Below are the answers to our most frequently asked questions. We realize that this doesn’t cover everything you may want to know about owning one of our watches, so click here to send us any other questions you may have. We’ll do our best to get you an answer within 2 business days.

Why can't I pull the crown out?

If you cannot easily pull the crown out and away from the case to wind or set the time, then your watch most likely contains a “screw-down” crown.

Most Stührling Original watches are equipped with a “pull out” crown with dual “O” rings, which will accommodate water resistance to fifty meters. This is more than sufficient for most fine timepieces that are made for dress rather than every day wear (especially by men). Some of our timepieces are made to endure rougher and tougher wear, particularly in the diver's category. For these models, we have included a “screw down” crown to help prevent water infiltration as well as overall rougher wear.

In order to adjust the date and/or time on such a watch (or if the watch has a mechanical self-winding movement and requires manual winding to initiate the movement), you must first unscrew the crown before you can gently pull it out to its first or second position. To do this, rotate the crown counterclockwise until it springs open. If your watch has a mechanical self-winding movement, you will need to have the crown in the first position (closest to the case without the threads of the stem being engaged in the case) in order to wind your watch and thereby put some power on the mainspring. When you have finished setting the watch and/or winding it, the crown must then be pushed in and screwed back in tightly. Overall, this process should not require a lot of effort or force.

Why isn't my watch running?

If your new watch stops frequently when it is brand new out of the box, then your new watch most likely has a mechanical self-winding movement. In most cases, you will be able to tell immediately if your watch is an automatic self-winding timepiece by looking at the back of the watch. Almost all “automatics” from Stührling Original come with exhibition case-backs; the back of the watch has a crystal through which you can see the movement. This type of watch is referred to as an “automatic watch.” This means that your new watch will wind itself (while being worn) and does not have a battery with a computer chip (quartz watch). Wearing a mechanical timepiece is an homage to a time-honored art and tradition that dates back more than two centuries! Quartz watches did not come into being until the 1970's.

When worn daily, the movement of your wrist causes the mainspring to wind progressively, eliminating the need for additional winding. However, to start your automatic, it is recommended that you manually wind it by rotating the crown clockwise a number of turns while it is in its normal operating position (screw-down crowns will need to be unscrewed first). This will place some initial power on the mainspring to begin wearing your watch. You should wind it until you feel some resistance, while being careful not to “over-wind” the mainspring. If you hold the watch to your ear while you are winding your watch, you will hear a ratcheting noise; that is the sound of the mainspring being wound.

While wearing a mechanical automatic timepiece daily will keep the mainspring wound, the movement of the oscillating piece with the Stührling logo on it (the rotor) seen through the crystal on the back does not generate enough force to wind the mainspring beyond a certain point. If it did, then surely the mainspring could become over-wound and lock up. However, the slightest movement of the rotor will keep the mainspring wound and keep your timepiece running.

The mechanical movements in the Stührling Original timepieces will generally carry approximately forty hours of autonomy. This means that when fully wound, the watch may continuously run for approximately forty hours. Should your watch stop from non-wear (being left overnight or otherwise), reset the time and manually wind the watch to get it started again.

While wearing a mechanical timepiece certainly requires more care and attention than a quartz watch, the renaissance of wearing a mechanical automatic timepiece is swelling to new proportions never before seen. At Stührling Original we take great pride in catering to an increasing market segment that can now appreciate the long history of wearing a mechanical timepiece of quality born from the rich tradition of an art that goes back centuries!

My watch has a rubber strap. How do I size it to fit my wrist?

First, it is important to understand that there are two pieces (or sides) to your rubber strap. One is affixed at the lugs at the top of the watch (twelve o'clock) and the other is affixed at the lugs at the bottom of the watch (six o'clock).

To adjust the length of the strap, you must first remove the strap (both pieces) from the deployant clasp (not from the case at the lugs). It is attached to the clasp with spring-pins. You can use any small pin-like object (such as a bent paperclip) to push the pin inward through the micro-adjusting holes in the clasp or the alternative method of using a small dull knife and wedging it from the backside between the rubber strap and the side wall of the clasp (right on the pin) and then pinching the strap and pin inward to free it from the pinhole.

