- Kronhauser Automatik Specifications
- Simple, Classic, & Good Looking
- Excellent Construction Elevates the Automatik’s Details
- Two dial choices, numerous straps
- Crossing the Finish(ing) Line Way Ahead of the Pack
- The Automatik sports a Miyota Automatic
- A great entry-level automatic from a promising microbrand
- Kronhauser Automatik Photo Gallery
There’s always space in my watch box for a watch like this
Words/Photography: Me. Kronhauser provided the Blue Sunburst and Silver Opaline Automatik’s at no-charge for the purposes of this review.
On display today is an attractive collection from Kronhauser, a German microbrand formed in 2018 that ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in mid-2019.
Born from that Kickstarter is the Automatik Collection, a 40mm classic upscale-casual/dress watch featuring a Miyota automatic movement, sapphire glass, and tastefully reserved styling.
In my mind, watches like these are the reason that Kickstarter exists, and that I have an Automatik here to photograph, wear, and showcase is a byproduct of the best thing to happen to the watch community.
And so Kronhauser themselves may be a small brand, but their inaugural watch makes a big impression and points to a promising future for this growing brand from Münsterland.
Kronhauser Automatik Specifications
- Model Number: Automatik
- MSRP: €298 / $345 USD
- Case Dimensions: 40 mm
- Alternate Models: Two dial options, multiple straps
- Movement: Miyota 821A automatic
- Complications: Date display
- Power Reserve: Est. 42 hours
- Water Resistance: 50 m / 165 ft
- Crystal Material: Crystal
Simple, Classic, & Good Looking
A good looking watch should never be gimmicky. If you’re intending on creating something that may be shared as gifts or passed down as heirlooms, and you want your watch to be taken seriously, avoiding gimmicks is effectively a requirement.
The Automatik certainly isn’t gimmicky. Its clean lines, easy-to-read typeface, and uncomplicated dial are effective in conveying a mature, refined personality. The oculus that sits on the dial above the date display at 3 o’clock is the only unusual element- an inclusion that is curious and uncommon.
Also uncommon is the 40 mm case size. Okay, so a 40 mm case size may not be uncommon per say, but it is notable if only for the fact that watches on aggregate are growing. In my opinion, 40 mm is the perfect size for just about every man.
By sizing the Automatik at 40 mm, Kronhauser has ensured that it complements as opposed to overtakes the wrist. A wise decision that makes the Automatik that much better, I might add.
The Automatik has very quickly become a regular part of my rotation, and not just because of this review. It’s a comfortable watch that I genuinely enjoy wearing.
Excellent Construction Elevates the Automatik’s Details
The polished stainless steel case makes smart use of sweeping curves and unbroken lines. Light wraps around the case like a silk sheet, flowing from the bezel to the gently-curved lugs. The Automatik looks good from all angles and, thankfully, that includes when you’re scrutinizing its details and looking at its construction.
Note the oculus in the photo above, and specifically how flat and precise its placement on the dial over top of the date display at 3 o’clock is. It adheres to the sapphire crystal with no visible imperfection along its surface, and it is properly visually aligned.
I must admit that I was concerned when I saw that it had an oculus, as a sub-$350 price point doesn’t leave Kronhauser much room for margin when you consider the costs tied to the movement, strap, and sapphire glass.
Usually, when I see highly-affordable watches with a decent auto and crystal, it comes at the expense of a few cut corners. But, as far as I can tell, none were cut here.
Two dial choices, numerous straps
Both are great looking colorways, but I’m partial to the Silver Opaline. The blue hands of the Silver Opaline model stand out and are a wonderful complement to the blue hour markers.
But that isn’t to say that the Dark Blue Sunburst itself isn’t a looker because, well, just look at it.
Crossing the Finish(ing) Line Way Ahead of the Pack
As I mentioned earlier in the review, when a watch comes in seemingly “offering it all” for a low price – and $350 is a low price for a watch like this – I almost certainly find gaps in its finishing or construction. That is not the case with either Kronhauser I have here: the finishing on the dial, from the printed markers to the cut-out for the date display, is consistently good. The same story applies to the rest of the case.
In the above photo, there are several examples of good finishing quality:
- The texture of the dial is uniform; there are no breaks, seams, or nicks in the dial that disrupt the texture or indicate subpar manufacturing.
- The hour markers are cleanly printed, with unbroken edges and even fill, and are properly aligned. Where appropriate, the minute markers all conform in both length and color.
- The hands do not have any scratches or indentations; there are no flaws in the color, and the dark blue appears uniform and even.
The above three are subtle things that you often won’t even see or notice with your unaided eye. However, under scrutiny and assisted by a macro lens, cut corners here are glaringly obvious. The Automatik is free of any such issues, which is excellent – it speaks to its $350 price very well.
The Automatik sports a Miyota Automatic
The beating heart of the Automatik collection is a Miyota 821A automatic movement, which is effectively a gussied-up Miyota 8215. Compared to the 8215, the 821A has Geneva stripes on the movement and a cut-out and decorated rotor.
The 8215/821A is a robust, albeit unremarkable, entry-level automatic movement that offers acceptable accuracy and power reserve. This version also hacks and hand-winds, which is somewhat notable as earlier versions of the 8215/821A did not.
The 821A beats at 21,600 bph and sports a 42-hour power reserve. Expect accuracy in the -20 / +40 seconds per day range (perfectly average and acceptable given the price).
A great entry-level automatic from a promising microbrand
I really like the Automatik and can’t think of any meaningful criticism. It offers a fantastic value proposition and asks for no compromises from its wearers. Its time on my wrist has been comfortable, and more than one person has taken note of its everyday good-looks.
From the automatic movement – which is a modern version of the 821A with all the standard bells and whistles – to its appearance, the Automatik collection is a great series of watches that I’m keen to recommend.
It’s not often that I get to pen a review that is universal in its praise, but it’s always a welcome experience because it means that what I am speaking to has all the qualities I value in a watch.
Kronhauser offers a 2-year warranty and free shipping. As of today, the Automatik is available for a touch under €298 / $345 USD. That’s a great price for a watch of this caliber.
Kronhauser Automatik Photo Gallery
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