Inhorgenta Munich — A Haven Of Independent Brands A fine day out at the fair by Rob NuddsFebruary 15, 2020 MIN READInhorgenta Munich — A Haven Of Independent Brands
As one of Germany’s most important watch and jewelry fairs, tickets for Inhorgenta Munich were hot property. A bustling atmosphere and fine array of brands ensured a stellar success for the organizers. Fratello deployed a trio of intrepid fair-goers to check out the novelties on show.
And yes, we tried to photograph the pieces for you. As anyone who has ever been to a watch fair will know, taking good quality images on the fly is close-to-impossible. As the importance of on-the-spot reporting via social media channels grows, some fairs are starting to take note and provide special, well-lit areas for journalists to snap the products. While Inhorgenta Munich didn’t offer that, it certainly packed a punch from a goods perspective.
Daniel, Nadja, and I convened at the Neue Messe in Munich. While no one seemed to care that Daniel and I had shown up, Fortis erected a massive welcome sign for Nadja immediately outside the entrance. I would have protested but given that she is far less annoying than either Daniel or I, the blatant favoritism kind of made sense…
With just one day and six brands to see, we raced from stand-to-stand, frantically discussing each brand’s plans for the year ahead and desperately trying to grab at least one decent shot of the new watches to share with our beloved Fratelli. Each of these brands and their novelties will receive more coverage later this year, but for now, here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store from these selected independents.
I have about 50 watches in my collection, and not a single one of them has a blue dial. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. Weirder still, I rarely think about it. I’ve always kind of intended to buy an Omega Seamaster 300M with a classic blue dial but it just hasn’t happened yet. There’s always something else in the way. Always something more imperative. And it’s normally something green…
Sinn has kindly taken upon itself to remind me of the color blue and how my collection might benefit from an injection of it. This new day/date auto with old radium lume is something of a treat. It is just about the richest blue I’ve seen on a dial. Definitely worth seeing in real life.
We were also lucky enough to catch-up with the Sinn 158 Chronograph featured in yesterday’s article. It’s a really lovely design with a distinct heritage vibe courtesy of the high-domed hesalite crystal. I’d love to see it with a splash of old radium and a pilot’s bezel with five-minute increments instead. If I’m really pushing my luck I’d like to see the automatic SW510 swapped out for a manual SW500, which could shave a couple of millimeters off the height. Unlikely, but hey, a boy can dream.
This was the first big surprise of Inhorgenta Munich for me. This Orient watch totally took my breath away. I really wasn’t expecting it. It’s big. It’s beautifully designed. And, you guessed it, it’s green. Loads of smart design decisions here, including the soft curve of the bezel, which helps reduce some of this hulking piece’s visual weight. My favorite bit? The finish on the hands. The finely-blasted surface makes this one of the most legible divers’ watches I’ve ever seen. Normally power reserves at 12 annoy me, but this watch is big enough to afford it plenty of space without encroaching on the 12 o’clock marker’s territory.
You might already be a little bit tired of my effusive positivity but remember — these are the “best bits according to Rob,” so cut me some slack. Having said that, I might be about to use up all that slack by proclaiming — truthfully and without having been plied with vodka — that I would consider wearing the Alexander Shorokoff Autumn (pictured above) myself. I’m serious. I love artful dials, and this leafy, diamond-dust-coated extravaganza makes for a fascinating read. My NOMOS-wearing girlfriend may turf me out if I come home rocking it on a pink stingray strap, but it would be worth a night on the streets to look this fabulous (and to also be visible from Space).
Inhorgenta Munich revealed that there are some really, really exciting things coming from Fortis over the next 12 months. Really exciting. But we can’t reveal too much more at this point. But for fans of the above model, there is good news. There will be a follow-up. What it will be like we cannot say (because we don’t know), but assuming it boasts the same build quality it will be worth a look. I’ll be heading to Grenchen in March to sit down with Jupp, the owner, so expect more coverage from this surging brand soon.
I wrote-up the Astroscope yesterday. Having seen it in person and delved into some of the nuances of its operation, I promise you I will do a hands-on review to explain everything I picked up. It’s a cool design, which, as I said before, takes the MeisterSinger one hand concept and does something funky around it. My favorite of the two colorways had been the blue, but I found out today that the text on the pictured model also glows in the dark (the “old radium” font glows green and the white elements glow blue). That means the above model looks a lot cooler at night and has a proper astral feel to it. The blue text doesn’t glow so I’d take the above option if you forced me to choose.
The star of Inhorgenta Munich (pun only partially intended) was, for me, Sternglas. Our last meeting of the day descended into a matey chat with founder Dustin Fontaine Watch fairs are always fun but can sometimes feel very much like work. When you meet a like-minded designer and get the chance to chat for a few minutes it is a real pleasure. Thankfully, we had no other engagements to attend so it didn’t matter that our meandering chinwag overran by 30 minutes or so.
The brand features a mixture of automatic and quartz options, with several tasty releases planned for 2020. The best model is the recently-released Kanton automatic (pictured above). Its silver-plated dial might be tricky to photograph, but its ever-changing character is a delight in real life. This is a watch that looks 100 times better in person than it does on photos. As Daniel astutely observed, it looks like the NOMOS Glashütte Minimatik’s bigger brother. As such, we’ve nicknamed it the Maximatik for your amusement. A surprisingly shapely case and some of the best (and most expensive) lume dots you’re likely to find make this thing a classy option from top to bottom. Stay tuned for more from the featured brands. And please let us know your favorite of the pictured watches in the comments below. Follow the fair here.
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About the author
Rob’s first exposure to the watch industry was a part-time retail role for the Signet Group at the age of 17. An obsession with watches soon developed. Following an ill-advised BSc in Archaeological Science, he applied for sponsorship to undertake… read more
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