Stührling Original, a company with roots dating back to the 1800s, makes more than watches today. It makes timepieces that are a continuation of precision Swiss watch-making started four generations ago.
Today’s Stührling watches embrace traditional appeal with a “modern, 21st century flair.” While the styles have changed, Stührling timepieces remain in demand due to the resurging popularity of mechanical self-winding watches.
Stührling watches were part of the historic Swiss watch-making era, when names like Perrelet, Breguet Girard-Perregaux, LeCoultre and Phillipe were coming on the scene. Also part of that scene was Max Stührling, a “silent protégé” of Jules-Louis Audemars, a famed watchmaker who later joined forces with Edward-Auguste Piguet and formed the well-known watch company Audemars Piguet.
Stührling was apparently a master of complicated watches – those with perpetual calendars, moon phase indications and chronographs. He was reportedly an anonymous genius working in obscurity, producing the finest and most precise movements for some of the most famous watchmakers of the time.
Like many ghost workers, Stührling grew bitter and frustrated. It bothered him that only wealthy aristocrats could afford his multi-complicated watches. Neither Stührling nor the average working man of the day could afford such luxurious timepieces. In fact, the cost of the watches Stührling made was almost the equivalent of a working man’s annual salary. In his frustration, Stührling once got into a brawl with one of his partners and broke his hand – a potentially career-ending injury for someone who did such complicated and precise work. But Stührling was unconcerned. Unknown to his partners, Stührling had trained his 11-year-old son, Max, Jr., to take up the family business.
Stührling’s hand eventually healed, but his sense of indignation did not. He died before he turned 50, a pauper never receiving the full reward for his genius. The family tried to carry on, but by the middle of the 20th century, there was no one from the Stührling family actively involved in watch-making. Max Stührling III stayed in touch with the industry, but it would be his son – Max Stührling IV – who would carry on the work of his great grandfather.
In 1999, Max Stührling IV entered the watch-making business. He was determined to create Stührling watches with the same attention to detail as his great grandfather’s watches, but also to create complicated watches that most people could afford. He ensured that his grandfather’s greatest concern would be resolved.
As a result, today’s Stührling Original watches are some of the most unique timepieces on the market. They are made with old world craftsmanship and cutting edge technology. The person who wants a Stührling Original watch is one who wants something original and innovative.
A good example of a Stührling Original watch is the sleek Everest Limited Edition Mechanical Tourbillon Watch for men. With its genuine black crocodile strap, the watch comes in your choice of a rose-tone or silver-tone teardrop-shaped stainless steel case. It features an exhibition back so you can appreciate the workings. A limited edition number (out of 75 for the rose-tone case and 50 for the silver-tone) appears on the edge of the back of the case. The dramatic black raised dial features stick index markers at all numerals except 5:00, 6:00, 7:00 and 12:00. A Tourbillon cage appears above 6:00. Powering the skeletonized hour and minute hands is a ST-93301 Mechanical Tourbillon movement with 18 jewels. The 10-inch strap secures with a buckle clasp.
Another magnificent Stührling Original timepiece is the Emperor’s Tourbillon Limited Edition Mechanical Watch for men. It resembles a pocket watch set on a genuine crocodile strap. The watch case is available in gold-tone, rose-tone or silver-tone. The dial of this watch features a fully skeletonized Tourbillon design and luminous blue hour and minute hands. The case has a rounded coin-edged push and pull crown with cabochon at 12:00. It features an exhibition back with the etched limited edition number (out of 111) for each of the three color options. The color of the round dial is different with each color choice: gold-tone for the gold-tone case, gunmetal for the rose-tone case and silver-tone for the silver-tone case. Adding to the uniqueness of this watch, the dial features a swirl design top plate covering the ST-93351 Mechanical Tourbillon movement with 18 jewels. The 10-inch crocodile strap is black for the gold-tone and silver-tone cases, and brown for the rose-tone case.
No two Stührling Original watches are the same. Those described above are highly stylized, focusing on some of the complications prized by fans of Stührling Original. Other watches are simpler, with ceramic link bracelets and more conventional dials. But even these are limited editions with the signature detailed Tourbillon cage on the face.
If you are looking for a watch that combines the best of the past and the present, look no further than Stührling Original.
Jessica Norris is a freelance writer who writes about jewelry, watches and specific brands such as Stuhrling Original Watches.