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Forget about neutrality -- the Swiss Military brand is aiming to take no prisoners in Australia. Swiss compa-
ny Hanowa (a blend of founder Hans Noll's name and the word "watch") has been around for more than 40
years but in the past 15 or so years has concentrated on precision-made sports watches, most using quartz
ements, under the Swiss Military and Swiss Eagle brands. The Sealander range includes
Speed and Shooting Star models (rrp $684) and the Sealander Expert Diver, which has a
LARO 888 automatic mechanical movement, screw-in crown and revolving bezel.
So if you're looking for a top quality -- err, timely -- Christmas present for the man in your
life, Swiss Military may just fit the bill.
Stockists: Allgem Jewellers, 653 Hay Street Mall, Perth, (08) 9325 2255; Binder Goldsmith
& Jewellers, 828A Beaufort St Inglewood, (08) 9370 3551. For more on the Swiss Military
and Swiss Eagle range, see hanowa.ch.
Anew wave of superbly engineered
watches is about to be launched
in Western Australia, but they
aren't, as many would think,
made in Switzerland.
Sinn, MeisterSinger, Rainer Brand, Armin
Strom, Benzinger, Sothis and the rather-hard-
to-say-in-one-go Nautische Instrumente Muhle-
Glashutte brands all come from Germany, a
country with a watchmaking tradition rivalling
that of the Swiss.
Frankfurt-based Sinn (a memorable brand-
name if there ever was one) was started by pilot
Helmut Sinn in 1961 but really began to make
an impact when engineer Lothar Schmidt, who
hailed from Swiss manufacturer IWC
(profiled in Scoop last issue), bought
the company in 1994.
Lothar introduced a whole lot of
technical innovations -- including
models made from super-hard
steel (the stuff used in modern
U-boats) and pieces with special
anti-humidity measures, using a
"drying capsule" cleverly integrat-
ed into the case. The capsule changes
colour according to the amount of
many of Manfred's creations are released in limited
runs (less than 300 pieces).
Muhle-Glashutte's history dates back 135
years (the Muhle family began making measuring
instruments for clock-makers in the East Ger-
man town of Glashutte) but the rise of the Iron
Curtain stopped them in their tracks. It wasn't
until five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and
the reunification of Germany, that the company
returned to the family's ownership.
They turned to making high-precision marine
clocks and instruments (the Nautische Instru-
mente part of the name) and in 1994 branched
out into wristwatches. Their beautiful, precise
designs range from the SAR Rescue Timer (now
standard issue to the German Sea Rescue Service,
rrp $2825) to the more classic looking Business
Line range (which includes a groovy square-shaped
TickTalk will look at Rainer Brand, Armin
Strom and Benzinger models in a future column.
Stockists: WA retail outlets will be announced soon.
In the meantime. check out definewatches.com.au.
moisture absorbed. Sinn also has rugged magneti-
cally shielded models (magnetic fields generated by
electric motors, loudspeakers or other sources can
interfere with the delicate workings of a mechanica
watch), which could be perfect for workers at mine
sites and the like.
Sinn uses top-end Swiss mechanical movements
in its models, except for a special quartz diver's
watch, the HYDRO, where the dial, movement
and hands are immersed in a layer of oil. With no
air inside the case, the HYDRO will never fog -- a
huge plus when you need ultra-accurate readings
Sinn's models range from $1490 to $7670 and
cover myriad designs, but the company sticks to
the very German mantra of "function over form"
(of which the pared-down "Model 556 Automa-
tik" is a great example).
MeisterSinger, a company dating
back to just 2001, is on the other hand
(literally!), a completely different
kettle of fish. The brainchild of
designer Manfred Brassler, many
of its models are inspired by
timepieces from the 14th
Century and have just one
hand to display the time (the
12-hour dial is divided into 144
markers, each marker representing
five minutes). MeisterSinger models
range from $1200 to $13,895 (the
beautiful Archao rose gold piece) and
Swiss Military is on the march
ONE HAND TICKING: Bottom opposite,
the elegant MeisterSinger No. 3, beige dial
on leather (rrp $1935). Top: Muhle-Glashutte's
striking SAR Rescue Timer on steel, rrp $2825.
SINNFUL: The sturdy
Traveller (rrp $3090,
above) and sleek Frankfurt
Finance Alarm models
(right, rrp $6650) from
MILITARY MUSCLE: Left, the Shooting Star and (opposite) Speed models from Swiss Military's
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