WBOTD 11/4/12 - Bernhardt Watch

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WBOTD 11/4/12 - Bernhardt Watch

Post by wottime on 2012-11-03, 23:58

Like the clean, simple designs and reasonable prices. Seem like decent quality, but just don't know much about them.

From the website, www.bernhardtwatch.com :


A little over over 20 years ago, a good friend of mine showed me his Rolex. In 1990 I purchased my first one and for 15 years I bought, sold and refurbished Rolexes. The more I learned about different watches and manufacturers the more my passion grew. I call it "Watch Fever". Looking for like-minded collectors, and being the start of The Internet Age, I quickly found camaraderie in the online watch forums, such as www.WatchUSeek.com and TimeZone.com. These forums became my office, for buying and selling watches, creating relationships and friendships and now, collaborating directly with my customers.

During these years I had been working as a supplier to the furniture industry but in 2005 that ended as I was laid off. My wife, Jamie, and I began tossing around ideas of how to make a living out of my passion for watches. One night, sitting at a basketball game at our local University, she asked "Why don't you make watches for this school?". I put together a design, walked in and pitched it to the school. The Bernhardt Watch Company was born. Before we knew it, we had made watches for High Point University, Wake Forest University and North Carolina State University.

I continued to become more and more involved in the online forums. It occured to me that I had an opportunity to make watches for people like me, to treat customers the way I wanted to be treated and even colaborate on designs. What can be more fun than discussing watches all day? It turns out, actually making them. A few years ago, we made our first "private line" watch, The Binnacle.

The Bernhardt line has grown to include six designs, including many pieces that were designed directly with customers' comments in mind. With that said, I would never design a piece that I would not wear myself. I think of a customers' desire to make a difference, to feel as if they matter, because that is what I want to feel. We make limited editions, sometimes too few, to ensure a personal touch. I make my personal phone number accessible to my customers and take every service and warranty on a case-by-case scenario. Because of our relationships with the online forums, our business is word-of-mouth, saving costs on advertising and marketing that many other companies force the customer to pay. We simply don't do that.

Along with our private line, our contract business has grown, and they go hand-in-hand. When we produced the Binnacle, a Captain with the Johnston County, N.C. Sheriff's Office bought two. He asked if we could do a contracted piece for his department. We have now produced watches for about 50 law-enforcement agencies, military personnel, fraternities, and private retail designers. We proudly take the best of our private line and our contract business and share the design and technology.

Best of all, we still remain a family business. I design the watches, do the selling and have one-on-one contact with our customers. Jamie handles shipping and research on accessories. Phillip, our son, does the boxing and helps design. In fact, one of our flagship pieces, the Sea Shark, was designed by Phillip when he was 12! It took him over a year to convince me of his design and now it is our best-seller! We are also joined by our European-trained watch specialist Frank Lazimi, who has over thirty years experience in the watchmaking field. Frank is a third generation watchmaker who attended some of the finest European training programs where he explored the engineering, design and craftsmanship principles of watch movements. He ran a successful watch making business in Europe for many years before moving to North Carolina with his wife Bukra and their two children. We consider them an extension to our family.

My passion for watches has afforded us the opportunity to meet and work with wonderful people all over the country, many whom have become friends. I believe the relationship and goodwill between Bernhardt and our customers is the most important aspect of what we do. The customer is right, their expectations should be high, and they should expect to make a friend in the process. Everyone deserves a high-quality timepiece and the experience of buying it. It's an old-fashioned, traditional philosophy that continues to serve me well, even as we enjoy our online business and relationships.

We appreciate your interest in The Bernhardt Watch Company, our family, and hope to consider you as a friend before a customer.









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Re: WBOTD 11/4/12 - Bernhardt Watch

Post by conjurer on 2012-11-04, 01:18

I've owned three Bernhardts, the Binnacle Anchor, the Globemaster, and one of the divers, I forget the name, with the 2824 movement. All were pretty good watches.

The 2824 diver I got from some fucking schmoe at WUS, and a few days after buying it the rotor locked up, and it ceased being self-winding. I emailed Fred at Bernhardt, requesting how much it would be to service. He replied within a day, asking me to send it to him and he'd email me a quote.

I sent it to him and it was back, repaired, in a week, no charge. In the world of micros, Fred Amos is OK in my book.
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Re: WBOTD 11/4/12 - Bernhardt Watch

Post by Mortuus on 2012-11-04, 01:23

Good read, and I genuinely like that Sea Shark; given the clean dial, the face does kind of resemble an open shark's mouth. This one might actually end up on my wrist...if I can just figure out what color dial I want... Shocked

BTW, many thanks for the background info, Conj...I wonder if the "worldwide shortage of ETA movements" is why they're not using the 2824's anymore...? Suspect

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Re: WBOTD 11/4/12 - Bernhardt Watch

Post by AlbertaTime on 2012-11-04, 01:57

I have a black Officer. Simply put, it's a great watch. Solid build, great value and (I think) a gorgeous original take on a classic Pilot/Officer watch.

