Hindenberg watches: history and origin – are they good?


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Hindenberg watches have stirred controversy due to doubts about their origin and quality. Despite presenting themselves as German, there is suspicion that they might be manufactured in China.

However, despite the controversies, the brand offers a wide range of styles and designs, including the prominent Air Lancer model, which, according to their website, integrates an automatic Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1 movement.

In this article, we will investigate their origin, features, and design, as well as the controversies surrounding the brand, to determine their quality and value.

鉁 Hindenberg Watches: Origin and History

Hindenberg is a watch brand that presents itself as of German origin, taking its name from the famous German airship, the Hindenburg, from the 1930s.

The brand aims to blend the tradition of German watchmaking with a modern design and style. While not as well-known as some iconic Swiss brands, Hindenberg has managed to capture the attention of watch enthusiasts and collectors.

one of the Hindenberg watches

Despite its presentation as a German brand, there is some controversy surrounding the origin of Hindenberg watches.

Some sources suggest that, despite being marketed as German, the watches could actually be manufactured in China and simply assembled or designed in Germany.

The truth is that Hindenberg watches are part of a larger group called Chronos Manufactures SA, located at Bundesstrasse 6, CH-6300 Zurich, Switzerland. Previously, the company was located at Egliseestrasse 36, 4058 Basel.

Chronos Manufactures owns several watch brands, including Andr茅 Belfort, Chrono Diamond, Mathieu Legrand, and the investigated Hindenberg.

In fact, the company was founded in 2018 as a continuation of Andr茅 Belfort’s business, a watch brand with a history dating back to at least 2007.

The Chronos Manufactures group is led by two key figures: Joao Miguel Torres Nova, Chairman of the Board, and Bibiana Villanueva, CEO of the company.

Bibiana Villanueva also serves as the Managing Director of Gerner GmbH, an import company specializing in watches located at Landshuter Str. 55, 84030 Ergolding, Germany.

On the other hand, Joao Miguel Torres Nova combines his role at Chronos Manufactures with another position as a director at NOVA Private Finance AG, a financial advisory company with the same address as Chronos Manufactures.

Given the multiple and diverse occupations of Villanueva and Nova, it is unlikely that they can personally oversee the production of watches for the three independent brands under the Chronos Manufactures group.

This situation supports the idea that Hindenberg watches could be manufactured in China, despite the company’s presentation as of German origin.

鉁 Design and Features of Hindenberg Watches

Despite their possible Chinese origin, Hindenberg watches are characterized by their blend of traditional elements emulating Swiss watchmaking with a modern and contemporary design.

According to their website, they also incorporate quality components, including Swiss ones in some models, which can be appealing if these watches are priced reasonably.

A standout example of Hindenberg’s quality and design is the Air Lancer model, which illustrates some of the key features of these watches.

The Air Lancer combines a classic look with quality materials such as steel, leather, and sapphire. This is complemented by a sophisticated and elegant design that is attractive to those seeking a luxury watch.

鉃 Materials

The Air Lancer model uses a stainless steel case with a diameter of 42 mm and has a water resistance of up to 10 meters.

Furthermore, it incorporates scratch-resistant sapphire glass, which protects the watch face, ensuring durability and resistance to daily wear and tear.

鉃 Movement

The Hindenberg Air Lancer features an automatic Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1 movement, designed, developed, and built in Switzerland.

This movement is valued for its precision and durability, as well as its ability to maintain power reserve when not in use.

鉃 Additional Functions

Some Hindenberg watch models offer additional features such as chronographs, tachymeters, power reserve indicators, and calendars, enhancing their versatility and functionality.

鉃 Made in Switzerland?

According to their website, the Air Lancer is presented as a watch manufactured in Switzerland, which is quite doubtful given the complex business structure surrounding the brand and the 90% off deals often seen online.

It is likely that these watches are assembled in China, although if they truly incorporate the components specified on the website, they do not necessarily have to be of poor quality.

Certainly, they are not worth the over 鈧2000 that the company recommends as the retail price, but at around 鈧100 in a deal, they can be a good purchase.

鉁 Chinese Brands as Alternatives to Hindenberg

There are also several Chinese watch brands that offer similar features to Hindenberg watches, which do not hide their origin and offer very affordable prices.

Below are some of these brands and their main features:

鉃 Parnis


Parnis is a Chinese watch brand known for offering affordable mechanical watches with a good value for money. Their designs are often inspired by luxury watch brands.

Similar to Hindenberg, the brand often uses steel and sapphire in its designs. The movements are typically high-quality Japanese automatics and even some Swiss movements.

Parnis Power Reserve

CrystalSapphire
MovementMechanical
CaliberMiyota 9100
Case Diameter42 mm
Case Thickness12 mm
MaterialsStainless Steel and Leather
Water Resistance5 ATM (50 meters)

鉃 Corgeut


Another Chinese brand that offers watches with an acceptable level of materials is Corgeut. In this case as well, we are talking about mechanical designs where steel cases and sapphire crystals are predominant.

In fact, there is speculation that Corgeut may be a second brand of Parnis, although the former tends to be somewhat more affordable.

Reloj - Corgeut - Para Hombre. - 3021AC
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鉃 San Martin

Chinese watch San Martin

San Martin is a Chinese brand that has earned the respect of watch enthusiasts for its quality and attention to detail, often above average, although they are also somewhat more expensive.

Many of these designs are dive watches with excellent finishes, which also feature Japanese automatic movements, stainless steel cases, and sapphire glass.

San Martin SN004-G

CrystalSapphire
MovementMechanical
CaliberSeiko NH35
Case Diameter40.5 mm
Case Thickness14 mm
MaterialsStainless Steel
Water Resistance20 ATM (200 meters)

鉃 Steeldive

Steeldive Watch

Steeldive is another Chinese brand that focuses on dive watches with water resistance and robust features but is somewhat more affordable than San Martin.

In fact, Steeldive is known for offering durable and functional watches at affordable prices, many of which feature automatic movements manufactured by Seiko.

Stainless steel cases and sapphire crystals are also a constant in this mid to high-range Chinese brand.

Steeldive SD1970

CrystalSapphire
MovementJapanese Automatic
CaliberSeiko NH35
Case Diameter44 mm
Case Thickness15 mm
MaterialsStainless Steel
Water Resistance20 ATM (200 meters)

鉃 Seagull

Seagull 1963

Seagull is one of the most recognized Chinese brands in the watchmaking industry, as it has its own manufacture of mechanical movements (take the Seagull 1963 as an example).

Their watches offer a wide range of designs, from classic to contemporary, and typically feature stainless steel and sapphire as predominant materials in their high-end watches.

Chinese watch Seagull 1963

CrystalAcrylic
MovementManual Wind Mechanical
CaliberSeagull ST-19
Case Diameter38 mm
Case Thickness14 mm
MaterialsStainless Steel Case and Nylon Strap
Water Resistance3 ATM (30 meters)

Are These Watches Good?

The controversy surrounding the origin of Hindenberg watches may raise doubts about their quality and authenticity as German products.

However, it is important to remember that the quality of a watch is not solely based on the country of origin of its components. Hindenberg may offer good quality watches even if some of its components are manufactured in China.

Nevertheless, if you are looking for an authentically German watch and prefer to avoid any controversy, you may want to consider the alternatives mentioned above.

Ultimately, the decision to buy a Hindenberg will depend on your personal preferences, your expectations regarding quality and origin, and whether you believe the brand offers good value for money.

To make an informed decision, we recommend researching the brand more thoroughly and comparing it with other available options in the market before making a purchase.


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Last update of links and images on 2023-11-30.

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