Entry Level Automatic: The Stührling Tuskegee Skymaster

Setting the Seiko 5 aside for a Stuhrling.  For now.
In Person:  Stührling Original Tuskegee Skymaster – $89.99 – $129.00

Overall, Overstock seems to have the lowest prices on these things.  Yet the Skymaster featured here was found on BeyondTheRack for $89.99, but that might affect the warranty. This specific color combo is going for $129 on Amazon.

It’s the umlaut.  But Stührling Original is as European as Mötley Crüe.  Sure, Tommy Lee was born in Greece, but he was moved to California when he was a year old.  Stuhrling throws “Swiss” around on their site a lot, but read closely and you’ll notice something’s missing:

At Stuhrling Original, we respect the art and tradition of the Swiss watchmaking legend.  All of our fine timepieces are produced with the utmost attention to detail and excellence by making the most of Swiss engineering, Swiss technology, and Swiss artisanship.  Our factory is run with strict Swiss supervision with the overriding mission of maintaining the high standards previously set in Switzerland.

That’s a hell of a lot of words, yet none of them combine to say these watches are made in Switzerland.  That’s because they aren’t, and that shouldn’t be any shock if you look at the price point.  Where are they from?  There’s “no made in” stamp on these, so use your powers of deduction.  Parts Unknown is perfectly acceptable.

Some Stuhrling’s have gotten just awful reviews online.  But they seem to have a winner with their Tuskegee Skymaster series.  There’s really only two drawbacks:

  1. They’re BIG.  46mm.  But they do wear a little smaller.
  2. The Leather band is rigor mortis stiff out of the box.

But that’s it for complaints.  It looks terrific, and details like a vertical day window at 6 o’clock, a three date cutout, red tipped hands, and aviation inspired large numerals all add to the styling.  The color of the dial’s markings is actually a real vintage looking light cream color.  Not white.  The crown and stem feel so-so as you move the day and date around, but it doesn’t feel like it’s about to bust either.  The oscillating weight swings smoothly, and the crystal is a synthetic called “Krysterna.”  It’s hackable, and seems to hold power decently well.  Let it sit for a day or so and it didn’t stop or seem to slow.

Automatic, great looking, and a good size for guys with wrists that dwarf a Timex weekender.  All for less than The J. Crew Quartz Timex, which is also probably made in China.

Thoughts on Stuhrling as a brand?  Anyone with direct experience?  Leave it all below in the comments…

Included in the impressive packaging is a 2-year warranty, but you’re on the hook for repair S&H to the tune of $20.