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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Steinhart and Debaufre have the Ocean in a 39mm, Grovana has the Coral Reef, and Roberts the Poseidon 39mm.

Is there any difference AT ALL in the watches themselves other than the name on the dial?
 

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Well, first of all, Steinhart does not offer its Ocean models in 39mm, only in 42mm. Secondly all four brands you've mentioned have different sources for their parts. Grovana is part of Revue Thommen which is a manufacturer of watches and watch parts with a long standing history, unlike the other three brands you've named. They used to manufacture Steinhart's Ocean models until about 2 years ago, when Steinhart changed the way of producing their watches.

I can only speak for Steinhart, so I don't have a definate answer for you. If you seriously want to know, what the differences are, you're gonna have to get a watch from each brand or find someone who has one of each brand, in order to compare them.
 

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Who manufactures Steinhart's current Ocean 1 now? It's just that all these brands, merging, splitting and private labels makes everything more confusing that it should be
 

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I own multiple Oceans by both Steinhart and Debaufre. The coin edge on the Steinharts seems to be just a bit thicker (you would probably need a micrometer to know for sure), and my Debaufre Ocean Classic has an AR coating. Other than that, the differences are nominal (e.g. the numerals on the GMT's are a different font).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Secondly all four brands you've mentioned have different sources for their parts.
Ok, thank you for clarifying. I was under the impression they are still being made by the same company/same parts. I think other people are still under that impression as well.

I read a review of one of the Robert and the reviewer stated that he like the Robert bracelet better than the Steinhart. That statement is what triggered my question.
 

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Who manufactures Steinhart's current Ocean 1 now? It's just that all these brands, merging, splitting and private labels makes everything more confusing that it should be
No need to be confused. If you need one company's name that produces the Steinhart Ocean models, then that one name will have to be Steinhart! Although Steinhart does not manufacture watches or watch parts at their premises in Augsburg, Germany, Steinhart also does not order watches, or even parts from a catalog of a watch/private label brand producer either.

This is how things work in regards to Steinhart Timepieces: It's all about the design. Every single part of a Steinhart watch, except the basic movement, is designed and illustrated individually by me exclusively for Steinhart and then commissioned to different companies that will produce these parts according to the design and specification, also exclusively. There are at least 12 different suppliers producing these parts for Steinhart. All these parts and the movements are being sent to Steinhart's partner firm in Switzerland, who assembles the watch heads. This firm does not produce any parts. All they do, is assemble the watches and control their own work before sending the watch heads to Steinhart in Augsburg. Here a second, extensive quality control takes place by one of three master watchmakers, who are also responsible for servicing. The watches that pass the QC then receive their strap, buckle, hang tag, etc and are put in their box before they get shipped to you, the customer.

Oh, and no, I didn't design the Ocean models. That was done long ago by another watch company, as we all know. The parts for Steinhart's Oceans where still drawn and comissioned, just like with all other Steinhart models. Nothing off the shelf, no re-labeled catalog watches. Just look at the current line of Ocean divers at steinhartwatches.de and try to find the number 10 on the bezel ... ;-)

I hope this clears any possible confusion, at least in regards to Steinhart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you Trition, that explains the Steinhart position.

It appears that all 4 are now independent of each other or is Steinhart and Debaufre the same watch/same company and simply called Debaufre in Europe?

If I have the story right, at one time ALL were made by Grovana and now ALL are standalone "watch assemblers" if you will, and as a a result have slightly different products.

When and why did Steinhart split off from Grovana?

Was Robert and Steinhart split at the same time?

Did Robert stay with Grovana, then split off later or did Robert split from Steinhart after Grovana?

I have read the name change revolved around a similar sounding name in Europe which is why Steinhart is called Debaufre.

It all may be clear to you, but if you poll 100 people many would say they still believe Steinhart, Grovana, Debaufre and Robert to be exactly the same watches.

Let's set the record straight here on WUS so everyone can separate fact from fiction.
 

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Oh my, so many question .... but I can only speak for Steinhart, I'm afraid.

Frankly, the past is not of interest to us, we prefer to look forward. Only important thing to know is, that Steinhart is no longer connected to Robert and Debaufre and does not order from Grovana nor any other PLB supplier anymore!
 

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Thank you Triton for this great post! Very informative and it helps me understand the process behind my Vintage Red I am liking more everyday.
 

