The first watch from a New York based independent brand looking to do things properly.
We are happy to introduce to you one of the latest new Microbrands which has recently launched their first model through Kickstarter! This is the Stella Felix...
"Stella Watch Company is a New York based independent brand founded in 2019 by two seasoned veterans in both the watch industry and business development with over 40 years of experience between them. Stella watches are designed in and inspired by New York and manufactured in Switzerland.
Felix - [la][la]. Star" - Stella
The Felix is a moderately sized 3 hand automatic watch with date, designed for the every day. It has strong modern proportions at 40mm diameter, 48mm lug to lug length and a thickness of 13.6mm, these sizes combine to create a fair amount of wrist presence without being overly bulky.
With 100 meters of water resistance, a screw-down crown and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal on the front & back it should serve as the perfect daily wearer. This watch being Swiss Made also boasts a nicely made Swiss movement, the STP1-11 which for the price point is quite nicely finished with the perlage and custom rotor.
One great feature of this watch is the interesting 4 piece case construction. You can see that the main case band is split into two separate pieces which are contrasting in colour, on this version is has a gunmetal grey (A very dark grey, almost black, but with a slight brown hue) inner case & then the top of the case which looks to attach to the bezel has the lugs curving beautifully from it.
This serves not only a stunning detail but also helps the watch to wear thinner on the wrist since it breaks up the visual of the thickest part of the case. Tiny details like this can be found everywhere in this watch, such as the coloured detailing on the crown and the use of the Stella star on the rotor/case back/dial etc...
This watch comes in 6 different versions, if you are interested to see all of them make sure to check out their Kickstarter page.
The version we have is known as 'Times Grey' and "is a nod to the great news establishment affectionately known as "The Old Grey Lady". It features a matte grey dial and complementing blue indices with a red sweep second hand. Brushed and polished stainless steel case with gunmetal PVD case body. The rich full-grain black leather strap has matching red accents at the lugs and white body stitching. Politician or reporter, we have you covered." - Stella
The colours on this dial are definitely attractive and fairly unique. One thing I'm not so sure about though is the mismatch between the blue indices and the white hands, personally I think it would look better if all of the indices used the blue colour as well as the hands.
One massive bonus about these interesting colours used on the dial though is the ability to match to a wide range of straps! Here I have picked 3 combinations which I think compliment the watch in different ways and are all a testament to its versatility.
Sennen Military Nylon Watch Strap By ZULUDIVER
First up is the Sennen, I think this combination really highlights the sporty nature of the watch and dressed it down to a cool casual style. I think the grey version perfectly complements the grey dial and allows the interesting accented colours on the dial to speak for themselves. This a great subtle option which is great for a comfortable summery look.
Geckota Kington Racing Genuine Leather Watch Strap
Next, something not exactly subtle... Here we have the Kington racing in red - another sporty look but this time something that's guaranteed to turn heads. The red of the strap works really well with the red details on the dial and seconds hand and compliments the somewhat whimsical design.
Edwyn Genuine Leather Deployment Buckle Watch Strap
Finally, we turn a full 180 with this glossy croc stamped dress strap, I mentioned versatility earlier and I think this combination just about proves it! The gloss of the strap works really well with the highly polished indexes and hands, and the black is complemented by the dark gun section of the case band, dressing up the Stella watch nicely for those smart-casual days at the office...
What do I think about this watch?
Overall, I think its a great watch. I love all of the little details and how they have really experimented with the design, the watch definitely looks unique and that can be a fairly rare thing especially in the world of Kickstarter watches. The super early bird price was around £569 which I think at that point it offers decent value. However, the RRP is advertised at £948 and for this price, I'm not so sure...
I think this watch is for someone who wants something a bit different and cares about the 'swiss made' pedigree. Personally, I'd have rather seen it with a 9 series Miyota as I think the real value for a watch like this comes from the design and passion from the company, not where the parts are supposedly made. I'd encourage you to check out their Kickstarter page to form your own opinion, it really is worth exploring the other dial options as there really is something for everyone. My personal favourite is the blue linen dial as I think the dial texture is the icing on the cake for this design!
I'd like to take this chance to thank Stella for sending us this watch to review, you can check out their website here.