The entry-level market within watchmakers is a tough battle to be in. With the heavyweight brands keeping an eye on everything, making sure they capture every price bracket and specific tastes, niche brands will definitely need to provide a stellar product at the right price to stand out from the crowd. You have to create pieces that will stand out to compete with the R&D budgets and marketing funding that the heavyweights possess.
Not a lot can achieve this successfully, let alone consistently, but Stuhrling seems to be pulling it off without a hitch. They have been producing various pieces at affordable prices that counterparts offer for twice or thrice the amount.
But what makes them so successful in this realm? What makes them so special? Well, let’s see what Stuhrling has to offer and what makes them tick.
Since 2002, Stuhrling has been on a path of offering quality timepieces for less than the competition. The differentiating factor is the money spent by the company: rather than paying brand ‘ambassadors’ to represent the products, they spent that funding on their watches R&D budget to create the best timepieces to be offered at the most attractive and affordable price.
They also don’t spend money and time focusing on brick-and-mortar stores, spending their efforts on online marketing, focused on selling and promoting via the internet and social media. Because of limited overhead costs, more efforts can be placed on creating innovative and stylish timepieces.
Their first fray of that venture was with the tourbillon watch. When Stuhrling was informed that tourbillon watches are only produced within Switzerland, the company took that as a challenge. While their watches are produced in China, Stuhrling produced a great tourbillon watch for a more affordable price than the Haute Maisons in Switzerland.
Immediately, the watches were sold out and were an instant hit. From thereon in, Stuhrling became focused on becoming an affordable, luxury timepiece and competing with the heavyweights in the horology market. With various examples in their collection, there’s bound to be a Stuhrling-made piece that’s just calling your name. Let’s dive deeper into what is available in their line-up.
There are multiple collections within Stuhrling that cater to every taste of watch enthusiasts and common person alike. They are:
- Aquadiver Collection
- Symphony Collection
- Aviator Collection
- Legacy Collection
- Tourbillon Collection
- Monaco Collection
- Vogue Collection
With the Aquadiver Collection, Stuhrling focused their efforts on providing customers with great dive watches for an affordable price. Their pieces focused on famous timepieces, such as the Rolex Submariner, and used it as inspiration for their collection. Certain design cues were taken into account, particularly the bezel motif, the layout of the dial, and the shoulders protecting the crown.
Inside, they are either powered by a quartz, Swiss-made, or Miyota Japanese-made movements, depending on which model and price-range you stick with. With 200m water resistance and various designs available, a beach trip will be closer to your reach with one of these pieces added to your collection.
For this one, our personal favorite is the Regatta 792. The fit and finish are great for the value paid, and the internals will be dependable in any encounter you face. At 42mm, it’s a great size to have around your wrist, and has the same aura as a Submariner without the hefty price tag. It comes in various colors, with the green bezel standing out a lot, similar to the Submariner Anniversary nicknamed ‘Kermit’. If you’re looking for a daily wearing watch that would survive the elements, then this is a good alternative for anyone looking to get value.
For someone who’s looking to live the high life, there’s nothing better than the Aviator Collection. With all of these watches coming into play, the aviator theme watches can be quite confusing, with all of these tools being available, with most people not knowing how to use or even enjoy it.
For this collection, it is focused on giving you the look and the emotions of being in the pilot seat, seeing multiple destinations in a blink of an eye, and enjoying what pilots face every day: the never-ending skies, the thrill of speed, and to enjoy what life has to offer, at Mach One speed. The Stuhrling Aviation Collection will be your wingman for every endeavor.
While there are some great pieces in the collection, the Turbine 789 is a great selection of the several pieces being offered. At 45mm, it’s a bit bigger piece but for a good reason: you get two timepieces for the price of one.
That’s right: it’s a GMT watch. A GMT watch gives the wearer two time zones available with one glance. This is quite integral for any travel lust wanderer who is always on the fly, living life one suitcase at a time. The design cues are quite unique, with 01-12 hour and 13-24 hour markers on the inner dial have contrasting colors to differentiate day and night.
The subtle nods to aviation include the plane silhouette on the second hand and the turbine-like bezel surrounding the steel casing. The GMT mechanism, though quartz, is a great value movement and we find it more useful than a tachymeter.
