Customer Reviews: Stuhrling Original Men's 165A.33112 Winchester Elite Automatic Skeleton Stainless Steel Watch
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on February 3, 2011
This is a great watch for the price point and I have enjoyed wearing it. Other than some minor quibbles I'm happy with the way it looks, works, and feels. After reading a lot of the reviews I thought I would first lay out what you are and are not getting when buying, and then review a few things about this particular model.

1.Understand what you are getting: This is a great watch and worth the asking price in my opinion, but know that it is NOT Swiss made. Stuhrling did start as a Swiss watch company but their operations were moved to Asia long ago. Although the factory in Hong Kong may have Swiss oversight and use Swiss designs and vintage equipment, their watches are not made in Switzerland. Were this a truly Swiss made mechanical/automatic watch the asking price would be many times higher. Note the carefully worded history advertisement above.

2. Do not pay attention to the List Price. In the watch world MSRP and list prices can be highly inflated as selling point. This is not an $800 watch. Under $200 is about right for what you are getting. When buying watches if the savings are too good to be true...

3. This watch is a mechanical/automatic watch. It's made to be wound by hand the old fashioned way, however it will also be wound by your movements as you wear it. Even if you wear the watch regularly you will still need to wind it every so often (about 25-30 clockwise rotations of the crown). I've found that mine needs to be wound every two weeks or so with regular use. The automatic feature is there to augment hand winding but not replace it entirely. You will need to fully wind it out of the box before wearing. If you look at the picture of the watch taken from the back you will see a half moon shaped piece. This is what rotates with movement to wind the watch. It may not swing completely freely but this may be due to the torque needed for winding. (This is just a guess).

4. You will need to go to a jeweler and have the bracelet adjusted for your wrist. All the links will be in place when it arrives, so unless you have a massive arm you'll need to have links removed to fit. Although some jewelers will do this as a courtesy most will charge a fee between $10-$25. Always keep the extra links you get back.

5. Mechanical/Automatic watches are not as accurate as a quartz. As with all mechanical watches this one will loose some time. A high end genuine Swiss watch may loose 5-6 seconds a day, however this watch MAY loose up to a minute or more. This is to be expected at this price point and it doesn't bother me much. Again mine has done quite well since getting it and has lost very little time daily.

6. Stuhrling will give you an extra year on your warranty if you review the watch on Amazon for a total of 3 years. I've done that but kept it honest.

Despite my gripe about iffy advertising and list prices, I really like this watch. The bracelet and casing are solid and the the moving parts are fascinating to look at. The watch itself is not too heavy (hear this Fossil?) but you know you're wearing it. As one reviewer noted the clear gasket that the Stuhrling logo floats on could have been left out, but other than that the watch looks great. There is no date function on it as the information claims. One of the things that keeps this watch more affordable is that other than the time there are no other complications like date, moon phase etc. There are recesses on the hands to take luminescence but this has been left out. I prefer it this way as it would have taken away from the older vintage feel of it.

All in all I think this is a solid and attractive piece and worth the asking price. This is not an heirloom piece to hand down through the generations, but it's still a solid watch that should last you a long time and look great.
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on May 15, 2009
This is a good looking and interesting watch. The band is very attractive. Unfortunately it has too many flaws for me to wear it very often:

1. It has no luminescence on the hands or face so it can not be viewed at night.
2. It has an exposed translucent gasket around both crystals giving the watch a "cheap" feel & finish.
3. The self wind mechanism doesn't move well, forcing a wind by stem or else the movement stops.
4. Movement is inaccurate. Gains about 2 minutes per day (if it stays running).

If you want this watch to view the movement, go with the leather (opening band) so that you can see through the watch. In all, this watch is a good "entry level" skeleton to be worn as jewelry. If you want a timepiece, I would recommend that you look elsewhere.

Update: 7 June 09. I have been wearing this watch on a daily basis and it is starting to function better (it seems to have needed a break in). If I wear it each morning, the self wind mechanism is now keeping the watch running. It is now only gaining 1 minute per day. These things make the watch much more acceptable. I would now give it 3.5 stars.

I am still bugged about the lack of luminescence though. It looks like a manufacturing oversight as there are recesses in the hands to accept it.
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on January 22, 2011
I got this watch as my 3rd attempt to be satisfied from buying sight-unseen from Amazon. I was not disappointed. The box wasn't as nice as others, but who cares; I'm not wearing the box! The watch was a real eye-catcher, and I've gotten repeated comments when others see it. The decorative metal face is a bit distracting from (a) watching the movement for fun, and (b) my ability to quickly glance at the time, but no big deal at all. This is my first automatic watch, and I'm mesmerized. It keeps time well. I find myself checking the time about every 2 days and it hasn't been off yet, after about 1 month. Just fully wind it the first day and wear or wind it daily.
My only reason for not 5 stars is that it's a bit pricey for a non-sapphire crystal. Before buying, I'd never heard of the "Krysterna" crystal (front and back faces). Their web site explains why sapphire is better than mineral: harder, so more scrath-resistant, but more prone to crack. Then it says it's softer so won't crack. Fine, but is it as scratch-resistant as sapphire? Otherwise, it's just a cheapie crystal.

