A closer look at Stührling Original

November 2016

One million timepieces sold every year must say something, right? We explore the brand’s propositions and make the final call.

Stührling Original timepieces have gotten some mixed reviews over the years. When the company first came onto the scene, they took some heat from watch enthusiasts for declaring to have origins that date back to the 1800s.

But not much more was disclosed about their provenance, and they were also discovered to use not Swiss but Chinese movements in the timepieces. Consumers also noticed that their manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) were drastically inflated in some cases.

A closer look at Stührling Original

The company has grown steadily over the past two decades - after its “rebirth” in 1999 – to the point where now they apparently sell one million timepieces per year. Opinion is still divided on the brand among watch purists, but those sales figures are definitely worth a closer look.

Stührling offers seven collections in total, which together combine for hundreds of different models that can be purchased online. You can even find some their models for sale at online retailers like Amazon and Groupon for less than $100.

A closer look at Stührling Original

At those price points, they face stiff competition from the likes of Seiko and Citizen, who are well established brands that can provide excellent value and durability. You can even get their excellent in-house automatic movements for under $100 to boot.

But Stührling has a broader proposition than that. Their Eagle Square, for example retails online for $325.00. The 40mm watch kind of reminds me of the Panerai Radiomir and is powered by a Swiss Quartz Ronda 515 movement. It appears to be a reliable enough package and the price isn’t too unrealistic.

A closer look at Stührling Original

For those on the market for an automatic, the brand offers the Delphi Archer, at a MSRP of $425.00. The watch features a stainless steel case and a black skeletonized dial, with silver, white, and red accents. Inside we have the ST-90050 self-winding movement, which is essentially a Chinese Hangzhou 2189 calibre.

On the other end of the scale we have the Prominent, which is part of Stührling’s “Prestige Collection” and has a suggested retail price of $4,225.00. This timepiece seems to be the brand’s go at being taken seriously by luxury watch fans.

The watch has a Swiss made automatic movement packaged in a 40mm stainless steel case on a black alligator embossed leather strap. The silver dial looks clean without sacrificing detail, with black, and blue accents.

A closer look at Stührling Original

On paper, this model seems to check out, until you realize that you can buy the watch online for about a third of the MSRP.

So it seems the brand is still not immune to the unrealistic pricing problem. Yet they do seem to offer a very diverse proposition – including both Swiss and Chinese automatics and quartz – for a diverse range of budgets.

And if you do your research and are very careful about what you pay for a Stührling timepiece, you might get yourself a good deal in the end. So long as you take their origins dating back to 1800s with a grain of salt.