The self-winding Nienaber Bunde Retro 2 comes equipped with a car dashboard styled dial with a pair of retrograde hands that are unusually placed at the lower part of the dial. If you are looking for a timepiece that looks different and original, and the sticker price of almost €6000 doesn’t scare you away, this brief review is probably written for you.
Scanning the Web in search for something to write about, I stumbled upon a particularly unusual timepiece. Nienaber Bünde Retro 2 puts the very concept of the retrograde time display right on its head.
While most watches with retrograde time display tend to have their hour, minute and second hands travel the whole way from “1” to “12”, “1” to “60” respectively, this German timepiece tells time in a completely different way.
As you can see on the photos (and there is a nice Flash-demo on the company’s website), the Retro 2’s minute hand goes from “30” to “60” to “30” and then again jumps left to “30”, just like the hour hand travels from “6” to “12” to “6” before it skips back to the starting position.
A little bit confusing at first, but much more original than the rest of the pack, isn’t it?
The display is neatly decorated with the leaf-shaped hands hovering above a hand-engraved dial that features the traditional barleycorn pattern.
As far as I understand, the German brand uses two alloys to craft the hands. The ones that come with full-steel variety are, too, crafted from steel and the ones that come with a two-tone version that is equipped with a polished yellow gold bezel are made from titanium. Both versions are heat-treated to give them that signature deep-blue or dark-brown colors that sound in perfect unison with their cases.
I also like the way the notched bezel matched to the dial via a circular band on the bezel flange that shows the same coin-edge pattern.
Another nice thing about this device is its size. Compared to many recently introduced pieces, this one comes in a refreshingly small case that would fit perfectly with a business suit (although I would have probably replaced the original leather strap with something a bit more refined).
The Retro 2 is powered by a slightly modified ETA 2824-2 Swiss made automatic caliber, which is also present in the recently introduced Revue Thommen Airspeed Instrument RT1920, a more youth-oriented TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 and the tongue-in-cheek Fortis IQ Art Edition LE designed specifically for nerds.
Alas, although the steel case features a transparent “display” back, there is nothing to look at behind the sapphire crystal. Judging by the picture below, the movement seems to be installed without extra decoration.
This is sad since the watch is coming to the market bearing a hefty price tag.
According to sources, Nienaber Bünde plans to seek the version with a stainless steel case at a recommended street price of €5500 and the version with a golden bezel will be available at even more expensive price of €5820.
Well, you just can’t have everything, right?
Nienaber Bünde Retro 2 specification
Price range: from €5500 to €5820
Movement: ETA 2824-2, modified in-house, Swiss Made
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Complications: Retrograde time display
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Dial: White, with a barleycorn guilloche pattern
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Alligator leather
Photos: Nienaber Bünde