Prior to Baselworld I arranged to meet with Panzera co founder Roger Cooper at Zurich train station. This was mainly because both our schedules at the show were exceptionally hectic and this was the only possible window of opportunity. In retrospect we should have planned our appointment a lot more efficiently due to the scale of station. After one hour and several calls I had to abandon our rendezvous or I would have missed my connection to Basleworld. Fortunately we saw the comical side of the situation and both our visits to Switzerland were highly beneficial.
Originally I was introduced to Roger Cooper through a mutual industry contact called Jason Reaby. He runs a successful online business called Big Watch World (https://bigwatchworld.com) and specializes in selling high quality affordable timepieces. Certainly Panzera fit in this category and have managed to build a pretty sustainable company relatively quickly. Ultimately that is because their watches are designed to attract a universal audience. Back in March 2015 I had the opportunity to test their Flieger F47-01D Arado. For a timepiece retailing at under $500 I felt it offered buyers good value for money.
A few weeks ago Roger Cooper contacted me to enquire if I wanted to review their new Breuer Chronograph. I had seen images of this watch a few months ago and feel it is probably Panzera’s most original and attractive watch. Certainly when the piece arrived I wasn’t disappointed with quality or feel of the watch. Dimensionally the timepiece exudes generous proportions and has a diameter measuring 47mm. Generally I found the watch sat comfortably on my wrist and at 100 grams it is relatively lightweight. Primarily this is down to the elegant slim line case (9mm) and use of 316L stainless steel in production. Therefore I would personally be happy to wear this timepiece on a daily basis.
In my opinion the Breuer Chronograph has a more original visual appearance than the Flieger F47-01D Arado. Don’t get me wrong, I did like the Flieger but felt it was derivative of other Pilot style watches. Where the Breuer Chronograph triumphs over the Flieger is in its overall simplicity. The black minimalistic (Bauhaus inspired) dial works perfectly with the large raised silver indexes. I also feel the understated bezel, crown and pushers are integral to the overall success of the design. The only thing that disappoints me about the watch is that Panzera have used hardened mineral glass instead of (a superior grade) Sapphire crystal.
Beneath the stylish façade lies an AAA grade hand-winding movement sourced from Chinese manufacturer Seagull. The Caliber ST 1901 (originally a Swiss movement called the Venus 175) comprises 23-jewels and oscillates at 21,600 vibrations per hour. The mechanism is visibly showcased via the exhibition case back mineral glass window. Functionally the Breuer Chronograph features hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph timer. The timepiece also has a power reserve of 40-hours and is water resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
The Breuer Chronograph is limited to 2,000 pieces and has a Crocodile Patterned black leather strap with push button deployment clasp. Priced at $700.
For more information about Panzera visit the company’s website: http://panzera-style.com