If you are partial to watches with long, hard-to-pronouce names, are encrusted with glittery jewels, feature intricate filigree finishes, and perhaps include tourbillons whirling away inside of them, you can just move right along; there is nothing for you to see here.
If you are still with me, then feast your eyes on these four über-tough German-made tool watches and admire the precision engineering that goes into each one of them. (Please note much of the content has been compiled from earlier articles by different authors which are linked at the end)
SINN U2 S
For its timepieces, Damasko, based in the Bavarian town of Barbing, uses exclusive, cold-hardened, nickel-free stainless steel. This metal is about four times harder than conventional stainless steel due to its special heat treatment. The 42-mm case also has the brand’s black Damest coating that makes scratching it virtually impossible.
The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides, making this watch both scratch-resistant and easy to read in bright sunshine. Legibility is never a problem at night either, as the entire surface of the dial is coated with Luminova C1 white paint.
This watch is water-resistant to 100 meters and features a bi-directional rotating bezel done with a level of engineering precision that makes adjusting it a uniquely pleasant experience with each solid click. The movement is protected against magnetic fields thanks to a soft iron inner lining — and by the fact that said lining and the dial, movement retaining ring, and a second, inner caseback are assembled into each other to form an antimagnetic shield.
So you’ll likely be strapping on this virtually scratch-proof, easy-to-read watch — with a well-protected ETA 2836-2 movement as its functioning heart — for many years of your most arduous travels. The Damasko DA 43 Black sells for about 1,540 euros.
TUTIMA M2 PIONEER CHRONOGRAPH
Founded in 1927 in Glashütte, Tutima derives its name from the Latin word meaning “safe, secure.”
The M2 lives up to that mission statement as it is made of pure titanium, a material that is about 50 percent lighter in weight than stainless steel. Tutima has integrated its own Caliber 521 into this case, which is pressure-tested for use up to 15,000 meters above sea level, and for shock resistance to impacts, vibration, and acceleration up to 7 Gs in any direction. The sapphire crystal is coated with anti-reflective treatment on both sides and the case has an additional casing of mu-metal, a nickel-iron alloy that binds magnetic field streams so that they do not reach the movement. With a solid threaded caseback and screw-down crown, the watch is also water resistant to 300 meters and thus ready for use on land, under the sea, or up in the cockpit.
It might also make you feel more “safe and secure” to know that when you fasten the M2 to your wrist, you’ll be putting on the official service watch of Germany’s army pilots.
The M2 is priced around $6,100 and comes with both a titanium link bracelet with a folding clasp and a kevlar weave strap (as pictured above). Click here for our review of the M2 Pioneer.
MÜHLE GLASHÜTTE SAR RESCUE TIMER
The Mühle Glashütte SAR Rescue Timer, from another watchmaker based in Germany’s watchmaking hub of Glashütte, is a watch that simply can’t be left off this list. Designed for Germany’s maritime search and rescue (SAR) teams, this is a purpose-built timepiece ready to take on extreme conditions without faltering.
A key feature is the tough rubber bezel that acts as a shock absorbing mechanism protecting the Mühle-customized Sellita SW 200-1 movement inside the case while also giving this watch a distinct look on the wrist.
An unusually thick 4-mm sapphire crystal ensures that even the hardest collisions won’t leave you with a crack. This dense crystal combines with a screwed caseback and screw-in crown to secure its water resistance to a whopping 1,000 meters.
Legibility is ensured with Super-LumiNova hands and lumed triangle markers at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. An internal cyclops lens hovers above the date, a nice finishing touch that adds to this clean dial’s extreme readability. The Muhle Glashutte SAR Rescue Timer sells for roughly $2,800.
So there you have it: four choices for a veritable GSG 9 tactical unit of watches ready to guard your back on any adventures you might seek. Please feel free to nominate your own favorites to join this list of Eisenmänner in the comments section below.