Today we are gonna talk about a new company called Bastian Antoni. When it comes to Swiss Made watches for, under 1000$ price, there aren’t that much to choose from, but Bastian Antoni is going for that niche and with a very cool watch! What was appealing about the company was that they weren’t funded on Kickstarter or on any other funding platform like most of the small brands these days. The two brothers Robert Antoni and Peter Bastian from the Netherlands started the company with their own investment to make the ultimate Swiss made a watch for under 1000$ and I think they succeeded with the watch! Before we take a closer look at the Turbulent watch, let’s talk with Robert:
My name is Robert Antoni. I was born and raised in the Netherlands. Together with my brother Peter Bastian we started our watch company.
What started your watch passion?
Many years ago Peter started with a watchmaking course that grabbed my attention. As time passed his enthusiasm about watchmaking grew and it started to affect me. Quickly it became our number one topic to talk about and it resulted in a shared passion for watches.
What makes a good wristwatch for you?
For me personally a good (and interesting) watch needs to be original. It needs to trigger something, persuade the eye. Of course pleasantly wearable and the price/quality ratio needs to be good. With the years our appreciation for Swiss made watches has grown. For us ‘Swiss made’ is essential nowadays.
Why did you decide to make your own microbrand watch company?
Basically it was a combination of many things. The dream was there already for many years and then one day you need to have an opportunity. Years ago my brother and I were on the hunt for a new watch. We had set the budget on a 1000 euro’s. A Swiss made, mechanical watch with a nice ‘presence’. A watch that makes a bit of a statement. Of course, we ran into a lot of watches that offered exactly that, but not for the price we had in mind. As we couldn’t find what we were looking for, we dropped the search at the time. Over the years we were running a completely different business (telecom) in the Netherlands that after several years was doing very well. This gave us the opportunity to travel to Switzerland and seriously start exploring the possibilities of creating our own watch. We decided to try to make the watch we were looking for years back. It was tough getting into the business in Switzerland. It’s a very ‘closed’ market and doing business with the Swiss isn’t as easy as you might think. Basically nobody is waiting for ‘another’ new brand. It took some serious time before we had all different suppliers lined up and could actually start with the development of the watch.
How much watches do you have in your personal collection?
All together we have quite a few, although the majority is spread in pieces on the workbenches haha! In particular, we share a passion for mechanical watches. I am not the biggest collector when it comes down to numbers, but my proudest possessions are a Hamilton Jazzmaster and a TagHeuer Carrera. My brothers favorite is his Panerai Luminor. I can really appreciate the case design of an AP Royal Oak and hope to own one in the future. It is actually original case designs like AP and Panerai which inspired us in our own case design.
Who is your ideal customer?
Basically people like ourselves. People attracted to contemporary design, fine Swiss made automatic watches, and who can afford and appreciate this type of luxury.
Tell about what you like to do outside of watches? Where do you find inspiration for your work?
As I am spending so much time for my work on a computer, I specifically choose not to when I am not working and I try to enjoy outside life. With my brother I work in the telecom business for many years. That way, we know each other very well and know exactly who is good at what. This is inspirational in itself as it strengthens my belief that we can make this brand a success. I personally read a lot of blogs, magazines and like to visit Basel with its yearly fair and at the same time enjoy the beautiful sceneries and landscapes of Switzerland.
How do you see Bastian Antoni watch brand in the future?
We made a huge personal investment to set up the brand and I would lie if we don’t want it to be a success of course. I hope on a steady basis the brand can grow and develop a base of pleased owners. We will always strive to keep the design original and the price/quality ratio optimal for our buyers. A dream would be to have a complete collection of different models, both for men and for women.
The watch that Bastian Antoni sent to me is from the Turbulent series. The version that they sent me is with steel case, black dial. There is also a steel case, brown dial version. They also have the Special Editions with black case and dial, rose gold case with black and brown dials. When the watch came in, it actually looks 10 times better in real life than on the website. It is this weird thing where pictures don’t do justice for the watch!
So the Turbulent came in a very nice hard clamshell box. On the box you have a nice deeply engraved Bastian Antoni which looks very well made, don’t see this too much on any other microbrand company watch boxes. In the box, you will, of course, find the watch, warranty card and instructions. Everything is kept simple and all attention to the watch! The first impressions were good. I actually thought it will be bigger as the case is 45mm big, but it looks smaller which is strange. I immediately noticed how interesting the case looks. Also the smooth onion shaped crown was a first, I never saw a crown with a smooth surface. Also pleasantly surprised by the double fold deployment clasp, usually on these microbrand watches we get a pretty crappy clasp, but this one is very sturdy and similar to watch clasps that are on high-end watches that cost 10 times more than this.
