There is just something appealing about a good sport watch. Sure, there are plenty of other styles to choose from – classic or otherwise – but a sport watch has that great capability to work for a variety of situations. While a dive watch may not look right with a suit, and a dress watch looks odd on the trail, a sport watch can manage to bridge that gap quite nicely. Throw in some ceramic surfaces and the Germanic attention to detail, and you have the new Junghans Spektrum Automatic.
The Junghans Spektrum Automatic is unapologetically a sport watch. No crazy complications or over the top styling. You get a classic three-hander with date (courtesy of the J830 automatic movement) with bold numerals at the compass points and legible indices in between. All of this sits in a 41.6mm stainless steel and ceramic case, which is where we get to that sporty side of things. To most folks, a bigger case indicates sportiness, but to my eye, it really is more how well the case will stand up to the uses and abuses of daily life.
The Junghans Spektrum Automatic should do so with aplomb. The case is primary stainless steel (good choice for sheer toughness) with some ceramic elements mixed in (the bezel, crown, and center link of the bracelet). The ceramic itself is strong (thought it won’t hold up to impacts like the steel will) and brings the added benefit of being scratch resistant. In other words, the ceramic bits, along with the sapphire crystal, should keep the watch looking in good condition for some time, even if you find yourself to be a bit rough on you watches.
Speaking of ceramic, take a look at the crown. This is one of the places that the ceramic shows up. Wisely, the brand has steel crown guards flanking it. And not just flanking it, but snugged up right against the edges of the crown. This of course provides stellar protection, and highlights that attention to detail I mentioned at the outset. While there are technically three models of the Junghans Spektrum Automatic that have been introduced, there are really only two variants.
The first is ref. 1500.44, which is billed as their most elegant model, features polishing on the ceramic surfaces. When you get to the next model (ref. 1501.44) you might be hard-pressed to tell the difference. As it is, the differences are there, and once noticed, made this my favorite. For starters, the ceramic bits are in a matte finish, rather than polished. Along with cutting down on any glare, this should hide fingerprints and smudges a good deal better. The other major difference is on the dial, where we have a splash of orange showing up on the indices and seconds hand. Again, a nice mix in there. The third reference, the 1502.00 takes the matte finish and orange accents of the 1501.44, and swaps in a synthetic rubber strap (in orange or black).
In the end, the Junghans Spektrum Automatic is a solid new introduction to the sport watch segment, and I have really found myself drawn to the clean way the German brand does things. The two models on the steel and ceramic bracelet can be yours for $1,529, while the models on the synthetic rubber strap are a bit less expensive, coming in at $1,419. For my money, the model with the matte ceramic finishes is the best bet in terms of flexibility and hiding smudges, and the price difference for the bracelet is worth it, in terms of flexibility. Even if you intend to put another strap on the watch, having that bracelet on-hand will be handy. No, the design of the Junghans Spektrum Automatic will not set your heart on fire, but it will get the job done, and get it done well. junghans.de
- Brand & Model: Junghans Spektrum Automatic
- Price: $1,419 – $1,529
- Who we think it might be for: You’re looking for a solid, everyday watch that works with jeans or suits
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: If I was in the market for a robust three-hander, I would certainly consider it
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Aside from the Germanic crispness, it was the handset that grabbed my eye
Tech Specs from Junghans
- Movement: Self-winding movement, calibre J830
- Case: Stainless steel with a ceramic bezel Ø 41.6 mm, height 11.6 mm, sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides, ceramic crown, case back with sapphire crystal
- Dial/Hands: Black date disk, minute track and hands with environmentally friendly luminous substance
- Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with ceramic middle part and folding clasp or synthetic rubber with thumbnail buckle
- Water resistance: up to 10 atm