Review of my Zeppelin LZ-129

Do visit NUS Horology Club’s site here for excellent information on horology in general and also new watch releases.

I purchased this watch on Sunday, 10 May 2015. This was after my Ball SG50 Night Train purchase on 19 April 2015. I was always looking forward to purchasing a watch with a power reserve feature. To me, the power reserve complication is really nifty and useful as it will tell you exactly when to wind a watch. This will prevent over-winding and damaging the main-spring of the watch. To be honest, this was a fairly impulsive buy as it was just a month after my Ball purchase. The Zeppelin LZ-129 Ref. 7060 (38mm case and is 11mm thick) is a lot dressier than the Ball SG50. The watch uses the Miyota 9100 movement. Many of my friends have praised the watch for its beautiful beige/cream dial and classic design. I was certainly attracted by the dial design and the vintage domed hesalite crystal. In addition, the watch has a 24-hour display. Red Army Watches has a great website and each watch on the site is displayed with great detail. They sell watches that originate from countries other than Switzerland. They have brands hailing from Russia, Germany, Belgium etc. As a result, this helps to keep the prices down as compared to their Swiss counterparts. I headed over to their store at Millennial Walk and purchased the Zeppelin watch from there.IMG_7629.JPG

According to Wikipedia, Junkers was a major aircraft and aircraft engine manufacturer. The watch brand, Junkers, is certainly also associated with flying. The Zeppelin LZ 129 was an actually an airship that flew in 1938. Wilhelm Birk founded the parent company, POINT tec in 1987. The brands, Junkers & Zeppelin & Maximilian Munchen, are all ‘Made in Germany’ watches. I believe the Zeppelin LZ-129 watch was released at least 4 years ago. The design is similar to the Junkers Bauhaus 6060 as it also contains the power reserve and 24-hour indicator.

The Junkers and Zeppelin watches are durable and contain Miyota movements. Miyota movements are reliable and are ETA 2824-2 clones. They keep good time and chronometry. In addition, because they are Japanese movements, they are a lot more affordable. Brands like Dietrich, SevenFriday use them too. The Zeppelin LZ-129 does not contain any lume but that is to be expected for a dress watch. POINT tec is a relatively new brand and it will take time for the brand value to be established. However, I believe their watches are good value-for-money and aesthetically pleasing. In terms of price point, Junkers and Zeppelin watches are in the affordable range of SGD 0.4k to 3k. Junkers and Zeppelin’ watches are all aviation, military inspired. You can refer to Red Army’s page for some of their models.

The main reason why I found it so attractive was the power reserve indicator and lovely cream/beige dial. My reasons are listed below:

The Zeppelin LZ-129 comes in a stainless steel case (about 42mm lug-to-lug) and a comfortable brown stitched leather strap. The watch is very lightweight and is comfortable on the wrist. The leather strap is supple and of high quality. A large portion of the case is polished to create the dressy feel. The case construction is solid in nature and gets broader as it rises from the bottom to the dial area.

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The watch, although with a small dial at 38mm, does receive compliments from others, which I like. This is due to the overall appearance of the watch. Although Zeppelin is a brand that not many people know, many are attracted to the vintage inspired look of the dial. The dial is largely symmetrical, with the power reserve at the 12 o’clock position and the 24-hour (day-night) indicator at the 6 o’clock position. The hour markers are all bold Arabic numerals with classic fonts. The hour, minute and second hands are all very long and slim. The dial is cream, with black hands/font and also a tinge of red via the 24-hour hand and the ‘Min’ on the power reserve indicator.

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The Zeppelin LZ-129 is a casual and formal/dress watch with 30 meters water resistance. This is certainly not a watch to be used for sports. It will pair well with formal attire, like a suit/blazer or even t-shirts and jeans. I have worn this piece numerous times to work and I have had no trouble with it. Being 11mm tall, it will slide under most shirt-cuffs. I would say that the watch is not very stealthy in nature due to the unique colour on the dial. The watch does not get as much wrist time as my Ball SG50 Night Train or my Ball Magneto S limited edition. Nevertheless, after nearly a year of use, the watch is still in good condition.

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The watch uses the Miyota automatic 9100 26-jewel movement, which is essentially a clone of the ETA 2824-2. This a certainly a workhorse movement that is widely used with many other watch brands at this price point. Of course, the movement has been modified to include the power reserve and the 24-hour indicator complications. Despite the complications, the dial does not appear cluttered in any form. As indicated on the dial, the movement comes with a 40 hour power reserve and I have no qualms about the movement at this price point. After a few turns of the crown, the power reserve indicator increases gradually. One minor issue I have is the wobbly rotor on the watch. However, it is barely audible during daily use. The movement does not have much decorations, but this is to be expected anyway. I have tested my watch on a Timegrapher and it currently runs at a decent +8 seconds/day.

Zeppelin LZ-129 has a 2mm domed hesalite crystal. It gives the watch greater presence and texture, evoking a vintage feel. However, hesalite crystal is scratch-prone and I have to be careful not to knock the watch around. Honestly, I prefer sapphire crystal due to its scratch resistant properties. However, I understand that the scratches can be polished away via buffing cloth and polywatch.

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Overall, after wearing it for nearly a year, I am still impressed by how the watch has not ‘aged’ and still looks in like-new condition, albeit for minute scratches on the hesalite crystal. The Zeppelin LZ-129 is a serious and dressy watch and will pair well with formal/semi-formal clothing. It is something that I will wear during networking events/wedding dinners. The watch was released in early in the early 2010s and retailed for SGD 950+ before discount. If you are considering an affordable dress watch with useful complications, this watch might just be the one for you.

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