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Dievas Vintage Kampfschwimmer  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Sun Dec 16th, 2007 12:12 am
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Paxman
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Thanks to Anders at Gnomon I’m the happy owner of a Dievas Vintage Kampfschwimmer, and I’m quite pleased to have decided to purchase this watch as a Christmas present. Anders is a pleasure to work with and was kind enough to get the watch to me in absolute record time and included the sweet Christmas special of an additional strap, screwdriver, lugs and additional screws. Full kit!! Expect a fantastic experience when working with Anders at Gnomon watches. Simply top notch all the way!

 

Now on to the watch. This is completely unlike anything else I have and believe me, I never thought of myself as wanting an homage watch in this style. This is an homage to the Rolex Panerai Kampfschwimmer of the late 1930’s and 1940’s. See below for examples of the original models. Sorry no credit but nabbed off the internet!!







 

As you can see the watch is the very epitome of simplicity. No markings beyond the understated California dial. Not even a second hand. The ultimate in clarity and brevity. Time keeping duties are handled by the two blued stick/baton hands. The dial work is beautiful and the vintage tinged lume is a real work of art in my opinion. This touch gives the watch an already lived in look ideal for a vintage homage. .The dials resides in a highly polished cushion case of copious proportions. The fit and finish are excellent and the smooth, reflective surfaces are a pleasure to gaze upon. Screwed in wire lugs at 26mm offer plenty of strap options beyond the very meaty pigskin the Kampfschwimmer arrived wearing.

 

The Cali dial sits beneath a massive domed acrylic crystal which adds an extra dimension to the watch’s presence. The large domed acrylic does show striations when held and twirled under sunlight but this is only natural in a crystal with this large a dome. That big ass crystal makes the watch a challenge to photograph. The large crystal really adds an element of depth to the watch face.

 

The watch is powered by a Unitas 6497 movement which is nicely finished with blued screws and hammering on the plates. Winding and operation are buttery smooth and ultra satisfying. The nicely knurled crown winds effortlessly and is easy to grasp and operate. You can’t quibble with the 6497. It is what it is, and it is a mighty fine and long lived movement.

 

The Dievas packaging is really nice too. The watch came well packaged and includes an outer box and inner wooden box with a beautiful piano finish done in jade green. The entire experience exceeds expectations and shows how a committed vendor can design and produce a high quality watch with all the accoutrements at a very reasonable price. We all know what this watch looks like but the real value is in the details!

 

Thanks for reading and here are some pix:































 

 

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 Posted: Sun Dec 16th, 2007 12:54 am
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Dookie
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hey,
     just replied in the 'just arrived' forum.....didnt know u managed to get a review done in such short time. Must be a record in its own right. ahauahauh. Thanks for the write up, very informative and interesting indeeed...and can i say it looks really really good on your wristcool10.gif....if i decide to get it (which i reckon i wil ;) ), it must also be one of the most unique watch in my collection. Theres nothign like a bit of history to add to the charm. Congrats its definately a great buy mark!! smile8.gifsmile8.gif

regards
chris

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 Posted: Sun Dec 16th, 2007 02:24 pm
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Paxman
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Thanks, Chris!! I had some time while I minded the children and my wife did some Xmas shopping so I whipped this together. Perhaps I shouldn't have locked the kids in their rooms...toon1.gif

I can say without a doubt that if you grab any of the Dievas Vintage series you will be pleased with your purchase. A very pleasurable piece imho!!

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 Posted: Sun Dec 16th, 2007 03:31 pm
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Nordstrom
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That is a great looking watch.  My list is getting longer and longer. 

Two questions about this watch:

1.  Why an acrylic crystal?  What are the pros/cons to this choice?

2.  What is the history of the California dial?  Half roman, half arabic?  Is there a functional reason for this change in numbers on the dial, or is it a design choice?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this watch.

Erik

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 Posted: Mon Dec 17th, 2007 06:12 am
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Dookie
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hmm,
      acrylic is more prone to scatches....a con obviously......but its more 'authentic', as almost all vintage pieces used acrylic and it adds to that overall 'wabi'  feel perhaps? But scatches can be buffed out easy..so not a deal breaker imo. :):)
i dunno bout the cali dial.so i let those in the know anyswer that. smile8.gif

regards
chris

Last edited on Mon Dec 17th, 2007 06:15 am by Dookie

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 Posted: Mon Dec 17th, 2007 11:43 am
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Paxman
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Erik, I can't pretend to be a watch historian but these are my speculations as to yuor questions.

I am not certain the originals had an acrylic crystal but think it may have been pastic/plexi. I think the acrylic most closely resemble that option. These were considered highly shatterproof in the day and though prone to scratching and scuffing, they are easily buffed out. They certainly do collect micro scratches!!

I am not certain of the origin of the California dial but believe this particular model was used by the Gwerman Kanpfschwimmer and the California dial may have been exclusive to that group. It is highly legible.

Just my speculations. Perhaps if Anders has a moment he could give us more detail on the historical points.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 17th, 2007 01:23 pm
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oagaspar
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That is Absolutely Awesome Mark....Congrats!hand6.gif I told you Glenn Beck of CNN who is on the cover of this months WatchTime was wearing a original at his book signing ... I wish I had the Dievas homage at the time because it would have blown his mind!yourock.gif

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 Posted: Wed Dec 19th, 2007 12:14 am
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anders213
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Every part of this watch was designed with a reason.

1) Why we used acrylic is because the original watch in the 30s-40s was using acrylic as well. And its shatterproof. And of course easily polished if you do scratch it.

2) Why the name california dial. This style of dial was used by the German Kampschwimmer. And the orginal design was used by Rolex back in the 30s-40s. And there was this company in California who was used to redial these watches with this design. Thats why the name california dial.

Remember to wear it rough Mark. The more scratches and ding, the more authentic or vintage it looks.

Regards
Anders

Last edited on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 12:51 am by anders213

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 Posted: Wed Dec 19th, 2007 11:33 am
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Paxman
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Thanks for the info Anders. Good to know. Jeez brother, I don't wanna beat on this baby too much... its just too pretty!!

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 Posted: Mon Feb 25th, 2008 02:13 pm
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JKang
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 here's my Dievas on a narrower 24mm calf-leather strap.  Soft as buttah, on my favourite Billingham bag.  I have the pleasure of disturbing Anders at his shop once every few weeks and I can assure you the man makes an excellent product!  It's a pity Singaporean consumers rarely give local brands a chance.  Case in point: our local brand Azimuth has to market itself alternatively just to break thru this glass ceiling.

Jon

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 Posted: Fri Mar 7th, 2008 03:09 pm
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gianton
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Great review, thanks!

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 Posted: Wed Jul 16th, 2008 03:00 pm
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fuelman
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Mr. "Paxman",

Just saw your archived post on the Vintage Unitas Kampfschwimmer Hand Wind Watch from '06.

Is is possible there is already a knock off of that re-issue Dievas ? I recently purchased one from a fellow in Austin, identical except the crown has a different sign, and the back is solid not display. Also the hands are black, not blue. Love the California dial, was previously unfamiliar with the half and half style. Is there a back story you can share with regard to that? I have been a swiss automatic man for years, and this is my first man-wind. I love that it is such an interesting piece, even if it is a knock off... 

Also love the Killface header. Seriously, is there going to be a third season? No one gets it and I can't really spread the word unless they put that ridiculous cartoon back on the air.

Thank's, hope to learn more from you (my first post on a watch site).

New member,

Fuelman Steve


 

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