Hands-On: Sternglas Hamburg Automatik Watch
In a previous life as an IT security consultant, I visited Hamburg for the first time in 2005 while being on an assignment for a big oil company. The city had this special vibe to it, very lively. It stuck in my mind as a city full of character. It is hardly surprising, then, that Sternglas, a brand based in the city, should draw so much inspiration from it. And now, one of the brand’s most popular dial designs is backed-up by an automatic movement for the first time.
I was lucky enough to visit Hamburg several more times in my role as an IT security consultant but also as a watch journalist. It is, perhaps understandably, a big watchmaking town, with a great deal of interest and activity in the industry. Let’s have a closer look at this watch from the city of a big port, the Reeperbahn, Sylvie Meis, Montblanc pens, our own editor Andreas, and Sternglas.
Sternglas Hamburg Automatik
If I were a Hamburger, or Hamburgian if you prefer the English translation, I would be interested in wearing a watch that celebrates the city. And that’s exactly what the Sternglas Hamburg Automatik is doing. There was already a Sternglas Hamburg watch before, but only with quartz movement. This time, Sternglas decided to put an automatic movement to work.
The new Sternglas Hamburg Automatic has very strong links to the city due to the engraving of the city map on the stainless steel case back. But what’s more, it is also inspired by nautical measuring instruments, used by the ships that frequent the port. The engraving on the case back is just as interesting in my opinion, and I can imagine this is the most important aspect if you’re a Hamburger. Perhaps it even includes the street you’re living on? Let us know if that is the case in the comments below!
The curved dial of the Sternglas Hamburg Automatik comes in two colors, satin-silver, and graphite. Sternglas sent us both versions, so you can compare them side-by-side. The satin-silver version is very readable and perhaps the most versatile of the two, but the graphite color is a little bit more exciting, in my opinion. Then again, at these prices, it’s possible your watch box could accommodate both if you simply can’t split the pair.
Inside is the self-winding Miyota 8215 movement. This Citizen-owned movement maker provides a lot of smaller and indie brands with solid automatic movements. By doing so, Sternglas also ensures that the price tag remains attractive. The Miyota caliber 8215 ticks at 21,600vph and offers 42 hours of power reserve. Besides powering the three hands, it also features a date function. The Sternglas Hamburg Automatik has the date aperture located above 6 o’clock.
On the wrist
Anyway, the diameter of the Sternglas Hamburg Automatik is 42mm and the lug-to-lug size is 45mm. This results in a very wearable watch. With a thickness of 12mm, it will definitely fit under a cuff as well. Specs can’t tell the whole story, however. I was impressed while wearing this piece for a couple of days as to how comfortable and lightweight it is. The lugs are stout and make for a comfortable sitting position of the watch head on the wrist. The edge-to-edge crystal makes this 42mm wear a little larger than you might expect, and it commands plenty of attention as you can see from the wristshot below.
The watch comes on a leather strap, either dark brown with the satin-silver dial or black with the graphite dial. Either way, the combinations are great, as you can see. The sapphire crystal is domed and has a double anti-reflective coating. The hands have been applied with Luminova, for legibility during low-light conditions.
When you’re from Hamburg or have a special relationship with the city, I think that the Sternglas Hamburg Automatik is a great pick. I really like the case back engraving, it makes the watch special. Another aspect that makes this watch special is the very attractive price of €379.
Furthermore, this watch is water-resistant up to 50 meters and has a hacking movement, meaning the second hand will stop when you pull out the crown to set the time. That means if you’re a stickler for on-the-second accuracy, you can really test this one to its limits effectively.
The Sternglas Hamburg Automatik is based on the previous model from 2020 with the Ronda quartz movement. It was the best-selling watch in the brand’s collection in 2020, and Sternglas let us know that they received hundreds of requests to re-create that watch with an automatic movement. So here you go!
More information can be found here.