Basilika Polar Bear 2011 - endangered species (AWW 52)
: Basilika Polar Bear
: 2423.3001331 … 2423.3001334
: manual wind Poljot 2423, 17 jewels, 19.800 bph, 38h power reserve
: 24 hour (24 on top), minute, sweep seconds
: no date
: all stainless steel 316L with 6 screws steel case back
: 43 mm diameter without crown, 47 mm with crown, 50 mm lug to lug
: 12 mm
: different variations
Text on dial
: [Basilika logo] - BASILIKA - Made In Germany
Text on back
outer circle: MADE IN [serial number] GERMANY - SAPPHIRE GLASS - 5 ATM - STAINLESS STEEL 316L
inner circle: BASILIKA - SPECIAL WORLD EDITION - MECHANICAL MOVEMENT
Hands and markers
: luminous hands
: 5 ATM water protected
: signed main crown at 3
: domed sapphire crystal
: 22 mm
: leather strap with signed clasp
Last week we had first generation of Polar Bear
, presented by Poljot International in 2006. Now the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] generation follows, this time under brand name Basilika. Basilika is just another brand by Alexander Shorokhoff next to Poljot International.
Again I can show you two watches from this generation 2011. One, the black one, was bought two years ago from WUS colleague Malakim. The orange one was bought some weeks ago from a German seller, after dramatical price drop from 500 EUR to 200 EUR.
When from 1[SUP]st [/SUP]Polar Bear generation bold 1000 pcs were produced, as Poljot International said, the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] generation's run was only 250.
Here we have 4 different models (stock pictures):
The reference numbers are (left to right) 2423.3001331 … 2423.3001334. I have watches #2 and #3.
These watches are much bigger than generation 1. The movement is the same, Poljot 2423, but big (43 mm without crown) round stainless steel case with sapphire crystal is much more solid and reliable. The water protection is better, 5 ATM instead of 3.
This time the case back is steel only, without glass window. I opened this 6 screws steel case back (traditional construction for both generations) from curiosity - do they still refine standard Poljot2423 with blue screws etc. The answer was yes!
Case and movement are absolutely OK, good standard quality for a 500 EUR price level.
Now take a closer look to my two watches. Orange (SN 132) is new and has still the plastic cover. Black (SN 005 !) has aftermarket leather strap. Untouched original black leather strap is in the box. The original Basilika straps are non-allergic handmade in Germany. Leather straps, wooden boxes etc. - details are on the level with Basilika.
The dial and hands. It is 20:10 on both watches. And that was my biggest surprise when I got the orange one. Here longer hand is hour hand and shorter hand is minute hand. If you look at the orange dial, then outer circle has hours and inner circle minutes, therefore some logic is here.
Of course the orange model with posh dial and orange leather strap looks very cool and I'm happy to wear it. But the hands ... Believe me or not, I'm used to have watches with 24 on top, 12 on top, no problems to read the time. In this case first two days when wearing this watch I wasn't able to tell you what time is it. OK, I was, but only after long investigation. 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] day was already slightly better.
Be warned, if you choose to pick up watch number 3, it has reversed hands and you can also get legibility problems.
One question remains with #3. On stock (photoshop?) pictures the long hour hand is orange. But my watch has yellow hand. And I saw some other real photos where that the hand is yellow. Why yellow? The orange one would be much nicer. I think that orange lume should exist.
I can tell you, that #2 has "normal" hands and #3 reversed. In a moment I don't have #1 and #4 here and I can only guess what type they are. Logically #1 should be normal and #4 reversed, but this is only a guess.
With all 4 watches I think there is a problem to read minutes. The fixed outer compass bezel is nice, but useless. Much more useful (in terms of legibility) would be the outer fixed bezel with minute marks.
The black one I'm wearing often. Maybe it is even in my top 10, top 20 for sure. The inner circle with cities has a little practical value. First I was afraid that this saturated dial is hard to read. But the broad hands are doing their job! No legibility problems! (I'm still shocked, how this little exchange of hour and minute hands can have such a big effect on legibility?)
The 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] generation of Polar Bear was in production 2011-2016. Now the production is finished and last items are available with very good sale price - about 200 EUR.
These big (43 mm) and showy wristwatches are technically very good - all stainless steel with sapphire crystal and durable 2423 movement - therefore this price drop makes them great hunting targets. Grab it while you can.