Steinhart is one of those brands that generally do not need much of an introduction for most folks paying attention to what is going on in the watch world. The brand has steadily been pumping out quality, affordable watches with interesting designs. The latest that they have on offer, the Steinhart Military 42, is one of the latest entries from the brand.
With the Steinhart Military 42, there really is not much that you would consider a mystery. The stainless steel case comes in a 42mm diameter (13mm thick, 22mm lugs), and the overall design claims influence from military watches of the past. The specific inspiration apparently came from the designs used for the watches and clocks that accompanied military radio stations. As you might imagine, legibility was the name of that game.
That takes the form of very large numerals, done in a crisp white against a black dial. These look great, and have a slightly different look from other watches that have a similar typeface used for the numerals; things are a bit more angular here. Unfortunately, those numbers are cut off by the sub-seconds dial. I appreciate that it gives things a more militaristic look (scope sights and all), but it really does damage the overall look. Here, I could have gone with the omission of the small seconds, or perhaps just letting the hand spin on there without a separate subdial being printed.
That aside, I do really like the dial, especially in conjunction with what they are calling “snake hands”. These are more commonly seen in a rounded style. Here, the more angular shape makes it stand out a bit from the crowd, and complements the styling of the numerals on the dial quite nicely. Driving that handset is a ETA Unitas 6498-1, which is a hand-winder (so, bonus points for keeping the vintage vibe going).
Overall, this is a solidly styled watch that seems ready for every day sorts of use. Just make sure you stay away from water, as the 50m WR rating is only going to protect you from the occasional splash. Aside from that subseconds dial, I really think that there is a lot to like about the Steinhart Military 42. If you are outside the EU, you can pick one up for $465; inside the EU, VAT kicks in and you’ll be paying €490. While I’ve not handled a Steinhart in person, they do seem rather well received, and combined with the Unitas movement, should be a solid piece. steinhartwatches.de
- Brand & Model: Steinhart Military 42
- Price: $465
- Who we think it might be for: You’re looking for a German-style miltary-inspired watch that isn’t a flieger
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: No, as that subseconds register sort of ruins the dial for me
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Drop the subseconds altogether, or let the hand spin on a barely-there register. Just don’t cut off the numerals!
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: I really like the angular style of the numerals and handset
Tech Specs from Steinhart
- Case: Satin stainless steel
- Back: Stainless steel screwed (see through window)
- Diameter: 42 mm (1.65 inches), without crown
- Height: 13mm
- Weight: 96 g
- Dial: black matte
- Crystal: Sapphire, domed, with double anti-reflecting coating on the interior side
- Bezel: Stainless steel, satin finish
- Indices: Arabian, white BGW9 SuperLuminova
- Lug width: 22mm
- WR: 5 ATM, limited water resistant, no swimming or shower
- Strap: Russian leather vintage brown, 22 mm
- Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle, OEM 22 mm, screwed with logo