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Sternglas is a brand that prides itself on listening to its followers. Buoyed by a positive reception to its earliest models, and riding a wave of continuous favorable reviews, the Hamburg-based brand is finally debuting its long-awaited Chronograph model, simply entitled the Sternglas Chrono.
This piece is two years in the making. An open dialogue with the vocal Sternglas community is to thank for this crisp and clear chronograph, powered by the popular Miyota analog OS21 quartz movement. Everything about this design has functionality in mind. From the no-nonsense case and the practical piston-pushers to the high-contrast, uncluttered dial layout. The result? A chronograph that shows us how to design a watch in harmony with a quartz module rather than in spite of it.
On the same page
What do I mean by that? Take a look at the positioning of the sub-registers on the Sternglas Chrono (showing a 60-minute chronograph counter at 9 o’clock and a 24-hour indicator (not counter) at the 3 o’clock position) and the date and tell me you can’t see the exact size of the quartz chronograph module within this case already? Of course, you can. What Sternglas has done, however, is to take advantage of this compact layout to give the Arabic numerals of the 12-hour scale plenty of space to breathe. None is cut-off or in any way obscured.
…very easy on the eye…
Coupling this decision with generously-sized hands has resulted in a display that almost looks like two separate watches in one. While this may sound jarring on paper, the end result is actually very easy on the eye in my opinion. You can easily switch-off from the chronograph function and read the time and vice versa.
Social distancing is key
I really don’t like it when dial furniture is huddled together. Give it space or show it the door, that’s my philosophy. Perhaps these COVID times have had this effect on me, or perhaps I was always against people mindlessly barreling into my kinesphere/lazy watch designers including unnecessary elements “just because”.
Achieving this design while retaining the brand DNA Sternglas has taken pains to establish thus far was paramount.
Sternglas places the Bauhaus-derived mantra “form follows function” front and center of everything it does. The community driving the brand forward holds these words close to its heart also. Achieving this design while retaining the brand DNA Sternglas has taken pains to establish thus far was paramount. I think adding a black model that does away with the contrasting sub-dials was a good decision to this end. The all-black version is a sleeker, subtler alternative to the other two color schemes, which push the brand’s boundaries a bit further. Keeping things simple while simultaneously trying something new was a smart move.
There are three dial colors (black, white, and blue), all topped with a double-curved anti-reflective sapphire crystal for that vintage aesthetic. My favorite — for once — is actually the blue model with white sub-dials. I love the color-matched date wheel and the silver hands that tie the center of the dial to the case.
A value proposition for the neophyte collector
Considering the brand’s youth, I find it quite impressive how wide a range of watches is already populating the catalog. At the very top end, the Siwss-powered automatic Sternglas Kanton is, I think without too much argument, the star of the show, with its silvered dial and bright-as-you-like lume pips. My favorite piece, however, is the quartz-driven “Hamburg” (I love the dial design and would love to see a no-date manually-wound mechanical in this style someday).
…it really comes down to the simple question of whether you like it or not.
The 43mm Sternglas Chrono joins the recently reviewed Sternglas Ivo as more “complicated” pieces, which broaden the functional scope of the brand. At just €289 for the Chrono (pre-orders open now; delivery slated to commence October 2020), it really comes down to the simple question of whether you like it or not. If you do, this is a very attainable price point. And who knows? It might just kick-start an obsession with this brand that many other watch lovers seem to have developed already. To learn more about the brand and to joining the Sternglas community, click here.