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REVIEW: The Stolas Harbormaster Genoa>>>>>>>>

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Published on 02-09-2011 04:18 PM

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Review of the Stolas Harbormaster Genoa

By: John B. Holbrook, II



The limited edition Stolas Harbormaster Genoa is the first watch to come from the Stolas Watch Company (along side the Spinnaker and the Gennaker Harbormaster variants). Having watched Curtis Stolas form this brand new watch company over the last year or so, and watched the progress on the first offering in the Official Stolas Forum on WATCH TALK FORUMS, it's very satisfying to see and hold the first Stolas watch in my hands. It's extremely difficult to put all the pieces together required to produce your very own watch - Kudos to Curtis for fighting the good fight to get to this point. Many, many others before him have tried and failed.


The Harbormaster Genoa (a term which refers to a large jib used on a racing yacht) is a Yachting-themed watch, very much in the oversized sport watch tradition, with a 44mm case in 316L stainless steel (water resistent to 200m/660ft). The watch's design is unique, but clearly inspired by some of the great mechanical sport watches of the past decade. The silver-white dial of the Genoa has embossed images of palm trees and and a sail boat - further reinforcing the Yachting theme. Personally, I find the images have a calming and relaxing feeling - the images evoke feelings of being on a relaxing vacation. Large applied blued hour markers encircle the dial - the bluing glistens with an iridescent quality when the light hits them just right. The skeletonized hour and minute hands are also blued with the same qualities as the hour markers, with the second hand being entirely orange and in the shape of a lightning bolt. It's a sporty, beautiful dial which is certainly high on legibility. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating applied. Stolas uses a combination of both SuperLuminova and LUM-TEC's trademarked formulation of luminescent coating on hour markers, hands, and even the bezel which amazing results in the low-light visibility department:


Turning to the back of the Harbormaster Genoa's case, we find a screw down case back with a sapphire observation window set in the center, which provides a view of the ETA 2824 movement inside. Given the growing scarcity of ETA calibers, I'm surprised that Stolas was able to source them for this watch - pleasantly surprised. Given a choice between an actual ETA caliber, and one of the functionally identical clone movements available, I prefer ETA from a purist standpoint. The ETA 2824 is a 25 jewel self-winding mechanical movement with a balance wheel which oscillates at a speed of 28,800 beats per hour and has a power reserve of about 40 hours. There's some modest embellishment of the winding rotor (signed Stolas Watch Co.), but the movement is otherwise absent of decoration.


The Genoa comes with a thick, hefty case matching stainless steel bracelet which has both solid end links and solid center links. It's vaguely reminiscent of an Oyster style bracelet, though it's lack of tapering makes it perhaps more similar to an Oris bracelet. The bracelet has polished centered links which give the watch a dressy look, and coordinate well with the polished accents on the watch case. In one of the more complete watch packages I've run across, Stolas includes not one, but two accessory straps with every purchase of the Harbormaster Genoa - a rubber strap, and a Nato strap (which I discuss in the video segment below). The accessory straps a most welcome because polished centered links can readily show scratches - having options for more "high scratch risk" activities is fantastic. The bracelet is held together with a nice two-button fliplock clasp which reminds me of the much-loved clasp on the Seiko Monster watches:



The Stolas Harbormaster Genoa is an extremely impressive first offering from this emerging new brand. The Genoa is a limited edition (only 50 examples produced) model and has a premium price point ($1,499.00 retail) above the other initial Harbormaster offerings from Stolas (the Spinnaker and the Gennaker). Curtis Stolas is clearly a watch enthusiast, and the Genoa was designed by and for "one of our own" and reflects the particular needs and wants of the serious watch enthusiast. You can purchase the Genoa from the Stolas Watch Company Website by clicking here.

In addition to my usual written photo review, here's a video supplement on the Stolas Harbormaster Genoa:

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The video is recorded in HD and can be run in full screen mode.

**Photos & Text Copyright 2011 WATCH TALK FORUMS. No part of this report can be reproduced outside of WATCH TALK FORUMS without the expressed permission of John B. Holbrook, II.

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