There are not many small production, family owned watch makers out there; even less which manufacture and construct all pieces by hand (including the movements) and still operate from Germany.
Well D. Dornblüth & Sohn are one and still do it all themselves. The relatively young German company was only born 20 years ago in Kalbe, Germany, in 1999.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the company in October 2019, D. Dornblüth & Sohn created a new limited edition anniversary watch, with a design reminiscent of the early days of the manufacturer.
Dornblüth explain the idea behind the anniversary piece, bringing the past into the present:
For his 60th birthday in 1999, Dirk Dornblüth gave his father Dieter a self-made watch, and the same evening the plans for his own factory were made. This hour of birth of our company is reflected in the dial design, which is based on this watch that started everything. The heart of the watch, however, is the modern Quintus caliber, which already has the watchmakers’ many years of experience and two own patents. Thus, the Quintus-2010 jubilee represents a fusion of past and present, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the company.
Face & case
At 38.5 mm, the case shown in the images here is stainless steel and features both brushed and polished areas, however the Jubilar is also available in a platinum or rose gold case.
Sitting beneath the slightly domed sapphire crystal, this dial is brass, with grained, silky matte finished surface similar to that of historical ship chronometers. Minute markers frame the dial a few millimetres from the bezel, larger 5 minute identifier markings inside those; the Dornblüth brand runs horizontally from 10 to 2 o’clock and “Made in Germany” is proudly positioned inside the bezel at 6 o’clock. At 12 o’clock, a stylised 12 in the shape of a sail can be seen – this is similar to the look of the first watch that Dirk Dornblüth built and gifted to his father 20 years ago.
There is an “eccentric seconds” display at 6 o’clock; the dial of which is slightly recessed beneath an aperture in the main dial. This sub dial aperture is a good size and actually consumes most of the dial between the centre and the case, causing some of the markers to be consumed by it.
All text is engraved in black, using and old engraving technique most commonly seen in old pendulum clocks. Interestingly, the Jubilar is currently the only Dornblüth watch without Arabic numerals.
The minute and hour hands are quite substantial, heat-blued and hand-polished, the time is easy to read.
Just to add that the Jubilar is also available with ceramic dials, which have markings and hands coated in white, with fluorescent SUPER Luminova material applied.
From the side, the lugs appear slightly longer than usual, but this may be due to the thickness of the watch only being 10mm and the fact that they do actually curve to follow the shape of the wrist.
The crown is oversized, with good grooves for grip. The manufacturer’s name is stamped onto the end, which is quite impressive due to the number of characters fitting on such a small area.
Turn the piece over and the beatiful caliber is looking back from under the screwed sapphire case back.
The main plate covers around three quarters and has a grained rhodium plated finish, with yellow gold plated hand-engraving of the manufacturer name, serial number and number within the edition of each piece, (amongst other things). You will also see the balance wheel and another ratchet wheel in a gold finish.
Other eye-catching elements include the sunburst finish on the winding wheels, flat polished blue-heated screws and the stunning hand-engraved balance cock catches the light from all angles.
Surrounding the sapphire, the thin case back frame hosts a number of tiny engravings, including “D. Dornblüth & Sohn”, “Quintus 2010 Jubilar” and Limited Edition, with the piece number of x/20. This particular piece is numbered 0/20, presumably a prototype.
Developed and created entirely in-house at Dornblüth, the hand wound Quintus-2010 movement features 29 jewels and beats at 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour.
There are some interesting elements to the caliber to mention, such as an indirectly driven double barrel, visible Maltese cross spring for almost linear torque of the power to the movement, which is patent pending. A short anchor escapement with a lower escape wheel is also featured, as well as a Glucydur screw balance with Nivarox-1-Breguet-spring.
Owners should expect around 52 hours once fully wound.
The piece reviewed had a lovely deep navy (almost black) alligator, with lighter navy stitching strap and leather lining, however there seem to be other options available to clients such as ostrich and leather, with choices of different colour stitching of choice.
The buckle is quite small and understated, finished to match the case, with D.Dornblüth engraved in bold CAPS across the width.
The story goes that when father and son were in a creative mood, the ideas for their watch had to be quickly recorded, so being the only thing available, they were forced to use a napkin to sketch their ideas for the original watch on.
As a reminder of this story, the anniversary Jubilar comes with a high-quality writing set, consisting of a fountain pen from the Cleo Scribent brand, made from fine grained burl wood, along with a notepad in a handmade leather case.
As mentioned previously, there will only 20 pieces made, and available in 3 case types – 15 in stainless steel, 3 in rose gold and 2 in platinum.
The following configurations and pricing was correct on release:
Silver Dial, Black engraving
Steel 11.900 €
Rose gold 19.400 €
Platinum 25.400 €
Black Ceramic Dial
Steel 12.750 €
Rose gold 20.250 €
Platinum 26.250 €
Blue Ceramic Dial
Steel 13.150 €
Rose gold 20.650 €
Platinum 26.650 €
The Quintus 2010 Jubilar is a confident, classic looking piece, individually handmade to order. Clearly a lot of care and attention to detail has gone into the manufacture, the Jubilar looks and feels like a really high quality watch.
The back of the caliber is absolutely stunning and looks like it could be from a Swiss Watch at more than 5 times the price.
Being brutally honest though, my eccentric side is telling me it’s not a watch that I would choose for my own collection – is it possibly “too refined”, is that even possible? In saying that I really do like everything about it – maybe sounds a bit contradictory, but I really can not fault anything and appreciate every element.
The Jubilar wears really well too, well weighted and a comfortable fit; at only 10mm and with a domed glass, it should fit quite nicely under any cuff.
Limited to just 20 pieces, with the least expensive configuration price starting at just €11,900, I would say this is definitely value for money.
Less than 150 pieces are made each year, so you will almost certainly be in a pretty exclusive club if you do own one.
In fact, I think I might have actually changed my own mind about not wanting one!