Then, being careful to cut the rubber strap in a straight line, you will cut an equal length from each piece of the strap. It is recommended that you do this operation one segment at a time so as to not make the strap too short. (Caution: Once the strap is cut, if it is too short, your only option would be to purchase a new strap.) Thus, to begin, you would cut the strap on one side by one segment and then on the other side by one segment. You do this so that the clasp will remain in the middle of the underside of your wrist. Depending on which model of rubber strap you have, the holes will be separated by either a groove or a score-line so that it is obvious where the cut should be made. We recommend using a craft knife or a razor type of cutter to perform your cutting. A sharp knife will also do.

After you have performed your first cut(s), you should re-attach the strap to the clasp to try on your watch for size. When you re-attach the strap use the outer most micro-adjustable pin-holes. This way if your strap is only a little too large, you can further size it to your wrist by using the micro-adjustable holes on the clasp (rather than cutting it again). If the strap is still too large then repeat the process again by trimming the strap again (one hole at a time).

You may also choose to trim the strap by one hole on one piece only. If you do this, then you should remember to trim the strap sides in an alternating fashion so that the sides (pieces) will remain the same length (or at least close to the same length).

I can't figure out how to use this buckle?

If you find yourself struggling to fasten the buckle (clasp) of your new watch, do not worry, you are not alone. This type of buckle is called a push-button or deployant clasp (often termed deployment clasp). These clasps are usually only found on watches selling for more than $1,000 and until you see it and use it for the first time, it can cause some confusion.

The first thing you should do is to open the clasp. If you hold your watch in such a way that the Stührling Logo on the clasp is right side up and reading from left to right, the “push-buttons” are located on the left and right of the clasp. Squeeze them together and the clasp will spring open.

Now that the clasp is in the open position, if you look inside the mouth of the clasp you will see a little post. The mouth of the clasp is that part that exhibits the Stührling logo on the top. The post is actually attached to the floor of the mouth and that is what would prevent you from sliding the leather strap (with the holes in it) into and through the mouth.

The floor of the mouth of the clasp actually swings open like a little gate. You must use both hands and “open” the gate by pulling the top of the mouth (the part with the Stührling log on it) and the bottom (the floor) in opposite directions. The gate will swing open. Sometimes the gate is a little difficult to open when it is new. If you look at the clasp from the side, you will be able to see the pin for the hinge of the gate.

Once you have the gate open, you can then slide the leather strap in and close the gate. The post will fit into the holes of the strap. You may want to try the second or third hole to begin the sizing process. Once you have the strap secured into the clasp, you would merely slide the watch over your hand and onto your wrist. When closing the clasp, it is recommended that you close the side of the clasp that is affixed to the strap first (as opposed to the side that has the holes in the strap). The clasp will “click” into place. Then you would close the side with the Stührling logo and that will click into place as well. If your watch is too loose or too tight, then open the clasp and adjust the hole into which you put the post.

You will find it very easy to take your watch off by merely using the “push-buttons” to open the clasp and then slide the watch over your hand. This type of clasp also saves wear and tear on your leather (or exotic) straps.

I have a watch winder. Which direction should I set it for?

For your mechanical automatic (self-winding) watches, you may have a mechanical watch-winder. This is a motorized device for storing and keeping your mechanical automatic watches wound and running while you are not wearing them. There are many different companies that make these devices and there are many different types. (We do not endorse any particular type or brand of winder, nor do we suggest that it is necessary to store your watch in such a device.) Many of the winders that are on the market offer a setting option for the direction in which you can have your watch rotate, either clockwise or counter-clockwise.

For the mechanical automatic movements in the Stührling Original watches, either direction will be fine however we suggest that you set your winder in the counter-clockwise direction. However, there will be no harm done to your watch if you should set it in the clockwise direction.

What is a Krysterna™ crystal?

