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Manufaktur Waldhoff is German based brand, hence the “Made in Germany” label on the dial. However, the most interesting thing with the Capital Obsidian is that they openly use a Far East movement – the Hangzhou 7500. Whilst this seems controversial, the “Made in Germany” label does not come under the same standards as “Swiss Made”, which requires a Swiss movement. Instead, it just requires assembly within Germany.

The Hangzhou 7500 is actually the best thing about this watch. Amazing specs (80-hour power reserve, 28.8k bph) – plus it’s a bit different to the usual skeletonised movements you find in affordable watches. Let’s check it out.

The specs

The video review

The case

The case, being 44mm, is most definitely on the large side – in particular for a dress watch. The oversized dimensions are a very modern approach to an otherwise fairly classy timepiece.

The case in itself is a simple barrel with a few ridges and indents: two on the bezel and one below the crown. Personally, I like the detailing as they split up an otherwise rather plain case and keeps things interesting. It’s fully polished as you’d expect for a dress / smart watch.

There’s a very thin bezel, so it’s practically all dial – providing a great immersive viewing experience. The slender lugs are surprisingly angular, bringing in a dash of modern styling.

The flat sapphire crystal does a fairly good job of keeping reflections at bay, allowing you to view the detailed dial pretty well.

The push-pull crown is rather cute; it’s dainty, but it doesn’t look silly. It also sports good grip and is easy to manipulate, plus the logo is embossed on the end.

The caseback is all about the movement – a large exhibition window takes centre stage. Various specifics surround it in a brushed ring.

The dial

Let’s face it, the dial is all about the movement. The black open bridges provide a pretty awesome industrial and mechanical view.

The large barrel at 12 houses the whopping 80 hours per reserve and the steel provides a light backdrop to the black bridges.

The balance wheel at 6 is reminiscent of a tourbillon, due to its position and the surrounding detailing.

The hands and little pips at the base of the hour markers are filled with Swiss TriTec lume, which is pretty disappointing. But, lume is usually the least important part of a dress watch.

The hands are a quintessential pitched dauphine shape, perfectly suitable in this setting. The second hand features a smart Manufaktur Waldhoff logo as the counterweight.

The outer edge is another level of pleasant detail; with a concentric circular pattern and the applied hour markers and logo. The markers aren’t the deepest, I would have preferred a more solid construction.

The strap

The strap is probably the least impressive part of the watch. It’s distinctively average; nothing special – but also not the worst strap in the world.

It has a matte alligator stamp finish to it, which is my preference over shiny patent leather. It’s not overly supple or flexible, but it’s good enough to feel comfortable on the wrist.

The polished tang buckle has clearly had some thought put into it – I like the embellishments and details such as the ridged border, cut out corners, and the logo engraved on the one side.

The movement

After some serious digging and research, I determined that the movement is the Hangzhou 7500 (they don’t specify the movement on the website).

Further details can be found here:

It looks impressively manufactured, even up close. The specs are even more impressive; with a whopping 80 hours power reserve, 21 jewels, and a high beat rate of 28.8k bph (8 ticks per second).

It’s a lovely breath of fresh air to see a new skeleton movement being used, especially with those specs. As I mentioned in the intro, this is one of the best things going for the watch.

Final comments

Skeleton watches are a difficult play in the affordable market. Sometimes they can just look cheap, and most of the time they’re limited to a small number of certain movements. This is why the Manufaktur Waldhoff Capital Obsidian is a cool, fresh alternative. The strap isn’t the best, but I wouldn’t let that get in the way of an otherwise great watch.


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1 comment

  1. John A Kostelac, Jr.

    I really appreciate reading your thoughts on these watches. I’m not big on watching YT videos so I hope that the written part is, at least, nearly a transcript of the YT video.
    You provide excellent information to help pick out the next watch I’d like to acquire. Thank you.

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