Steinhart celebrates its tenth year in business with this limited edition 2014 Steinhart ST 10 Anniversary Edition (Ref. L0810) that deserves some attention. First, the German brand normally uses standard Swiss-made calibers to power its timekeepers. For a change, the ST10 is powered by a neatly decorated hand-wound movement from Unitas. Second, it comes with an unusual dial layout, even though some may find it a bit, well, too unusual. Third, even as bulky as it is, the gadget is still compact enough for a sporty daily beater. Perhaps, the only thing that may turn some people off is the price: €1290 seems *ahem* a bit too steep for a Steinhart.
However interesting and rare (at least, for the brand) the design looks, it still has a flaw that stings my eyes.
I am talking about the yellow gold (most likely, yellow gold-plated) hour and minute hands. The idea, probably, was to make a nice contrast between the matte-finished stainless steel case and the unusual dial. As I see it, the finish on hands is discordant to the whole idea of “understated luxury” that this timekeeper promotes.
Perhaps, somebody at Steinhart took too great an inspiration from Panerai that, too, often offers similar “two-tone” dials.
The company tried to save the situation with contrasting yellow stitching on the strap. The “gold” STEINHART logo at three o’clock, too, serves the same purpose. Yet, the result doesn’t look really convincing. The gold hands still look like they don’t belong here. Well, at least to me.
That’s the only serious design issue that I see here.
The modified ETA Unitas 6497-1 mechanism looks fabulous. Its custom-made top plate and balance bridge feature matching radial Geneva stripes. The skeletonized ratchet wheel is machine-brushed, and, too, gold-plated. Add to the mix the circular-grained base plate, blued and polished screws, gold inscriptions and you get a classy hand-wound mechanism.
I would never expect Steinhart, a maker of affordable “homage” timekeepers, to present such a beauty. If things keep going in this direction, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the brand moving even further up in the niche of “premium” watches.
As archaic as it is, the movement is also robust and reliable. There is a certain mojo behind its oversized dimensions. Its rugged design corresponds nicely to the timekeeper’s masculine presence.
The Steinhart ST 10 Anniversary Edition shares its cushion-shaped body their Aviation Chronograph model. The case is impressive 44 millimeters wide and sports the same signature “four screws” design. Like most cushion-shaped timekeepers, the watch looks massive on a normal wrist. Luckily, the choice of a hand-wound mechanism allowed the brand to make the device leaner. The case now measures just 14.80 millimeters thick instead of a lot more intimidating 17.2 mm of the Aviation Chronograph.
The horns are rather long, though, so the watch may still look way too large for a person with smaller wrists. The fact that you just can’t go to the nearest jewelry store to try this timekeeper on your own wrist doesn’t make the problem any easier.
According to the brand’s official website, the watch was scheduled for delivery for January 2015.
The bad news is that it has already been sold out. The good news is that some of them still surface on certain online auctions, although at a lot higher prices. Updating this review for 2019, I found one of these beauties at Chrono24 at an asking price of $2860 USD in an “unworn” condition. Ouch.
Build Quality: 4/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
See also: Steinhart Ocean One Vintage Automatic
Steinhart ST 10 Anniversary Edition (Ref. L0810) specification
Movement: Hand-wound, ETA Unitas 6497-1, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 17
Movement frequency: 18,000 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Movement decoration: Radial, decentralized Geneva stripes on the plate, balance cock pearled, skeletonized and brushed ratchet wheel
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Case: Stainless steel
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 14.80 mm
Lug width: 24 mm
Dial: Sandwich, black with grey “bridge”
Numerals: Arabic “10”, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous dots
Hands: Skeletonized, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: MEVA handmade, vintage leather strap brown with gold stitches and stainless steel pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective coating inside the glass