introducing: Walther Chronometerwerke, a stepstone into the world of hand-made watches for the aspiring collector

Upon visiting the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven, Juergen Walther remained impressed by the antique nationally-produced marine clocks on exhibition. On his way home, Walther contacted his friend AHCI master-watchmaker Rainer Nienaber, to commission a one-off wrist watch inspired by the marine clocks.

The collections are presented on their official website at www.walther-chronometerwerke.com.

WALTHER chronometerwerke, credit photo paelzzer on PhotoBucket. Reproduced under Fair Use.

WALTHER chronometerwerke, credit photo paelzzer on PhotoBucket.
Reproduced under Fair Use.

The hand-made timepiece received positive comments, and requests from potential buyers encouraged the two friends to produce it in a small series. The WALTHER Chronometerwerke was then adapted in two sizes (37.2 mm and 42 mm) and literally hand-made by Nienaber in his workshop. The master-watchmaker, who is specialized in repurposing vintage movements, took advantage of his skills to build the exclusive watch with refurbished vintage Unitas 6325 calibres.

Released by ARSA in the mide 1960’s, the 6325 was sized at 13 French lines in diameter (± 30.0 mm). It was released in two versions, respectively paced at 18,000 Alternances per hour and 21,600 A/h. The construction looks like a scaled-down version of its older brother, the Unitas 6498 which dates from the 1950’s. The reader can find more information about the 6325 at Ranfft.de and ChristophLorenz.de.

The Unitas 6325 in proportion with its older brother, the Unitas 6498. Left photo: credit ChristophLorenz.de, reproduced under Fair Use.

The Unitas 6325 in proportion with its older brother, the Unitas 6498.
Left photo: credit ChristophLorenz.de, reproduced under Fair Use.

For the Walther timepiece, Nienaber used the 17-jewelled, 21’600 A/h version. The movement is completely taken apart to have the plate and bridges gilt in pink gold.

The Unitas 6325 as refinished by watchmaker Rainer Nienaber. Photo credit brunemto on UhrForum.de, reproduced under Fair Use.

The Unitas 6325 as refinished by watchmaker Rainer Nienaber.
Photo credit brunemto on UhrForum.de, reproduced under Fair Use.

Apart from the case frame, all other components are produced or refinished in Nienaber’s workshop. The case bezel, case back and movement fitting ring are machine-turned, the dial decal is printed locally and the screws and hands are gun-blued by Rainer Nienaber’s expert hand.

walther_chronometerwerke-1_movement_plating walther_chronometerwerke-2_wheels_surface_brushing walther_chronometerwerke-3_screws_gun_blueing
gilting the movement plate, bridges and fitting ring refinishing the winding wheel flame-blueing the screws
walther_chronometerwerke-4_bezel_machine-turning walther_chronometerwerke-5_bezel_fitting walther_chronometerwerke-6_case_back_polishing
machine-lathing the bezel fitting the bezel on the frame polishing the case backs
walther_chronometerwerke-7_hands_cutting walther_chronometerwerke-8_hands_blueing_process walther_chronometerwerke-9_blued_hands
cutting the hands flame-blueing the hands gun-blue hands
walther_chronometerwerke-10_dial_decal walther_chronometerwerke-11_printed_dial walther_chronometerwerke-12_dial_fitting
acid-etched template for the dial decal printing the dial decal fitting the dial and hands
walther_chronometerwerke-13_fitting_ring walther_chronometerwerke-14_assembly walther_chronometerwerke-15_fine-tuning
adding the fitting ring assembly of the module fine-tuning
walther_chronometerwerke-16_case_back walther_chronometerwerke-17_terminage_2 walther_chronometerwerke-18_terminage_3
see-through case back final quality control strap fitting

In the writer’s opinion: the Unitas 6325 was never used in high-end watches, but it benefits from a sturdy and reliable architecture. The watch’s inspiration from German marine clocks makes the Walther look very similar to the Chronoswiss Orea. The absence of Geneva stripes on the bridges and the presence of an industrial “tile” pattern might not be to the taste of everyone, but keeping in mind that this watch is almost entirely built by hand by one of the world’s finest watchmakers leaved little doubt as to the great value for money it represents.

The 42 mm models are completely sold out, but the 37.2 mm (available with the stock bridge pattern at EUR 1429.00 and with a custom patter at EUR 1749.00) can be purchased online at www.uhrendirect.de/uhren/walther-chronometerwerke.

Posted in arty, assembler, brand of origin, historic designs, legacy, Limited edition, Nobility, original designs, restoration, Unitas 6325, vintage movements | 1 Comment

One Response to introducing: Walther Chronometerwerke, a stepstone into the world of hand-made watches for the aspiring collector

  1. Guido says:

    Hello,

    Sorry for the OT, can’t access to:
    http://www.watchprojects.com/reviewsessays/the-speedmaster-standard/

    Backin IT:
    Walther und Nienaber did a great work. There are so many top brands that uses same movements but not refined like this (and so for case, dial,…) and sold at double the price.

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