The 2011 Rodania Linius brings to the table the time-proven automatic movement, which is packed inside an interesting-looking stainless steel body. The movement in question is the good old ETA 2824-2 self-winding blank caliber: the usual suspect when it comes to choosing an engine to power a relatively inexpensive timekeeper when having a “Swiss Made” inscription on a dial is a must.
Introduced almost 30 years ago, the movement almost instantaneously became a legend of the watchmaking world thanks to its unique combination of impressive robustness courtesy of carefully thought-after design, traditionally good build quality, and, what’s even more important, versatility. For decades various manufacturers use the caliber to power all sorts of watches starting from dressy three-handers through professional-grade divers and all the way to playful jewelry items that cost like a small condo somewhere in Los Angeles County.
While the standard-grade issues of the ebauche offer only an average level of accuracy, the top-grade versions equipped with higher-quality parts easily comply with COSC requirements and are officially certified as chronometers.
This particular version of the movement seems to be more of the standard-grade one (which is sort of predictable for a product priced well below the €1000 mark) and, regretfully, doesn’t look as impressive as the timekeeper itself featuring only standard decor (or, rather, lack thereof) and being equipped with nothing more than the usual oscillating weight with “RODANIA” logo stamped on it. For me, this is definitely a disappointment: I am one of those guys for whom a lovingly decorated mechanism is the most important reason to buy a mechanical watch. Even if the exterior is laconic, Spartan or even deliberately nondescript (like, for example, your normal Archimede pilot that often doesn’t even feature a logo on its dial,) the movement inside doesn’t have to look like it was simply taken out of the shipping container, briefly inspected for apparent quality issues, then promptly installed into the case and forgotten about.
I mean, there are enough quartz-powered timepieces in this price range that look great and don’t demand the level of care a mechanical watch needs.
Well, apparently, this here Rodania Linius was designed to attract the attention of persons who don’t care about movements and are more interested in a unique exterior that would gather the attention of both coworkers and total strangers alike.
And this Rodania always brings in spades. First revealed at Baselworld 2011, the Linius Automatic was presented in a somewhat bulky stainless steel case 35.50 mm in width and 50.40 mm in length. Looking like it was machined out of a single block of high-grade steel and carefully finished with mirror polishing and some satin-brushing, the case looks solid and expensive: a lot more expensive than it is actually priced at.
Its black dial with sunburst effect is decorated with applied Roman numerals and black PVD treated hands. Ensuring good readability in normal lighting, they also look good in darkness, although the Superluminova patches on the hands and above the digits look a bit too dim for me (or maybe they simply needed to charge for a longer period of time, hard to tell.)
The way the numerals are applied somewhat clutters the dial, especially in its lower half.
The effect is particularly visible between the 4 and 7 o’clock, where there is left a huge gap between the Roman numerals “IIII”, “V” and the date aperture at 6 o’clock. Perhaps, they should have made the numerals a tad smaller, giving them more room to breathe. The black hands on the black background of the dial reduce the legibility to a degree, but, again, I don’t see it as a major problem.
Summing the things up, the new Rodania Linus collection looks like an interesting choice for a person looking for a reliable and inexpensive dress watch with a sporty feel around it.
Rodania Linius specification
Price: €700 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA 2824-2, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 35.50 mm x 50.40 mm
Dial: Black with sunburst effect
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black leather strap with folding clasp with double-pushpiece safety fastening