The glass-like covering over the face of your watch is called a crystal. There is usually another crystal in the case-back if you have a mechanical automatic movement in your watch. For many years there were two basic varieties of crystals used in the watch industry: mineral and sapphire. While they came in different grades, sapphire was always considered to be the best because of its hardness.

Sapphire crystals for watches are created in a laboratory environment and they have the same chemical properties as corundum which has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. The only substance with hardness greater than sapphire is diamond which has a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. Because of their inherent hardness, sapphire crystals possess the highest scratch resistance available in modern wristwatches. However, sapphire crystals are prone to breakage due to their brittle nature.

Around the turn of the 21st century, a new substance appeared in crystals in the watch industry, called Krysterna™. Krysterna™ was born from the eyewear industry and comes from the same material used in high-end eyeglasses. Stührling Original was one of a handful of watch manufacturers that was involved in the early stages of development and testing of this new material in watch crystals. Krysterna™ actually has more strength over a spread surface area than sapphire! As a result, this still relatively new synthetic material is more shatter-resistant than sapphire!

How can I shorten the link bracelet on my watch?

An increasing number of Stührling Original models are being offered on solid stainless steel link bracelets. These bracelets have all been custom designed and engineered by Stührling Original specifically for each model. In most cases, the bracelet will be too large for most wearers. We do this intentionally, in order to accommodate as many different wrist sizes as possible. Some people also prefer to wear their bracelets tight and slightly higher on the wrist and some like to wear them loose and lower on the wrist.

In order to custom fit your bracelet, in most cases it will be necessary to take it to a jeweler to have links removed. Jewelers are usually very adept at this procedure and it does not take long to perform. Many jewelers will undergo the sizing of a watch bracelet as a courtesy and not charge anything for it. Others may want to charge $5 or $10 for this service. Jewelers have special tools and bracelet holders for removing links and they will know how to properly size your bracelet. We do not recommend that you perform this sizing operation yourself. However, if you are feeling adventurous and want to size it yourself then you should be remove an equal (or near equal) amount of links from each side of the bracelet so as to keep the clasp in the middle of the underside of your wrist for optimal comfort.

Why is there a noticeable disparity between the MSRP (manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) and what I actually paid for my watch?

MSRPs on consumer goods from nearly all product categories have been ingrained into the landscape of American enterprise going all the way back to the period of the Industrial Revolution. This common practice has become just as much a part of the marketing of a product as has the manufacturing of the product itself.

For many years, the chain of how a product reached the end-consumer was pretty much the same whereby the product began with being manufactured by a company (manufacturer) and ended up being sold to the consumer in a retail store (retailer). While there may be different layers of distribution involved between the manufacturer and retailer, the MSRP has always been and continues to be based upon accepted principles of manufacturing cost within its own category and within its own industry. For example, in some product categories, every dollar of manufacturing cost may equal three dollars at the retail level; and yet in other categories one dollar of manufacturing cost could equal as much as thirty dollars at retail. There are so many variables that go into these formulas, including (but not limited to) capital investment to manufacture, patents, difficulty in manufacturing, waste, rarity of source materials, and so on.

The one constant across the board in nearly all consumer related products sold at the retail level was that they were being offered by the retailer in a store. Nowadays, we refer to these stores as brick-and-mortar stores – meaning that they were and are actual buildings that a consumer could go into and see and touch the product, and then purchase it. These brick-and-mortar retailers have expenses for their stores and their business, and for many years it was considered normal for a retailer to get double his cost (wholesale) for any product sold. This practice came to be known as keystoning. When a retailer sells for keystone, he sells for double his cost. And in the higher-end establishments, it is not uncommon for retailers to get triple-keystone, or three times cost. Thus, when manufacturers created their MSRPs (regardless of their particular category), they would always allow for at least a keystone markup at the retail level and then back out their margins from there. In the jewelry and watch industry, triple-key markups for high-end retailers can be traced back to the 1950s.

