The Sternglas Asthet Automatic Watch Hits Kickstarter
We’re quite fond of Sternglas here on Fratello. The brand occupies a very different niche from our usual fare, of course, but that doesn’t mean its watches don’t deserve a place in our collection. When it comes to making very affordable, timeless dress watches, there are few brands that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Hamburg-based outfit in this price bracket. As such, we’re thrilled to see the brand return to Kickstarter to launch its latest model, the Sternglas Asthet.
Sternglas has a pretty wide catalog already. Within that catalog, I’ve frequently marked the Hamburg dial as my favorite. I love the crisp, highly technical layout and the super-bright lume pips at the cardinal points. I’d love to see it in a super-slim case, sans date, and with the quartz module replaced by an automatic movement.
I really feel Sternglas is annihilating the competition when it comes to these Asian-automatic powered dress watches in the sub-€500 bracket. The quartz stuff is good. Sometimes it is really cool. No one can complain at the price point. But the presence of a mechanical movement makes all the difference for my money. And the Sternglas Asthet is a really welcome addition to the line-up.
Why do I like this model?
What appeals to me here are the case dimensions. The Asthet measures 40mm across and just 8.5mm thick (including a domed crystal that adds one millimeter to the actual measurement. This is a significant reduction in thickness when compared to the other automatics offered by Sternglas.
For example, the Sternglas Kanton (powered by a Swiss movement) is 12mm thick. The same is true of the Topograph, Naos, and Companion models (we reviewed the latter here). The thinnest of the bunch prior to this release was the Zirkel at 10mm thick, but the Asthet goes considerably further. The flatness of this model teamed with the Miyota 9015 three-hander makes for a really compelling package. The movement performs adequately with a +/- of 30/10 per day and a power reserve of 40 hours.
More than just the movement
But the slimness of this watch is thanks to more than just the movement. In fact, this is a wholly redesigned case with flowing lugs that sweep away from a thin-bezeled case band for a delicate and visually lightweight result. And when it comes to literal weight, the Asthet tips the scales at just 35g.
The lug-to-lug length of 48mm is neatly balanced alongside the 40mm case. Each lug is 10% the length of the case’s width. That’s an interesting design observation to make a note of for future comparisons. The sand-blasted stainless steel case also wears smaller than a polished counterpart would, with the lack of reflections further shrinking the watch’s visual impact, which is left entirely to the wide, dial.
Regarding dial colors, you have a choice. You can either choose a white dial or an anthracite gray. For me, the purity of this design works best with the white. Don’t fear, however: if you can’t decide, you could always buy both…
Despite these dainty proportions, the Sternglas Asthet is actually water-resistant to 50 meters, which is comparable to much bigger, bulkier, and visually more robust timepieces (such as the new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch if anyone is looking for an example).
Versatile starter or a fun addition
Sternglas’s prices are always more than competitive. On Kickstarter, given the brand’s ever more established reputation, these pieces come off as an absolute steal. So who would buy these watches? I think they are either ideal, versatile starter pieces for a younger watch lover looking to experiment with their first automatic movement, or for a seasoned collector looking for a slim, sophisticated dress watch to travel with when the bulk of one’s journey would require a more serious sports model.
Super Early Bird Price as part of the Kickstarter campaign will be €299. Thereafter, the regular retail price will be €399. However, the closed case back, decorated with an abstract design, will be numbered for this first edition — meaning picking one up on Kickstarter has a benefit beyond the price. That’s a nice touch to commemorate being an early adopter of this ambitious young brand. Learn more about Sternglas here.