Want to stop a watch collector in their tracks? Just say “stainless steel sports watch” aloud. Want to start a collector stampede? Add “integrated bracelet” in there as well. In the last few years, thanks to - hmmm - a mix of strategic “manufacturing shortages” and well implemented hype, the luxury steel sports watch has become something of a unicorn. And not even vintage, rather modern, new-in-box watches from major brands - with few are as coveted as those with integrated bracelets. The very definition of “Veblen goods” - it’s astonishing to see people pay more and more for something that should be very easy to get.
Of course, we’re not really here to talk about those watches. There is an obvious irony in the idea of the scarcity of steel sports watches when those of us who enjoy and collect affordable watches know - well - they are quite abundant. Undoubtedly playing off of this theme, DuFa (Deutsche Uhrenfabrik), has created the Günter, an integrated steel sports watch that is not only quite affordable, but will likely satisfy an aesthetic itch for the unobtanium mentioned earlier.
The DuFa Günter takes its name from Günter Bock, the Polish-born architect who is known for a brutalist style of architecture. Defined by blocky and rigid geometry, it’s a concept that has been well-translated into the watch. Clearly defined forms, sharp lines and broad-facets come together to create the Günter, which speaks to the original, iconic 70’s integrated sports watches, while having its own, minimal attitude.
The Günter’s 39mm steel case is rendered in a mix of finishes, with a bold, brushed circular bezel that is outlined in mirror-polish, creating a black line that makes it jump out towards you. Beneath the bezel are planar surfaces that angle to form the lugs, which flow directly into the bracelet, creating a sleek look. A true “integrated” design, the lugs are part of the bracelet, which is a tapering H-link with flat, brushed top-sides, and beveled-polished edges. Powered by the Miyota 9015, the Günter is pleasantly thin at 9.5mm, making it wearable all day, and slip under a cuff.
For the dial, DuFa practiced a remarkable amount of restraint. Minimal and balanced, it mixes a touch of sport, and a touch of dress with a drop of severity creating something pleasing to the eye and quite mature. Available in black, white, dark blue and warm gray/taupe, the dial consists of an index of thin applied blocks and small circles with brushed surrounds and lume fill. Around the edge of the dial is then a printed seconds in thin lines. At three is a date with a custom printed wheel featuring an appropriate typeface.
On the wrist, the Günter wears extremely well. At 39mm it’s an ideal everyday size for many wrists, and thanks to the integrated bracelet, there is a strong presence from all of the brushed steel. The design also allows the bracelet to drape very naturally, thanks to a short lug-to-lug. The overall look is elegant enough to be a great work watch, and just harsh enough to be undeniably masculine. Worn with a blazer, or t-shirt and jeans, the Günter will add some sharp, 70’s style to your outfit.
With a price tag of $570, the DuFa Günter can get you that coveted integrated steel sports watch look at a very reasonable price. Sure, it’s not a five-figure luxury watch, but with an attractive design and fit and finish that belie its price point, the Günter is a great watch for those who like the style. The DuFa Günter is available now in the US exclusively through the Windup Watch Shop - click here to pick one up.