In the mid-1980s, the birth of home-shopping television or Direct Response TV (DRTV) ultimately impacted the way that consumers purchased their goods. At first, the impact was negligible and limited to only a few categories. By the late 90s, however, the impact was felt all across the landscape of independent store owners. But that was only the first part of what has now become known as the Non-Traditional Retail (NTR). In the mid-90s the Internet became more publicly accessible, and although there were many skeptics, goods were being sold online. Companies were able to sell goods without a physical brick-and-mortar store.

These two avenues of distribution (DRTV and the Internet) are now referred to as electronic retailing. In 2011, scores of billions of dollars were spent by consumers via electronic retailing. For the brick-and mortar retailers the impact has been heavily felt. The big fish are gobbling up the little fish and it is increasingly more difficult for the independent brick-and-mortar retailers to survive. Due to the impact of electronic retailing, the brick-and-mortar retailers are selling fewer items, so they must in turn receive higher margins – in most cases at least triple-key. However, higher margins make it tougher to compete with electronic retailers who are working on very tight margins- in some cases less than 20% Gross Profit Margin.

From a manufacturing standpoint there are other price-determining factors within the terms-of-doing -business with these two very different avenues of distribution, particularly in the jewelry industry. The jewelry industry has forever been handled on a memorandum basis; retail jewelers will take goods on memo and if the goods sell, then the retailer will pay the manufacturer for the goods. If the goods do not sell, then the retailer can return the unsold goods to the manufacturer. As a result, memo goods are priced higher to the retailer than if the retailer were actually paying the wholesale price. And subsequently, the retail selling price to the end customer is also higher. In the watch segment of the jewelry industry, the higher-end brands will put watches in a jewelry retailer's store on a consignment program. This is where the watch manufacturer will come in every quarter and refresh the retailer's inventory with new product and take back stale goods that are not moving. On these types of programs, where the manufacturer must wait for his money – and even take back unsold goods – the wholesale prices are considerably higher than what they might be if the manufacturer could just sell his goods for cash; but that's the brick-and-mortar retail jewelry and watch business.

As a consequence, when you add the triple-key (or more) factor to the terms factor, the MSRPs on watches in stores are considerably higher than they really need to be in comparison to the manufacturer's cost of actually producing the product. However, these MSRPs are all perfectly acceptable and even laudable when examining the methodology of those manufacturers who choose the brick-and-mortar avenue of distribution… because there is nothing else to compare the product pricing to. It doesn't matter if the MSRP is thirty times manufacturing cost because there is nowhere else to buy the product.

With today's environment of price-conscious comparative shoppers, the brick-and-mortar retailers must focus on specific products that are not available via electronic retailing. For the brick-and-mortar stores, offering goods that are available at a fraction of the price (via electronic retailing), would risk alienating their loyal customers.

As a manufacturer, it is almost a necessity to choose one avenue or the other; either brick-and-mortar or electronic. In order to do both, it is practically essential to have two completely different lines of product, so that the brick-and-mortars will not be put in the unenviable position of gouging their customers for the same product available at a fraction of the price. So there are many manufacturers that will not sell their product through electronic retailing in order to protect the integrity of their retailers; and conversely there are now manufacturers that have chosen the route of electronic retailing and do not offer their product via traditional retail channels.

The mission and vision for Stührling Original has been to deliver fine luxury engineered timepieces to a broader audience than was traditional. In striving to achieve this vision (on the distribution side of things) it has been and remains the direction of Stührling Original to specialize in electronic retailing.

So for those watch companies that are distributing their product via traditional channels on programs with triple-key (or more) margins built-in for their retailers, their MSRPs have been accepted as rote for many years. However, what about manufacturers like Stührling Original who choose to distribute their products through electronic retailing exclusively?

Just because a product is not available through traditional avenues of retailing, does that mean that the product is worth less than if it were offered in brick-and-mortar stores? For a hundred years manufacturers have been making their MSRPs based upon accepted principles of manufacturing costs for their products to sell in traditional retail outlets. Since the 1950s high-end jewelry stores have been triple-keying their goods.

