Stührling Releases Limited Edition Ceramic Tourbillon

Swiss watchmaker Stührling Original introduced their first Ceramic Tourbillon watch earlier this year. Produced in limited quantities, the special edition Mechanical Tourbillons are selling out fast.

On Jan. 5, 2012, famous watch crafters Stührling Original of Switzerland announced their first ever Ceramic Tourbillon issue on their Twitter feed. Exclusive retailer ShopNBC.com released the Stührling watches for sale at $754.55, less than half its retail value of $1,560. The watches were produced in limited quantities: 80 in white ceramic and 320 in black ceramic. The white editions sold out the same day as their release, although limited quantities of the black ceramic edition are still available. The Limited Edition Mechanical Tourbillon Ceramic features:

Stührling Mechanical Tourbillon Ceramic watches in black and white
Stührling introduces its new Mechanical Tourbillon Ceramic watch in black and white.

•    Solid ceramic case and bracelet in black (320 issued) or white (80 issued, now SOLD OUT)
•    Scratch resistant Sapphire crystal
•    Dark grey genuine carbon fiber dial
•    Large Arabic numerals at 3, 9 and 12
•    Intricate signature tourbillon cage visible at 6
•    ST 93301 Mechanical Tourbillon movement
•    Push Button Dual Deployant clasp
•    Water resistant to 50 meters
•    Two year limited warranty

Stührling’s first ever Tourbillon Ceramic is a meeting of quality design and engineering. Stührling Original calls ceramic “one of the most fascinating materials used in watchmaking.” Ceramic watches are popular among collectors for their unique finish and durability. A ceramic watch element features a highly smooth and polished feel for the wearer. Ceramic can also contribute to the general heft of a watch, giving it a more substantial feel on the owner’s wrist. The high quality ceramic used in watchmaking has a crystalline structure that makes it less shatter resistant than steel. However, ceramic is much more durable and is the superior material at resisting scratches, a 7 on Mohs mineral hardness scale to steel’s 4.

The tourbillon movement (from the French word for “whirlwind”) contributes to the accuracy of fine mechanical watches and is an essential part of any luxury collection. Stührling’s signature mechanical watch movements are individuality calibrated for accuracy and functionality. Their Swiss engineers use this painstaking process to insure the highest quality and reliability of timekeeping. The tourbillon itself acts as a balancing element to counter the effects of gravity on the watch’s delicate mechanics. Stührling’s special ceramic edition features an attractive tourbillon cage to reveal the intricate mechanism.

By uniting the unique properties of ceramic with precise Tourbillon movement, Stührling has created a one-of-a-kind timepiece worthy of any fine watch collection. Collectors often value ceramic as a material for watch cases and bracelets because, unlike gold-plated steel, a ceramic watch is uniform in substance throughout. If the case or bracelet is somehow chipped or damaged, the color revealed underneath will be identical to the surface. “It is a brilliant and ancient technology that is constantly being perfected,” says Stührling. Collectors will need to act fast to secure one of the remaining black Ceramic Tourbillons. Other Stührling ceramic watches include the women’s Purity with Quartz movement.

Stuhrling Makes Tourbillon Watches

As watch companies look to make new watches and timepieces, the type of movement (that is, what makes the watch work) that is in place in the watch is important. Luxury watchmaker Stuhrling is no exception. One of these specific watch movements is known as tourbillon. Stuhrling has had several tourbillon watches in its collection, including the Eternal Tourbillon, Imperium Tourbillon, and the Destiny Tourbillon.

 

A watch needs to keep time accurately. As watchmaking (or horology, as it is officially called) developed, those involved in the industry needed to develop ways to make sure their time pieces were keeping the correct time. Around 1795 watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet developed a new way to improve a watch’s accuracy-the tourbillon. A tourbillon’s aim is to counter the effects of gravity on a watch and it’s time keeping abilities. This design puts the escapement (the source of the ticking sound in a watch) and the balance wheel (the part of the watch that moves the hands forward) in a rotating cage. The rotating cage-the tourbillon-is usually exposed on the watch face, to show the consumer it is there. Tourbillon on modern watches are considered extremely valuable.

Tourbillon
A Tourbillon

 

Stuhrling has produced three types of tourbillon watches. The Eternal Tourbillon was produced as a limited edition, with only 50 pieces made. One of its unique features is it’s date and day dials on the watch face. The Imperium and Destiny Tourbillons are both part of Stuhrling’s special reserve collection, with the exposed tourbillon shown at six o’clock on the watch face.

 

Owning a watch with a tourbillon mechanism is a desired thing. A tourbillon shows that a watch is a luxury item and Stuhrling watches are part of that long tradition of fine timepieces.

Stuhrling Imperial Tourbillon
Stuhrling Imperial Tourbillon

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.