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Triton, I REALLY appreciate your insanely informative post. Good to know what's happening NOW instead of what was happening back then. It was a good move by Steinhart to break away from any strings because the quality is great!

Edit: you said that there are about 12 different companies working together before being assembled in Switzerland...does this mean that some parts of Steinhart's timepieces come from China, then put together in Switzerland to get the "Swiss Made" label? Not trying to imply anything here--it's just interesting how these things come together :)
 

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Ok, thank you for clarifying. I was under the impression they are still being made by the same company/same parts. I think other people are still under that impression as well.

I read a review of one of the Robert and the reviewer stated that he like the Robert bracelet better than the Steinhart. That statement is what triggered my question.
I myself was until now under impression, that Steinhart produces his watches at Grovana and Revue Thommen. Seems like I was wrong, after reading Tritons explanation...

Nevertheless, there still seems to be some secret part of history between Steinhart, Debaufre and Grovana, that we will probably never uncover, as no one seems to be willing speak about it... I dont want to stick my nose in it, but it is realy a mystery to me what has happened. :)
Anyway, even if that question remains unanswered, I like Steinies a lot! :)
 

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I dont want to stick my nose in it, but it is realy a mystery to me what has happened. :)
Anyway, even if that question remains unanswered, I like Steinies a lot! :)
It would really help if these companies would be honest. I've read everything and it's opposite from them. One must be lying :roll:

Recently the owner of Debaufre wrote in a public forum:

"My father (Jon D.) and I started this company about 5 years ago in the U.S. under the name of Steinhart. We picked this name because the guy we were employing as our designer at the time was named Steinhart. (...) Two years into it, we were threatened with a lawsuit from Steinhausen to change our name. We decided not to be in court for the next few years, so after long research we found the historic name of Debaufre. Once the change went into effect, our designer decided he didn't want to work for a company not bearing his name and abruptly abandoned us, went back to Germany, took our designs with him and started his own little company. He is not associated with us."

I've heard a totally different story from Gunter Steinhart and Triton :think:

If the the Aviation/Csar, the LeMans or the Marine Timer are indeed designed by Gunter Steinhart (and his main designer, Triton here). How can the owner of Debaufre claim that he is not associated with him?!? It doesn't make sense...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
And don't forget the lesser known name Robert. It is my understanding that Robert was also Gunter's partner back when Debaufre and Steinhart were partners as well.

My guess is probably there were 2 people in the first group selling Grovana made watches and those two beingRobert and Steinhart. When Debaufre was added, Robert split from both of them and later Debaufre split from Steinhart.

As far as design, you have to think all of them had input at some point and agreed to share those "collaborative" designs in their "own" new company ventures as part of the break up.

If you compare the Ocean series of watches from Debaufre, Steinhart, Robert and the Coral Reef by Grovana they are nearly identical looking. It's not a stretch to think that all of these makers were once very closely connected. The posts I have read said that Grovana still makes these for Debaufre.

The only thing that does seem clear in all this is that all are separate watches companies now and each should be judged on their own merit.

I doubt we'll ever know for sure but when people say here on the board they are all made by the same company you can say at least with some certainty "NOT true". Similar yes, but not exactly the same so check the specs on each carefully.
 

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It would really help if these companies would be honest. I've read everything and it's opposite from them. One must be lying :roll:

Recently the owner of Debaufre wrote in a public forum:

"My father (Jon D.) and I started this company about 5 years ago in the U.S. under the name of Steinhart. We picked this name because the guy we were employing as our designer at the time was named Steinhart. (...) Two years into it, we were threatened with a lawsuit from Steinhausen to change our name. We decided not to be in court for the next few years, so after long research we found the historic name of Debaufre. Once the change went into effect, our designer decided he didn't want to work for a company not bearing his name and abruptly abandoned us, went back to Germany, took our designs with him and started his own little company. He is not associated with us."

I've heard a totally different story from Gunter Steinhart and Triton :think:

If the the Aviation/Csar, the LeMans or the Marine Timer are indeed designed by Gunter Steinhart (and its main designer, Triton here). How can the owner of Debaufre claim that he is not associated with him?!? It doesn't make sense...
I dont want to be the judge here, although I personaly have had great experience with Gunther, so I naturaly trust him and his story.
BUT, when you read that story by Debaufre, doesnt it sound simply wrong, to name your own company by your designer, especialy such a person who is obviously not loyal enough, that he leaves you on first occasion?
To me, this Debaufre story sounds a bit difficult to believe...
 

