A Mike Stuffler Watch Review
- We owe all progress to those who do not adapt -
Watch Brand: J. Schauer
Watch Model: Edition Kulisse 11 No. 54 (Bicompax Valjoux 7750)
Owned Since: November 2009
Written: 04 June 2010
More than 20 years I collect mechanical watches.
This collection includes a lot of chronographs, vintage as well as contemporary. What really fascinates me when it comes to vintage chronographs with their hw movements made by Valjoux, Lemania, Venus et al is the “Zeitgeist” they embody and the variety they offer to the collector.
I have always been searching for a none-sporty - none diver’s - none aviator like chronograph – a classic looking chronograph with kingly reluctance which would fit with casual clothing as well as with business dresses.
The first one I bought was the Glashütte Original Senator chrono which – without being a real pilot’s tool - emerged to feature a bit of Flieger design.
The Schauer Kulisse models have always been appealing to me but for a long time I shuned the investment. After years of hesitating – “a plan needs to ripe”, “money needs to come in”, “first things first”, “you have to have priorities” – I eventually took the plunge.
The name “Jörg Schauer” (Prounounce it “yerg shower”) as a watch brand has no long history or tradition in watchmaking.
Jörg started into the business world as a goldsmith. In 1990, at the age of 22, Jörg Schauer became an independent watchmaker. The first Schauer watches came into existence when friends and a few customers of Jörg asked him to manufacture customized and unique (gold) watches.
Whispering campaign amongst his customers and friends “forced” him to produce more and more watches in what later became known as the specific Schauer style, dominated by the perfectly worked, modern looking bezel screwed into the case by 12 visible screws.
Within five years he succeeded in establishing the Schauer brand and Jörg continued to create watches in his own unique style. The twelvefold screwed on bezel became kind of a trademark.
Since 1995 Jörg has carried this look over into his current model range.
Elizabeth Dörr, a freelance jounalist, once wrote “Jörg Schauer is a watch maker, not a watchmaker, but really a maker of watches” – a “Uhrenbauer”.
Jörg Schauer also owns “Stowa” (watches) and “Durowe” (movements).
Case, Crown & Pushers
The main attraction of all Schauer watches is the case, my Kulisse 11 does not make any difference. The case really is the highlight.
And no doubt it is a heavy one.
The case represents Jörg’s perfectionism in every way. A closer look will reveal the love into details and a perfect execution.
The case is made by a leading German case maker, but it is known that Jörg touches up each and every one of them after they have been delivered to polish it and work on it personally until it has the Schauer touch. This is a time consuming process but it is a real benefit to the case and I am sure other companies do not pay as much as attention to their cases as Jörg does.
Once in an iW-interview Jörg said: “I do this because I place a great deal of value on the fact that my cases are absolutely perfect, I can do it better than anyone and I would never let anyone else do it for me.” Enough said to emphazise the uniqueness of a Kulisse case. It is beautiful made and very solid.
Case diameter (mm) 42.0
Case thickness (mm) 14.0
Lug to lug (mm) about 46.0
With 14 mm height the watch will easily fit under every sleeve and can be worn with cufflinks too (which I need to do from time to time).
Despite being a watch slightly bigger than average it can be worn very comfortably by everybody and due to the curved down lugs even with smaller wrist.
The form of the lugs ensures a surprisingly good wearing comfort
The corrugated crown fits perfectly with case and pushers, is easy to grip and operates smoothly.
The crown is signed with Jörgs signature “J.Schauer”.
The pushers conjure up memories. Have a look on my vintage chronographs and you will know what I mean.
Both, pushers and crown are not screwed down. The advantage of screwed down pushers is that they prevent unintentional running of the sub counters. But the daily use of my Kulisse proved that up to now there was no unintentional run at all.
The display case back comes in the typical Schauer design, is screwed and engraved with some information regarding the watch.
The case is rated WR 50m / 5 bar.
Dial and hands
The dial is painted matte black with a very fine printed rehaut in white and you will not find any “disturbing” numerals.
Due to the modifications done on the Valjoux 7750 inside there are only two subdials (permanent seconds, 30 min counter) left. As to be seen on the picture the chapters for each of the subdials are executed differently. They appear in different size/diameter, the 30 min counter is larger than the permanent seconds counter.
Even so or exatcly because of that the dial does not look unbalanced, it looks different but no unbalanced.
As aposed to most Valjoux 7750 equipped watches the Kulisse 11 does not feature that day/date window which is another contribution to its overall reluctant appearance. A new member of the Official Jörg Schauer & Stowa Forum I have the honour to moderate phrased it that way: “Schauer is a more modern minimalist interpretation of the chronograph watch” - I couldn’t agree more.
All hands are painted white but have no lume. It would not be the right watch for night owls though.However during the day, the watch is very easy to read. All hands are in the right proportion. The minute hand is as long as it has to be, long enough to reach well into the minutes chapter. Same with the central second hand counter.
