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REVIEW: The Mühle-Glashütte Antaria Chronograph>>>>>>>



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Published on 02-03-2011 12:56 PM

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Review of the Mühle-Glashütte Antaria Chronograph

By: John B. Holbrook, II

2/1/11


In December, we took a look at Mühle-Glashütte's Antaria Kleine Sekunde. The Antaria line also has a chronograph version which we'll be examining this month.

antariac1.jpg


The chronograph version of the Antaria shares many aesthetic design characteristics with the Antaria Kleine Sekunde. Encircling the anthracite dial of the Antaria Chronograph are the same style nickle-plated Arabic numerals found on the Antaria Kleine Sekunde, as well as the same slender hour and minute hands. The Antaria Chronograph dial has a traditional layout with an elapsed hour and minute counter, and a second hand sub-dial located at the 9 o'clock position, and a date aperture at 3 o'clock. The thin hour and minute hands not only have a very classy, dressy appearance, but also maximize legibility of the chronograph registers, which I like. It's a dressy watch, but one you won't have any problem wearing daily because it's easy on the eyes in every sense. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal, with a non-reflective coating applied to the interior.

The two models also have a 42mm stainless steel case in common, which exhibits a blend of both polished and brushed finishes. It's larger than what many consider appropriate for a pure dress watch, but very much in keeping with the Glashütte watchmaking tradition. The end result is versatility - it's a watch that can readily dress up or down. The case back of the Antaria Chronograph reveals a sapphire crystal observation back and the wonderfully modified and decorated Mühle-Glashütte version (MU 9408) of the Valjoux 7750 inside:

antariac2.jpg


The Valjoux 7750 is a self-winding (unidirectional rotor) mechanical movement with 25 jewels, and a balance wheel which vibrates at a beat speed of 28,800 BPH. Mühle-Glashütte's does install some custom components on this movement which they manufacture, including blued screws, a custom "woodpecker" style regulator, custom plates, and of course, the custom signature winding rotor. In my opinion, Mühle-Glashütte makes the hands-down nicest version of the Valjoux 7750 available on the market today. The high level of modification and embellishment they perform to create the caliber MU 9408 honors the Glashütte German watch making tradition, and shames many of their Swiss competitors at a similar or higher price point.

antariac3.jpg


Attached to the case lugs of the Antaria chronograph is the same black leather strap with black stitching found on the Antaria Kleine Sekunde. I found the strap to be both comfortable and well-constructed with a look that is neither too dressy nor too casual. Also in common is the same great bi-fold push-button stainless steel clasp I've raved about in previous Mühle-Glashütte reviews. Here's a photo of the clasped closed:

antariac4.jpg


I've found this clasp to be very secure, and and an absolute pleasure to use. When the clasp is opened, you can see the quality machining work performed on solid stainless steel deployant. Again, many manufacturers could learn from this design:

antariac5.jpg


The Mühle-Glashütte Antaria Chronograph impressed me with its understated aesthetics which lean toward the "dress watch" classification without alienating other wadrobe possibilities. It's a watch you'll want to wear and use often. At a retail price of $3299.00 US, it falls into the luxury mechanical watch segment, but clearly has more horological sophistication than many competitors under the $5,000.00 price point, and some above. That combination spells V-A-L-U-E, which is a winning formula in today's watch market.

**Photos & Text Copyright 2011 WATCH TALK FORUMS. No part of this report can be reproduced outside of WATCH TALK FORUMS without the expressed permission of John B. Holbrook, II.


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