New to Indies. Guidance 38-40mm time only dress watch.

Apr 09, 2020,12:32 PM

I've been bouncing around researching Rexhepi/Akrivia, Kari Voutilainen, Gronefeld, Roger Smith, Lang & Heyne, Vianney, Gruebel and others.  Not including FP Journe because they're too big and certainly not including A. Lange & Sohne because they are very big. 

My taste is conservative, 37-39mm dial size, 11mm or less thickness, time only dial with APPLIED indexes/numbers/numerals, and price $50k or less.  Need a hauntingly beautiful dial with a (Patek equaling or Patek beating) level of hand-finishing. 

What I think I know is Roger Smith is too expensive for me to even consider.  Gruebel and Vianney are too wild. Kari V has the beautiful Vingt-8 for around $75k - and it's a mesmerizing offer for certain but expensive. Rexhepi's Chronometre Contemporain is the right size and level of quality, but the dial doesn't have applied indexes.  Akrivia offerings get to wild and too large.  Lang & Heyne's dials do not have applied markers.  Gronefeld has a great entry level selection and seems to be bargain of the independents for me. 

Am I missing any independent watch makers that offer something between Gronefeld and Kari Voutilainen?

What would you say is the top independent watch under $50k?

Many thanks!


More posts: Roger SmithVingt-8Voutilainen

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Pascal Coyon

 By: Cozmopak : April 9th, 2020-12:53
Might be of interest to you. ...  

thanks for the heads up (Pascal Coyon)

 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-13:03
Unfortunately this piece is too large at 41mm and doesn't have applied indexes/numbers/numerals. However it's a beautiful chronometer! Many thanks!

Case is

 By: Cozmopak : April 9th, 2020-13:07
39mm for his new watches and 8.8mm thick. Those indices look applied to me...

Sublime. [nt]

 By: amanico : April 9th, 2020-13:47

Hentschel H1 Chronometer 37 mm.

 By: watch-er : April 9th, 2020-13:01
make watches in 37mm. Beautiful watches but probably below the price point you want.


 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-13:07
A clean looking piece. Many thanks! Love discovering new possibilities.

Also Josh Shapiro

 By: Cozmopak : April 9th, 2020-13:04
May become of interest as he evolves as a watchmaker. I haven’t seen applied indices on his dials but he is willing to customize his work significantly and so might be open to it. His guilloche is exquisite. He also plans to bring his movements and cases ... 

Josh Shapiro

 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-13:15
Checked out his website - interesting stuff. Thanks!

Right now, the watch will be too large for you (given the parameters above).

 By: Jay (Eire) : April 9th, 2020-18:20
I have a strong preference for smaller cases also, below 40mm preferred. I’ve had the watch on my wrist and for me is too big, at 40mm, and so I think it will be for you too. BUT, the dials are a sublime. No question about that. If he comes with something... 

I agree

 By: Cozmopak : April 10th, 2020-08:04
Would love to see this watch at 38mm. Would also like to see the case a little more refined. Excited for the future of this watchmaker.

Thank you

 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-13:10
The Gronefeld brothers produce a more affordable array of high-end pieces. For example, a red/rose gold Principia for $37k seems like a steal.

Few humble suggestions

 By: icecube4000 : April 9th, 2020-13:07
I have 6.5~ inch wrists and can't wear anything big than 40mm. Journe CB: If you can get it at retail and are comfortable with the all-round look as opposed to being a dress only watch, I would seriously consider it. That's the only Journe I have as the o... 

Yes, Francois Paul has very tempting offerings

 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-13:13
I wish he still had the 38mm option like 10 years ago - when you could choose a Chronometre Souveraine in either a 38mm or 40mm. When I visited his Geneva boutique I tried both sizes and felt a 38mm was better for a dress watch for my wrist.

Why not wait it out and find a 38mm CS used?

 By: Jay (Eire) : April 9th, 2020-18:23
While not applied, the dial with the embossed numerals might be interesting to you.


