Äonic Automat: A New German Brand Makes an Impressive Debut

As a watch journalist, I spend a good part of my day going through all the new introductions, but sometimes you find innovative products in a less-than-ordinary way. A friend and fellow journalist posted a collage of images on social media. I could make out most of the watches except one. It was an unusually shaped timepiece, intriguing and tantalizing.

Although the image was small, I thought I knew how the watch worked and it looked intriguing. I soon connected to Jörg Wichmann, the founder of Äonic, who lent me an Automat to review.

Äonic Automat

I wasn’t prepared for this!

There is a lot of German efficiency in the Automat. This is not the first ‘mat’ that Wichmann created because in 2003, he founded ‘Berlinomat,’ a presentation and marketing platform highlighting Berlin design, and he was also involved in establishing ‘Panorama,’ Berlin’s international fashion fair. While you could make the case that Äonic and its Automat is a design-driven creation, this is only part of the story.

Äonic Automat

It might be a German tradition, but a wide variety of products from that country are a marriage of technical innovation, based on craftsmanship, audacity and expertise, and design that makes the function beautiful. One is not more important than the other, but together, they are sublime. 

One of my favorite words in German is ‘gründlichkeit.’ It doesn’t translate directly, but means that something is created with thoroughness. That most certainly applies to the Automat, which is groundbreaking in many ways. It is hard to compare, something humans seem to have a natural tendency to do, as nothing comes close.

The Automat has several features that haven’t done before, and while a capable designer, Wichmann realized that he needed equally capable partners to make his vision a reality. He also found those in Germany, as watch manufacturer Damasko was eager to take on the technical challenge of creating a movement for the Automat. They did this in a mere 18 months, which is very fast considering the configuration of the watch. 



The base movement is Damasko’s Caliber A26. This robust movement features a full bridge over the balance wheel, is regulated in five positions, runs at 28,800 VpH (4Hz), and has a power reserve of 42 hours.

Äonic Automat back

It can be admired through the sapphire insert in the caseback, where the blued screws stand out against the dark grey finish of the bridges and oscillating weight, oozing a refined sense of industrial design.

Äonic Automat exploded view

On top of this movement, Damasko created the bidirectional, spring-loaded Äonic disc-play system. This is what makes the Automat truly special.

Underneath a dome of sapphire crystal, with an anti-reflective coating on the inside, twelve openings are visible. Eleven of them are white, and one is orange, indicating the hour.

While the Automat is a jump hour, it jumps in an interesting way as it uses the last 15 minutes of the hour to charge the spring that makes the jump. The top part shows the minutes, with a bright orange hand on a black disc, opposite of a window under which we see a disc with the seconds running. It all makes a full rotation in 60 minutes, secured to the rest of the movement with two blued screws.

Conquering height

The Automat has a very interactive way of telling the time, but is demanding in terms of height, or so it seems. When the Automat lies on a table or other surface, its shape makes it look quite voluminous. But looks can be deceiving, as a clever design makes sure that what you see off the wrist is not what you experience on the wrist.

Äonic Automat side on

The Automat is 12.95mm thick, and to put that into perspective, let’s compare this to the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M. While the Omega may look slimmer, it is actually thicker at 13.60mm high.

With the Automat, the entire case curves towards the domed sapphire crystal, but the lugs are also curved, making the watch seem thicker than it is.

Äonic Automat

Äonic Automat

Thanks to that, it really sits nicely on the wrist. Wichmann placed the crown a bit higher so that it doesn’t eat into your skin, and the watch is surprisingly light. It comes with fixed lugs, for which German strap manufacture Fluco made a design in leather that you connect with Velcro.

Äonic Automat strap options

While ‘smooth black’ and ‘happy orange’ are included in the pack if you buy the Automat, along with a very nice travel case, other options are offered as well. Fellow German manufacturer Craiss went wild on the clasp.

You might not instantly realize it, but it is an ingenious construction that allows the strap to pass through and be optimally secured. 



Wichmann didn’t stop there, as every single part of the Automat has been completely thought through. While the 41mm large case already stands out by its shape, it is also made of a high-performance stainless steel alloy that is hardened to 1000 Vickers. Regular 316L stainless steel has a hardness of 200 Vickers at best, so this Äonic is playing in a different league.

The Automat also features a Diamond-like-Carbon (DLC) coating, that we also find on the buckle. Water resistance is up to 100 meters/10 atm.

This first Äonic is an unabashedly imposing watch, where no aspect is left to chance. It is refreshingly innovative but made in an old-school way. It oozes quality but also raises one important question: what will be the next model for Äonic, after you made this? While you can easily make the Automat from a different material and play with colors, it will be tough to surpass its unique proposition.

But then again, I am probably underestimating the German ‘gründlichkeit’ as Wichmann probably thought of that, too.

For more information, please visit https://www.äonic.com

Quick Facts Äonic Automat
Case: 41 x 12.95 mm, stainless steel hardened to 1,000 Vickers, black DLC coating

Water resistance: 100 meters
Movement: Caliber A 26-1 W, 42-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph/4 Hz,
Functions: jump hours, minutes, seconds;
Limitation: 100 pieces
Price: €4,450, including two straps, two buckles, and a travel pouch

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