watches. Indeed, Wempe is one of Europe’s biggest retail dealers in timepieces and jewellery. Founded by Gerhard D. Wempe in 1878, it is still owned by the Wempe family. Today Wempe has 34 showrooms in Germany’s most important cities and in major international cities such as New York, Paris and London. Major steps in the brand’s history include bringing the Rolex brand to Germany in 1953 or opening the first Wempe showroom outside Germany on Fifth Avenue in New York in 1980. Since then, the name Wempe is associated with retailing watchmaking giants such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega and many more.

However, there’s more to Wempe than selling other brands’ timepieces. The name Wempe is also printed on self-produced watches, under the brand Wempe Glashütte I/SA, a manufacture based in the region of Saxony, in the small (but horology-packed) town of Glashütte. The brand produces two collections – the Zeitmeister and Chronometerwerke lines – in the building that formerly housed the historic Urania observatory, which is also the location of the only chronometer-testing centre in Germany – watches tested according to the ISO 3159 standard.

The Concept behind the Wempe Iron Walker

Today, the brand enlarges its offer with a new collection of sports watches. The Wempe Iron Walker collection – comprising 16 references, with 4 automatic watches (chronograph, diver, time-and-date 40mm and time-and-date 36mm) as well as 2 quartz models (40mm and 36mm) – features integrated bracelets and chronometer-rated automatic and quartz movements (all manufactured by ETA).

Wempe Iron Walker - Steel Sports Watch Integrated Bracelet
The 42mm Automatic Chronograph, the 42mm Automatic Diver’s Watch and the 40mm Automatic Time-and-Date, the three main watches in the Wempe Iron Walker collection.

The concept behind this new collection is pretty straightforward; to offer a dependable, sturdy, well-executed watch that answers the current demand for accessible luxury sports watches. A trendy all-rounder made for daily action – business and weekend – with a stylish design. All the models share the same base architecture, with a tonneau-shaped case in stainless steel, a combination of brushed surfaces and polished accents, a round bezel that is polished and doesn’t try to mimic some of the icons in the category and nicely executed dials with sunray-brushed patterns, applied indexes and a modern feeling overall.

Wempe Iron Walker - Steel Sports Watch Integrated Bracelet

In the same vein, all the watches in the Wempe Iron Walker Collection are equipped with a crown guard, screw-in crown, a minimum water-resistance of 100m and a closed caseback. After handling the watches for a longer period, we were quite impressed with the quality of the case, its nice facets and polished accents, the sensation of sturdiness but also a certain elegance and discretion in the design.

Wempe Iron Walker - Steel Sports Watch Integrated Bracelet

Mechanically, Wempe relies on its long-time partner Swatch Group and all the watches are equipped with ETA movements and chronometer-certified according to the German ISO 3159 standard. Finally, all the models are worn on an integrated stainless steel bracelet, which perfectly follows the lines of the case and tapers to the buckle. The bracelet has H-shaped links and is brushed with thin polished bevels on the sides, as well as discreet polished accents on the central link.

Finally, before we move on to take a closer look at the three men’s versions, it has to be noted that these features and quality come at reasonable prices since the collection ranges from EUR 1,700 to EUR 3,700 (depending on the versions and movements).

The Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Chronograph

The first and certainly most striking model in the Wempe Iron Walker collection is an automatic chronograph. This version has the largest case of all, measuring 42mm in diameter. The case remains well-proportioned though and easy on the wrist, due to the integral design. The watch has some presence, with a thickness just below 14mm – not thin but in line with most automatic chronographs. Complementing the angular shape of this collection, this model is equipped with rectangular and bevelled pushers, well integrated into the crown guard module. Overall, despite its robust dimensions on paper, the watch is compact, balanced and fits most men’s wrists, with a reasonable lug-to-lug dimension – about 48mm. One of the advantages of watches with integrated bracelets.

Wempe Iron Walker - Steel Sports Watch Integrated Bracelet

This chronograph version of the Iron Walker is available with two different dials. First is an entirely blue version, with tone-on-tone counters and, as photographed here, a quite attractive reversed-panda combination with black dial and silver sub-counters. The dial is framed by a sloped inner flange with a tachymeter scale. For this version, the brand made the choice of a 3-6-9 display, with the date (framed by a metallic ring) positioned at 4.30 – the presence of a date makes sense in this context.

Wempe Iron Walker - Steel Sports Watch Integrated Bracelet

Powering the Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Chronograph is the ubiquitous Valjoux 7753 base, an integrated chronograph with cam-lever architecture. Still, due to Wempe’s reputation in chronometry, the watch comes with its own fine adjustment as well as an optimized power reserve of 54 hours and is chronometer-certified. It is worn on the well-designed stainless steel bracelet with a safety folding clasp. This chronograph version of the Wempe Iron Walker is priced at EUR 3,675 or USD 4,250.

Quick facts

  • Case: 42mm diameter x 13.95mm height – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides – screw-in crown, rectangular push-pieces – 100m water-resistant
  • Dial: blue or reversed panda dial – steel applied indexes and hands with Super-LumiNova
  • Movement: automatic chronograph ETA 7753 Valjoux – 4Hz frequency – fine adjustment designed by Wempe – 54h power reserve – German chronometer officially tested
  • Bracelet: stainless steel, brushed and polished, integrated – folding clasp
  • Price: EUR 3,675 or USD 4,250

The Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Diver’s Watch

The second men’s model is certainly the most surprising of the lot and the sportiest. This Iron Walker is a diver with several updates compared to the rest of the watches to make it more resistant to water pressure.

