A review of UHR-283, that chronograph with Valjoux 7750 for 399 €
Written by jrantasa
18th of February, 2011
*Moderators and fellow members, please note: I have posted this review on a couple of sub-forums of WUS and I hope that it’s ok. There is a severe shortage in info of Uhren von UHR here, and because everyone doesn’t follow every section, I thought it was necessary to post this on selected forums.*
About the company
In short: the German company, Uhren von UHR, is clever in cutting extra costs. Despite inexpensive prices they only use Swiss ETA movements and have managed to keep the watches about 85 % European. Read more and check out their watches at http://www.uhr.info. That is also the only place where you can buy their watches; no ADs, no extra costs.
Background of my purchase
If you are more interested in the watch and don’t want to read my blabberings, just skip this part.
I read about UHR watches for the first time in November last year from this thread: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f8/chro...ro-467985.html. I loved the looks of the watch pictured in the first post and checked out the web site of the brand. They seemed to have many good looking watches, but the chronographs with Valjoux 7750 impressed me the most. An uncluttered dial, a clean case and a legendary movement for 399 € seemed to be a real bargain. I started dreaming quite seriously about my first automatic chronograph.
Christmas and New Year came and went, and I forgot the UHR for a while. I managed to save some money and getting some new watches started to look topical again. I actually got myself a Tissot Visodate, but the budget still allowed me to buy another watch. I was drooling for Stowa Antea KS and nearly pulled the trigger, but my parents intervened and promised to get it for me for my 25th birthday. That cleared the way for my first auto chrono, the UHR-283.
The model 283 is the one I saw in the thread above, a beautifully simple chronograph. When I went back to the UHR web site, I noticed that the model wasn’t there anymore. I was rather disappointed because I wanted a chrono with a white dial, and the other white dialed model 284 wasn’t nearly as beautiful or simple. It had some nasty numerals (both Arabic and Roman) and some engraving on its dial, which I didn’t like at all. I emailed the company to inquire after the fate of the 283 and learned that the watch was out of stock and that they didn’t have any idea if it was coming back or not. I was rather pissed, but what can you do?
However, about two weeks after those messages I got an email: the 283 was back in stock. It was great that they informed me about it, and I was so happy that I pulled the trigger immediately. They sent the watch on the same Wednesday evening and the package arrived to my door on next Monday.
All in all, a great company, if you ask me. They have good customer service and ship the watches quickly and well packed. I like the way they have managed to reduce the cost of all the secondary things so that you only pay for the watch (a little bit more on this in the review below). They also give a five year warranty on all watches, which shows some real faith in the products.
But now it’s time to review the watch. I have divided this in seven sections: I start by reviewing all the different parts of the watch, and finally I’ll try to draw a reasonable conclusion.
The watch box is clearly one thing on which Uhren von UHR have been saving money: quality isn’t that great but the idea, however, is clever. It consists of two black plastic frames that fold one upon the other and are held together with a magnetic flap. Between the frames there’s some sort of elastic film which keeps the watch firmly in place. The box lacks some prestige but gets the job done.
Inside the box there are, in addition to the watch, a plastic warranty/identification card, a manual for the 7750 movement and a note in German stating that the right to return the goods is lost if the protective films on the watch are removed.
2.1) Parts and finishing
The three piece case is made out of stainless steel and has a highly polished finish; only upper sides of the lugs are brushed. The 45° bezel looks good and simple, and the small ridges on the case sides add some detail. The quality of the case is good: polished and brushed parts look nice and all the parts are fitted well together. There are no excess gaps or sharp edges to be found.
There is a small gap between the case and the bezel on the left side of the case. It is probably for popping out the bezel.
The exhibition back is brushed and fastened to the case with four screws. I have to say that the brushing on the lugs looks smoother than that on the case back. There is some text on the back, too: All stainless steel, 50 meters – sapphire, Swiss movement and Automatic chronograph are engraved to it.
2.2) Crown and pushers
The crown is onion or garlic shaped and feels all right. Although it isn’t that big in diameter (6 mm), setting the time or date and winding the watch goes well. The crown is not perfectly straight, which can be noticed by looking at it closely while it is turned little by little. I am not absolutely sure if the crown is positioned slantwise or if it is shaped unevenly. This is a minor problem, however, and can’t be noticed without thorough examination. I let one of my friends look at the watch closely, and he didn’t notice the flaw even if I told him about it. The chronograph pushers are aligned and look and feel solid.
The sapphire crystal is slightly domed. I don’t have that much experience with AR coating, so I can’t tell if there is any. It is not stated if the case back crystal is sapphire or mineral glass, but I suspect that it’s the latter because the crystals feel different and a drop of water behaves differently on them.
2.4) Case measurements and specs
Width: 40 mm, 43 mm with crown
Crystal diameters: 34 mm (top), 28 mm (case back)
Thickness: 15 mm
Lug to lug: 47 mm
Lug width: 20 mm
Weight: ca. 71 g, ca. 83 g with the strap
Water resistance (claimed): 50 meters
3.1) Dial layout, printing, engravings, indexes and hands
The silver-white dial of the watch looks simply great: it is understated but has some nice details. The chapter ring is divided in 300 parts, which means theoretical accuracy of one fifth of a second for the chronograph seconds hand. The seconds/minutes are marked with bolder lines, and the hours are marked with applied indexes. All the markings are sharply printed, and the indexes are applied perfectly straight. I love the fact that they haven’t added a tachymeter ring, which is a pointless addition in general.
