The new Union Glashütte Noramis Chronograph LE (Ref. D005.427.16.087.09) was recently presented as a limited edition model to celebrate the 118th birthday of the German brand.
Since Union Glashütte is not terribly well-known around the world, the German watchmaker timed the introduction of the Noramis Chronograph to the 9th International Saxony Classic annual vintage car rally that took place at the end of last August.
Together with each timekeeper, the Germans also offered a tiny scale model of an old-timer race car: one of the numerous versions of the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR sports car that became an instant legend in the 1950s when it was first introduced.
According to the company, the new watches are equipped with their own U7753 automatic calibers that are based on the well-known ETA Valjoux 7753 self-winding ebauche.
Although the Swiss caliber normally offers a standard tri-compax dial layout, the modified version sports a more vintage-styled bi-compax design with the counter at 9 o’clock reserved for the small seconds indicator and the one at 3 hours serving as a 30-minute chronograph totalizer.
The small date aperture retained its normal place at 6 o’clock.
Thanks to a winning combination of charcoal-grey and gold (the hands, hour markers, and the Arabic numerals are PVD-treated with a thin layer of rose gold,) the dial offers a legible, high-contrast design that has only one serious drawback for a sporty watch: its main elements lack any lume whatsoever, so checking time in total darkness (in a movie, for instance) can be a problem.
Another minor annoyance (at least for me) is the lack of a folding buckle on the nicely executed brown crocodile leather strap: the wristband comes with a standard pin buckle that looks more classic but makes fastening the strap a cumbersome and not very pleasant thing to do on an average Monday morning.
Although the movement is not particularly thick, the watch comes in a chunky stainless steel case only 42 millimeters in diameter, but more than 15 millimeters in height. Perhaps, a part of the blame here may be taken by a domed sapphire crystal that added a couple of millimeters to the grand total.
Traditionally for the German watches, the new timekeeper offers discreet, sober design where form always follows its function.
The pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock look ideal for operating the chronograph and the setting crown is just big enough to easily set time and wind the mechanism. It is not shown on the photo, but there is also a date corrector pusher at 10 hours that makes the process of setting the current date even easier.
As you may have already guessed, only 118 watches were produced. Union Glashütte plans to sell the new Noramis Chronograph LE (Ref. D005.427.16.087.09) at a price of €2900 (including local VAT.)
Photos: Union Glashütte
Union Glashütte Noramis Chronograph (Ref. D005.427.16.087.09) specification
Price: €2900 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber U7753, base ETA Valjoux 7753, Swiss Made
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, date
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 15.25 mm
Hour markers: Rose gold PVD plated
Hands: Dauphine-shaped, rose gold PVD plated
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Brown crocodile leather strap with steel pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, domed, antireflective on both sides