(aftermarket strap)


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Re: WBOTD 11/4/12 - Bernhardt Watch

Post by conjurer on 2012-11-04, 02:01

Mortuus wrote:Good read, and I genuinely like that Sea Shark; given the clean dial, the face does kind of resemble an open shark's mouth. This one might actually end up on my wrist...if I can just figure out what color dial I want... Shocked

BTW, many thanks for the background info, Conj...I wonder if the "worldwide shortage of ETA movements" is why they're not using the 2824's anymore...? Suspect

I looked up my old thread on the diver I was referencing, Mort, and it was actually called the Corsair, and had the ETA 2836 movement inside.

As I recall, all of Fred's Swiss-movement autos had this same movement (which is the day-date version of the 2824) including the Globemaster, which was a GMT. The 2836 is sometimes found being converted from a day-date to a GMT, and is often found inside some of the better fakes of the Rolex GMTs, due to its 8 bps sweep, which is the same speed as the Rolex movements.

I'm guessing that Fred got a shipment of these from a movement broker, since he's such a small operation ETA probably wouldn't even bother returning his phone calls. Since none of these watches are still listed on his website, I'd assume that he used them all up.

Here's my FS thread from WUS for the Corsair:

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f29/fs-bernhardt-corsair-sold-465502.html

Here's my review of the Globemaster:

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f71/impressions-bernhardt-globemaster-407613.html

The Binnacle Anchor is still available for sale, with the Miyota 8215 movement. Of the three I owned, I'm really missing the Globemaster the most.
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Re: WBOTD 11/4/12 - Bernhardt Watch

Post by Mortuus on 2012-11-04, 03:04

conjurer wrote:Of the three I owned, I'm really missing the Globemaster the most.

And I can see why...that was one nice looking chunk of stainless steel. Good review/pix, as well; definitely firmed up my decision to go with this watch company, though I'm now looking at trying to find a previously owned Globe Master - with, if at all possible, that 'Pepsi' dial/bezel configuration yours had.

As always, thanks el mucho for the background on the brand and its standout models...but, more than anything, I still want that Movado Mooseeum on a tweeeesto-flex bracelet!!
What a Face

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Re: WBOTD 11/4/12 - Bernhardt Watch

Post by eddiea on 2012-11-04, 07:41

AlbertaTime wrote:I have a black Officer. Simply put, it's a great watch. Solid build, great value and (I think) a gorgeous original take on a classic Pilot/Officer watch.
(aftermarket strap)

Like them too...never owned any, but the Pilot is on my list, that strap BTW make all the differences, great match Alberta!

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Re: WBOTD 11/4/12 - Bernhardt Watch

Post by Ocean on 2012-11-04, 10:10

conjurer wrote:
Mortuus wrote:Good read, and I genuinely like that Sea Shark; given the clean dial, the face does kind of resemble an open shark's mouth. This one might actually end up on my wrist...if I can just figure out what color dial I want... Shocked

BTW, many thanks for the background info, Conj...I wonder if the "worldwide shortage of ETA movements" is why they're not using the 2824's anymore...? Suspect

I looked up my old thread on the diver I was referencing, Mort, and it was actually called the Corsair, and had the ETA 2836 movement inside.

As I recall, all of Fred's Swiss-movement autos had this same movement (which is the day-date version of the 2824) including the Globemaster, which was a GMT. The 2836 is sometimes found being converted from a day-date to a GMT, and is often found inside some of the better fakes of the Rolex GMTs, due to its 8 bps sweep, which is the same speed as the Rolex movements.

I'm guessing that Fred got a shipment of these from a movement broker, since he's such a small operation ETA probably wouldn't even bother returning his phone calls. Since none of these watches are still listed on his website, I'd assume that he used them all up.

Here's my FS thread from WUS for the Corsair:

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f29/fs-bernhardt-corsair-sold-465502.html

Here's my review of the Globemaster:

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f71/impressions-bernhardt-globemaster-407613.html

The Binnacle Anchor is still available for sale, with the Miyota 8215 movement. Of the three I owned, I'm really missing the Globemaster the most.

The movements at the time where most likely gray market and readily available. I have heard that now they are slowing it down and making it harder to get ETA movements that Selita is now a 1-2 year back order. Soprod I heard is going trying to fill the gap but have a ways to go and at this point are getting backed up. Miyota is a great alternative but have they rebuilt yet?
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