Wempe Iron Walker - Steel Sports Watch Integrated Bracelet

The Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Diver’s Watch is housed in a 42mm case, yet with a quite reasonable height of 11.70mm. A pretty compact case taking into account that this version is water-resistant to 300m. In order to keep the overall design intact, Wempe went for an internal rotating bezel instead of the usual external configuration – a sort of compressor watch. The inner flange rotates 360 degrees and is printed with a 60-minute scale with a contrasting 15-minute area. As such, this version features two screw-in crowns, one for the movement and one for the bezel. A small difference with the rest of the watch is the finishing of the case, with a circular-brushed top surface – vertically brushed for the other models – which emphasizes its sports vocation.

Wempe Iron Walker - Steel Sports Watch Integrated Bracelet

This model, despite its sportier vocation, retains almost the same elegance as the rest of the watches in the collection, with the same thin applied markers and hands, except the seconds hand with its arrowhead tip. It strikes a happy medium between an overly utilitarian dive watch that can hardly be worn in a business context and an overly elegant watch. Yet, the watch fulfils the stringent criteria of the DIN and ISO standards for diver’s watches.

This Iron Walker Diver’s Watch is available in two versions, either the present blue dial with white accents or a black dial version with blue accents. Inside its case is the automatic ETA 2892-A2, which has been upgraded with a chronometer certification and a longer power reserve of 50 hours (instead of 42h). It displays the time on three hands as well as a date (at 3 o’clock). The steel bracelet is the same as the rest of the collection, except that it features a diving extension so it can be easily lengthened by up to 17 millimetres. This diver’s model is priced at EUR 2,975 or USD 3,450.

Quick facts

  • Case: 42mm diameter x 11.70mm height – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides – two screw-in crowns, one for the movement, one for the internal bezel – 300m water-resistant
  • Dial: blue or black – steel applied indexes and hands with Super-LumiNova
  • Movement: automatic time-and-date ETA 2892-A2 – 4Hz frequency – fine adjustment designed by Wempe – 50h power reserve – German chronometer officially tested
  • Bracelet: stainless steel, brushed and polished, integrated – folding clasp with diving extension (up to 17mm)
  • Price: EUR 2,975 or USD 3,450

The Wempe Iron Walker Automatic 40mm

Last but not least, the most classical and certainly the easiest on a daily basis, the Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Men’s Watch. Simpler, stylish and with some punch, this model with its 40mm diameter – which wears a bit smaller – and its low profile of 9.75mm is more compact and will fit most men. Also, with a lug-to-lug dimension under 46mm, the watch is compact. While the case finishing and bracelet are shared with the rest of the collection, being a time-and-date watch, this version is the most discreet and elegant.

Wempe Iron Walker - Steel Sports Watch Integrated Bracelet

However, it isn’t a brittle watch and retains all protection features, such as the screw-in crown, protected by angular guards and a 100m water-resistance. Compared to the two models above, this Automatic 40mm is available, in addition to the black and blue versions, in a third, discreet and luminous, silvery-white option – here with a matte surface.

Powering the watch is the same upgraded ETA 2892-A2 as the diver with chronometer certification and a 50h power reserve. The absence of a display back is fine for us – sometimes a nice plain steel caseback is better than a view on an ETA movement.

Wempe Iron Walker - Steel Sports Watch Integrated Bracelet

Finally, as the simpler of the three models, it is also the most accessible, with a price of EUR 2,375 or USD 2,750… Considering the overall quality of the case/bracelet, the presence of a chronometer movement and the multiple finishing details, it feels like a fairly priced watch.

Quick facts

  • Case: 40mm diameter x 9.75mm height – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides – screw-in crown – 100m water-resistant
  • Dial: silvery-white, blue or black – steel applied indexes and hands with Super-LumiNova
  • Movement: automatic time-and-date ETA 2892-A2 – 4Hz frequency – fine adjustment designed by Wempe – 50h power reserve – German chronometer officially tested
  • Bracelet: stainless steel, brushed and polished, integrated – folding clasp
  • Price: EUR 2,375 or USD 2,750

Availability

The Wempe Iron Walker is now available (May 2020) from all Wempe boutiques around the world and at wempe.com.

7 responses

  1. I love the look of the Bell and Ross BR05 but the price is insane. The 3 hand Wempe blows it away with an upgraded movement. Well done.

  2. Looks quite nice. The Chronograph looks a bit like the Overseas Chrono, could perhaps be mistaken for it from a distance. The others are quite pretty, too. Not a bad effort overall, and the price is very good.

  3. These are good looking watches, especially the basic three hander. It reminds me of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas.

  4. And I’ve just noticed, date window colour that matches the dial. Apart from the Chrono – which is, as you said Brice, in line with most automatic chronographs – they’re also quite thin. Bonus points.

  5. The white faced time and date model is elegant simplicity beautifully executed. I like the understated crown guards, just enough to do the job. With the ETA movement reliability and servicing should never be a problem.

  6. Great watch (at least in pictures) and fairly priced. Maybe, they could have send their designers to Lange to avoid the Odysseus disaster.

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