If you appreciate the inner workings of a watch, the traditional aspects of life, with respects to what was built in the past, then you’ll love the next selection of pieces in the collection. These are timepieces that pay homage to fine watchmaking processes and design, with a specific skeleton motif, and all of them have Miyota-source automatic movements.
There are several timepieces with multiple complications, including:
- Seconds indicator
- Day/Date indicator
- Open heart window
- Sun/Moon indicator
- Second time zone
- Krysterna scratch-resistant crystal
- Exotic dials
The great part is that these features can be had for affordable prices, and most of these features are available for more than what Sturhling asks for, so many pieces from this collection is great value for the money. Mostly dress-type pieces, the Legacy collection is great for the exhibitionist in you.
One stellar example in the Legacy Collection is the Emperor’s Grand Dual Time 127. At 46mm, this is a big piece that will bring a smile on your face. It has nods to traditionalism such as the moon-tip hands, which is a nod to legendary watchmaker Breguet.
It has diamond hour markers with an exhibitionist dial, showcasing the 22-jewel automatic movement. It has a second-time indicator at 6 o’clock and a Sun/Moon display at 9 o’clock. In the back, it has a striped Cotes de Geneve design, giving the watch an overall fine craftsmanship and traditional presence. It exudes elegance and needs to be on a sophisticated man’s wrist.
If you’re more into the racing aspects of life, getting your adrenaline fix by running laps and setting paces, then the Monaco collection is right up your alley. Built with the purpose of setting records in mind, the pieces in this collection are based on motorsport enthusiasts, the thrill seekers with the need of speed, all the time, every time.
There are several pieces to choose from and depending on what you’re looking for and what brings into the fray, then there’s a piece that’s right for you.
One selection that immediately gravitated to us is the Monaco 669. The 42mm timepiece is an homage to the famous watchmaker model, the Breitling Cosmonaute. This affordable Monaco piece has a chronograph quartz movement, with three sub-dials being surrounded by a coin-edge bezel. With a date window at 4:30, there’s great value for the money for someone who’s working their way up to the Breitling. If you just want an opportunity to see what life would be with a chronograph watch but don’t want to take up a line of credit to own one, then this is a great opportunity to try things out.
If you think these past selections aren’t your thing and think they’re too flashy or too busy, especially with either skeleton movements or diver’s watches, then the Symphony Collection will be a great fit. These timepieces are simple in design, classic in nature and dressed for the occasion. Clean lines, no busy markers on the dial, and just a no-frills, simple pieces. Even simple in nature, offers a lot of design and beauty. The greatest things in life are just the simplest ones. Let’s take a look and see what’s in store.
The pieces that work for us is the Cabaletta 778. This watch demands your respect, with a mid-century motif. You can tell it’s paying homage to the 1950’s era, first with the Alpha-style hour markers that have a very modern design. Next is a beige dial, that adds a muted, reserved look that’s not as bright as a traditional white dial.
Accompanied with a genuine Horween leather strap, which is a renowned leather maker in America, with storied roots especially in shell cordovan leather. It also has a great 24-hour subdial, and a seconds indicator to add more depth in the Cabaletta. A polished steel bezel and case complete this 42mm piece and brings it further to greatness.
Ah yes, the collection that brought Stuhrling into the foray. It is the collection that put them on the map and brought the brand into recognition as a great watch for the money. These pieces were seen before Stuhrling as unreachable movements for the masses, with only the elite few being able to see one, let alone own it. These movements are complex in nature, very high-maintenance, and hard to produce on a mass scale.
But Stuhrling somehow, made it work by being able to produce a complex movement for a fraction of the cost, opening the doors to a product that was seen as a ‘holy grail’. We are amazed that Stuhrling was able to pull this off and let’s see what’s in their limited-edition collection.
Out of all of the pieces available, the Meteorite 860 is a great example of having stellar inventiveness and ingenuity, for a very attractive price. The 42mm timepiece has a jaw-dropping, startling grey meteorite dial and traditional spade-style hands. With black hour markers, it provide contrast for legibility without overpowering the great dial. A clean, polished bezel and case provides great framing for the tourbillon movement being displayed at 6 o’clock. With Cote de Geneve design in the back, encased in a sapphire crystal on both front and back windows, the 860 has a scratch resistance that we all desire. The epitome of Stuhrling Original is the Tourbillon Collection, and any horology fan would enjoy having this timepiece in their collection.