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REVIEW: The M?hle-Glash?tte Terranaut I>>>>>>>

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Published on 12-14-2009 06:01 AM

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Review of the Mühle-Glashütte Terranaut I
By: John B. Holbrook, II

I'm pleased to bring the very first Mühle-Glashütte watch review to WATCH TALK FORUMS and our new Official Mühle-Glashütte forum.

The name Mühle-Glashütte may not be an entirely familiar watch brand name to many reading this review. They, along with some of the most prestigious names in luxury watch making are located in the town of Glashütte, Germany. I've had the pleasure of spending some time in the charming town of Glashütte - you won't find a more concentrated pool of watch making talent outside the Swiss Jura mountains anywhere else in the world.

Fortunately, not all the watches coming out of Glashütte cost one or even two times the average working man's annual income. Mühle-Glashütte is producing some fantastic mechanical time pieces at more reasonable, entry-level luxury prices.

The first Mühle-Glashütte I've had the opportunity to review is the Mühle-Glashütte Terranaut I:

Watch Analog watch Rectangle Clock Font

This rugged, well constructed timepiece comes in three different dial color variations - the olive dial model pictured here has a cool military vibe and will be attractive to those looking for something unique and contemporary.

Another unique feature to the Terranaut I is the cool spinning triangle second hand at the 9 o'clock position. At first I thought the design really detracted from the utility of the typical second hand subdial. But here's the thing - if you're like me, you've owned several chronographs. The second hand subdial is probably the least useful register on most chronographs, and certainly difficult to see at a glance. The more I wore the watch, the more I thought the spinning triangle just looked cool, and realized I didn't miss the trade off in functionality with this design. The enjoyment I got from this cool design far outweighed the loss of the utility in not having a traditional second hand subdial design.

Also notice that the both a day of the week and day of the month indicator are located at the 3 o'clock position. Note that the background color of both of these indicators is an exact match to the dial color. This is something you don't often see, but something I particularly appreciate - it just makes the dial flow so much better than the typical date window with a white background against any non-white dial color.

A key consideration for any chronograph is legibility, as it's difficult to cram so many sources of usable information in an area the size of a watch dial, and retain "at-a-glance" legibility. An intelligent dial layout, and excellent use of contrasting colors makes all the difference - as do the SuperLuminova coated hour and minute "sword style" hands in low light. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal, with an anti-reflective coating applied to the underside.

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The 44 mm stainless steel (water resistant to 5ATM/165 ft.) case of the Mühle-Glashütte Terranaut I has an all-brushed finish applied which really the military, tool watch feel of the Terranaut I. Attached to the case is a very high quality black leather strap with white stitching which is padded for comfort. The simple tang and buckle style clasp (signed by the manufacturer) oddly enough has a polished finished applied to it. It's certainly attractive, but if I purchased this watch, I'd spend five minutes and brush out the polished finish.

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Turning to the back of the watch, we find a sapphire observation back built into the Teranaut I's case, providing an excellent view of the Valjoux 7750 which powers the watch. The 7750 is so time-tested and well respected in the watch enthusiast community, I almost feel embarrassed to list its specifications. The 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. What's interesting here is the level of embellishment which has been applied to this movement. My assumption here is that the caliber is ordered directly with ETA with the decoration applied. The ventilated pattern on the rotor however looks quite unique and is possibly something done in house at Mühle-Glashütte. The Valjoux 7750 has the reputation of being a none too attractive caliber, but with the premium decoration applied, you'll greatly enjoy viewing this movement via the sapphire display back

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As I said at the begining of this review, the Terranaut I has been my first real, hands-on exposure to Mühle-Glashütte - and I like what I see. I can't say that the olive green dial would be my first choice, but click here to have a look at the other dials available in the Terranaut I line. The important thing here for me is the level of quality and value which Mühle-Glashütte brings to the table. At a retail price of $2,299.00, it's an impressive value all things considered.

If you enjoyed this review, keep an eye out for more reviews I'll be doing from the Mühle-Glashütte product line.

**Photos & Text Copyright 2009 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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REVIEW: The Mühle-Glashütte Terranaut I>>>>>>>
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