Heinrich Taucher

Review and photos by Mike Razak

While we’re all quite familiar with microbrands coming out of the US and Singapore, less often do we see microbrands coming from Europe (Maybe they just don’t make it over here for review in many cases). Heinrich Watches is the eponymous brand from Wolfgang Heinrich.  Based in Stuttgart, the brand is about to release it’s first watch, a ’70s-inspired timepiece with colorful dials and German flair (insofar as such a thing exists). The Heinrich Taucher is a fully German endeavor, designed in Stuttgart and Pforzheim, built in the latter, with a ‘Made in Germany’ stamp on the dial.

Heinrich Taucher

The Taucher (diver in German) features a wearable 41mm barrel-shaped case with stubby angled lugs. While the case’s 13.6mm thickness may give you a bit of pause—though it’s quite reasonable for a diver—the integrated bracelet helps it to wear nicely on the wrist. The short lugs mean the bracelet immediately hugs the wrist, resolving any possible gap that may occur otherwise. A moderate lug-to-lug of 47.8mm has little effect on wearability either way.

Heinrich Taucher

The case is brushed throughout, aside from a thin beveled edge along the top case and another around the bezel. The brushing on the midcase is pronounced and adds excellent texture to the watch. That’s something the Heinrich Taucher doesn’t lack—texture. 

Heinrich Taucher wrist

The crown is knurled and easy to work. The bezel features similar knurling with a two-line wave pattern all the way around. It’s not only visually pleasing but makes the 120-click unidirectional bezel easy to grip and operate. I will note here that on all three models I had, there was some back play to the bezel that isn’t ideal. While it rotates freely, the backward wiggle when at rest keeps it short of perfection.

Heinrich Taucher crown

The sapphire bezel insert is black on all the models and is fully lumed, giving way to a gorgeous glossy sunburst dial. The Taucher is available in green, blue, or black. The blue plays purple in most light and each dial is rich and catches the light beautifully. But for some reason, the black caught my eye most. There’s a richness to it, an inkiness that excels beyond the others.

Heinrich Taucher

The dials all feature evenly applied Super-LumiNova BGW9 that’s been colored to look the yellowish hue you see in the pictures. The Taucher’s lume is bright and even across the watch, including on the bezel. However, I’ve been told it will be even better in production. I’m a huge fan of the hour markers and the jumbo hands.

Heinrich Taucher macro

The lume, combined with the size of the markers and hands, allow for easy reading, day or night.  Of special note is the secondhand, which was designed after the Stuttgart TV Tower (Fernsehturm Stuttgart) and features a similar taper to a block end and a white/red needle.

Heinrich Taucher

Rounding out the Heinrich Taucher’s dial is the Heinrich name and logo—an interpretation of the coat of arms of brand’s German state of Baden-W├╝rttemberg. It will be slightly smaller on the production model. Honestly, I had no issues with its size, as it seemed to match the boldness of the applied markers.

Heinrich Taucher wrist

At 6 o’clock is the model name and indication of 200m water resistance. I’ve never been a fan of bold script on dials, and this is no exception. I think a font more in line or the same as the brand at 12 would have been better.

Heinrich Taucher case back

Rolling the watch over, we’re greeted with a well-executed caseback design featuring the name and logo against a deep-grooved wave motif. The screw-down caseback features the expected details along the periphery. Under the caseback beats the Swiss Sellita SW200-1. The movement is a well0known ETA 2824 clone that has more than proved itself over the past several years. And Heinrich has gone the extra mile by having the date position removed to jibe with the no-date dial. Thank god to them.

Heinrich Taucher

The bracelet is one of my favorite things about the watch, and the strap situation is one of my least. Let’s start with the former. The fully brushed bracelet is slim and features a combination of mesh micro links and standard outer links. Add to that a ratcheting dive clasp (with an awesome black logo), and you have a bracelet that fits well and conforms to the wrist.

Heinrich Taucher clasp

This ratcheting clasp is common on microbrands seeking the feature, and in every case, I wish it were slimmer as it bulges out from the bracelet. I’ve been told that the single-sided quick-release pins (which didn’t work that well) will be foregone in favor of the existing functionality of the drilled lugs.

Heinrich Taucher wrist

The strap game is weak with this one. The 20mm lug box is shallow, disallowing any NATO (unless you make one of paper), and seriously limiting options for other strap types. I was able to jam in a black leather on the black dial, but after the struggle, I gave up on other pairings. I have hope, as production models will see the lug box slightly extended to allow for better end link alignment, and hopefully, a bit more room for different straps. Even still, it gives me pause; the bracelet is enjoyable and comfortable, but the potential constraint means the watch is limited to its admittedly amazing look.  

Heinrich Taucher

You may be overwhelmed by the frequency of microbrand releases from brands new and old. Here at The Time Bum, we love it because it means more things to play with. And it doesn’t hurt that it forces brands that want actual respect to be creative and push boundaries. I think that’s the case here. Heinrich hasn’t reinvented a style or included anything completely novel. But they have brought rich, bold colors, pronounced markers and hands, and great texture to create a vintage-inspired, but decidedly modern watch.

Heinrich Taucher

The Heinrich Taucher will be available soon via Kickstarter. Initial pricing is spot on for the watch, at about $639. That’s 35% off retail, which will be around $865. Both prices are exceptionally fair. While there may be other similar spec watches out there for less, the unique dial and design, German production and assembly, and Swiss movement all add value above your typical $300-500 microbrand diver. Depending on how the campaign goes (and I expect it to go quite well), new dial colors and other options may be opened up. If you’re interested, the Kickstarter campaign is live now.

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