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At some point we have to stick a fork in this topic and call it done. I think it was done about a year ago...

We know that the companies were together a few years ago, and now have gone their separate ways.

Today, we should judge the companies on what we see different in their product offerings over this past year.

I am not familar with Robert so I can comment on their products, I am familiar with both Debaufre and Steinhart.

Deb has come out with a "new" 200m diver that uses the same case as 5-6 other companies. The dial and hands are unique, but the bezel, case, bracelet, and movement are all similar to other product offererings, so nothing really "new" or innovative heare. Also, for a diver, I think that there is not enough lume on the hands. They also produced a new pilot watch. Take a look at it and judge for yourself if you like it.

Steinhart on the other hand has released their new Triton which is distinctively designed. Also, they have come out with some new product offerings as far as chrono's and special edition pilot watches.

Design is always subjective, but I like the design work that is going on over at Steinhart better than Debaufre. Therefore they will get my continued attention. That is not to say that Deb won't, but perhaps not as much.

I am sure that both companies at this point are tired of trying to "spin" the business separation. Unfortunatley, business dissolve all the time. We just have to try to evaluate the merits of both new companies and make our own best personal judgement as to which one we prefer (and perhaps believe).
 

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It's not a stretch to think that all of these makers were once very closely connected. The posts I have read said that Grovana still makes these for Debaufre.
I guess so, since the watches are delivered with a Grovana warranty card...

At some point we have to stick a fork in this topic and call it done. I think it was done about a year ago...
You are right kdsarch. But it's difficult to stop this topic if the parties involved keep resurrecting it over and over (the message I quoted is from February 2010). It cast a dark shadow on the brands. It's a shame really...

Anyway, when is the Steinhart Aviation GMT ready?!? That's all that matters for me :-d
 

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At some point we have to stick a fork in this topic and call it done. I think it was done about a year ago...

We know that the companies were together a few years ago, and now have gone their separate ways.

Today, we should judge the companies on what we see different in their product offerings over this past year.

I am not familar with Robert so I can comment on their products, I am familiar with both Debaufre and Steinhart.

Deb has come out with a "new" 200m diver that uses the same case as 5-6 other companies. The dial and hands are unique, but the bezel, case, bracelet, and movement are all similar to other product offererings, so nothing really "new" or innovative heare. Also, for a diver, I think that there is not enough lume on the hands. They also produced a new pilot watch. Take a look at it and judge for yourself if you like it.

Steinhart on the other hand has released their new Triton which is distinctively designed. Also, they have come out with some new product offerings as far as chrono's and special edition pilot watches.

Design is always subjective, but I like the design work that is going on over at Steinhart better than Debaufre. Therefore they will get my continued attention. That is not to say that Deb won't, but perhaps not as much.

I am sure that both companies at this point are tired of trying to "spin" the business separation. Unfortunatley, business dissolve all the time. We just have to try to evaluate the merits of both new companies and make our own best personal judgement as to which one we prefer (and perhaps believe).
I am not sure, with all due respect, that I need a censor to tell me what I can and what I cannot discuss in open forum. Yes, I am on Steinharts side, I judge this company mainly by their products and by their customer care, but when there is something that is unaswered (and judging by the story provided by Debaufre, there is something unaswered), I believe I have the right to freely ask questions.
You, on the other hand, have right not to provide answers, but definitely not to tell me what is appropriate and what not (provided that I do not harm anyones feelings or interest)...
I do not call this done, I would like to hear the truth. If you know it, I will be gratefull, if you tell me...
 

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Sorry, I did not mean to sound like a censor, but was merely trying to point out that this topic has been discussed ad infinitum, that there are going to be different perspectives, and they are on their own separate paths now.
 

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Sorry, I did not mean to sound like a censor, but was merely trying to point out that this topic has been discussed ad infinitum, that there are going to be different perspectives, and they are on their own separate paths now.
I apologize for calling you censor. I understand your reasons and respect them.
Thank you!
 

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Just to clarify my attitude here:
This crap about Debaufre history pissed me off. I was trying to provoke a discussion about it, because I felt I am not the one entitled to post the truth about it. But after PM discussion with other members, I understand it is not important for anyone and that whatever whoever says, it changes nothing on the fact, that Steinhart makes best watches ... :)
 
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