Independent Swiss watchmaker Andreas Strehler wasn’t entirely happy that so few people are able to enjoy his watches. You see, most of his pieces run north of $100,000 and, due to his traditional production process, take over a year to deliver. In addition to meticulously producing watches like the Lune Exacte (the world’s most precise moonphase) and the Papillon d’Or, though, Strehler owns and manages UhrTeil, a design, engineering, and manufacturing enterprise that produces movement kits for other exceptional brands and has been doing so for almost 15 years. With things humming along nicely, Strehler finally saw an opportunity to leverage UhrTeil for himself to create something more accessible that still delivered the exceptional quality that his name conveys: the Strehler Sirna.
With the Strehler brand, you are not getting what you get with the Andreas Strehler brand. But it may just be the next best thing: a watch designed and manufactured by Strehler and his dedicated team. While not the unique signature case of the original brand, the Strehler Sirna features a no less elegant 40mm stainless steel case. Fully polished, the case features long lungs that curve down and should provide an excellent wearing experience. That will only be further aided by the watch’s 8.5mm thickness. The 3 o’clock crown bears the Strehler butterfly logo, while an interior chamfer on the lugs adds a bit of character to the otherwise staid case design. While Strehler envisions this watch as an “elegant daily wearer,” it should be noted that it has a scant 30m of water resistance, so while it could certainly be worn every day, you may need to change into something more rugged if you go adventuring. The watch is delivered on a 22mm textured leather strap with quick-release spring bars and a pin buckle made in-house.
Under a gently domed sapphire crystal is a textured dial designed with industry legend Eric Giroud. The titanium dial is one of the firsts Strehler has ever made in-house. The dial is first machined, laser engraved, and hand polished before being anodized to achieve its blue color. The chapter ring and subsidiary seconds ring are both circular brushed and printed with blue markings to match the dial. The stainless steel hands are in a classic leaf style and are hand polished. This dial is a significant divergence from those made under the Andreas Strehler marque; significantly simpler and more approachable, the focus here seems to be on legibility and less on the showmanship common in high-end watches.
For the Strehler Sirna, an entirely new movement was developed. The automatic Calibre SA-30 features a circular architecture that echoes the lines of the case, with an 18k gold skeletonized rotor and curved bridges. Finishing appears exemplary, with sharp interior polished angles (a hallmark of the finest watchmaking), circular striping, and beveling. It features a free-sprung balance and Strehler’s own Swiss lever escapement. The impetus for this movement was to create something robust and uncomplicated, something that could accompany the elegant daily wearer that Strehler envisioned. To that end, the SA-30 runs at 21,600 vph with a power reserve of 60+ hours.
When I heard this watch was coming, two other brands came to mind immediately: Stepan Sarpaneva’s S.U.F. Helsinki and Hajime Asaoka’s Kurono Tokyo. Both provide consumers with a way to own a timepiece from an exciting name in watchmaking at a fraction of the cost. But S.U.F. Helsinki watches lack the avant-garde design for which Sarpaneva is known and Kurono Tokyo uses off-the-shelf Miyotas and Seikos that are a tragically far cry from Asaoka’s brilliant movement work. That’s where the Strehler Sirna is ostensibly different: while priced quite a bit higher than S.U.F. Helsinki and Kurono Tokyo watches, the Sirna offers the in-house manufacturing and quality that’s associated with Strehler, while also capturing the thoughtfulness of his design language. The Strehler Sirna is priced at CHF 20,000 and is limited by production capacity to an estimated 30-50 pieces a year. For more information please visit the brand’s website.