Stuhrling Original: Luxury or Just Luxury Style? Inexpensive Fine Watches Inspire Mixed Reviews

Written By: Catherine Wolinski

Stuhrling Original, a well-known watch maker, has been getting some mixed reviews from customers regarding the authenticity and worth of its products. While many are appreciative of the much more modest pricing of Stuhrling watches, others resent the brand for selling mock luxury timepieces at lower prices.

Stuhrling Original Winchester Revolution
Stuhrling Original Winchester Revolution

 Looking at the Stuhrling Facebook page, one would deduce that the young watch manufacturer (the company was only established in 1999) is experiencing great success on the market.  The page displays comments from customers, fan photos, and a generally very positive reaction to Stuhrling products.  However, other reactions around the web are anything but.

 A post from the watch forum watchlords, titled “I Hate Stuhrling Orginial,” reads:

“I can’t stand the sight of that intellectual property thief Larry Magen…Take almost any Stuhrling and you will find a high end brand that the design has been lifted from.”

The author of the statement refers to Lawrence “Larry” Magen, Stuhrling’s president of North American Operations.  While it is stated in Magen’s company bio that he has a history of “’wholesale to the public’ name brand discount operations”, he is described as a successful businessman with a specialty in creating top-quality, high-end merchandise for buyers of fine jewelry.  Larry is quoted in the site biography:

“This position gives me the opportunity to bring my talents, my abilities, and my passion for watches to the table…The purchase of a beautifully crafted timepiece is indeed a magical experience for the client filled with excitement, anticipation and pleasure. And I have found that I get just as much of a rush providing a fine piece of jewelry or timepiece as my client does in receiving it.”

Larry Magen, Stuhrling Original president of North American Operations
Larry Magen, Stuhrling Original president of North American Operations

The watches are largely sold through direct response marketing, better known as home shopping networks. Many Stuhrling owners view Magen’s television program on ShopNBC, a shopping network that offers top brands at more reasonable values.  Viewers can purchase the product online as they view the program on their television, and the system appears to be well received:

“Great looking watches on ShopNBC on the Stuhrling show,” one Facebook fan writes.

“Larry has hit a home run with the new Winchester Revolution,” says another. I just love it. I got the Goldtone. And my gosh, two mainsprings, wow.”

 However, no opinion is ever unanimous, and some consumers continue to express bitterness toward Stuhrling name, due to its questionable integrity.  Another comment from watchlord reads:

“No, I don’t’ want a Tourbillon for $800 if it means stealing Cartier’s Balon Bleu Tourbillon design.  Fake ‘originial’ designs for fake people, or just plain uninformed [people].”

The range of response received by Stuhrling Original is certainly an interesting and unusual characteristic of a luxury watch maker, but does not seem to be significantly harming sales.

18 thoughts on “Stuhrling Original: Luxury or Just Luxury Style? Inexpensive Fine Watches Inspire Mixed Reviews”

  1. I have a sturhling original auto it is great watch no problems keeps time very well and great looking design I will buy another sturling watch

  2. Bought Sturgling as a gift, great for someone with poor eyesight.
    Bought Sturgling for myself awhile ago and am very pleased with the performance.

  3. Just bought a Stuhrling Original Toubillon Meteorite. I own some high end timepieces along with some lesser known brands similar to Stuhrling. This watch is a very well made watch, great looking and value for money. I think they have come a long way as a brand and would recommend their higher end models for anyone looking for a reasonably priced watch with a luxury feel.

  4. I own 2 Stuhrling watches and have just purchased 3 more, Great watch at an excellent price, nice designs to cover all occasions. You don’t have to spend big for a quality look and timepiece. I have an expensive brand name luxury watch and it’s the most inaccurate watch I own. I plan on buying several more Stuhrling models !

  5. I just recently purchased a Stuhrling Emperor Tourbillon Watch and Im loving it, never had a tourbillon watch until i came across them, their price for quality is really great, quality control is also really well made, anyone saying that Stuhrling watches are a piece of junk obviously has never own 1 or ever looked at 1 up close in person. I plan on buying future watches from them.

  6. This is just nonsense!! I am a son of a German immigrant watchmaker from a watchmaker family on his mother’s side. When we came of age we all received Bifora watches which my father said were reasonably priced watches of good quality. I found a Gruen automatic on my way home from primary school when I was 9,10 or 11. It was lying on the road and had been run over at least several times, after being unclaimed after it was reported in the newspaper’s lost and found, my dad repaired it and it was my watch until I was an adult. I eventually lost it because one of the arms for the armband was as long as I owned it, slightly out of alignment and the pin would slip out. The other problem was that I rode a motorbike (all 2 stroke from 100cc to 750cc triple) as primary transport from the time I was 16 until I was 28 and because they vibrate a great deal the swinging automatic pendulum would break or vibrate loose so my dad would have to repair it again during which time I would wear one of the watches he was repairing so that he could regulate it. I wore all kinds of watches during that time and so long as they looked OK and kept reasonable time (even Rolex’s had problems there) they were pretty equal. I liked a Timex automatic (my father hated it) when I rode my bike because it didn’t snap the pendulum. Today I generally wear Seikos (made in Japan and made in Malaysia) or a much older Ingersol by Timex with a Japan Miyota automatic movement and on special formal events, an even older Bifora automatic. My dad in Canada always owned American cars, no Fords but from Chryslers to Pontiacs even a couple of Cadillacs but he ended his life (died in 1984) owning AMC’s (mainly Ambassador station wagons and a Pacer) which he said were reasonably priced reliable vehicles.
    Each to their own!

  7. A range of watches suit my purposes; from high end for business, trustworthy field automatics for actual rough service, and even “disposable interesting” watches hit the spot for some uses.

    On the Stuhrling brand, I am still evaluating. I spoke with a rep in NY today and she said that the automatic movements are built of Swiss parts in Hong Kong. (I don’t mean the mechanical – hand wind).

    There is much mixed information about the details of production. One wonder of Rolex is the purity of everyones’ brand details-of production-knowledge. They make it all right there. ETA movements are built is Switzerland of Swiss parts, though some lower range ones may be farmed to some extent. Some mid – lower end Seiko auto movements are built in Malaysia and cased in China.

    I would like a clear understanding of what Stuhrling is doing to help me understand what comes in the box. The foofy wealthy types that need to impress others by shunning the common person’s joy in brands they can afford is an embarrassment on them. There is a difference between stealing intellectual property and replicating art for the working classes.

    The quality of the great watches I own are important to me for a variety of reasons. Still, if owning Stuhrling shows that I can mix in healthy ways in a variety of social echelons and avoid becoming snooty and condescending, then a nice cheap Stuhrling may be worth its weight in the gold of character!

  8. I had a lot of problems with Stuhrling skeleton watch, Broke within 7 months. I had to pay shipping both ways for warranty work. The minute hand fell off the post and was floating in the watchface. They mailed it back to me after fixed and then broke within another 6 months, same problem, the minute hand fell off. This tme they covered shipping cost but only one way. I stil had to pay for return shipping.1 year later the numeral on the face fell off. By this itme i gave up. Customer service is poor, workmenship is horrible. I will NEVER spend money on a stuhrling watch ever again

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