Dietrich is a small independent brand that has been around for less than two years, old based in Zug, Switzerland. Although the brand has only been around for a short time, it has made a big impression at tradeshows and demand for the watches had resulted in their need to increase production output to meet the growing worldwide demand.
While it is a mechanical watch featuring an automatic movement, it is essentially a Japanese designed Miyota reworked into an unusual dial and watch case. The design for the watch is the brainchild of Emmanuel Dietrich. A cleverly designed case featuring lugs that allows for very easy change of straps. The curved six sided case shape resembles nothing else in the market. The dial is psuedo skeleton with two toned metals in an arrangement that shows off three stepped levels. The overall quality of finish and assembly belies the list price of the watch. The current three models OT-1, 2 and 3 are identical save for colour of the hands and case material.
On the wrist below is OT-1 where the bezel is in stainless steel and the case is in PVD black held together with four black screws. The hands appear to be leaf inspired and the OT-1 have them in luminous green.
The OT-2 is an all black PVD case seen below in the middle with unique rubber straps. The hands however are in all red. The three watches sit on top of a wide selection of straps available for those who want different colours and materials.
The OT-3 below features an all steel look but with the tips of the hands in bright yellow. Note that the watches feature a 24 hour counter at the 10 oçlock mark. The gold star is a functional second hand pointing at markings for 10 seconds.
On the wrist the watch sits very nicely (see below). It is not a small watch but it does not feel big in any way. The back of the watch curves nicely on the wrist.
The watch however is not without its faults. It is waterproof only to 50m which essentially mean it should not be worn while swimming but sufficient to be wet under the faucet. Further, even though the watch comes with sapphire crystal it lacks any anti reflective coating, resulting in the crystal having light distracting reflections. Also, the Hour and Minute markers are etched on to the underside of the crystal tends to crowd the dial unnecessarily and it is not sharp or clear enough to be helpful.
Notwithstanding the shortcomings, the watch is a positive proposition for watch collectors who are inclined towards good or clever design. It is handsome yet distinctive. While the movement is ordinary, it is reliable. Dietrich has successfully created something handsome on the wrist, yet clever - the capability to allow its owner to acquire a slew of different colour straps to easily swap out whenever needed.
Dietrich is the second known Swiss based brand - after SevenFriday - that has found success in reaching out to a segment of buyers who are interested in designs and willing to accept Miyota movements. Have these brands opened the door for consumers to accept non-swiss movements or did they succeed in making Chinese made movements acceptable?
All the watches come with 2 year warranty and prices start at S$1650 available both online and in stores locally. Check the Dietrich homepage for a store near you.