By distributing our watches via electronic retailing, Stührling Original is able to sell its watches at a lower cost to its resellers; and those electronic resellers are working on super tight margins and are thereby able to offer the watches at very reasonable pricing to their customers and obviously this is good for the consumer.

So in order to compare apples to apples, it would be unfair for a manufacturer who distributes its product via non-traditional retail channels to calculate its MSRPs on what the watch actually sells for in comparison to the MSRPs of the watches of all those other manufacturers who distribute their product through traditional retailers.

Please know that while the fair market value of the Stührling Original timepieces are noticeably less than the suggested retail price (MSRP) listed for each Stührling Original model, for purposes of a fair comparison to other watches in the marketplace the MSRPs for the Stührling Original timepieces are based upon accepted principles of manufacturing costs for the watch industry … as if they were to be distributed via traditional retailers in a high-end environment.

What makes a watch water-resistant?

There are several features that make a watch water-resistant. The most important is the gaskets, or O-rings – usually made of rubber, nylon or Teflon, which form watertight seals at the joints where the crystal, case back and crown meet the watch case. If the watch is a chronograph, the chronograph pushers will also need to have gaskets.

In addition, water-resistant watch cases are lined with a sealant, applied in the form of a quick-hardening liquid, which helps keep water out.

The thickness and material of the case is also a big factor in determining whether a watch can safely be worn underwater. The case must be sturdy enough to withstand pressure without caving in. This means the case material must be stainless steel, titanium or an equally sturdy metal. Solid gold cases or stainless cases plated with gold can be water-resistant provided they are sufficiently thick.

A screw-in case back, as opposed to one that pushes in, also contributes to water resistance.

A screw-in crown, a feature commonly available in diver's watches, helps prevent water getting into the case through the watch-stem hole. When it is screwed down it forms a water tight seal much like the seal between a jar and its lid.

Why aren't watches ever labeled or described in advertising as waterproof even if they can be worn deep-sea submerged diving?

By definition, waterproof implies that the watch case is impervious to water under every condition. Watch manufacturers do not and cannot make this claim because under increasing pressure all watch cases will eventually begin to leak. The term waterproof was discontinued starting in the late 1960s. This change was brought about from several government organizations, including the Federal Trade Commission in the USA, who were investigating truthfulness and accuracy of product labeling and advertising.

For example, if a watch is said to be water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet), this means that under still conditions at depths not greater than 100 meters, the watch case should not leak. Please read the next FAQ for more detail.

Because the Federal Trade Commission of the US issued guidelines prohibiting the use of the term waterproof to describe watches, including deep-sea diving watches, the proper term is water-resistant.

Therefore, before you purchase a water-resistant watch, become familiar with the different levels of water resistance and the limitations of water-resistant watches to ensure you attain a watch suitable for your needs.

My watch is labeled water-resistant to 50 meters but the manufacturer's instructions say I can only wear it swimming, not snorkeling or diving. Why is that?

The different levels of water resistance as expressed in meters are only theoretical. They refer to the depth at which the watch will keep out water if both the watch and the water are perfectly motionless. These conditions, of course, are never met in the real swimmer's or diver's world. In real life, the movement of the wearer's arm through the water dramatically adds pressure on the watch as well, so it is advised that, to be safe, the watch should be worn to the depths less than what is indicated by lab testing machines.

What are the various levels of water-resistance and what are their practical applications?

Watches with the lowest level of water resistance are labeled simply water-resistant. They can withstand splashes of water but should not be submerged underwater under any circumstances.

The following usage recommendations are suggested by industry standards.
  • Water-resistant to 30 meters (100 feet): Watches with this rating will withstand splashes of water or rain and light swimming, but not suitable for diving or being submerged.
  • Water-resistant to 50 meters (165 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for showering or placement in shallow water.
  • Water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for some swimming and snorkeling activities.
  • Water-resistant to 150 meters (500 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for snorkeling.
  • Water-resistant to 200 meters (660 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for skin diving.
  • Diver's 150 meters (500 feet) specified to meet ISO standards: Watches with this rating are suitable for scuba diving.
  • Diver's 200 meters (660 feet) specified to meet ISO standards: Watches with this rating are suitable for scuba diving.

