Carl Cabusas

Cebuano with zest for cars, gadgets, watches, travel, food, and real estate.

Stuhrling Modena 889 46mm Skeleton

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I have just heard of Stuhrling watches over the past 2 years when they became very active in social media advertising. But the watch brand itself has been around for many years. In fact, its history takes us back to the 1800s when Max Stuhrling Sr. lived in Switzerland during the grand old days of watch making.  Lost somewhere in time and history, Stuhrling’s reputation as a watch maker was only revived by its direct descendants in the US in 1999.

Stuhrling Brand is officially a US watch brand, made and manufacture in China using both in house Automatic movements and Swiss grade quarts movements.  Stuhrling also has vast product line up under its sleeves; from Depthmaster, Tourbillon, Original, Dive watch, Skeleton, Regatta, Aviator, Diver, AquaDiver, Monoco, Chronograph, Emperor Grandeur and much more. With the help of social media, like Facebook and Instagram, sales for the Stuhrling brand has soared over the years. In fact, it’s the best selling watch brand in Amazon to date.

So over the past 2 months, I came across this Instagram profile ad from Stuhrling Watch Original, and the watch that was on the ad was the Modena 889, and it looked so good. I usually just pass it off, hoping that my interest with the watch will fade overtime.  A month later, I saw the same post again and that same watch was on it. So I got really curious about the Stuhrling brand and the Modena watch series. I made some research and read reviews about it and finally, I took the risk of investing a relatively unknown brand. So far, I love it.

Stuhrling Modena 889

I’ve always been a watch guy as far as I can remember. I don’t have a particular loyalty or exclusive following to a particular brand, I just know what kind of watch is for me when I see it. It has something to do with the initial appeal it has on me, the design, materials used and the heft of the watch. When the interest in that particular watch doesn’t fade in weeks/months, I know I really like that watch. It doesn’t matter if the watch is of a cheap brand or from the luxury brand.

The Modena 889 is extremely good looking on paper and more so in the metal. I was always skeptical that this watch might just look good on social media, but not in its actual form. But true enough, it delivered. The Modena 889 evokes a pocket watch design on a wrist watch size; meaning the Onion dial is on top of the watch instead of the usual side dials on regular watches. It looks very classic with its bold skeletal dial, exhibition case back, yet also modern with its intricate features such as the sun/moon phase dial, dual time, separate minute binnacle, and that open heart display.  If you are to look at a classic pocket watch, it would have a traditional top hand holder or a place where a hook can be placed upon. That top holder is translated into this Modena design as a strap holder covering the elegant union crown. The blue, alligator strap compliments the stainless steel metal case of the watch and the black and gold details accentuate the elegant appeal of the watch face. 

I was so into the design of the Stuhrling Modena, that I didn’t pay attention to the actual size. I thought the watch diameter would be somewhere around 40 to 42mm, but as it turned out, the watch tips to about 46mm which is rather large for a classic watch design. For this size, this would make a good daily watch for work and after work, dress down watch. It feels very comfortable and it weighs just right on my wrist (I’m right handed, but I wear my watch on the left wrist). However, this one will be hard to wear as a dress watch (Suite and Tux). My official limit to a dress watch without having to constantly adjust the cuffs would be wearing a 38 to 42mm slim, dress watch. A dress watch for me should blend well and seamlessly fit with the suit itself without having to constantly readjust the cuffs because the watch is too big.  Anything above that and thicker, I swear, It’s a hassle to even bother wearing a watch on a tux or a suit. 

Another luxury feature which I really appreciate in the Modena 889, which are present in most luxury watches is that it’s equipped with both foldable deployment buckle and a very reliable claps. Most watches in this price range would only have a foldable buckle and not the claps. Stuhrling’s deployment clasps, I dare say, is very good and reliable, almost on par with those that I have owned from Frederique Constant and Cartier, reliable and seamless to operate. Would I consider this a luxury watch? It sure feels like one on the wrist, quality is also very good for the asking price and the design is like owning a German car but paid for a Korean car price for it. It’s an affordable, daily entry semi-luxury watch, and that’s how I would like to call it.

If I have to nitpick, the only thing that I was not really happy when the watch was delivered was its box. Most luxury brands and watches comes with a soft and a hard case and a box. A hard case in leather or wood for the box would scream high end and expensive, but again, that’s not what Stuhrling is about.  Stuhrling is about giving you that luxury watch feel minus the packing gimmicks. It does come with an international warranty card, a manual and some other items in its cardboard box.  One thing for sure is, I’m not wearing the box, so this doesn’t really bother me much. 

Stuhurling Moden 889 Specs:

• STYLESkeleton
• Dauphine style hands
• Arabic numerals
• Stainless steel bezel
• Case Thickness: 13.5 mm
• Krysterna crystal case back
• Krysterna crystals on front and back
• Push/pull fluted onion style crown at 12:00 position
• 5 ATM Water Resistant (50 meters/165 feet)
• Alligator embossed genuine leather strap
• Stainless steel push button dual deployant clasp
• Automatic Movement
• ST-90365
• Dual Time, AM/PM Indicator
• 22 Jewels


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Carl Cabusas
A graduate in Business Administration and Economics, Carl Cabusas works as a real estate professional by day. He has been a car enthusiast at a very young age while growing up in the U.S influenced by his uncle who is an avid car collector. The passion for travel, lifestyle, gadgets and watches is his take on living life in the right balance of yen and yang (work and life balance) in the hopes of encouraging others to work hard but at the same time enjoy life and live it to the fullest and discover their own passion.