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Thread: Kemmner Marine

  1. #1

    Kemmner Marine

    Kemmner Marine



    History of the Marine Watch

    It is not possible to write a review of a watch like this without delving a little in to the history of the design. The design of this watch dates back to the 1940s and the German Navy. The Kriegsmarine (literally ‘War Navy’ in German) pocket watch was produced to the same style by six different companies. Here we can see a Stowa on the left, a Lange & Sohne in the centre with power reserve in addition to sub-seconds, and an IWC on the right.



    Much like the B-Uhr no watch company owns this design and many companies make wristwatches to the design today. Below, from left to right, we see the Dornbluth 99.0, introduced in 2003, an exquisite piece, and priced accordingly at €3400 for the base model in stainless steel with no options. In the middle is the Stowa Marine Original, introduced in 2006 and priced at €840. On the right is the Jacques Etoile Lissabon Saximus, introduced in 2003 and available with a variety of movements, and prices ranging from the Stowa to the base Dornbluth for the most expensive option.



    Case

    The case is a Kemmner SG8210. Available in a variety of finishes this one is fully polished, fitted with a 45 degree bezel, coin edge crown and display back. The case measures 42mm diameter (without the crown), 52mm lug tip to lug tip and 10.7mm thick. Lug width is 22mm. The quality of the case is superb with crisp edges, perfect mirror finish everywhere, and all parts fitting together correctly. The rear crystal is mineral glass. The front crystal is sapphire with double A/R. Under most light conditions the crystal is completely invisible and it looks as if you could reach in and touch the hands and dial.



    Dial and Hands

    The dial is gloss white with printed Arabic numerals, railroad minutes track, and recessed sub-seconds dial. I opted for the sterile dial but it can be had with the Kemmner logo. There is no lume, unlike the original Kriegsmarine pocket watches which had full-lume dials. The dial printing is generally good and withstands scrutiny with a loupe for the most part, however the curved bottom part of the number 5 has a slight imperfection. This is not noticeable at normal viewing distance but can be seen if you look very closely with the naked eye, and is clearly visible in the macro photos. The Poire hands are not heat blued but painted with some type of translucent paint. The effect is very pleasing, the colour varying from almost black to pale blue depending on the angle of the light and the type of light source. Hand alignment is perfect. The minute hand reaches deep in to the minutes track and makes reading the time to within 10-15 seconds a snap, even at a quick glance.





    Movement

    The movement I selected for this watch is a non-hacking ETA 6498-1, with Geneva stripes, blued screws and sunburst gears. It beats at 18,000bph. Winding is very smooth and can be accomplished with just one finger. Power reserve was measured at a little over 48 hours. As delivered the watch was running 15s per day fast (worn for about 16 hours a day), however this rate was very stable and, after allowing it to settle in for a few weeks, regulation to better than a few seconds a day was easy to achieve. As is apparently normal for the 6498 there is some positional variation:

    Face up: +8s
    Crown down: +2s
    Crown up: -4s
    On the wrist: -2s

    This allows the time to be ‘tweaked’ by leaving it either crown-up/down or face up over night although simply leaving it face up every night accrues only around 10s error per week. The movement/case combination is relatively loud, making more noise than any of my other wristwatches (which use smaller movements), but it is not obtrusive.



    Strap

    The strap that the watch came on was strange. Very strange. The quality was fine, calf leather with a croco grain, nicely finished but it was huge. Maybe it was designed for Arnold Schwarzenegger or something. Measuring 130mm hole side and 95mm buckle side I couldn’t have used it on my 7” wrist even if I had wanted to. On a crocodile strap it looks quite dressy, and on a plain leather band it looks a lot more casual.

    Customer Service

    Roland Kemmner is an enigmatic figure, with much speculation on watch forums about his activities, parts sources and how to contact him. This is probably partly because he has no website and rarely contributes to forums (but has stated he is an avid reader of some). He was a former production engineer at Fricker before branching out on his own. He has worked on the design and assembly of a number of Time Factors watches from the PRS-20 onwards. He also does much work designing and supplying parts for other niche brands – for example the Kemmner Octopus started the whole ‘2000m diver’ thing which is the basis of the Deep Blue Master Diver, Wilson Watchworks 2000m and a host of others. He has an ebay shop (‘erkahund’) which has both parts and whole watches for sale on a sporadic basis. I had been watching his shop for some time waiting for a Marine to appear with no luck. In the end I emailed him directly. He replied just a few hours later, on a Sunday at that. After stating what I wanted the watch was assembled and dispatched in 2 weeks. Roland is a pleasure to do business with, very flexible and very quick to respond to email.



    Conclusion

    I love this watch. It feels quite ‘exclusive’ due to the fact that you can’t just go and order one off a website. Also, the other Kemmner Marines in existence often look different as you can choose from 3 cases (in multiple finishes), 4 bezels, 4 crowns, 2 dials (with/without the Kemmner logo) and no less than 8 movements (various combinations of Seagull 3620 or ETA 6498 in plain, decorated, PVD or skeleton finish). The Seagull movements are considerably cheaper but various articles on the web seem to indicate issues with quality control on this movement hence my choice of ETA.
    The value for money is superb. Roland provides a full breakdown of the cost rather than quoting an all-in cost. The most expensive part of this watch was the ETA movement but it was still 30% cheaper than the price from UK wholesalers Cousins. The total cost was €259 inc shipping.

  2. #2
    Master simonsev's Avatar
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    Re: Kemmner Marine

    Nice review and lovely watch, now very tempted, don't think I would wear one often enough to justify the Stowa but this is most definately a good option.

    Thanks for posting.. :)

  3. #3
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Re: Kemmner Marine



    As you are looking into the history of “The Marine” there is also Steinhart …



    ... which also comes with Romans as many of this style do.

    Also you will find the story that the style originates from deck clocks to be a Stowa story. :wink:



    A centre seconds watch can be a Marine too.

    john

  4. #4
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Re: Kemmner Marine

    Good write up, TYVM for posting. :)

  5. #5

    Re: Kemmner Marine

    A nice classic watch, it is not too fusy like many modern designs.

  6. #6
    Master wildheart's Avatar
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    Re: Kemmner Marine

    Cracking review thanks for that. Kemmner certainly is an interesting charactor :)

  7. #7
    Master
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    Dredged this thread up from many moons ago....

    I've just purchased one of these from SC and have to say that I am really pleased with it. I was very concerned that a 42mm watch with 52mm lug-to-lug measurement would be far to big for my wrist (approx 7"), but am pleased to say that I think it wears very well, thanks in some part to the downward curving lugs.

    The overall fit, finish and feel of this watch is very good considering the price. Ok, so it may not quite be up to Stowa finish standards, but it is very pleasing nonetheless. It certainly has wrist presence and has a very clean, simple appearance which I think will wear well casual or more dressy.

    Time will tell if I really bond with this watch and how it performs in the time keeping stakes (it has the ETA/Unitias 6498-1 handwound movement), but first impressions are good.

    Not my photo, as the watch only arrived yesterday, but I will replace it with one of my own soon....

  8. #8
    Craftsman
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    Thanks to the original writer and thanks for digging up the thread again.
    Very nice pictures of the Marine. I wonder how a D ring instead of the 45° would look like.

    P.S. I currently have my forth Kemmner incoming, this time a Seahorse, but different hands to the original Kemmner Seahorse.
    I have above mentioned ETA in the Kemmner Einzeiger and find it very precise (judged by a one hand dial watch anyway )

  9. #9
    Master Reeny's Avatar
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    Marine chonometers were used a long time before 1940.
    Based the Harrison design, the marine Chronometers evolved to give the British Navy a navigational advantage to help win wars, and build the Empire.


    There are some good articles out there.
    http://www.ulysse-nardin.ch/en/swiss...onometers.html

    I enjoyed reading this one in particular.
    http://www.tp178.com/mh/un_pics/UN_Marine_Design.html

  10. #10
    Craftsman _jonte's Avatar
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    Sv: Kemmner Marine

    Beautiful watch and thanks for the review!

  11. #11
    Master Lammylee's Avatar
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    Great review of a fine watch, I love leaning about different models on this forum! Outstanding value for something rare and special!

  12. #12
    I purchased a Kemmner Marine a few months ago. Roman numeral dial red 12. The quality of it is quite good. One thing I would point out is it does sit quite large on the wrist, I know Steinhart Marine watches are a little bigger and the crown is larger but this does sit reasonably high so it may be something to consider. Never seen a Stowa in the flesh but this is certainly a good entry level marine watch.

    Regarding the customer service of the seller, he responded to all my e-mails pretty quickly and I had the option to choose dial, crown and strap. All and all I cant complain about his customer service. I understand reading around forums people have mixed reviews of his customer service but personally I didnt have any problems.

    Will try and post a few pictures of mine if thats ok.

  13. #13
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert75 View Post
    I purchased a Kemmner Marine a few months ago. Roman numeral dial red 12. The quality of it is quite good. One thing I would point out is it does sit quite large on the wrist, I know Steinhart Marine watches are a little bigger and the crown is larger but this does sit reasonably high so it may be something to consider. Never seen a Stowa in the flesh but this is certainly a good entry level marine watch.

    Regarding the customer service of the seller, he responded to all my e-mails pretty quickly and I had the option to choose dial, crown and strap. All and all I cant complain about his customer service. I understand reading around forums people have mixed reviews of his customer service but personally I didnt have any problems.

    Will try and post a few pictures of mine if thats ok.
    Did you just email Roland? I keep an eye out on his ebay listings but haven't seen a Marine on there. I am tempted by the Seahorse dive watch. Seems good value and I have a bit of a thing for titanium. Lokking forward to your pics....

  14. #14
    Journeyman
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    Excellent watch , great review

  15. #15
    Sorry I didnt see your reply. When I got my Marine they were on sale on his ebay page. I wanted it to be a sterile dial though so I sent him an e-mail. He replied very quickly and gave me a choice of dials, crown and strap so I would guess that he does have them in stock but maybe just changes what he puts up for sale from time to time.

  16. #16






    Not the best photos (Dust on the first one) I will try and post some better pictures in the week.

  17. #17
    On a different strap which I think works a lot better with the marine watch.


  18. #18
    Apprentice Whatyoulookinat's Avatar
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    Kemmner

    Thanks for a nice review.
    I have a Kemmner Bund which I am very fond of, I think a marine may sit nicely alongside.
    I also own a couple of Steinharts, highly recommended to all.

  19. #19

    Kemmner Marine

    Thanks for this review! It was nice to read it!

  20. #20
    Journeyman
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    Nice watch with a classic look!

  21. #21
    Craftsman
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    Great review, I only hear good things about kemmner. I am really interested by the seahorse but can't decide on which hand combo to go for.

  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    Kemmner Marine

    Very beautiful watch...
    I would struggle to distinguish it from a Stowa.

  23. #23
    Journeyman
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    Nice, clean dial. At a first glance not at all my kind of watch but after a while I really like it! Might need to get one now...

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