DuFrane Watches is a microbrand based in Austin, Texas founded by Steven Lee in 2016. Steven is a former Pilot and a passionate watch collector. Over the years he gathered knowledge about watches, brands, and their history which helped him to achieve the goal of creating his own watch brand. This lead to this moment and the launch of DuFrane’s first model called Bergstrom.

Bergstrom is a vintage-style pilot watch, which is not a surprise given Steven’s background as a Pilot. Bergstrom name is also not an accident. The watch was named after Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, who died during bombings of Pearl Harbor and other military areas in the Philippines in December 1941. Captain Bergstrom also happened to be the first native Austinite killed during the war. As a tribute, Steven Lee decided to call his first watch Bergstrom. I personally think that’s a great idea to memorialize our heroes in such a way. Watches, if taken care of, can last for decades and proudly wear the name given to them and help us remember about our history.

DuFrane Bergstrom
DuFrane Bergstrom

DuFrane Bergstrom comes in two different case variants and two different dial options, which gives us four watches in total. The case is 41,5 mm in diameter (44,5 mm including the crown), the lug to lug distance is 51 mm, lug width of 22 mm and thickness of 11 mm. This makes Bergstrom suitable for variety of wrists. The case is made of 316L stainless steel but there is also PVD bronze version available if you are up for a more vintage look. Both versions have matte finishing to give the watch that vintage toolwatch look. A distinctive feature of Bergstrom’s case is its coin edge bezel, which was widely present in military watches of WWII era. You can clearly see that the case is a quality product, which is only emphasized by presence of allen key screw bars at the lugs.

When it comes to dial of DuFrane Bergstrom, we have a classic vintage look with a little twist. It’s a black matte dial with a slightly unusual font chosen for hour markers, which certainly makes the watch stand out from the crowd. The dial keeps a clean look, which improves crucial readability for pilot watches. At 6 o’clock there is a small second sub-dial available in two variants: horizon and standard. The horizon version serves as a nice accent and make the watch more unique in its class. To add a little more to the vintage look of Bergstrom, designers decided to opt in for a cathedral style hands. I’m a big fan of these and luckily we can see more brands going for this style. The whole front of the watch is protected by a sapphire crystal with an AR coating.

DuFrane Bergstrom caseback

DuFrane Bergstrom is powered by Swiss Unitas 6498-1 movement. Is a hand-wound mechanical movement with 18 000 VPH and power reserve of 46 hours. Initially developed as a movement for pocket watches, it’s now widely used by many watchmakers. It’s a great and reliable movement, which will serve for many years to come. Furthermore, it’s easily serviceable in case anything happens to it. It’s hard for me to imagine that DuFrane Watches went for a different movement for their historical timepiece.

DuFrane Bergstrom is limited to 300 pieces. Each piece has engraved number on the see-through caseback. The price starts at $875 for steel version and $950 for bronze PVD. You can browse and purchase the whole collection at DuFrane’s website.

Bergstrom is a watch for someone who can appreciate its history, a classic vintage style, and a mechanical Swiss movement ticking inside. For your hard-earned money you also get quite a complete package, which includes: a custom chromexcel leather strap, an additional blue suede strap, a custom Noah Marion leather watch wallet, a Warranty Card, a polishing cloth, and 2 Screw bar tools.

Model DuFrane Watches Bergstrom
Diameter 41,5 mm
Thickness 11 mm
Lug to Lug 51 mm
Lug width 22 mm
Crystal Sapphire crystal with AR coating
Movement Unitas 6498-1
Water resistance 50m
Price $875-950

 

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About Author

Watch enthusiast who loves to take photos of his watches, blogger, and founder of Lug2Lug.