Watch Reviews from Professional Sources and from Members

REVIEW: STØLÅS Harbormaster: Genoa, Spinnaker & Gennaker

Postby gman44116 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:19 pm

I’ve had the pleasure of of finally receiving all three Stolas Harbormaster models recently and thought I’d pass on some of my first impressions of the watch.

Stølås was formed by a man named Curtis Stolaas, who's developed the sailing themed watches from the "ground-up". I have really enjoyed watching the progression from prototypes to the final production models.
The Harbormaster line is the The Stolas companies initial offering of 3 timepieces. The Gennaker & Spinnaker models are currently assembled and tested in the U.S. The Genoa model is made in Switzerland with a 2824-2 ETA movement.
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Let's start out with the specifications:
GENOA
‣Silver Embossed Dial
‣44mm 316L Stainless Steel Case
‣Threaded Sapphire Caseback (Incl.)
‣25 Jewel Decorated ETA 2824 Auto.
‣SuperLuminova™ & LÜM-TEC™
‣Anti-reflective Sapphire Crystal
‣Numbered Premium Edition (Limited to 50)
‣Unidirectional Rotating Bezel
‣Screwdown Crown
‣Applied Hour Markers
‣Blued Hands and Markers
‣Patented Midnight Luminary Composite (MLC) Bezel
‣Date Function
‣SWISS MADE
‣Tested in USA
‣Diver 200m
‣Stainless Steel Bracelet, Rubber strap & NATO strap (incl.)

SPINNAKER AND GENNAKER

‣Carbon Fiber Dial
‣44mm 316L Stainless Steel Case (Spinnaker) Bead Blasted PVD Case (Gennaker)
‣Threaded Pearl Harbor Case Back
‣SuperLuminova™ & LÜM-TEC™
‣Anti-reflective Sapphire Crystal
‣Numbered Limited Edition (Limited to 125)
‣Unidirectional Rotating Bezel
‣25 Jewel Automatic
‣Screwdown Crown
‣Date Function
‣Patented Midnight Luminary Composite (MLC) Bezel
‣Rubber Strap
‣Steel Bracelet (Optional)
‣Sapphire Case Back (Opt.)
‣Diver 200m
‣Assembled & Tested in USA

All three models have a 44mm case with the lug width at 24mm. The cases are mildly rounded on the sides. Each model carries the 'Stølås Limited Edition' engraving next to the well protected crown at the 3 o'clock position on the case, a very nice touch. The Genoa and Spinnaker models have an amazing luster to the polished 316L stainless steel case. Very smooth and shiny finish. the Gennaker model also lays claim to a smooth and shiny finish, only in a PVD!! It is a black beauty! Very much a stealthy look..

The crown, caseback, buckles and dial are also signed with the 'S' and/or Stølås name. The back is etched with the brand, model, depth resistance, and serial number. The Spinnaker & Gennaker model pay homage with a beautiful etched profile of the U.S.S. Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor (hence the name Harbormaster) while the Genoa model has a sapphire caseback to display the decorated 2824-2 ETA and the signed STØLÅS rotor on the movement.

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PACKAGING

Each harbormaster comes with well thought out packaging. A signed outer box, a very nice presentation box inside which holds the warranty card.

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THE LUME

One of the great features of the Harbormaster is it's photo luminescence abilities. If there is a word more profound than SUPER then 'MLC' would be it. When Curtis was taking into consideration the night viewing of this collection, he knew it would have be bright enough that if one was on the ocean fishing without any moonlight, there would still be a timing instrument visible.

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These photos are not photoshopped. This is a raw photo of the lume!

The bezel application is a new trademarked product from Stolas named Midnight Luminary Composite. A special combination of luminous paints with special binders to create a revolutionary hardened composite material for use in the Harbormaster Lumed Bezel without a Sapphire cover!

On the Genoa, the Hour hand and indices are coated in C3 SuperLuminova and the Minute hand, Second hand, and Numbers are coated with LÜM-TEC's mixture of colored orange SuperLuminova. The hardest part of the entire design and manufacturing process was the Midnight Luminary Composite Bezel in which it allows for very easy-to-read bezel timing. Stolas is the first to apply this patented technology.

The Spinnaker uses 4 different chemical applications with the numbers being LÜM-TEC's blue mix and the bezel filled with Tri-Tec's mixture. Along with the C3 SL on the hands and indices and LT's orange again on the second hand.

The Gennaker is ALL C3! with LT's orange lume on the Second hand as following all the current Harbormaster second hands. Also, the 12 & 6 glow blue but retain the same day color as the hands and indices.

THE DIAL

The Genoa has been customized to reveal a silver embossed dial with palm trees and sail boat. The dual layered markers have been applied which gives the dial a 3-D look. It is truly a one of a kind dial. I have not seen anything like it. I am drawn to the dial every time I do a wrist check.

The Gennaker & Spinnaker models reveal a high quality carbon-fiber dial. An impressive contrast with the bezels upon inspection. I really enjoy looking at the markers and numbers 'floating' on the dial at certain angles.

All three dials have a color-matched border around the date at the 3 o'clock position to match the dial and bezel.

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The attention to detail on the dials does not go unnoticed. Each Harbormaster dial shows the STØLÅS logo, with 'draconian timekeeper' labeled below. The Harbormaster is displayed and a very nice touch is the 'S' which is hard to find but looks great on the dial as well. What I find to be a a very nice touch is the lightning bolt second hand. The hand does a great job of adding some pop to the dial with the orange bolt, very nice indeed.

THE MOVEMENT(S)

The first arrival for me in the line-up was the Swiss made 2824-2 GENOA. I own several 2824 movements in my collection. What impressed me with this movement was the decorated rotor. The decoration was very nice to see as this model is almost twice as much as the other two models. I expected extra detail in the GENOA model and the movement is just one of many noticable upgrades. Timing is within COSC specs for me. Crown functions are smooth for hour, minute and day changes.

The Stolas Gennaker and Spinnaker watches have a SMC 2824, 28,800 bph movement (Shanghai Movement Company). The Stolas company is very proud of the movement they chose for these models. They actually tested five or six movements and this came out to be the best in timing accuracy and long-term durability. The Spinnaker model was giving me timing within COSC specs out of the box. The Gennaker was not the same gaining 20 seconds daily. But, after a conversation with Curtis, this is going to back to Stolas for a timing adjustment. I have no doubt it will be returned quickly with excellent results.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I really like these watches. Curtis is offering those who purchased all three Harbormasters a special engraved watch box to hold the line. The presentation box is still in production. I find the Genoa to look fantastic on all three of the included bracelet and straps. The NATO strap (below) on the Spinnaker is such a perfect match, really an attention getter when out and about. My girlfriend wont give me back the aqua Spinnaker now. She has been wearing it since the day after I received it on the NATO and blue stitched rubber strap. The Spinnaker is one of those that really looks great on everyone's wrist.

GENOA rubber strap
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GENOA & SPINNAKER NATO strap
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The Gennaker took some time getting used to. But it too has grown on me. I really like the PVD finish on this one.

If you find yourself looking for a sporty diver/recreational high-end watch for an amazing bargain, STOLAS definitely delivers. The ability to be one of only a few in the world to have one in your collection is reason enough to be interested. To add excellent quality, build, customer service and unique styling makes this a reason to own 1 of only 300 in existence...

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Stolas is a prime example of an American company bringing back watch development here to the US. I have experienced top-notch customer service and would expect this service to excel during this companies growth.
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