Akil Wingate | Mar 28, 2017 | 0
Graf Zeppelin Dual Time 7640-1 Review
Score 88% Score 88%
This Gorgeous Quartz Dual-Time Gets it Right in So Many Ways
Another member of my ever-growing collection, the Graf Zeppelin Dual Time “100 Years of Zeppelin” is one of the few quartz pieces I own that I love to get excited about.
At first glance it seems conventional enough- the big date and what appears to be a “small seconds” display at 6 o’clock give the 7640-1 a familiar aesthetic. Of course, the “small seconds” is actually a completely separate time display, operated via the crown at 4 o’clock.
Zeppelin Dual Time 7640-1 Technical Specifications
Quartz, Ronda 6203.B
Big date, dual time
Estimated 3-5 years
50m / 165ft
The first thing I notice is the second crown at the 4 o’clock position. Not a lot of watches have prominent second crowns, and its presence immediately makes the Zeppelin look different than most watches. The Seiko Alpinist also has a second crown, and it too is a distinguishing feature of that watch.
The second thing I notice is how the domed crystal interacts with the dial. One of my affordable favorites, the Orient Bambino, also has a domed crystal. I really enjoy domed crystals because of the effect they have on the lines and features of the watch. Compared to the Bambino, the more complex dial on the Graf Zeppelin creates more interesting lines and patterns in the crystal.
This complexity really shines depending on the angle. The appearance of the dial twists and contorts as you change the viewing angle, and its one of the best parts of the watch. Eloquently designed, the dial looks fantastic overall, and the changes to the dial’s apperance the crystal makes as it refracts and warps light only adds to its appeal. The crystal gives the dial a real sense of depth and makes the watch feel like something special.
The depth of the dial really draws attention to the watch. Almost everyone I’ve shown the 7640-1 to has commented on how it looks. Common reactions include phrases like “gorgeous” and “oh cool”- it’s one of the few watches I’ve worn that non-watch people also really enjoy. The dial is intricate but done well; despite its complexity, the dial never feels overdone or busy.
At 6 o’clock is the second time zone. When manipulating the main crown, the second time zone will auto adjust based on your inputs. If you don’t want to change the time on the dual time display, simply use the crown at 4 o’clock to manipulate the subdial on its own. It is finely grooved and refracts light in a subtle but attractive way.
The entire package looks and feels right at home on the brown crocodile-grain leather strap. The rich brown compliments the dial- in my opinion, this is the best looking version of this watch.
Graf Zeppelin is a relatively unknown brand to me. This is the first watch of theirs I’ve worn or owned, and I’m really impressed by how they’ve styled it. This is easily one of the beset looking watches in my collection.
Graf Zeppelin 7640-1 Build Quality
For nearly $300 I’d normally harp about the lack of sapphire, and I feel that it’s a missed opportunity to really solidify the longevity of this watch. However, the dual-time movement, overall quality of build, and the domed crystal are all appropriate for its price. Given these things, I can live without sapphire.
Crystal, Case, & Dial
Buuuut, as much as I can “live” with the mineral crystal, that hasn’t changed that it’s gotten a little marked up when worn. You can see a mark in the crystal near the 12 o’clock position- I’m not sure how it got there, but it’s there nonetheless. This makes me concerned for the crystal, as it protrudes 2-3mm above the bezel and is large enough to attract unintended knocks against car doors, desks, and other hazards you’ll encounter in the day.
The case, polished to a shine, still looks great after many hours of wrist time. The entire case is polished, and while it doesn’t show scratches on the bezel or sides, the lugs are starting to show a decent amount of wear.
Free of any defects, the dial is well built and matches its presentation. This watch will look great for many years, though you may wind up replacing the crystal more than once.
Strap & Clasp
The brown leather strap has worn well and aged nicely. It’s one of the most comfortable straps I’ve worn on a watch at this price, and it’s aging appropriately. The front of the strap shows subtle signs of use, but far less than its actual wrist time would suggest. It’s going to look great for a long time.
A clear miss is the clasp, which is an unbranded standard steel buckle. This was an opportunity to emboss the Zeppelin logo, which is one of my new favorites, and complete the package. I’m not sure why this was omitted, and while it’s a small thing to skip, it’s something that could have really drove home the look.
The buckle is otherwise unremarkable, doing its job as it should.
About the Ronda 6203.B Quartz Movement
Ronda states the 6203.B’s accuracy to be within -10/+20 seconds per month. Toolwatch shows a monthly deviation of -7 seconds- really good! Most quartz movements are accurate to within a half second to second per day; by comparison, the Ronda 6203.B inside the Zeppelin is accurate to within a quarter second per day.
This is the first time I’ve had hands-on experience with a quartz movement from Ronda, and it’s been a positive one overall. You should expect many years of reliable operation from this movement.
How to Set the Graf Zeppelin 7640-1
- To set the time, pull the crown to its furthest position (3). Turn clockwise to set the time. Note that the date display will automatically roll forward at midnight.
- To set the date, pull the crown to the middle position (2). Turn clockwise to adjust the date.
- To set the second time zone, pull the crown at 4 o’clock to its furthest position (2). Turn clockwise to set the time. Note that the date display will not automatically roll over at midnight when operating the second display.
Graf Zeppelin 7640-1 Photo Gallery
Where to Buy
There’s a Lot of Value in This Zeppelin That Makes it a Contender
A dual-time watch using a Swiss movement is already uncommon, and this is especially true at the sub-$300 price point. Finding one that looks this good and is built this well for $290 is a tall order; in many ways, Graf Zeppelin has really identified the niche this watch fills.
This watch is part of the “100 years of Zeppelin” collection, and it feels as special as the name would suggest. A lot of watches in this price range feel generic, whereas this Zeppelin really feels like something unique and interesting. It’s a conversation piece, people love it, and it’s not hard to see why.
Between the big date at 12 o’clock, the second time display at 6 o’clock, and looks that are among the best its in class, I enthusiastically recommend this watch for someone looking for something unique, interesting, and beautifully styled.
In every way that matters, this Zeppelin is a great pick.
Graf Zeppelin "100 Years of Zeppelin" 7640-1 Review Conclusion
My Thoughts I really enjoy this watch in every objective and subjective way. I think it's beautiful to look at, and I love how well incorporated the big date and dual time complications are. I also love the domed crystal, which is easily my favorite part of the watch. If you've got $300 to spend on a new watch, have a look at this one.
Aesthetics & Design
Movement Accuracy & Reliability
Value for Money