Dutchman Vivo Stadt first defied the scene 8 years ago when he launched his Preludium Hand Wound with his eponymous brand in October 2014. It is a classic case of a man who cannot find where he is looking for and given. He began his search to create what he wanted for himself. Not trained as a watchmaker, but a classical accordionist at heart, it took some trial and error to get where he needed to be. Now, however, bringing to a close nearly a decade of watchmaking under the Stadt name, the new Prelude Chronograph collection sees the light of day. True to the classical and elegant style portrayed by Stadt, the Prelude Chronograph is a true example of honest, wholesome watchmaking.
Yvo Staudt was born and raised in Twente, the easternmost part of the Netherlands. Following his dream of becoming a great accordion player, an instrument he had only five years of experience with, he studied at a conservatory in Italy and entered the world of watchmaking purely by chance. As mentioned, he created his own watch for the simple reason that he was not satisfied with what he could find in other brands. He designed a dial, sourced a case, hands and movement, put a strap on it and created the first stat watch. He got a lot of positive feedback when he attended a watch event, and some people asked Yvo to build one for them as well. He would assemble a total of 45 pieces, which kickstarted his brand, which has been going strong ever since. The collection now offers multiple versions of the Prelude, a colorful series of Ton Sur Ton watches, several chronograph versions and now also the Prelude Chronograph.
The Staudt Prelude Chronograph case looks and feels great on the hand and wrist. It comes in stainless steel, with a luxurious 18k rose gold case also available. At 41mm in diameter, it’s not too big, which is a very good thing. As such it will easily feel at home on most people’s wrists. Slightly taller at 13.6mm including the crystal. Again, depending on the movement chosen in the Prelude Chronograph you’ll need some space, but don’t get too carried away with it just yet.
The caseband is brushed on the vertical sides and polished on top. A concave polished bezel rises to a domed sapphire crystal. The case back also has a sapphire crystal, which is housed by a concave shaped caseback. Classical pump-style pushers are used for the chronograph, giving a resonant “snap” when pushed. The pull-out crown is crimped for a little extra grip and is signed with an S, which stands for Stadt.
You have a choice of two dials that come in black and white for the stainless steel case or white for the rose gold one. White or black base dials show some depth through raised areas such as the rings around the subdials and the chapter ring that carries the hour markers. The finish is crisp and very well done. Applied numerals are blue or gold on a white dial or polished on a black dial. Blue, gold or polished leaf-shaped hands are used for the central hours and minutes, joined by needle-like hands for the rest of the indications. The small seconds and chronograph 30-minute hands always match the central hour and minute hands in color/finish. The outside of the dial has a printed railroad-style minute track. The final details on the dial are the “Stadt Chronometry” signature at the top and the indication that the automatic movement is used at the bottom.
The Staudt Prelude Chronograph collection comes with an automatic chronograph movement inside, the Valjoux 7753. This very strong caliber is used in a wide range of watches and requires little introduction. It runs at a frequency of 28,800vph and uses 27 jewels. Once fully wound through the rose gold-colored central rotor, it will continue to tick for up to 48 hours if left untouched. It indicates the time via central hour and minute hands with a small seconds display at 9 o’clock. The other two hands are for the central chronograph seconds and chronograph 30 minute counter.
In terms of strap options, Staudt does not disappoint. The new Prelude Chronograph is available on a sand-colored suede leather strap or a handcrafted alligator leather strap in dark brown or blue. Both come on a stainless steel folding clasp or rose gold pin buckle to match the rose gold case. Optionally, Staudt offers other colors for the suede leather strap or even a Milanese bracelet to further transform the look. Depending on the chosen material of the case and strap, the Prelude will cost you EUR 3,389 (Steel & Suede), EUR 3,489 (Steel & Alligator) Or EUR 14,989 (Gold & Alligator). Milanese bracelet sold EUR 398 If you are interested. The Prelude Chronograph is presented in a blue wooden box that can be converted into a four-watch collector’s box.
While it won’t make an affordable Valjoux-based chronograph watch or anything, it will certainly buy you a very good-looking, well-finished classical-style chronograph. With a diameter of 41 mm, it fits most wrists easily and is worn with great comfort as it offers high-quality straps. And it makes us feel a little extra proud that this brand has Dutch roots. Is the comment the only one? The black Prelude chronograph’s hour and minute hands have a streak of Super-LumiNova, which is rare for me. It would be nice if the bells also had brighter tones, but that could just be me. Now it seems like a bit of an afterthought.
For more information, please visit Staudt-Twenthe.com