Today we’re reviewing the Stuhrling 881.03 Original Winchester, which is a visually striking watch for casual everyday wear. Stührling has used cutting edge technology to create a watch designed to be both rugged and functional. With a bold design, everything about the Winchester is up to the highest standards, even the quartz movement. In all, this watch is definitely worth taking a look at if your’e after a fashion piece on a tight budget.
The most obvious thing about the Winchester Original 881.03 is its bold skeleton design. At 42mm in diameter, the round case is on the larger side and the black ion plating on the stainless steel makes it striking despite its sparse design. However, it’s only 8mm thick so it looks cool without being too clunky or heavy. The screw style bezel with just a hint of sterling silver around the inside edge looks rugged and masculine and it’s balanced out by the black spoke style design of the dial. The stick mark indicators that make up the spoke design represent the odd numbers and Roman numerals display the even numbers. The spokes and Roman numerals appear to be floating thanks to the case back that is a clear window around the outer portion.
The middle of the dial is where most of the details are. The gray (or slightly less black) stainless steel is etched with a scallop pattern, giving it a subtle and interesting texture. The words “Stührling Original” are written on top of the gray texture in white font, making the words pop against the rest of the dial. Also in white along the outer edge of the textured center are stick indicators denoting minutes and seconds. Even the stick indicators have a slight design to them, as the indicators on the fives are slightly bolder than the rest.
One of the most important design details of a watch is the hands. The alpha style hour and minute hands are complemented by the pencil style second hand with a long sweeping tail. They match the black of the spokes and Roman numerals around the outer edge, contrasting with the gray inner dial. This makes them both easy to read and adds some depth to the design of the mostly black watch.
The 881.03 has a few really cool features, but the one that takes this watch from looking rugged to actually being rugged is the ion plating. Aside from giving the watch its bold color, the ion plating process makes this watch more resilient against scratches and wear than just plain stainless steel. Rather than using traditional plating methods whereby a thin layer of metal is laid on top of the original substance, the ion plating involves vaporizing titanium nitride in a vacuum. The titanium nitride vapor gets heated up in the vacuum, producing electric ions which with the help of a magnetic field, adhere directly to the stainless steel. This process results in a material that is up to 8 times tougher than products that used other plating methods. And like stainless steel, the ion plated metal is hypoallergenic and safe to wear on your skin. This watch would be a good choice for anyone with metal allergies looking for a durable timepiece to wear daily.
Not only is the case of this watch rugged, but the Krysterna crystal exclusive to Stührling watches is also designed with durability in mind. Like most synthetic sapphire, this material is created in the lab. It was originally developed for use in high-end eyewear and Stührling decided to try using it as a watch crystal. Actually proven to have more strength over the surface area of a watch face, this material is less likely to shatter than sapphire crystal. Despite not having the name recognition that sapphire does for a crystal material, the Krysterna helps make this watch a long-lasting, quality purchase.
Perhaps the only drawback the Winchester 881.03 has is the quartz movement. Generally considered to be a low-end movement due to the need of a battery and the ability to manufacture them cheaply, watches with quartz movements often get a bad rap. However, quartz movements are extremely accurate and Stührling puts theirs through rigorous testing. Despite this slight drawback, the Winchester Original is definitely worth considering if you don’t mind changing the battery once in a while.
The Stührling 881.03 Winchester Original is bold without being overbearing and it’s packed full of the latest technology in watch manufacturing. It looks rugged and has the materials to match. The price is low in part due to the quartz movement, but if that’s something you’re able to look past, you’d be getting a lot of features for a price that won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for a casual watch for everyday wear, this watch would be an excellent choice.