Celebrating its tenth year in business, the German watchmaking brand has recently presented its Steinhart ST 10 Anniversary Edition (Ref. L0810) limited edition wristwatch. For a change, the timekeeper is powered by a very neatly decorated hand-wound movement and also features a fairly unusual dial layout that some may find a bit, well, too unusual. 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 (including VAT, but not including shipping costs) seems 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, truth be told, really stings my eyes. I am talking, of course, about the yellow gold hour and minute hands. Supposed to contrast nicely the matte-finished stainless steel case of the ST 10, the hands in fact are discordant to the whole idea of understated luxury that this timekeeper promotes. Perhaps, somebody at Steinhart took to great an inspiration from Panerai timepieces that, too, often offer this steel/gold combination.
The company seems to have tried to save the situation with contrasting gold stitching and gold STEINHART logo at three o’clock, however, the result doesn’t look really convincing. The gold hands still look like they don’t belong here. Well, at least to me.
The modified ETA Unitas 6497-1 mechanism, on the other hand, looks absolutely fabulous with its three quarter plate featuring very nice radial Geneva stripes, while the ratchet wheel is skeletonized and brushed. Together with perlaged balance cock, blued and polished screws, and gold inscriptions, the hand-wound mechanism looks very classy.
To be frank, 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 in the field of “premium” watches.
As archaic as it is, the movement is very robust and reliable. There is also a certain mojo behind its oversized dimensions and rugged design that corresponds quite nicely to the timekeeper’s overall masculine presence.
The Steinhart ST 10 Anniversary Edition outsources its cushion-shaped body with the signature four screws form their Aviation Chronograph model. Being impressive 44 millimeters wide, the body will look quite massive on a normal wrist. Luckily, the choice of a manually wound mechanism allowed the brand to make the case significantly leaner: it now measures just 14.80 millimeters thick instead of a lot more intimidating 17.2 mm of the chronograph.
However, thanks to rather long horns, the watch may still look way too large for a person with smaller hand. The fact that you just can’t go to a nearest jewelry store to try this or other similarly sized and shaped Steinhart timekeeper doesn’t make the problem any easier.
According to the brand’s official web-site, the watch, which is scheduled for delivery for January 2015, has already been sold out, but there is still a chance that at least some of them will surface on certain online auctions.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 4/5
Value for money: 3/5
See also: Steinhart Ocean One Vintage Automatic
Steinhart ST 10 Anniversary Edition (Ref. L0810) watch specification
Movement: Manual, 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 material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Cushion
Bezel shape: Round
Case 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
Case back: Sapphire