UPDATE; After having this watch for a year, I have had to send it back for repair twice. Both times, the crystal had been scratched through normal wear, and that's not even why it was sent back. Both times, a screw came loose and floated around inside the watch, eventually getting jammed between the second and minute hands. Then, the thing becomes useless. To top it off, they want you to pay shipping to them, plus a $20 fee for them to repair, as long as it's within the warranty. If it's out of warranty, you're S.O.L. I wouldn't buy from this company again.
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on January 22, 2013
I've had this watch for a few days short of a year, and today one of the internal screws fell loose and is rattling around inside the watch. This means that the entire mechanism shakes when I try to wind it, and the second and minute hands pinch the loose screw and stop the watch entirely. That being said, this should by covered by the two-year warranty, and I still love the design of the watch, but it is vastly disappointing to have the thing fall apart before a year is up. You may want to consider shopping around a little more before purchasing this watch.
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on May 16, 2009
This was an all-around great experience! I was looking for an anniversary present for my boyfriend, and decided to get him a skeleton watch. I originally looked at a few at Wal-mart that were $100 cheaper, but had very poor reviews--they broke a lot, had to be repaired, and didn't keep time well.

When I saw this watch, it was perfect! A great price, with a great warranty, for a great quality! It was a very fast and speedy delivery, too. The watch was well packaged--the band was completely covered, as well as the face. The picture just doesn't do it justice.

Update: A few months later, a screw came loose in the watch, causing the entire inside to shake and move around way too much. My boyfriend called Stuhrling, and informed them what happened. They said to ship the watch back, including $20 dollars for shipping expenses, and it would be fixed. Very thorough, although a little disappointed we have to cover shipping expenses. Still love the watch!
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on December 31, 2010
I bought this watch for my boyfriend for Christmas. I was happy to see how beautifully packaged it was and that it had the perfect amount of "flash". He just started wearing it yesterday and found it's not keeping time. Hopefully this problem will resolve itself so I don't have to return it and save me embarrassment.
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on August 14, 2011
I own a Stuhrling Alpine Automatic and really like the watch, so I thought this would be a great addition to my collection. (I have eight other automatic's). The watch arrived broken and wouldn't wind. The mechanism failed to engage and the minute hand was loose. It arrived late and with a $50.00 Stuhrling Ball Point Pen which didn't write. Stay away from this offer.
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on March 2, 2015
Bottom line is a watch has one thing it must do well - that's keep accurate time. If it looks good (and this one looks great by my standards - I love the skeleton design and after 6 months it's still as shiny and polished as when out of the box) but if it doesn't tell time then it's just arm candy. That's what this is. It doesn't keep accurate time. It loses hours per day even when worn constantly (I never take it off) and wound manually. The movement simply can't keep up. It started out well but after a few months started getting worse until it's no longer trustworthy during the day - if I start the day with it set correctly it will be 2 hours behind by dinner time.

Of course since it's still under warranty I can send it in for service - $20 and between 6 weeks and 3 months to get it fixed. I'm not going without a watch for 3 months so it will be replaced by another, which means I may or may not want to wear it again when it get repaired. It honestly may not be worth the $20 to get it fixed since I will replace it for the next 3 months anyway. I haven't decided if it's worth the effort.

I won't buy another Sturhling - basic "keep time" is either there or not. Seems like a good % (looks like 15 or 20% based on the feedback here) just don't keep time. That's a pretty poor benchmark.
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on August 17, 2009
A real eye grabber. Anyone that's seen me wearing this baby has dropped a nice comment on its design.

However, the only big problem is that the time is always wrong and needs adjustment.

Of course, I just wear the watch to complete my necessary effects of dress code... but sometimes I need to be prepared to know the time if I did not carry out my cell phone.

So just as another reviewer said, there are time differences that occur everyday for some off reason.
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on June 29, 2016
Had to send the first watch back as a screw on the inside came loose and jammed up the works. I like the idea of a self winding watch but I wish it would run on its own a little longer. I can wear this watch for eighteen hours and go to bed for six and when get up I have to wear to to get it running and then set the time again. Every day. That is a hassle I wasn't anticipating. Good looking watch though.
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