Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tauchmeister 1937 Automatic

I'm wearing a Tauchmeister 1937 automatic diver today. This happens to be a knock-off of a Panerai design. You can't find many watches with the patented Panerai-style crown guard anymore because they've taken to suing the knock-off makers. I certainly have mixed feelings about this admittedly very cheap watch. On the one hand, it has a nice design (albeit not original,) is a solid chunk of stainless steel with a large domed crystal and is quite large (over 2 inches across including the crown guard.) On the other hand, I'm pretty certain the movement is a cheap Chinese automatic which could give up at any time and wouldn't be worth repairing. I also wouldn't trust it to be water resistant to any number of meters, let alone the 10 atmospheres (100m) listed on the caseback. And don't let the name fool you, nor the "Frankfurt, Germany" engraved on the back, it's definitely made in China (what many watch collectors refer to as a "Germasian", which is probably empahsizing the German connection too much. Also see Aeromatic 1912.) All that being said, I enjoy wearing it, and I'm constantly amazed at how solid it feels, how nicely finished it is and that it keeps decent time. I probably won't buy another Tauchmeister, but they're constantly putting out new designs (some more original than others) and can sometimes be picked up cheap. So, I guess, as long as you're an educated consumer and know what you're buying, you could make worse watch purchases.

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