Spotted this name whilst on a short holiday in Germany and I noted that many of these Bruno Söhnle models on display in this particular shop were rather good looking. But time was of the essence (pardon the pun) and we had to move on – but not (of course) before jotting down the manufacturer’s name.
Bruno Söhnle Rondo Signore Quartz.
Once returned to the UK made a point of looking around for this make and found out very quickly that it was simply not available in the UK at all.
Available in mainland Europe at selected Dealers only.
Fortunately I found an excellent retailer with shop premises in Stuttgart who also trades online with a very good web site.
It was actually quite difficult to choose the model I wanted initially as there were quite a number of them I liked, but in the end I opted for the Rondo Signore Quartz in polished stainless steel – basically as I liked it’s clean design and the neat sizing.
The case is a trim 38mm without crown and with a depth of only 5.8mm makes for a very, very neat watch indeed. The clear off-white dial is very clear and easy to read with Arabic and Roman numerals with contrasting black colored baton hour and minute hands. The clarity is assisted greatly I would suggest with the Sapphire crystal which has an applied internal anti-reflect (de-reflect) coating.
The small seconds sub-dial is in silver @7 with extremely fine guilloche patterning background and features a short center mount black seconds hand.
Date is handled by a rather stylish 3 day indicator crescent window @2 with the current day indicated in the center by a short arrow head pointer in red which is actually very easy to read (some single date windows can be very small).
This triple date design also assists when trying to make out the date when the window is obscured by either the hour or the minute hand – in that the day before or after can be easily seen – a rather neat feature indeed.
The date has a rapid adjustment setting which is becoming a common feature of quartz watches today.
Engine wise it is powered by a Swiss made quartz calibre 1009 Ronda 9 jewel Slimtech movement which allows the watch it’s super-slim profile. The Ronda quartz movements are well regarded and have an acceptable accuracy of around -10/+20 seconds/month and can be found in many of the mid to high range watches from a variety of good Manufacturers.
Bruno Söhnle however have modified this Swiss manufactured version 1009 in-house and re-orientated it with an elegant offset resulting in the winder/crown assembly @4 complete with the Brunu Söhnle logo. The positioning of the date display is also good as it is very easy to read with your arms in front without cocking the wrist towards you.
This gives the watch a little different and unusual look which I find very elegant especially in conjunction with it’s ultra-slim profile.
In many ways it reminds me of the Botta Argos I have in my collection as Botta use quite a number of the Slimtech Ronda movements. This movement has neat features and uses a standard Renata 1.5v battery No.315 * which has a life of around 2 +years.
If you’re not wearing the watch for longish periods it has a very useful power save function. If you pull out the stem taking the date wheel out of gear it reduces the power used by approximately 70%. The movement also is repairable unlike many cheaper quartz models.
The watch has a 3ATM or 30m Water Resistance and has a polished and engraved stainless steel solid back. The model number and Bruno Söhnle Glashutte logo complete the back detail and the watch is complimented by a very high quality stitched black leather bracelet strap with stainless engraved logo clasp & steel pin fastening.
The overall weight of the watch is only 35gm including the strap so is a picture of understated elegance on the wrist.
Bruno Söhnle watches are manufactured in Germany in Glashutte/Saxony an area with a renowned history of quality watchmaking and if this first purchase is anything to go by, that is an entirely true statement.
The watch exudes quality from the high polished stainless steel case to the delicate but clear and precision of the dial detail is very impressive.
Especially nice for me is the size and weight of this watch – at 35gm inclusive of strap and a strap length that’s sensible for once and not too long – it is a joy to wear.
So any downsides? Maybe just the crown being inset slightly to the case. When pulled out to set the date for example it is only just far enough and quite small to grip – fortunately and unlike the Botta Argos it IS knurled, so “neat” is perhaps a better description – not a downside as such.
Out of 10 I would give this watch a very solid 9 – and even then I’m still tempted to give it 10…! It is a lovely watch.
In fact I’m looking forward perhaps to getting another Bruno Söhnle and I’ll be trawling that nice Stuttgart Dealer over the next few months.
Oh – I forgot to mention the Dealer’s name – it is Ralf Häffner of Stuttgart – click HERE to view his site and check out the Bruno Söhnle range.
* data corrected 25/11/2011