There are three small sub dials: the dial at twelve is for the minutes and the dial at six for the hours of the chronograph. Dial at nine shows the running seconds. The minute dial is divided in 30 minutes and the hour dial in twelve hours (there are indexes for every half an hour). The seconds dial is of course divided in 60 seconds. On the sub dials at nine and six there are six figures, but the sub dial at twelve only has three (look at the pic below). This is a bit illogical but it does bring some air to the top of the dial. All the sub dials, sub dial chapter rings and the big chapter ring have a circular pattern machined to them. This certainly adds a nice touch.
At three o’clock there is a date window, which is framed with a black line. There’s the UHR logo and the word Automatic printed on the dial next to the date window. The only thing that bugs me a bit in the otherwise perfect dial is the fact that the logo is printed just a tad slantwise. It takes some time to notice it, but after that you know it’s there.
All the hands on the sub dials and the chronograph seconds hand are painted in black. They look good and are certainly a better choice than silver hands. The leaf shaped watch hands, however, are silver coloured, which can make reading the time a bit more difficult in brighter environments. The hands are filled with luminous material.
The watch has luminous hands, but I don’t know what kind of material they have used. After 5 minutes under my desk lamp the hands are quite bright:
After 30 minutes in the dark, however, the lume has nearly reached the end of its road:
It’s interesting to see if things are any different in the summer when the hands are exposed to sunlight for longer periods. I don’t actually care about the lume that much, because I seldom need to check the time at night. For black ops at night I would choose another watch, anyway.
4.1) Technical specifications
The watch houses the legendary ETA Valjoux 7750 movement. It is most likely the elaboré grade, because the watch is so inexpensive. The movement vibrates 28 800 times in an hour and has 25 jewels, a 48 hour power reserve, a 12 hour chronograph and a date window. Check out all the technical specs here: http://www.uhr.info/eta7750.
Chronograph function is used in the customary way: the upper pusher starts and stops it, and the lower pusher resets it. The pushers have a fair resistance and feel solid. When the chrono is running, the minute dial hand moves once in every minute, and the hour dial hand moves little by little (it’s a bit hard to tell what the pattern is, but at least it’s accurate). I let the chrono run for a few hours, and at least during that time it was spot on and didn’t affect the accuracy of the watch. Pushing the lower pusher resets the hands exactly back to zero, as it should.
Although the movement is unfinished, it still does look quite nice and technical, and contrast between polished and unpolished parts adds some interest. There are some very small scratches on some of the bridges. The recognizable Valjoux rotor has some sort of whirl pattern and UHR logo machined to it.
4.4) Running and accuracy
The watch runs just as it should and the fast-paced ticking sounds reassuringly firm. The small seconds hand sweeps very smoothly.
Accuracy is quite impressing: I have been wearing the watch for some time now, and the accuracy varies from -1 to +2 seconds in 24 hours. I have not tested the accuracy in different positions; I have just been wearing the watch and let it lie on the table when it’s off my wrist, just how I would normally do. It is interesting to wait and see where the accuracy eventually settles, but that needs a lot more wrist time.
4.5) Winding and power reserve
The rotor moves freely in both directions, and hand winding by turning the crown is smooth, as well. The spinning rotor can be heard if it is quiet, but the sound is not annoying.
The power reserve was tested like this: In the morning I wound the watch by turning the crown about ten to fifteen times. After that it was on my wrist until I took it off when I went to bed. I let the watch lie on the table dial up and run down, and it stopped after about 52 hours and 10 minutes. That’s four hours more than promised, which is rather neat.
I have not tested the power reserve with the chronograph running. I don’t see any point in doing it because I use the chrono so seldom and for timing short periods of time only. It would be interesting, though; maybe I’ll do it someday and add the results to this review.
The strap is of acceptable quality. The shade of brown is all right, and the white stitching contrasts it nicely. The grain of the reasonably soft leather somewhat resembles buffalo. Underneath it says that the strap is handmade of genuine leather in Italy. The straightforwardly shaped stainless steel buckle is just the right size and looks good. The buckle part has slightly uneven padding, and glueing at the buckle end is a bit sloppy. The strap is 20 mm wide (18 mm at the buckle end). Length of the part with holes is about 11,3 cm and the buckle part is 7,3 cm without the buckle.
6) On the wrist
The watch is quite thick, although it doesn’t feel too big. Because it’s certainly not a dress watch, I wouldn’t wear it with tight cuffs anyway, so no problem there. The lugs are slightly curved, which enhances comfortableness. Here is the watch on my 18 cm (7.1 inch) wrist:
The UHR-283 automatic chronograph is a nice watch with a nice price tag. In my opinion that sentence describes it very well. The easiest way to draw a conclusion here is to list some pros and cons.
- Understated and simple design
- Legendary and very accurate movement
- Good quality and attention to detail on average
- Great value for money
- 5 year warranty and good customer service
- Watch box and strap not that great
- Undecorated movement with a couple of tiny scratches
- Logo on dial and crown not perfectly straight
- Mediocre lume
As you can see, the cons are cosmetic things and at least in my opinion more or less acceptable in this case because of the price. I didn’t expect a perfect watch with mind blowing build quality; I expected a nice looking chrono with a great movement and good value for money. And that was exactly what I got. If you are considering an UHR watch, I think you don’t have to hesitate.
Thank you for reading this review, I hope you find it useful in some way!
Post scriptum – a new strap
Although I could have lived with the original strap, I felt I needed to change it. I wanted a German strap in brown, something elegantly sporty with just a little different touch. I think that this Di-Modell Chronoline fits the bill well. It’s a nice strap and has good price-quality ratio. Although the leather seems a bit different on Di-Modell’s web site, the strap still looks good: its matt surface and the way the leather is coloured make it look quite attractive. The padding and double stitching add some texture but aren’t too strong. Here are a couple of shots: