Hands-On With The Sternglas Kanton
We are no stranger to Hamburg based brand Sternglas. Within a little over three years of its existence, the brand has built quite a name for itself. I had the chance to go hands-on with the Naos Automatik at the end of last year. In my review, I expressed my liking for the Bauhaus inspired design. Earlier this year, the brand upped its game with the release of the Kanton. It still features that recognizable design but the brand has equipped the Kanton with a Swiss-made movement. Let’s find out all there is to know about the Sternglas Kanton.
From the moment I got the Kanton I was impressed with a couple of things straight of the bat. First, the watch comes in a nice black wooden box instead of the paper box the Naos Automatik came in. Although boxes are only a small part of a watch’s allure, it certainly helps that the Kanton is presented in this chicer black box. It gives you a good feeling from the very first moment. I found myself thinking that if this was indicative of what was to come, I might well be in for a very nice surprise.
The same design but different
The second thing that stands out is the overall design balance of the Sternglas Kanton. I like it a lot better than the Naos Automatik. But maybe it’s good to put it into the context of the collection. The Kanton and the Hamburg are the two most sophisticated models in the catalog. Sure, they are very much minimal in their approach but the style is richer than the other watches in the collection. The Kanton features a silver-plated dial that looks warmer than the bright white used many of the other models.
Sternglas also uses different styled hands for the Kanton, Hamburg, and Tero models. These curved luminous hands are also a great improvement compared to the stick-shaped hands used for other models. They look more refined and “mature” for lack of a better word. The hands hover above the curved silvered dial that also has a layout more to my liking.
A better dial layout
The dial layout is less minimalist although using these words might be deceiving when we are discussing a watch that is minimal, to begin with. But sometimes adding a few elements to a minimalist dial immediately gives you a more comfortable feeling. That’s exactly what the Kanton does. On top of that, the dial features luminous dots on the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock position making sure that you can read the time at night in combination with the luminous hands. And those luminous dots really are something — they blaze in low light conditions to a standard that is way beyond the expectations of what is otherwise a dressy watch.
The last, and, for me, rather crucial element is the very nice soft Italian leather strap the Kanton comes on. The Naos Automatik I reviewed had a Milanese bracelet left me with quality concerns. But the quality on the Kanton’s strap is definitely not an issue. As I quickly found out, the leather strap was very comfortable on my wrist. So all in all, the Kanton is a huge step up from the other models in the collection.
The new Swiss STP 1-11 caliber
But maybe the biggest difference when it comes to the Kanton is the use of the Swiss STP 1-11 caliber. The movement is based on the well-known ETA 2824-2 movement. It is a huge improvement in quality and accuracy compared to the Miyota movements used for the other mechanical Sternglas models. STP is a Swiss factory owned by Fossil Group that produces about 100,000 movements annually.
The STP 1-11 caliber features 26 jewels, ticks at 28,800vph, and has a power reserve of 44 hours. The movement features hacking seconds and can be wound manually by turning the crown clockwise. The accuracy is defined by a deviation of a mere +15 seconds per day. The movement is visible through the sapphire case back held in place by six screws. Through it, you can see the detailed finishing that beats that of the Naos Automatik by a mile.
I was impressed by the overall working and finishing of the movement.
Another way of experiencing the added quality is by operating the crown when you set the date and time. Pulling out the crown and turning it feels qualitative. With a firm and direct first click, you can set the date. Pulling the crown out to the second position lets you set/correct the time. I was happily impressed by the overall working and finishing of the movement after wearing the watch for a couple of days.
Wearing the Sternglas Kanton
And in those couple of days, I also was impressed by how easily the watch wears. The Kanton features a 39mm stainless steel case that measures only 10mm in height and has a lug-to-lug size of 44mm. It gives the watch a very slim profile that makes it easy to wear in any situation, either casual or more formal. With a lug width of 20mm, the Kanton is perfect for using a wide selection of straps that will have a stronger effect on the casual or formal appearance of the watch.
As mentioned before, the black Italian leather strap was very comfortable. When combined with the slim profile of the Kanton, it is a joy to wear. That slim profile is given a more inviting shape by the anti-reflective domed sapphire glass that guarantees readability from oblique angles.
The Sternglas Kantos turned out to be a nice change from the watches that I normally wear.
I usually dress casually and wear one of my sports watches to go with it. But the Sternglas Kantos turned out to be a nice change from the watches that I normally wear. Lighter, easier to read, and with a very well designed dial, this is definitely my favorite Sternglas in the collection.
Which brings us to the price of the Sternglas Kanton. Because an upgrade in movement and overall quality does come at a cost. The list price of the Sternglas Kanton is set at €799 and you have the choice of a black or brown leather strap. It is a significant step up from the other mechanical watches in the Sternglas collection. It also brings the Kanton in the territory of a lot of different competitors.
The Kanton has to fight off some stiff competition…
Because the competition in the 500-1,000 Euro price bracket is fierce. There is a wide array of choices available within that price bracket. So the Kanton has to fight off some stiff competition — including that other Bauhaus icon, the Junghans Max Bill Automatic.
But with a great Bauhaus inspired design and a swiss-made movement, the Sternglas Kanton has a lot going for it. If you like a very well designed and qualitative timepiece created by a young and up-and-coming brand, this could be for you.
I for one was impressed with the Kanton after wearing it for a couple of days. And I am impressed by how Sternglas is constantly upping its game and involves a young crowd in doing so. And that should be a recipe for the continued success of this Hamburg-based brand. For more information, you can visit the official Sternglas website here.