Today’s post was originally intended to be a hands on review of a watch from the newer brand Antonius Graf Strachwitz (for brevity, referred to as AGS throughout). However, due to an unfortunate issue with customs, it looks like that hands-on review isn’t to be. That said, I think the piece has some interesting styling, so I still want to cover it today.
The name of the series is, not surprisingly, the Retrograde, and it’s available with a black or a white dial. While we more commonly associate retrograde dials with time readouts, here, AGS are using it for a day of the week display. In some regards, this may be perfect for folks who lose track of the day, as this readout takes up a significant portion of the dial – from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock. It perhaps doesn’t take up much more room (in terms of square millimeters) than a subdial readout would, but visually, it is pretty massive.
Balancing that out on the dial you’ve got a small seconds dial at 6 o’clock, within which you’ve got a two-digit big date display tucked away. On the white dial, this is pretty easy to overlook when you don’t need it (a good thing). On the black dialed version, however, they stand out quite a bit, given that the date wheels remain with white backgrounds. If we’re comparing dials, though, I should say that the retrograde is less obtrusive on the black dial.
Rounding out the dial, you’ve got plain stick hands (reasonably sized) that appear to be luminous; past that you’ve got applied indices around the dial for the hours, with the minutes marked out on the rehaut around the edge of the dial. All of the functions are driven by a quartz movement (of indeterminate origin, though presumably Swiss in some fashion from what I’ve been able to surmise). This, in turn, is housed in a 41mm stainless steel case (10.4mm thick), topped by a mineral crystal, all adding up to a 50m WR rating.
Now, knowing nothing else, if you saw that we had a quartz movement (rather than mechanical) here, along with a mineral crystal (rather than sapphire), you’d probably think this would easily slot into our sub-$500 category, right? Surprisingly, this is not the case. At current conversion rates, the Retrograde actually comes in around $930. Sure, the retrograde movement probably adds into the cost of things, and it is limited edition (500 of each dial), but this does seem like we’re getting hit with a premium for being Swiss made (albeit, handmade).
While I overall liked the style of the piece, when combined with the pricetag, I think something is out of alignment. At the $1,000 pricepoint (and that’s what we’re talking about here, really) you have a lot of quality options that offer all manner of complications, whether or not it’s a mechanical watch. For what I’m seeing from the folks at AGS, though, it’s not necessarily a watch I would see going for. Drop that price to under $500, or keep the price and sub in a mechanical movement and sapphire crystal, then perhaps we have something. Let me know in the comments what you think – is the pricing inline for what you’d pay for a Swiss-made quartz (or perhaps have paid), or are jumping into the same boat that I’m in? uhrenwerk24.com