As we carefully survey the feelings among watch enthusiasts, a growing need for versatile “urban-style” timepieces started to take on a shape: watches that can be your everyday go-to, and can be dressed up or down, but with relatively simplified features and appearance. Following a thread along that line, we stumbled upon a real gem: let’s dive into the beautiful Sternglas Marus Black.
Sternglas: The Brand
Sternglas was founded by Dustin Fontaine. At the age of 16, he worked at a watch factory, mainly changing watch straps, and other behind the scenes operational tasks. Due to the exposure to watches, he developed a passion for classic watches.
Creating his own brand that carries unique minimalist Bauhaus style watches at an affordable price became his goal at the age of 21, and after several attempts of starting his brand, he hit some obstacles and almost gave up on his dream.
Dustin worked as a web designer, but the idea of starting his own watch brand didn’t fade. In 2016, a feeling of “now or never” palpably appeared. He finalized the design of the watches, the logo, and started a Kickstarter campaign that was successfully funded.
Since then, Sternglas hasn’t slowed down, and is now a team of more than 20 employees. Their popularity keeps growing with the new and refreshed designs they’re creating with consistency.
Sternglas Marus: Overview
The Sternglas Marus is an exciting watch, as we don’t see a design solution similar to it every day. The Marus is inspired by the design of classic dive watches, with a minimalist, modern look. Most minimalist watches don’t have a sporty edge to them, but the Marus maintains certain design elements as a reminder to its origin of inspiration. The contrast created by the black bezel and black dial with the white hour indices provides excellent visibility, and the sporty footprint of the watch is present thanks to the bezel’s width. Minimalist watches are fun, but we love how the Marus is a bit more robust than the super-understated Bauhaus-style watches we usually see.
Staying true to the usual design we see from Sternglas, the Marus has a minimalist look. The dial is solid black, and bright silver-tone details provide the contrast for great visibility.
The minute indices are small round shapes along the edge of the dial, and the hour indices are simple rectangular shapes—no Arabic or Roman numerals. The date window at 6 o’clock position ensures a stable, symmetrical look. Usually baton hands are used for the hour and minute hands for Bauhaus-style watches, but as we’ve mentioned, the classic dive watch look served as an inspiration for the Marus, and that remains reflected in their choice to use pencil hands instead. It gives the watch a fresh, dynamic look.
The center of the dial doesn’t have any decorative elements, but it doesn’t feel empty. The attention flows towards the outer rim of the dial and to the bezel.
The ceramic bezel gives a touch of robustness to the overall elegant design. When rotating, the waffle pattern on the edge of the bezel ensures the bezel is easy to grip and adjust. The bezel has small minute markers with the same silver-tone color as used for the dial, visually connecting them together.
The brushed stainless steel case is 42 mm wide, and the lug-to-lug distance is 53.8 mm. It is not a small watch, however, visually it won’t look big, as the relatively thick bezel breaks up the visual surface. Generally speaking, Bauhaus-style watches without a bezel tend to look big, as we focus on the dial alone, since there is no other element interfering visually except for the edge of the case.
The height of the case is 14 mm, which, in our opinion, is absolutely perfect for more sporty watches.
The back of the watch has fine waterline engraving, a creative way of embracing the element of water – a subtle nod to the design inspiration.
The screw-down crown helps make the case watertight (the watch is water resistant up to 200 meters), and has the same waffle-pattern design as the edge of the bezel, making it easy to grip and adjust.
The automatic movement is the Miyota 8215. Miyota is owned by the Citizen group, and this particular caliber has been produced by the Japanese manufacturer since 1977. Since then, it became a popular movement, due to its reliability and affordability.
Stainless Steel Bracelet
The stainless steel bracelet with block links is another interesting choice, as it resembles the classic oyster stainless steel bracelet, but the more simplified version is a step closer to a minimalist look—the look we’re used to from Sternglas. The butterfly clasp provides a touch of elegance and comfortable wear.
The distance between the lugs is 20 mm, and the bracelet can be removed with ease without any tools thanks to the quick-release system.
Pros and Cons
Let’s take a look at the summary of pros and cons, in our humble opinion:
- A minimalist design that is still sporty.
- Affordable price, and great quality.
- Great modern everyday urban watch design.
- Can be dressed up or down easily.
- Other color combinations would be interesting.
- Although sturdy, the lack of crown guards could be a problem if you really want to test the watch in action.
Summary: Takeaway and Final Thoughts About Sternglas Marus Black
The Sternglas Marus Black is a refreshing modern urban watch, combining the classic characteristics of a dive watch with the brand’s own Bauhaus-inspired identity. The 42 mm case width, the 14 mm case height, the combination of a simple and sporty dial with the block brushed stainless steel bracelet make this watch a perfect choice as an everyday go-to timepiece that can perform well in more formal situations as well. The automatic Japanese movement (Miyota 8215 caliber) provides a 40-hour power reserve.
Other Watch Reviews
Review: Longines Legend Diver
The Longines Legend Diver is an updated, modernized re-issued version of a super compressor dive watch from the ‘60s. It is a beautiful combination of a serious sports watch and an elegant design, therefore it can be easily dressed up or down.
BENRUS Sea Lord Hands-On Review
With its distinctive personality, the BENRUS Sea Lord is a beautiful vintage-inspired dive watch drawing inspiration from its illustrious heritage.
VAER R1 Racing Chronograph Review
The VAER R1 Racing Chronograph is a vintage-inspired statement piece. Its cushion-shaped case with the cream dial design combination definitely brings us to a ‘60 auto racing vibe.
BENRUS Orbit Robot Skindiver Hands-On Review
The BENRUS Orbit Robot is a character of its own that delivers a modern yet timeless design inspired by its rich heritage.
VAER D5 Meridian Navy Diver Review
The VAER D5 Meridian Navy is a serious dive watch with a touch of elegance: the warm-toned gold secondary colors on the dial make this timepiece a perfect choice as an everyday go-to watch as it is easy to dress up or down.
Nodus Sector Pilot Phantom Review
The Nodus Sector Pilot Phantom is a refreshingly modern take on the pilot watch that has the potential to become an evergreen classic.