For those who aren’t familiar with Staudt Watches, a small recap. Staudt Watches was found by Yvo Staudt. Yvo (1991) is actually a professional musician and plays classical accordion. He studied in Italy for two consecutive years with one of the best classical accordionists in the world. While being away from family and friends during that time, he finds some peace in studying mechanical watches.
He falls in love with a timepiece that he simply can’t afford. He tries to search for an affordable alternative, but without much luck. Instead he decides to do it himself. Design and create a watch he will truly like and enjoy. He teaches the art of designing and assembling a mechanical watch himself, and months later, he comes up with his first watch. This was 2013.
His friends and other watch enthusiasts are intrigued by his watch and ask Yvo to create one for them as well. At the end of 2014, he comes up with a couple of watches (Staudt Praeludium) that are immediately sold. Yvo decides that this is the direction he needs to go, and further develops his watchmaking skills and everything on the business side. Then, in October 2015, he comes up with an entire new collection of Staudt Praeludium watches.
In the meanwhile, Staudt Watches is building a network of retailers.
A few months ago already, I met Yvo Staudt during an event in the east part of The Netherlands. An area where I grew up and where my family still lives. We talked about watches for about an hour and although I heard about him and his watches, I never actually handled them myself. I was quite impressed, to say the least, and asked Yvo if he could send one for review. So after a few weeks of wearing and trying, here is my review on the Staudt Praeludium hand wound watch.
The name Praeludium (or prelude) refers of course to Yvo’s love for music, and has to do with a piece or movement that serves as an introduction to a fugue or another section of composition. Much used by Johann Sebastian Bach. For me, it is the name of the watch. And while it isn’t a difficult one to pronounce, you can imagine that not everyone will write it down correctly immediately. That can be a little pitfall right there. Some things shouldn’t be too hard, like the name of a brand or model on the dial.
Yvo sent me the watch in the presentation box that every new owner of the Staudt Praeludium receives his or her watch. An impressive box (I left out the cardboard outer box) with a nice red lacquer seal. Nice chromed hinges and a push & release lock to keep it safely closed during travel. Some brands that consider themselves to be more luxury or high-end, can take an example of this Staudt Praeludium presentation box.
A diameter of 42.5mm is not your usual size for a dress watch. The Staudt Praeludium really is a dress watch, so the question remains whether you can handle 42.5mm on your wrist. It is even a little bit larger than a Speedmaster Professional, but due its height and shape, the Staudt Praeludium hand wound watch wears much smaller than that. However, some people aren’t capable of watching beyond the specifications. Just give it a try before stating that a dress watch should be 37mm or 39mm. There’s more to it than just the diameter, the case design, bezel and lugs also influence how the watch is being perceived on the wrist.
The case is 10.51mm in height and wears comfortably on the wrist. Both sides are covered with an anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal. The polished lugs have a nice downwards slope and the case has a very thing polished bezel. All-in-all, I didn’t get the feeling I was wearing a 42.5mm watch but instead, a classy and comfortable dress watch.
The crown is signed with an ‘S’, of Staudt Watches. On the image below you can also see how curved those lugs are.
As you can see, the dial consists of two color tones of blue. Staudt also offers the Praeludium in (Arctic) white and (Midnight) black. I prefer the two tone blue dial though. The multi-layered dial is very clean and classy. At 6 o’clock, there is a small seconds and the tone of blue from the dial’s center piece can be found again in the outer track as well. A design well done by Yvo Staudt.
The Arabic numerals are printed in the darker part of the dial and the beautiful leaf shaped hands are sleek and long. The minute hand reached to the end of the minute track, where the hour hand touches the hour scale. The polished hands give a nice contrast to the two-tone blue dial.
Where Yvo Staudt could have decided to put in a relatively standard or unfinished movement inside, which is so common these days, he made sure there are enough modifications made to this Unitas 6498-1 caliber. The rose gold colored movement draws immediate attention. Another detail that I find interesting is that the rubies are set in chatons, something you normally only see in the high-end category of watches. Furthermore, the movement has a nice circular Côtes de Genève finish, polished screws (some blued) and a swanneck regulator. Technically, the movement has been tweaked a bit more compared to a standard caliber 6498-1. The movement ticks at 21,600vph instead of 18,000vph and the movement is constructed with 19 jewels instead of the original 17.
As you can see below, the Staudt Watches coat of arms has been engraved in the 3/4 base-plate.
I am not a big fan of folding clasps myself, as I often find them too bulky or just not comfortable. I prefer a buckle, also on this Staudt Praeludium. That said, the buckle worked correctly all the time and is signed ‘Staudt’ on the clasp. The strap itself looks and wears very nicely. A comfortable brown soft alligator strap with matching brown stitching, hand-made in Italy.
Truth to be told, Yvo is a great guy to talk to and his enthusiasm is almost infectious. That was also the tricky part, as you really want to like the watch because Yvo is a nice person. If a watch doesn’t live up to your expectations or standards, it becomes more difficult to deal with that as you don’t want to harm him and his business. Luckily, that is not the case. If we don’t like a watch here on Fratello Watches, we will tell you as all our reviews are written by our editorial team and aren’t paid for by brands.
The quality of the watch is certainly impressive, especially for the price of 2350 Euro. Today, it is quite a challenge to find something of this quality in the price range between 2000 and 2500 Euro. Staudt did a very nice job on the design of the case, the dial, hands and the customized gold colored movement. The alligator strap also adds to the price of course, but is a necessity in this price range to be honest. An alternative could be a Longines, Baume & Mercier or even a NOMOS if you like smaller watches. It also depends a bit on how unique you want to be, and if you’re ready to spend this kind of money on a fairly unknown brand. If you can look past that, and can take the time to admire this watch in all its details, consider the Staudt Praeludium Hand Wound for a closer inspection.
The Staudt Praeludium Hand Wound (and Automatic, for that matter) are available though Yvo Staudt’s network of authorized dealers or directly. If you want, you can also ask for a customization of the watch, like personal engravings for example.
More information can be found via Staudt Watches on-line.
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