Posted on July 26 2021
They claim to have sold 15 million watches since 2002. That's a lot of watches.
But do you know what?
I can believe it. I come across these watches so often when I'm online. And I don't watch QVC and other shopping channels where Stuhrling also features regularly.
That can annoy watch geeks. If they see a brand gaining popularity and selling well to the general public, they'll turn their nose up.
But I'm more likely to want to investigate further. I like companies with ambition. Stuhrling certainly has that - their first watch was a tourbillon.
Let's have a quick look at the brand and then explore their dive watches. It's where the brand does best.
The Brief History of Stuhrling Watches
Stuhrling is a young brand.
They have an American founder, Chaim Fischer, and are based in New York. The brand was created in the late 1990s, with the first watches released in 2002.
Stuhrling hit the ground running by releasing a very affordable tourbillon model. This was quite an achievement for a new company.
Since then the range has expanded to include many skeleton designs, homage watches, aviation and chronograph models.
But, for me, their dive watches are the most interesting.
Their Brooklyn designed watches work best when they're functional. And as you'll see, they also often use bold colouring on their sports watches.
Stuhrling has grown to be a very visible watch brand. They're available on the big eCommerce sites and tv shopping channels.
Where are Stuhrling Watches made?
They are proudly made in China. I say proudly because Stuhrling advertises the fact that their watches are made in the far east.
If you want to be more specific, they are designed in the US, built in China and often use Swiss or Japanese movements.
As the brand notes "when it comes to manufacturing our designs, we went to the same place that Apple, Bose, Sony, and other market-leaders turned to: Shenzhen".
I regularly feature Chinese brands and Chinese-made watches on this blog, because the quality can be great.
Are Stuhrling Watches good quality?
I'm confident to say that they are.
China can produce high-quality watches - particularly when the movements are supplied by reliable Swiss and Japanese brands.
Stuhrling watches are very affordable and the quality is as I'd expect at this price point. The video below gives you some insight into their production process.
The Best Stuhrling Diver's Watches
I want to focus on one aspect of the brand (I did a more general piece here).
They do a lot of watches that don't appeal to me. I'm not a fan of skeleton watches and I tend not to like over-complicated dress watches. Stuhrling does both.
Where they win is with dive watches. They've been able to rethink classic designs and also produce modern sports style divers. For you to really appreciate the brand you need to see a small selection of their best watches.
So here are my six favourite divers watches.
It has a Swiss automatic movement and 200m of water resistance. It has a screw-down crown and a proven Rolex Submariner styling. If you want a functional dive watch - start here.
But of course, most of us never actually take our dive watches near water. And one of the strong points of this watch is its versatility. The deep blue dial and straightforward design make this watch ideal for the office too.
It has a nice colour palette, but it isn't too colourful. The orange accents are attractive, without being distracting.
It's 42mm wide and has an exhibition back. You can see the Swiss automatic movement running, which is always a bonus.
The Depthmaster Heritage could be seen as a safe choice. But I'd prefer to view it as a classic design. Every watch collection should have a Submariner style diver. Stuhrling's offering would be a great choice.
Stuhrling Depthmaster Heritage 883H.03
The case, bezel and crown are reminiscent of a Tudor Black Bay. They remind me of the Tudor without any attempt to mimic the watch. But both watches have a common look.
It's less versatile than the Depthmaster and has a more distinctive aesthetic. It works for me. It has a retro appeal and the dive watch vibe is softened by the canvas NATO strap.
This is a casual diver.
The colours are simple and stick to black and gold. And there is the Tudor inspiration again. The gold second hand is the same style as the Black Bay, as is the red triangle on the bezel.
The more I look at this watch, the more that I like it. It's a well thought-out watch that costs a little over £100.
Stuhrling Forti 3958
It's another functional watch, albeit with an eye-catching turquoise dial.
As you'd expect from a modern piece, it's a little larger than the Forti. It has a 42mm case with a 22mm strap. Again, it's an inexpensive quartz model.
The dial really makes this watch. It's turquoise and has a beautiful sunburst effect. The plain markers are complemented by similarly styled hands. The date window is neatly positioned at 6 o'clock and finishes off the dial nicely.
The rubber strap could be an issue. I'm not a fan. But they are practical if you will be taking the watch in the sea. If not, a leather strap would work great here.
Turquoise isn't used much on watches. So the Maritimer stands out on that alone.
Stuhrling Maritimer 935.04
The stainless steel bronze-toned case and bezel look great. Not as good as real bronze, but the appearance is similar.
It gives the watch an aged look. Not vintage, but worn in.
So again, I'd see this as a functional sports watch rather than a desk diver. It has 200M of water resistance and a very legible dial. The crown screws down and there is a mineral crystal. It's finished off with a rubber strap.
Again, this watch cries out for a leather strap. But for practical purposes, the rubber will work better. It's just not as attractive.
But don't let that put you off this watch - that's my preference.
This is a very affordable way to get a legitimate dive watch with a Swiss mechanical movement. And it will look even better when it has a little wear and tear.
Stuhrling Depthmaster Heritage 1003
The Forte looks very similar to the more famous Omega. That much is obvious. It has a textured dial - with the same teak-effect style that makes the Omega so eye-catching. It also has the same arrow hands and the plain markers. It does a great job of mimicking the luxury Swiss watch.
The specs are as expected. Remember, this is a sub $100 watch. It is quartz-powered rather than mechanical like the more expensive Depthmaster.
The glass is interesting. It's Krysterna crystal, the brand's own innovation.
And Forte's case is 42mm wide. That is a comfortable size, but I wouldn't want to see an Aqua Terra homage any bigger.
This is a real budget watch. A fun quartz piece that won't break the bank. And it's one of the most affordable options if you want an Omega homage.
Stuhrling Forte 3953
The Stuhrling is faithful to the original Rolex Root Beer and is amazing value for money. All the elements that you’d want are there. The same colouring, the same hands, dial and bezel. It even has the cyclops lens over the date window.
And it costs well under £100.
For that, you get a Swiss quartz-powered watch, again with the brands own Krysterna crystal. There is also 100M of water resistance. You get a lot of watch for your money.
I’m particularly taken with the attempt to recreate the Rolex down to the small details. The hands - all four of them - are the same format and colour as the Rolex’s. The markers are the same colour and shape and it has a gold crown and two-tone strap.
This is quite an unusual watch. The Rolex model is one that isn't often recreated by other brands. If you're after a Root Beer homage, this is a very affordable way to get the look.
Stuhrling Meridian 3965
Like Invicta, Stuhlring can be quite a controversial company.
A lot of watch geeks are wary of very affordable brands. Particularly when the brand's watches can be found everywhere.
I prefer to judge a company on a watch by watch basis. When I do that with Stuhrling I've found a bunch of watches that I really like. Importantly, they also represent good value for money.
Of course, it does depend on what you're after. But if you're shopping for a budget diver - Stuhrling could be a good option for you.
Their dive watches range from inexpensive quartz homage watches - the Meridian and Forte highlighted above. To the higher-priced Swiss automatic models - I've included the Depthmaster line in this piece.
I'd suggest that you follow some of the links in this article and then judge for yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised.