St¼hrling watches have two things in common with M¶tley Cr¼e. First, the umlaut. Second, they sure as schnitzel aren’t German. They are an entry level brand, that borrows heavily, stylistically, from more established brands. And while their packaging and presentation are impressive, don’t be fooled. Most of their watches seem to fall somewhere between Timex and Skagen in terms of quality.
That all said, they can make some decent looking (as well as some horribly obnoxious) watches. And this “Monaco” Quartz chrono appears to be an unrepentant homage to the German made Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope. That thing? It’s gorgeous. It’s also $1800. So enter the Japanese Quartz powered Stuhrling, which goes for less than 10% of the price.
The only noticeable style difference is the inclusion of Arabic numerals on the Stuhrling. Everything else, down to the style of the pushers, is pretty close. Overall the watch is on the lighter side in weight, but doesn’t feel too flimsy or rickety. The crystal is a scratch & shatter resistant “Krysterna,” and it’s slightly domed. Water resistance is just 50m, but that’s better than a Timex slip-thru Weekender.
The “genuine leather” band is surprisingly supple. Not some ultra-rigid, plastic-like piece of pleather. Not the thickest stuff in the world, but it seems like it should hold up decent enough.
One odd detail is the seconds hand. Unlike many/most chronographs, the long, seconds hand on this Sturhling is constantly moving. Usually with chronos, that hand is the one that is activated by the top pusher, and becomes the stop-watch function, with a much smaller seconds hand keeping the time of day on a sub dial. Not so here. Hit that top pusher and it’s the hand on the sub-dial at 12 that starts ticking away. The sub dial at 6 o’clock keeps track of the time up to an hour.
Budget Bauhaus fellas. That’s what this thing is. If you love the style, then go for it. It certainly looks the part. It feels more like a $100 watch than a $145 watch, but prices can shift. If you’re good with quartz and want something higher quality? Try the German brand Junkers, who makes a Swiss Quartz chrono for around $350. Want the weight and feel of an automatic, but can skip the chrono? Try the Junkers 6060, which is powered by a Miyota self-winding movement.
But if you’re going for pure looks, and just want a decent watch that won’t self destruct anytime soon, feels decent enough on the wrist, and keeps solid time? Then the Stuhrling Monaco should fit the bill, without taking too many bills out of your checking account.