Please note that we do not recommend swimming or diving with your watch unless it has a screw-down crown (also known as screw-lock or screw-in crown) and is water-resistant to a minimum of 100 meters.

It is important to understand that the depth of water-resistance specified on a watch dial or case-back represents the results of tests done in stable laboratory conditions, not in the open ocean. Moreover, water resistance is tested in measurements of atmospheres (ATM). Each ATM denotes 10 meters of static water pressure.

Is water resistance permanent?

No. Water resistance depends on several factors (as mentioned in other FAQs), some of which can be affected by wear or simply by time. Over time, gaskets can become weakened, corroded, or misshapen, cases dented or crystals loosened or broken. That's why your watch, like your car and your teeth, need preventive maintenance.

There are misconceptions about water resistance. Lots of people assume the water-resistance level of a watch represents the true sustainable water resistance, when in reality it does not. As mentioned in answers to previous questions, this is because its water-resistance level is based on a motionless depth test, not in a turbulent ocean or on a rapidly moving wrist going into and out of the swimming pool. The depth level indicated on the watch dial or case-back does not account for sudden and rapid changes in depth, nor does it take into account temperature or atmospheric changes. Water-resistant watches can also experience water damage if the owner descends under the water too quickly or if the watch is removed from cold water and rapidly exposed to warmer air. Both consumers and retailers should note that these watches do not remain water-resistant for their entire lifetimes, as their water resistance will naturally decrease with time.

How should I care for a water resistant watch?

First, it is not recommended to wear your water resistant watch in a hot shower, sauna, or hot tub even though the watch is tested to have the necessary water resistance. Many people actually don't understand the nature or properties of metal, and complain blindly to manufacturers or retailers when there is a water resistance problem with their watch. They don't realize that the extreme heat can cause the metal parts to expand at a different rate than the rubber gaskets. This creates small openings that can allow water droplets to penetrate the watch. Sudden temperature changes are especially harsh. Take care not to jump into a cold pool after wearing your watch in the hot tub.

After swimming or diving in salt water, immediately rinse the watch in a stream of fresh water. If your watch has a rotating bezel, turn the bezel several times while rinsing it. This will prevent salt buildup under the bezel or corrosion of the bezel ring.

Some chemicals can corrode the gaskets and make them vulnerable to distortion. Heavily chlorinated water and spray-on perfumes and hairsprays are also problematic, as they may damage the case seams and gaskets.

Moreover, while the watch is submerged in water or still wet, do NOT press any buttons or pushers on the watch. Do not pull out the crown while the watch is submerged in water. If the case, glass or seal is damaged in any way, the watch will no longer be guaranteed water-resistant. Condensation can appear in any watch and is caused by a sudden change in temperature (i.e. when a watch is removed from a cold room and placed into a warm room, or vice versa). The appearance of condensation does not mean the watch will not operate properly, nor that it has lost its water resistance, but to be safe it should be serviced. Batteries in water-resistant watches should be replaced by a professional so that the water-resistant seals can be checked and renewed if necessary, otherwise the watch may no longer be guaranteed water-resistant. It is good practice to change the battery hatch or case-back gaskets whenever the battery is changed.

As mentioned previously, water-resistance is not a permanent condition. For example, the gaskets that are around the stem, case-back and glass can deteriorate with time and should be inspected and changed periodically (by a professional).

Leather straps can be made to be water resistant too. Generally, however, leather straps are more easily damaged by frequent exposure to water. So if you are going to wear your watch while swimming – think of making / buying a watch with a metal bracelet or a rubber or nylon diver strap.

Water resistance should be checked at least once a year. Like most manufacturers, we suggest that water resistance needs to be tested every time the case back is opened, because opening the case can dislodge the gaskets. This is why unauthorized opening of the watch case-back is usually not recommended, because doing so will invalidate warranty rights. This rule applies even to a simple battery change done by an unqualified person.