In today’s booming market there are still a few brands that offer amazing bang for your dollar and Guinand is most certainly one of them. If you have followed the blog for sometime you may have noticed my admiration for the brands or microbrands who dare to do something different and make horology accessible to all. I do believe that no nonsense watches like the ones offered by Guinand, Sinn, Damasko, Stowa and others are a welcome disruption to the industry and efforts like these should be supported by all watch enthusiasts.
Guinand used to be a Swiss brand which produced highly specialised chronographs and chronograph movements with a vast number of traditional watchmaking brands as clients. The company was bought by Helmut Sinn back in 1996 shortly after he came out of retirement after having sold the Sinn company to some former IWC engineers. Helmut continued producing high quality watches and insisted cutting out the middleman thus achieving amazing value of money. Mr Sinn is today 101 years old and has finally retired. The company has now moved its headquarters in Franfurt and the new owner Mr. Klueh is keeping true to tradition. He has expanded Guinand’s offerings and everything is still offered at amazing price points.
Today’s watch in focus will be their series 60.50-T2 chronograph. If you are familiar with the 1970s chronographs the case shape might look a bit familiar. It was first introduced back in the early 70s by Porsche design and it is commonly known as a barrel case. That original design became iconic and it was issued by the German air force and other military forces to their jet pilots. Since then a number of brands have used similar cases and similar watches have been in constant production.
In this instance I feel that Guinand has taken a timeless design and improved upon it. The case is fully satinated and it has some slightly softer lines and transitions when compared to Sinn’s offering. This makes the watch more versatile but I fell that it loses some of its toolish feel. The case is screw down and a welcome upgrade are the protected pushers. The watch is powered by the robust 7750 which is regulated in house by Guinand and is performing within COSC standards. Some might find the selection of the 7750 as vulgar but I just feel that it is a legendary workhorse that saved the mechanical chronograph from extinction during the quartz crisis.
So far nothing original someone might say and they wouldn’t be wrong but the devil hides in the details and that is where the 60.50-T2 shines. IT sports a very nicely executed matte black dial with radially brushed, off grey electroplated subdials which offer an under the radar reverse panda appearance. The chronograph hands are painted in vivid orange whereas the time-telling ones are white. The dial is graduated from 1-12 and the numerals are lumed, so are the hour and minute hands. The day-date wheels are quite unobtrusive due to their black background. The black chapter ring features a tachymeter scale and facilitates nicely the transition from the bezel to the crystal. The whole combination produces and extremely legible face that becomes quite mesmerising when the light hits it at the right angle.
The watch is offered with a leather strap and a signed guinand tang buckle but options such as folding clasps or bracelets are available at additional cost. The packaging is extremely Spartan and simple and this helps keep the price at reasonable levels.
When strapped on the wrist the watch oozes quality and offers great, uncompromised functionality. It really is built like a rock and it can take whatever its owner throws at it. That is what a sport watch should be able to do anyway, shouldn’t it?
Guinand has recently been on a roll and has introduced a number of watches that hit all the right spots and satisfy every taste and I hope that they will keep up the good work in the future. So, if you have always longed for an Orfina but also wanted it to be able to take everything you throw at it have a look at Guinand’s offering and you want be disappointed. At less than £1500 it will definitely not break the bank!