Perhaps no country is more in love with mechanical watches than Germany, and it’s a wonderful experience to browse watches at Wempe or see the perfect photography in “Uhren” magazine. Although not everyone’s cup of tea, this Wempe Zeitmeister Pilot Chronograph “Uhren Magazin” Limited Edition captures this “zeitgeist” and makes a great daily-wear grail to boot! It features the bulletproof ETA/Valjoux 7750 movement in preferred 7753 form, is a certified chronometer, and looks darn good with classic pilot styling.
Wempe is one of the most well-known watch emporiums, with locations across Germany and beyond. They carry the finest brands as well as their own-brand pieces, custom made to their specifications in the famed German watchmaking town of Glashütte, Saxony.1 This puts Wempe in the company of A. Lange & Söhne, Nomos, and Mühle, among others.
It is this latter brand that this pilot chronograph most-closely emulates. The pilot watch “look” is extremely popular in Germany, and Mühle has built instruments and watches for aviators in Glashütte for decades. The hallmarks of the pilot look are present in this watch: The black dial, white triangle with dots, the contrasting Arabic numerals, the big knurled crown, and the wide luminous hands.
One of my favorite aspects of this Wempe chronograph is the use of the Valjoux 7753 instead of the more-common 7750 movement. This moves the 30-minute counter from 12:00 to 3:00 for a more-balanced layout of the subdials on the face. About the only out-of-place element is the date window wedged in between the “4” and “5” markers.
The Pilot Chronograph is a regular model for Wempe, but this particular example is part of a special limited run in honor of the 25th anniversary of Uhren magazine. The raw leather strap was part of the original package, enhancing the rugged “tool watch” look. The solid caseback and proven 7753 movement reinforces this look: This watch is built to last!
This particular Wempe Zeitmeister Pilot Chronograph is on sale for $1,100 by Topper Jewelers in Burlingame, CA. Although not shown, the listing says it comes with the box and papers. It originally retailed for 2,175 Euros back in 2014. Rob at Topper is a stand-up guy and I do hope one of my readers decides to jump on the opportunity to own this cool German pilot chronograph!
- Rumor has it that none other than Nomos handles construction of the Wempe watches, and their manufacture line, Chronometerwerke, in particular! ↩