In a slight departure from the previous 'In for Review' where I looked at offerings from brands that are well established in the space, today I am going to talk about a watch from a relatively new brand out of Germany, by the name of Ten Eleven Nine.
The brand was started by Leif Henrik Osthoff, a creative director, and photographer based in Berlin. The journey of Ten Eleven Nine started through Leif's passion for mid-century design and architecture. He wanted to great the perfect watch in his eyes, made in Germany. Combining the subtly of an elegant dress watch, with the legibility of a tool watch and the robustness found in dive watches, distilled down into an explorer style do everything watch. Whilst this may seem like a lot to cram into one watch, Leif really has managed to achieve exactly what he was after in my eyes.
Whilst the brand has a range of four main watches in the family, the one that caught my eye was the Weltweit King Size. Hard to argue with the attractiveness of the other models it has to be said, and hopefully I can continue to provide you all with a peek behind the curtain at their other brilliant-looking models.
The full offering from Ten Eleven Nine...
As I mentioned, today I am taking a look at the Weltweit King Size. Now, this watch, you could say, is inspired by the Rolex Explorer I. You could also say it bares a resemblance to the Omega Aqua Terra and a host of other watches. The subtle styling queues I think make this watch unique in its own right, and I must admit I absolutely loved my time with it.
Similar in looks, but not inspired by in my eyes...
The watch is housed in a 38mm, brushed stainless steel case made in the heart of Germany's watchmaking heritage, Glashutte. Measuring 47mm lug-to-lug and only 11mm thick, it makes for an incredibly comfortable everyday watch on my 6.5-inch wrist, as you can see below.
The dial is simply laid out, with legibility clearly being a priority. The dial features fat pill-shaped markers for 12, 3, 6, and 9, with fat round plots for the markers in between. The dial text is clean and simple, which given the long name of the brand, is no mean feet. That being said, the dial is certainly not cluttered here at all, with simple white text to match the markers, and a lovely subtle grey for the supporting text, further helping with the readability. The hands I think are also absolutely spot on. The tapered dauphine hands again do not take up too much real estate but offer a sleek look to the overall package. The watch really is beautiful, and contrary to what I said earlier, gives me more Aqua Terra vibes than Explorer, as a result of that crisp handset.
In true sports/dive watch style, the watch comes on an oyster-style bracelet. Incredibly comfortable and well made, also coming in the same stainless steel as the case, the bracelet dresses the watch up, whilst also adding to its rugged daily wear theme at the same time. One thing that 'newer' brands sometimes save money on, is offering bracelets without solid end links. Whilst not a huge issue by any means, I always find hollow end links give the bracelet a rattly almost tinny feel, solid end links here give the impression of a watch much more expensive than it actually is, more on that later...
The other absolute home run with the case and bracelet design is offering the watch with drilled lugs. I am a huge fan of mixing up straps on any watch really, but none more than watches of this style. Clean, simple dark blue/grey dials like on the Weltweit lend themselves to a plethora of straps, and drilled lugs facilitate that more than most. Whilst some purists say that drilled lugs affect the look of the case, that really doesn't bother me one bit. Whilst I did not play around with a huge number of different straps, I think it is pretty clear to see that whether it be on the oyster bracelet or a number of different single-pass straps, this watch looks brilliant.
The definition of a strap monster...
Another feature of this watch that I really like is that whilst it is a 200m water resistant watch, and offered as a dive watch as such, there is no rotating bezel. Whilst this would be a disadvantage if you were to actually use this for diving, let's be honest that's probably not going to happen... I think for me this really helps with the versatility of this piece. It brilliantly spans field, dive, and sports watch perfectly, taking features from each category without combining them in one piece.
This watch features the ever-reliable and brilliant Sellita SW200-1 at its heart. This movement, as I have spoken about many times, is superb for the money. It is reliable as hell, and the 38hr power reserve is perfect considering this is a watch that is not going to spend too much time on your bedside table, given its versatility. Using a movement that is affordable, and commonplace in watchmaking, it is also incredibly easy and inexpensive to service, but given how well these movements are made, I can't see regular services being needed.
A very photogenic watch indeed...
Whilst I am genuinely a huge fan of this watch, there is one slight drawback... and given the quality of the manufacturer and the versatility and performance of the watch may not be an issue, but something I should mention nonetheless. The Welweit King Size comes in at a smidge over £2,000, £2,088.70 to be precise. Whilst that is not a lot of money for a 38mm, 200m water-resistant watch with a case made in-house and a reliable, well-made movement, it may seem like a lot from a relatively new brand. For example a Tudor Black Bay 36 could be picked up on the grey market for a similar price. Certainly not a reason to overlook this watch, but something to bare in mind.
This watch really is a home run. It is refreshing to see new watches coming out of a country whose watchmaking prowess is often overshadowed by the might of Switzerland. We have to take a step back and remember that Glasshutte has some serious pedigree, the likes of Nomos, Lange, and Glashutte Original to name but a few... This is a fantastic offering from a relatively new brand, and with new models and variants in the works, I highly recommend that you go and check them out here.