 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-13:52
I'll look into Moser for sure. As well as Laurent Ferrier. Yes - the Gronefeld Principia is a great line and love the capability to pick colors/cases/straps. The Kari V. starter watch is $75k but achingly beautiful.

good choices! [nt]

 By: Milan1 : April 10th, 2020-08:18

Dornblüth Quintus Klassik

 By: ds_watch : April 9th, 2020-13:20
I would suggest a Dornblüth & Sohn Quintus Klassik. It features everything you need: 38.5mm case diameter, 11.5mm thick applied numerals on request, the possibility to customize your watch as long as you respect the brand DNA, a high level of handwork...  

Was unaware Dirk did custom work

 By: watch-er : April 9th, 2020-13:48
I have the standard edition of this watch.


 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-13:52
I'll dive into Dornbluth right away. Thank you! The Dornbluth site showed a range of lower priced models (under $9k) as well that look similar to the Klassik. Suppose I like the idea of purchasing as much watch as I can afford - like buying the least expe... 

Nice, thanks!

 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-14:00
Looks like the Patek Philippe 5170R with black dial (Arabic numerals)

Urban Jürgensen 1140.

 By: afl : April 9th, 2020-13:57
Available in different metals. 40mm X 10.5mm. Applied breguet numerals and guilloche dials. It might be interesting.

Looks like a Kari Vingt-8 mini-me!

 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-14:09
Wow - does Kari know how similar the UJ 1140 is to his Vingt-8? Many thanks!

Kari has connections with them from the past.

 By: afl : April 9th, 2020-14:18
And he is making some dials for them indeed.

Kari making dials for Urban Jurgensen

 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-14:23
That makes sense now, thanks! After drooling over Kari's dial for the past few hours then all of a sudden seeing Urban dials I got confused!

These wear very big and are thick. Great

 By: watch-er : April 10th, 2020-06:24
for the person who wants a larger watch.

Atelier de Chronometrie, Barcelona

 By: lk : April 9th, 2020-14:36
I don't know the thicknesses of their watches, but other characteristics might match your interest and I believe they can customize a lot. Photos from their website of AdC #7: ...  


 By: Robert65 : April 9th, 2020-14:44
Just went to their website.

+1! [nt]

 By: amanico : April 9th, 2020-16:48

Parmigiani Fleurier might be worth looking at as well

 By: jleno : April 9th, 2020-15:34
The Gronefeld would be a great choice. I'd also give Laurent Ferrier consideration if you're okay with the size.


 By: Milan1 : April 10th, 2020-08:16
Yes the gold ones are 39mm and very classoc with a little modern twist, and the microrotor also beauty

Gronefeld, and Laurent Ferrier.

 By: amanico : April 9th, 2020-16:35

If you could consider 37-40mm

 By: Mr.Gatsby : April 9th, 2020-19:07
You have a lot more choices. Nicolas basically said what I wanted to say. But I would also throw in De Bethune’s DB25 (40mm). There’s some great FPJ stuff out there as well.

:))) [nt]

 By: amanico : April 9th, 2020-23:59

Do you mean FPJ's from 2000-2010?

 By: Robert65 : April 10th, 2020-12:23
Yes, but they are hard to find. I'd love a simple Platinum Chronometre Souveraine with black strap in a 38mm but I only see 40s now.

Yes, it is.

 By: Cozmopak : May 25th, 2020-17:01
Does anyone have an actual photo of the movement yet? Everything I’ve found has been computer renderings

Grönefeld Principia and Remontoire are both spectacular creations.

 By: JerryW : May 25th, 2020-20:32
So much mesmerizing detail on both sides is a big plus. Also you can get a KV dial on the Remontoire. Easy to wear and the best straps in the business. Also a big fan of KV but it is priced higher than your range.

Raul Pagès

 By: RaphaelW : May 26th, 2020-14:22
I like the design of that dial and the quality of finishing! ...  

I totally back these two options

 By: singingbee : May 27th, 2020-08:42
Can’t go wrong with either one!

I will go for Gronefeld in this case

 By: singingbee : May 27th, 2020-08:48
As I think their watches tick all if not most of your boxes. The 1941 case is wonderfully made and wears very well on the wrist yet still exudes wrist presence. Price is also within your budget for the Principia and slightly above if you go for a Remontoi...