Two Affordable Stuhrling Automatics

<100 | Articles | Under $1k | 01.07.2013

With a little less than two weeks passed since the end of the gift giving season, it’s likely that there are a number of you with a gift card or, even better, straight cash burning a hole in your pocket. And while we’re sure there is a long list of items waiting to eat up some of your cash reserves, why not consider picking up a new timepiece to round out, or even start your collection? There are two pretty interesting, very affordable options currently available from Stuhrling watches that, while not the highest of the high-end, should satisfy your watch craving without breaking the bank.

There are a ton of options for affordable watches. Seiko, Timex and Nixon come to mind when thinking of brands that offer you the most bang for your buck. With a brand like Stuhrling, for an equally low price, you are getting a bit more complication or flair at an equally low price point. The trade-off of course is that the movements used in Stuhrling watches are admittedly a step below the rest (they are basically clones of Miyotas).  Having never handled a Stuhrling in person ourselves we can’t speak to their construction.  However, spend some time on the watch forums, and you’ll find community of Stuhrling owners that appear to be quite satisfied with their purchases.  With that all said, we think there is certainly some merit to what Stuhrling has to offer, and for those in the market for an ultra-affordable mechanical timepiece, Stuhrling watches should definitely be considered.

The first watch we’d like to highlight is the Stuhrling Symphony Eternity Navigator, a dress watch featuring an automatic movement, display case back and decorated dial, as well as both power reserve and date functions.  At 42 mm in diameter and 13.5 mm tall, the Navigator is quite wearable on most wrists, and features a balanced, yet slightly more elaborate aesthetic.  As noted, the dial features both diamond and sunburst texturing, applied polished steel hour markers (nonnumerical) that match the case and hand finishing, and a small seconds sub-dial.  All told, we find this to be an interesting piece to consider for the entry level watch buyer.  If you’re younger and just getting into mechanical watches, this may be an fun and affordable choice at just $158. After all, you don’t often see power reserve functions on watches in this price range.

The second watch on our list is the Stuhrling Classic Delphi Tandem Skeleton.  Also an automatic, the Tandem lacks the complication of the Navigator, but features a skeletonized dial and barrel case. The Tandem is certainly wearable at 40 mm in diameter and 14.5 mm tall, while its unique design elements set it apart. Smartly, Stuhrling has kept the dial design of the Tandem fairly simple with just an hour and minute index along the outer rim of the dial.  This makes the watch a bit easier on the eyes given the complexity of the movement seen through the skeleton dial. The one other decoration on the dial of note is the inclusion of a second, grey, diamond textured layer that just slightly pokes out from the outer edge of the dial. This really gives considerable depth to the Tandem dial. Meanwhile, the polished case, hands and applied hour markers provide for a nice dress look.  At $149, the Tandem is an option for anyone looking to test the waters of a skeleton watch, or really anyone looking to try something different without spending too much in the process.

So there you have it, two automatics that, while not for everyone, certainly deserve consideration by anyone looking for something affordable.

  • http://URL Grinch

    I think a lot of people are put off by Stuhrling’s claims to an actual swiss heritage and build quality.

    I think if you’re going to dip your toes into the low end of the automatic market, why not go for something like a Parnis or a Seagull?

    My $.02

  • http://URL Joe

    I’ve had a Stuhrling automatic for about a year now, and I love it. I’ve worn it every day and haven’t had a single issue come up. Not to mention that it is beautiful to look at.

  • http://URL Zach

    Any chance you will be doing an in-hand review of one or more Stuhrlings in the future? I’ve read reviews in the forums, but I’d really like to see a reliable source like W&W do one before I make the purchase. I also tend to find that a watch can look and feel totally different in your own hand. Something to consider.

  • http://URL Ross

    Sturhling is garbage. I ordered one, it was defective. Got a replacement that initially seemed better but had an embarrassingly short power reserve (it died ON MY WRIST once). It then developed other issues such as the date not lining up properly.

    It sits in my watch box, but frankly I should just toss it. Never again.

  • http://URL Stuart

    I bought a quartz powered Sturhling for my father for his birthday a few years ago. Really disappointed in the quality. He had to send it back for repair several times, numerals coming off the face, hands coming loose and spinning freely, etc. They look great but very unimpressed with the quality, and if you can’t make a quartz watch well, what chance do you have to make a mechanical watch hold up?

  • http://URL David

    I had a Stuhrling quartz before I knew anything about watches and some of the sub dials on the inside just fell right off and jammed up the hands:) I had it fixed, but I sold it shortly after. My wife has two Stuhrlings, and they seem fine. One if an automatic and one is a quartz. The do have a cheap feeling to them.

  • denduveit

    I find it abit strange that they never seem to say who makes theyre movements? An honest take on that might calm people who are worried they’ll end up with a lemon, more reassured. Sure Its probably chineese, but there are good chinese movements too, like seagull. But without ever mentioning who, where, why, I just feel I wount take a 100 dollar gamble on a watch.