Steinhart Nav B-Uhr Review (B-type)
Steinhart Nav B-Uhr Review (B-Type)
Steinhart is a german watch manufacturer founded in the 1990’s by Guenter Steinhart. With a degrees in Architecture and Mechanical Engineering, Guenter decided to turn his love of watches into a business with the intention of producing high quality Swiss watches at an affordable price point. While Steinhart does produce many different styles of watches, today we will only be looking at their Pilot line, and more specifically the Nav B-Uhr.
The Steinhart Nav B-Uhr B-type takes it’s design queues directly from the historically accurate German Luftwaffe watches. Designed by the Reichs-Luftfahrtministerium and manufactured during WW2 by German companies such as A. Lange & Shone, IWC, Laco, Stowa & Wempe for the German Airforce, it’s hard to forget that these watches have a history that can be difficult to reconcile. B-Uhr or B-Urhen is an abbreviation for Beobachtungs-uhren, which translates literally to Observation Watch, hinting at the original purpose of the watches. Not to be confused with the A-Type dial which was issued to pilots, the B-Type was used for navigation, observation and reconnaissance, as well as targeting operations in multi crew German bombers. This watch has a design is as historically rich as any watch out there. Regardless of it’s origins, the aesthetics of the Nav B-Uhr have outlived its usefulness in the cockpit, and what we are left with is an interesting and attractive timepiece.
The Nav B-Uhr B-type is available with standard or “Antique” dials, and has a variety of case options at various price points including Stainless Steel and Titanium.
The cases on both style options are milled from a single piece of steel/titanium and have a brushed patina applied. At 44mm in diameter the cases are large, but that is expected with a pilot watch. The casebacks are that of a screw down variety and are engraved with the watch’s specs as well as a pilot’s face.
As mentioned before, the dial and hands are available in a standard Black/White configuration or an “Antique” color variation, which is meant to imitate the fading and yellowing that is present when radium doped paints age. Unfortunately, the “Antique” variation ends up just looking like a dull yellow to me. I much prefer the black and white, even if it is a little bit plain in appearance.
The lume on the Nav B-Uhr B-Type is excellent. The large indices and hands are painted with plenty of Superluminova C1.
The Nav B-Uhr B-Type has two different styles of crowns depending on the model. The crown on the standard model is more squared and has a Steinhart “S” on the end. The “Antique” version has a more traditional onion shaped crown with deep v-shaped cuts. Both options have large and prominent crowns as all pilot watches should. Originally designed so that pilots could easily pull the crown and stop the sweeping seconds, the typically onion shaped crowns had to be large enough to pull and manipulate with gloved hands. Modern iterations of the Nav B-Uhr have scaled down the crown slightly, but thankfully Steinhart’s Nav B-Uhr offerings still has a crown that is big and beefy and a pleasure to pull an manipulate. I would give the nod to the “Antique” style crown if I had to choose.
The Strap on the Steinhart Nav B-Uhr watches again vary depending on the model you choose. Both are thick leather pilot style straps. The Standard option comes with a riveted black leather strap and the “Vintage” option comes with a sewed antiqued brown leather.
Movement & Accuracy:
Both options come with an ETA 2824 movement under the hood. While this is a solid and dependable movement, it is also automatic which is a diversion from the traditional hand-wound pocket watch movements these watches originally used. While Steinhart does offer hand wound pilot watches, this dial configuration with the sweeping seconds hand means you’ll have to settle for an automatic here.
Steinhart makes amazing watches for the price. Any of their pilots are going to be an outstanding value, and the Nav B-Uhr watches are great examples of a classic Pilot watch with great craftsmanship.Options
The Nav B-Uhr is available with a Stainless Steel case or a Titanium Case, and has two dial/hand options; black/white or antique.Price
I hope you found this Steinhart Nav B-Uhr Review (B-Type) helpful! Did I leave something out? Have something to add? Let me know in the comments.