Riedenschild Original
Blue Pearl Chronograph

Ref. 1116-02-S14
A WatchCarefully Review

by C. Bradley Jacobs

27 April 2007


Newcomer brand Riedenschild Original, based in Germany, has introduced another appealing design: the Blue Pearl chronograph, a stainless steel hand-winding two-register model (Ref. 1115-02-S14). Blue Pearl Ref. 1115-02-S14 - Photo R.O.Housed in an attractive screw-back case with a bold Teutonic personality, the watch features a white and blue dial with fantastic legibility and some lovely details. Elements such chapter rings, applied hour markers, numerals and text in blue nicely accent a stark white dial reminiscent of enamel pocket chronographs of past decades. Elegant blued-steel hands complete the visual package as seen through the sapphire crystal.

The steel case, rated at 50 meters resistance, features unique rectangular chronograph Bold case & braceletpushers and a large, easily grasped crown. A case back nicely engraved with the brand’s logo indicates also that this is an edition limited to 999 pieces. A sturdy bracelet of the 7-row style is attached via solid end-pieces and is secured with a signed flip-lock clasp. The bracelet length is ample for the large-wristed and size is adjustable via four settings on the clap and nine removable links. German-made leather straps are also available. Dimensions of the watch are 40 mm diameter—without crown—and fully 35 mm of dial diameter; 12 mm thickness; lug and bracelet width are a constant 20 mm; lug-to-lug length is approximately 47.5 mm.

The movement in this watch is provided by a new company called Gematic. Information from Riedenschild indicates that the movement in this Blue Pearl model is the first movement of many envisioned for the Gematic product line. Their hand-wound chronograph caliber is a modern update of the iconic Venus 175, now also being produced by Sea-Gull in China. Attractive blue dial elementsGematic receives their raw movements from a Japanese manufacturer and according to Riedenschild Director Dr. James Newell, the movement installed in the Blue Pearl is remarkably reliable and keeps better time than many other mechanical movements they have evaluated. Contrary to the experience of owners of similar movements from other makers, quality has not been an issue—Riedenschild’s rigorous testing ensures this. Winding and setting of the Blue Pearl’s movement is very smooth and its accuracy, though not electronically tested by this correspondent, appears to be well within expectations. Dr. Newell reported that future plans for the Reidenschild/Gematic partnership include introducing “a decorated hand-wind to replace the movement in the Blue Pearl, and another decorated hand wind with a swan bridge regulator.” Some COSC-certified chronometer movements are also in the pipeline.

The watch is delivered in an attractive black leather box with sporty red stitching. Riedenschild's quality packaging - Photo R.O.The brand’s logo is printed on the inside of the lid, which snaps shut to protect the timepiece wrapped around a soft pillow within. A two-year guarantee against defects accompanies each Riedenschild timepiece. The MSRP (USA) of this watch is $479; the Blue Pearl chronograph with leather straps is $469. Gold-plated Blue Pearl chronograph - Photo R.O.All Riedenschild watches are hand-assembled by master craftsmen in Germany who follow DIN-certified processes to ensure quality. Dial designs of their watches are all exclusive, and are overseen by renowned designer Oliver Wolf.

A Blue Pearl automatic model with Swiss movement is also available, as are Black Pearl chronograph and automatic models with 18k rose gold-plated case and black dial. More information on these watches and dealer locations can be found at www.Riedenschild.com. For US pricing, model info and purchasing portal, visit this site.

Having just enjoyed successful exhibition at Inhorgenta in Munich, Riedenschild is planning further exposure in new markets, including the US, where they will be displaying their products at the annual JCK show. Future projects include an extreme-depth dive watch, various aviators’ models and some diamond watches for ladies.

Text and images © C. Bradley Jacobs, WatchCarefully.com