This week, German Jeweler Wempe unveiled its latest collection under the in-house Wempe Glashütte label, bringing forth the latest addition to the burgeoning luxury-sports watch market — the Iron Walker collection. The new family capitalizes on a growing trend and demand for integrated-bracelet steel sports watches, offering 16 total new models divided into four distinct designs, including a chronograph, a super-compressor dive watch, a and time-only models for both men and women. The Iron Walker line, which Wempe says it’s been developing for a decade, takes its name and inspiration from the first American construction workers building steel skyscrapers, without much in the way of either safety equipment or regulation, in the early parts of the 20th century. (Wempe’s New York showroom is located in one of the city’s first high-rise buildings with a steel skeleton.)
Iron Walker Automatic Chronograph
The first model in the new collection we’ll be taking a look at is the Automatic Chronograph, whose striking look caught the eyes of many enthusiasts upon its initial release earlier this week. The model uses a 42-mm faceted steel case, with integrated lugs, rectangular pushers, crown guards protecting a deeply grooved crown, and a smooth steel bezel. The watch is available with either a sunray blue or matte black dial, with an outer angled tachymetric scale and applied rectangular hour markers broken up by a printed white chronograph minute ring. Also on the dial we find subdials for running seconds, a 30-minute counter, and a 12-hour counter at the 9, 3, and 6 o’clock positions, respectively, while a metal outlined date window can be spotted at the 4:30 position. Sweeping over the dial are two thin sword-style hands, with a simple pointer serving as the chronograph seconds counter.
Inside the Iron Walker Automatic Chronograph is the automatic ETA Valjoux 7753, a reliable chronograph movement capable of a 54-hour power reserve. This chronometer-certified chronograph will be priced at $4,250.
Iron Walker Automatic Diver
Next, we move to what is likely the most distinctive design within the new collection in the new Automatic Diver. The model is best described as being in the “super compressor” style, which basically means it uses an inner rotating dive-scale bezel, operated by one of its two crowns, as compared to the traditional dive-watch style that employs an outer rotating bezel, turned directly without a crown intermediary.
The new dive watch uses a faceted steel case similar to that of the chronograph, with integrated lugs, a smooth bezel, and deeply grooved crowns, though here the crowns are secured via a screw-down mechanism and feature an interesting steel structure separating the two on the case’s side. Moving underneath the sapphire crystal, we find the aforementioned, rotating divers’ bezel angled on the outer edge, featuring a 60-minute scale with a contrasting 15-minute section. The dive watch, like the chronograph, is also available with either a blue or black dial, and uses the same applied hour markers and hands, though is distinguished by its simpler minute ring, 3 o’clock-positioned date window, and contrasting arrow-tipped seconds counter.
The Automatic Diver is powered by the ETA 2892-A2 movement, capable of a 50-hour power reserve and also chronometer-certified. The movement is protected by a sapphire caseback and thanks to its tight construction boasts a dive-ready 300-meter water resistance. The new dive watch will be priced at $3,450.
Iron Walker Automatic and Quartz Men
The third sub-family in the Iron Walker line has a time-only design (actually three-hand with date), available with either an automatic or a quartz caliber. This model again uses the integrated steel sports-watch style seen in the previous two watches, albeit in a slightly smaller 40-mm size allowing for a slightly more formal appearance; the case also includes the crown-and-crown-guard combination we initially saw on the chronograph. This model is available with either a sunray blue, black, or matte white dial, with an outer angled minute ring accented with Arabic numerals at each 5-miute mark, applied rectangular hour markers, and a 3 o’clock date window. This model uses the same hour and minute hands seen in the previous two, along with a simple, subtle seconds hand.
The 40-mm men’s watch is available with either the chronometer-certified ETA 2892-A2 movement, which has the same 50-hour power reserve we saw in the dive watch, or with a quartz ETA E64.111. The mechanical model will retail for $2,750, while the quartz edition will be marked at $2,050.
Iron Walker Automatic and Quartz Women
The final addition to the Iron Walker line is a new ladies-focused time-only watch, which possesses a solid “unisex” sizing at 36 mm, making it an elegant option for both men and women looking for a more formal, but still “sporty,” integrated steel sports watch. The new model uses the same overall design as the men’s time-only 40-mm model and will be available in blue, white, or black dial options. The only difference of note between the 36-mm and 40-mm versions appears to be the slightly smaller proportions of the case to its crown, though the smaller edition otherwise takes advantage of the same interesting design.
The time-only women’s model features the same movement options as the 40-mm version, with the ETA 2892-A2 for its mechanical version, and the ETA E64.111 for its quartz. The 36-mm watch will be retailed for slightly lower, with prices starting at $1,950.
The new Iron Walker collection joins Wempe Glashütte’s previous two collections in the more luxury focused Chronometerwerke line and the more entry-level Zeitmeister collection. The Iron Walker, with its use of various complications and the choice of either a quartz or mechanical caliber, finds itself positioned somewhere in between the two, offering a wide range within the mid-level price category that can appeal to a variety of tastes and budgets. Whether the new Iron Walker collection will be able to hold its own in the quickly growing market of integrated steel watches remains to be seen, but for a growing group of interested collectors looking to ride the trend, Wempe offers a wide array of appealing options at a variety of price points.
The new Iron Walker collection is available now through Wempe boutiques globally, with more information available through the brand’s website, here.