Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
I've always wanted to own a super-luxury watch. Unfortunately, I'm of meager means and, even if I were to mortgage my house, the Patek Phillippe that I so dearly love is far beyond my reach. While some luxury brands do have models within my price range, they are hardly inspiring.
But the search continues. Of the thousands of differently styled timepieces out there, surely there is one that would qualify as a working man's luxury watch.
Today's contender is the Sugess Men's Mechanical Chronograph. It's an attractive timepiece powered by a reliable Seagull ST1901 movement. Can this Chinese windup take on the giants from Switzerland? Read on and find out.
The Sugess chronograph weighs in at 70 grams. It is 12 millimeters thick with a diameter of 40 millimeters.
This model features two black subdials set into a dark-rimmed white face. One of these subdials functions as the second hand. The other, along with the hand utilized in most watches to count seconds, measures elapsed time.
A pair of pushbuttons flank the watch's crown. A quick jab at the top button will either start or stop the timer. The chronograph is reset when the bottom button is depressed.
The watch's synthetic sapphire crystal hovers over the dial, which, along with the watch's Seagull ST1901 movement, is enclosed within a shiny stainless-steel case.
This timepiece comes fitted with a black leather strap.
- Brand name: Sugess
- Model: ST1901 Chronograph
- Movement: 21 Jewel Seagull ST1901
- Frequency: 21600Hz
- Movement type: Hand-wound
- Power Reserve: 40 hours
- Complication: Chronograph
- Subdials: Second hand and 30-minute timer
- Crystal: Synthetic sapphire
- Case: 316L stainless steel
- Strap: Black leather with quick release
- Strap width: 20mm
- Buckle: Pin buckle
- Water-resistant: 5ATM (50 Meters)
Sugess is trademarked by Shenzhenshi Sugess timepiece development company.
The Tianjin Seagull Watch Group manufactures the movement. This watchmaking company is based in Tianjin, China. Founded in 1955, Seagull is the world's largest manufacturer of mechanical watch movements.
Tianjin Seagull has recently gained substantial expertise in the manufacture of advanced tourbillons, including a multi-axial orbital tourbillon movement.
Presentation is the first of six key criteria commonly used to differentiate a super-luxury watch from a typical timepiece.
This watch arrived securely packed within a well-designed cardboard box. While the packaging was nice and included a user's guide, a screwdriver, and a cleaning cloth, luxury watches are always shipped within a wooden presentation case. The Sugess Chronograph earns only six of ten possible points.
I like the face of this watch. The two black subdials contrast nicely against a white background.
The strap is lovely, but if Sugess provides a luxury watchband with an alligator skin pattern, it better be composed of genuine alligator hide. I'm deducting one point.
This Seagull ST1901 is one of the most beautiful movements I've ever come across.
I am awarding this timepiece nine points for visual appeal.
Each day my Sugess Chronograph gains eight seconds. While this accuracy level would generally be considered excellent, a super-luxury watch should neither lose nor gain more than five seconds per day. I deducted one point.
However, this timepiece's movement is equipped with a gooseneck mechanism that allows the user to precisely adjust the timing. This enhancement earns Sugess a bonus point.
The total score in this category is ten out of ten.
A luxury-super watch must be able to perform at least one additional function beyond simply keeping track of the time. Sugess provided an easy-to-use and very effective chronograph. This, by the way, is a feature I have never seen included within a mechanical watch that costs less than five hundred dollars. The Sugess watch has easily earned the full ten points available for this category.
The Seagull movement, synthetic sapphire crystal, and 316L stainless steel case all pass muster, but I'm deducting a point for this timepiece's strap. It is of good quality, but a stainless-steel band will last far longer than one composed of leather.
Mechanical watches should be cleaned and lubricated every five years. Otherwise, their accuracy will suffer, and eventually, the timepiece will cease to function. I don't believe that anyone would be willing to go to the expense of servicing a watch that can be replaced for less than $250.00. Reluctantly, I am deducting a second point.
The total score for durability is eight.
This is important. Just ask your wife how she would feel if she attended a party and discovered that another woman was wearing exactly the same outfit that she had carefully picked out for this occasion.
Unfortunately, the Sugess Chronograph is priced at a point where anyone can afford one. Even that snotty teenage boy next door who works at McDonald's! In this category, I cannot award a single point.
This timepiece is not a luxury-super watch. It managed to gain only 47 points out of 60.
If, however, you are looking for a quality mechanical timepiece that is attractive, accurate, and durable, the Sugess Men's Mechanical Chronograph should be at the top of your list.
© 2021 Walter Shillington