The Schaumburg Double Moon is part of the Urbanic collection and will be a delight to fans of moon phase complications, thanks to its dual luminescent moons for the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Schaumburg is a small German watch brand that is best known for its avant garde, yet classically inspired, designs. The Double Moon, I think, is a great example of what Schaumburg is all about.
Moon phases and pointer dates, two complications on this watch, are seen as particularly classic. Yet the case, and the use of two moons instead of one, is certainly not.
The double moon phase is designed to provide an accurate portrayal of the moon regardless of what hemisphere of the earth you’re on. The pointer date, of course, is as much the result of having no easy way to implement a date window as it is an homage to more traditional date design.
The centerpiece of the watch, of course, is its glossy black dial and massive dual moon phase display.
The moon phases aren’t the only things there though. We can spot a pointer date and an interesting intentionally rough finish on the hands and markers.
The moon phase complications are massive, and each correspond to a hemisphere of the earth. Practical it isn’t, but it is very intriguing.
Here’s the watch while displaying two full moons, probably its most impressive look.
The red pointer date has a very thin stem to minimally occlude the moons, but the red tip makes it quite visible. While this is a classic design often associated with moon phases, this was probably used because the massive disk that covers the moons left too little space for a conventional date ring.
I quite like the stone wash finish on the hands. They’re simple batons, again probably to cover the minimum amount of the dial since the owner of a watch like this is really interested in the moon phase aesthetics, not the time.
The finish continues onto the applied hour markers. I’m personally glad to see that Schaumburg didn’t go for numerals here, which are notorious for being cut off by large complications like these.
The trick up its sleeve is that it has a huge amount of lume, particularly when both moons are full.
The dial is certainly remarkable. Interestingly, it actually remains reasonably legible, thanks to the use of a red pointer date (instead of one that was simply steel) and the rough finish used on the hands and markers which creates a lot of contrast with the black dial.
While the dial tends to be something of a dressier avant garde approach, the case is anything but. It’s rather sporty, in fact.
It actually has a secret though. In fact, it has two.
On each side of the case, there are two small indentations (four in total). These are placed so that they all blend into the case, but in fact the bottom left and bottom right are pushers.
These pushers allow you to advance the date or moon phase. Although the watch has a “double moon” complication, the upper and lower moons are mirror opposites of one another, and thus one pusher controls both. Basically, a single disk below the dial is rotated over both moons.
At 45mm, the Double Moon is certainly a large watch. It’s a size that I expect to divide some fans, but I kind of view it like the Seiko Ananta models. It’s big, it’s bold, it wants to make a statement. Personally, I like my watches smaller, but there are certainly collectors out there who want something with more presence, and the Double Moon is a nice option for those who want a big watch but don’t want a diver.
The solid caseback has a nice Schaumburg insignia. This logo isn’t actually just for the brand, however. This is actually the coat of arms of the place, Landkreis Schaumburg Germany.
The Schaumburg Double Moon is the answer to a question I hadn’t thought to ask: what’s better than a moon phase complication?
Well, two moon phase complications, obviously. The moon phase has always been one of my favorite complications, along with the power reserve, because they both have somewhat unique properties. The power reserve is the only complication that actually tells you something about the watch instead of the world. The moon phase, conversely, is something that for most of us merely makes watches prettier.
Now that sounds rather useless, particularly with two of them. But you’d be wrong. The moon phase complication is the one most attuned to the actual purpose of a mechanical wristwatch in 2016. It’s there to fascinate you. The idea that a series of gears and springs can somehow accurately reflect the appearance of the moon is delightful. Unlike other complications, even very impressive ones like perpetual calendars and minute repeaters, it is divorced from the need to associate itself with anything useful. It’s art for art’s sake.
And that’s a great metaphor for the Schaumburg Double Moon itself. You don’t buy the Double Moon because it has a greater water resistance than a Rolex Sea-Dweller or is more anti-magnetic than an Omega Master Co-Axial. You get a Schaumburg because it intrigues you. The Double Moon is for those who want something really unique, yet not ostentatious. Its size and moon displays, at least during a full moon, will certainly get it some attention, but it actually would make a perfectly good everyday casual wear watch.