The case of the Turbulent is made of 316L stainless steel. The case has this “gear” like shape, but it is round. The machine work that is done is very good! It definitely can be compared to much high-end watch cases that Omega or Tag Heuer makes. The watch has a satin brushed finish which is done by hand so each watch finishing will be slightly different, but it will always be done to perfection. The case diameter is 45mm, the thickness is 11mm and the lug width is 22mm. The watch on paper seems pretty big, but it wears like a 42mm and is very comfortable. On the right side, you get a push-pull crown with engraved Bastian Antoni emblem and water resistant double O-ring sealing. This is the first time when I see round shaped crown with no groves for grip. At first, I thought that it will be hard to wind up the movement as there is no grip, but the crown is actually pretty grippy. This watch also features drilled lugs for easier and faster strap change, but only on the left side and this is also a first for me, as I never saw that you have drilled lugs only on one side of the case. On the underside, we have a nicely engraved screw-down dodecagon shaped see-through case back with a mineral glass and Hytrel® sealing. The Hytrel is basically a rubber-like material that is much tougher than regular rubber rings that are used in the watch industry. On the top of the watch sits a double domed sapphire crystal glass with an inner glare-proof anti-reflective coating. The water resistance is 5ATM (50M) so I wouldn’t recommend taking it swimming with you.
The dial on this one is very interesting. The dial itself is Sun-ray patterned dial with open balance. The sun-ray dial is in grey colour. In some light, it is dark grey, almost black and in other lights, it is light grey. But I photographed it and in the sun from different angles, the dial looked almost brown. Around the dial, we have a chapter ring with minutes markings on them. At 12 o’clock we have a big zero which I don’t like that much, I would prefer if they put a 12 there, rather than 0 for the hour marking. We also have 8 and 4 as numbers for hour markers, the rest are rectangular shaped. The open balance window is at 12 o’clock. I never actually liked skeleton watches, but in the last year, I started to appreciate the design. The partially skeletonized hour and minute hands are polished with C1 luminova lume on the ends. The lume is actually pretty good,, far better than most of the watches I get that are for diving or other activity where you need lume. The stick-shaped second’s hand with the Bastian Antoni logo counter balance looks very good in my opinion and gives that attention to detail which you get in watches that cost 5 times more than this one does.
The movement that is inside the watch is the Swiss Made self-winding Sellita SW200-1 movement. It is a pretty popular movement that is getting used more and more in microbrand watches as it is cheap, reliable and well made. I have it in a couple of my watches and it never lets me down and it has a very great accuracy. Mine was running only at +4 seconds a day which is right where it supposed to be. Also, it is very well finished with nice perlage work.
The strap is probably the only thing that I don’t like that much. I really don’t like when watch companies use genuine leather straps that have an alligator skin pattern. Either use the real alligator leather strap or use a different kind of leather. The strap is very supple, but the leather feels cheap for a watch that costs around 900$. The deployment buckle actually surprised me as most of the brands that I review use really cheap ones, but this one feels secure and very sturdy. On the buckle, you have the Bastian Antoni logo engraved on it.
Overall the watch is really good. You have nice Swiss made quality, hand finished case, interesting and good looking dial and Swiss made an automatic movement. Is it a good deal for 930$? Well that depends on you either you spend that money on not so known brand or buy Hamilton for example or other know Swiss brand. I think it is worth every penny. I always say to people who are getting into watches to get their first watch from a known brand like Seiko, Hamilton or something like that, but the second or third etc. from a microbrand, because that’s the market where you will find a high precision and quality craftsmanship for a fraction of a price if it was under a known brand name.
AISI 316L low carbon stainless steel
Satin hand brushed
Double domed Sapphire Crystal glass with inner glare proof anti-reflective coating
Engraved screw-down dodecagon shaped see-trough case back with mineral glass and Hytrel® sealing
Non-screw crown with engraved Bastian Antoni emblem and water resistant double O-ring sealing
45 mm (1.77″)
11.10 mm (0.44″)
5 ATM (50 meters / 165 feet)
Black genuine leather strap with white stitching
78 mm (3.07″) + 123 mm (4.84″)
22 mm (0.87″) lug size
Quick release system with one-sided push pin and strap tubes
Satin hand brushed AISI 316L stainless steel double fold deployant clasp
Anthracite sun-ray patterned dial with Open Balance and applied polished indexes and numerals
Polished hands with white C1 LumiNova®, seconds hand with Bastian Antoni emblem