The hands of the sub counter give the impression that their function is of less importance, they step into the backfground due to their fineness.
Minute and hour hand on the other hand are more prominent to the eyes of the beholder. Reading the time in a glance is no problem at all, timing would need more attention.
Dial and hands are very well executed and fit perfectly with the other specs in order to give this timepiece an overall classic flavour.
Needless to mention that the Kulisse 11 is individually numbered with the watch serial number (mine is no. 54).
The watch is fitted with two sapphire crystals, slightly domed on top, flat on the back. The top crystal extends just beyond the bezel to prevent dirt deposits in transition from crystal to bezel.
I am not a bracelet-guy so I ordered the Edition Kulisse 11 with its off the rack black 20mm leather strap with white stitches.
From the very first moment it was easy and comfortable to wear, however I fancy a croc strap to underline the beauty of this watch.
The buckle itself is smaller than I thought it would be. Regarding the case dimensions and the overall look of this watch the buckle however is just the right one for this watch. The buckle is signed with “Schauer Germany”.
The watch is equipped with an ETA/Valjoux 7750.
The ETA/Valjoux 7750 is a very common chronograph movement. It is known to provide a power reserve of 42 to 45 hours and is commonly recommended as a very reliable, sturdy workhorse. The ETA/Valjoux 7750 runs at a rate of 28.800 bph, which means 691.200 beats per day.
The ETA/Valjoux 7750 has a large pedigree
+ Valjoux 7750 (since 1973)
+ Valjoux 7751 (since 1986)
+ Valjoux 7753 (since 2002)
+ Valjoux 7754 (since 2003)
+ Valjoux 7757 (1985-2003)
+ Valjoux 7758 or Valjoux 7750 CCL - "con cours de lune" (since 1985-2003)
+ Valjoux 7760 (1985-2005) the handwounded 7750 version:
+ Valjoux 7761 (1986-1998)
+ Valjoux 7765 (1983-1998)
+ Valjoux 7768 (1985-1998)
+ Valjoux 7770 (since 2002)
continued by the 7750 based "Valgranges" movements (www.valgranges.ch) which have been developed and are made by ETA
+ Valgranges A07.111 three hands/date indication
+ Valgranges A07.161 three hands/date/power reserve indication
+ Valgranges A07.171 GMT/date
+ Valgranges A07.211 chrono
The Valjoux 7750 is available in a bright variety of modifications, for example made by
+ Alfred Rochat, Chronoswiss (C. 732 or C. 741, C 741 by Rochat)
+ Fortis (developped byPaul Gerber featuring an alarm and two springs)
+ Franck Muller (for example FM 7850 CC MB)
+ Jacques Etoile (cal. IV.C4)
+ La Joux-Perret (for Jaquet Droz watches for example)
+ Paul Picot ("Atelier Technikum")
+ Porsche Design (Eterna 6036)
+ Revue-Thommen ("Airspeed Flyback")
+ Sinn ("Flyback")
+ Damasko (Si mainspring and other gimmicks)
The Jörg Schauer Edition Kulisse 11 is also powered by a modified ETA/Valjoux 7750 movement. In terms Jörg would use it is a “reduced automatic two register chronograph”. Okay, fine – it is a reduced automatic two register chronograph” then.
Through the display back you can watch the nicely decorated movement run.
The plates are finishes with “Perlschliff” (“circular grained”) even under the balance wheel. All screws are blued (heated not painted). The rotor bridge as well as the rotor itself feature Geneva stripes also know as “Cotes de Genève”. In addition to that the rotor is engraved in gold with “Jörg Schauer – Chronograph Kulisse”).
After the movement settled down for a couple of weeks I finally “synchronized” my Kulisse 11 with a radio controlled Junghans Mega 1 I inherited from my father.
Timekeeping has been extraordinary so far – average gain +3/+5 sec/day.
Box and Manual
The Jörg Schauer Edition Kulisse 11 came in an unspectacolous but suitable black leather box with an outer black cardboard box with the SCHAUER merchandise mark on it.
Price in November 2009 was € 2700, $ 3300
Due to the European Community regulations the watch comes with a 2 years warranty.
Summary / Conclusions
The Jörg Schauer Edition Kulisse 11 is a pretty well manufactured and classic high quality wrist watch.
For the price, I do believe that this watch does not have to fear any competitor because their watches are more expensive but not that that rare. There are certain watch companies producing more than 700.000 watches a year and most of their customers consider these watches to be exclusive (I own some Rolex, Breitling though) But what about a small family runned and family owned company making 500 watches per annum ? That’s what I call exclusive to some extent.
I do not wear the Kulisse 11 as an everyday watch, however you can do anything and go anywhere with it.
I can highly recommend this Schauer timepiece. A timepiece it is.
Feel free to drop me a line if there's a question left.
Moderator German Watches Forum on Watchuseek