The Stella Felix "Lucky Star" in Latin is a new watch company that emerged from New York with an interesting yet tastefully done automatic swiss made everyday watch. The watch arrived quite fast via UPS within a couple days and I was quite surprised by this one! The custom leather case is of good quality and features a leather holster as well as their custom caseback tool which is really heavy duty and can be actually considered a weapon! Anyways, it is well packaged and I do enjoy a nice leather case instead of the typical black lacqeur presentation box which usually goes straight to the closet..
The Stella Felix features a very unique case design crafted of solid 316L solid stainless steel with mixtures of brushing and slight polishing such as the chamfers across the tops of the lugs and the sides of the brushed smooth bezel. The finishing is pretty good without any error and sharp surfaces. The 20MM lugs curve down slightly and really grasp the wrist nicely on the supplied band and even more impressive is the black pvd coated portion of the case for a nice contrast. The watch measures in at 40MM across by 13MM thick including the domed AR coated sapphire crystal. In terms of lug to lug we are looking at a very wearable and comfortable 46.8MM from my calipers. Nice details include the drilled lug holes which is a breeze for swapping out straps - especially in todays times' where many enthusiasts own a number of straps. One specification I really do appreciate is the screw down enamel crown/caseback which helps seal that 100M of water resistance. This makes the Felix a very capable watch as I am able to swim, shower, wash my hands, without worrying about water entering the case. Overall, it certainly is a very unique case design and something I have never come across in my time here at Watch Addiction, which says something about Stella - they want to be different..
The Dress Blues iteration which is one of several dial/strap combos they offer is probably the most appealing along with the 77 Blackout, atleast for me. The blue linen dial just screams "I like wearing Jeans and a T-Shirt.." It is a very versatile dial and one that can be matched with many types of attire, from the workplace to home on the weekends. It also screams vintage a little bit, which I do like. All of the numerals are applied and filled with SuperLuminova as well as the hands and indices with a mixture of C1 and C3. It is by no means a "Lume Monster", but this is not a dive watch and the lume is actually fairly decent for a casual timepiece. The arrow pointed red tipped seconds hand is quite unique and matches the pointer hour and swordlike minute hand very nicely. Honestly, nothing about this dial looks out of place and whoever designed it certainly did a very good job at matching all the elements together. Our date is featured in a circular window at the typical 3:00 with a black wheel, and kind of stays out of the way of things which allows for a more symmetrical dial. I, for one can definitely appreciate the work that went into creating this design - as it is 1:1 and 100% Stellas own.
Swiss Made Automatic Movement
The movement featured is a swiss automatic caliber which some may be familiar with produced by the Fossil group. The STP 1-11 26 jeweled 4 HZ caliber is a newer movement ( 2012+ )and essentially runs just like the ETA 2824. It features everything we want in a watch at this price such as hacking seconds, hand-wind, and a quickset date. They went a little above and beyond using a higher grade caliber which features blued screws, their own custom black rotor, and nice perlage detail on all of the main plates. In my few weeks with this example, it has gained around 4-5 seconds per day and winds quite smoothly as well. Some other brands which utilize this movement include Zodiac - a traditional diving watch manufacturer.
The full grain leather band is comfortable, and only required a few days or so to firmly grasp my wrist. It features a custom buckle which is brushed as well as quick release pins for swapability in seconds, which is becoming more and more common these days. Im not really one to fancy leather bands as I like to Swim
during the summer, so I did swap the band for a rubber quick release. However, the quality is definitely there as well as the styling, and looks like it belongs on a $1200 watch.
Conclusion and Thoughts
Furthermore, as a complete package I think they did a pretty good job for their first release into a market saturated with tons of watches from all over the world. They definitely do stand out with their design and that is somethjng certainly not easy to achieve. If you read about the two owners of Stella - you will realize they do have experience in the watchmaking industry, and development. I like the semi vintage New York feel of the Blue Jeans model, but also gravitate towards the matte black dial as it is a bit simpler to look at. ( Check the video where I display that model ). I do look forward to seeing what this brand has to offer us watch enthusiasts in the future, and I believe it can only get more interesting from here on...
The all new stunning and impressively built $239 Stingray is housed in a 41MM diameter stainless steel brushed case with 200M of water resistance making this one a true tool dive watch! It really is well finished and punches way above most other microbrands in terms of case quality, cut, and finishing. To my belief most brands with this type of quality charge upwards of $350 USD and up for this type of work, but not Oceanica, making this really a bargain. It is sad that most will never seem to realize that though! The lug to lug is 47MM whole the lugs are 22MM and the thickness at 12.5MM. One of the impressive areas is also the embossed custom designed by owner Caseback of a stingray swimming in the Ocean. It really is very detailed and perfect down to the details. The sides of the case are finely brushed with lug guards and a signed shark screw down crown.
There are two Sunburst dial options for the Stingray and possibly more if they reach 50,000 in funds. These are black and a nice blue which changes hues indoors and outdoors. The ceramic lumed 120 Click bezels are also very solid with satisfaction at each click and a luxury feel. The custom bezel contains good traction for your fingers at all angles, and easy to grip. The dial itself contains orange and red/white colours depending on the dial you choose and a nice arrow seconds hand. The indices themselves and hand applied and bordered with a polished silver border, making them pretty easy to read, as a diver should be. We get a domed sapphire crystal which feels tough, as the watch does with five layers of under anti reflective blue coating.
The seiko NH35A automatic movement is utilized here with a beat rate of 21,600 and 24 jewels. It has about a 40 hour power reserve when fully wound and also features hacking , self winding via crown. This is a well known movement and a tough robust one , a good choice for a tough automatic diver. Generally speakong these are usually accurate within 5-10 seconds a day and require little to no maintenance.
H-Link Style Bracelet
I really dig this bracelet, its the same bracelet actually seen on some microbrands that charge around $600 for their watches which I find funny. The custom clasp contains six micro adjustments making it possible for a perfect fit without a quick adjust. The clasp also contains the oceanica logo and a flip over lock with two button eject. Its a comfortable bracelet , and even has solid end links which match the case perfectly. Adjusting this one was a breeze with screws on one side and I removed four links for my 6.5" wrist.
Furthermore, the STINGRAY definitely has features and characteristics seen at much much higher price ranges in microbrand watches. They honestly should
of charged atleast $300 for this one. Well, the value goes to the customer I assume! It really is a great looking multi situational diver which has superb qualities in every aspect. You wont find an area where they skimped on- The bracelet is stellar as well as the caseback and case / dial / lume. I think they knocked this onw out of the park and hope to see more from this young brand which emerged in 2018. If I were you I would reserve one on their Kickstarter as they usually sell out instantly or within days of releasing them on the website...from past experiences.
Today, we come back to the 94 SUCCESSOR , a watch we had the privilege of taking a look at during their prototype stage. The watch is now ready for sale and available via their webshop linked below. Let us see how it came out!