Stuhrling Original was founded by Max Stuhrling IV in 2002 in partnership with George J. von Burg. Stuhrling watches are assembled by von Burg-owned facilities in Switzerland and Hong Kong. Many of the Hong Kong assembled watches use Chinese mechanical movements supplied by PTS Resources. Although often promoting their somewhat nebulous Swiss heritage (Max Stuhrling's eponymous ancestor was a respected 18th century master watchmaker), Stuhrling Original are notable for being one of the first international brands to openly admit to using Chinese movements in their watches.
The first Chinese-powered Stuhrling watches used movements branded 'Lexus' to give the impression of exclusivity, although they appear to have been stock items probably from Hangzhou Watch Factory. The quality of these was often poor and harmed the reputation of Stuhrling and Chinese watches more generally. Their more recent Chinese mechanical watches have been largely free of such quality issues.
In the October 2009 edition of Europastar, Yossi Gleiberman, CEO of Stuhrling stated:
Representatives of Stuhrling, such as Larry Magens, have mentioned the 'finishing' of Chinese movements in the Hong Kong facility, which implies the assembly and improvement on an ebauche. However their claim to send 'rejected' movements back to the supplier subsequent to this finishing process suggests that in this context, 'finishing' amounts to no more than the regulating and checking of complete movements.
Stuhrling Original assign their own calibre designations to the Chinese mechanical movements that they use. Usually they prefix this with 'ST-' regardless of origin. There is a widespread misunderstanding that they only use Sea-Gull movements.
Listed below are some Stuhrling calibres matched to the manufacturer's calibres.
- 90009 - Dixmont-Guangzhou DG3809
- 90013 - Dixmont-Guangzhou DG2813
- 90014 - Sea-Gull ST1714
- 90016 - Dixmont-Guangzhou DG2816
- 90050 - PTS-Liaocheng G3202Z
- 90089 - Hangzhou 2189
- 90098 - Hangzhou 2198
- 90150 - skeletonized Chinese Standard Movement (manufacturer unknown)
- 90555 - Sea-Gull ST2555
- 90816 - Sea-Gull ST1632-6
- 91006 - Sea-Gull ST1612-6
- 91015 - PTS-Liaocheng Z2015
- 93311 - PTS-Hangzhou 3310/3311 tourbillon
- 92545 - Sea-Gull ST2545