STERNGLAS has released a new Hamburg model spin-off: the STERNGLAS x Küste gegen Plastik. For each watch sold, the watchmaker makes a $17.80 donation to Coast against Plastic, a German environmental group that describes itself as “coastal people who no longer accept that the plastic waste literally falls at their feet by the sea.” If you’re a minimalist watch buyer who no longer accepts cheap watches that fall into your in-box, read on . . .
Overall, the STERNGLAS x Küste gegen Plastik looks like a distinguished and discrete instrument. Like the rest of the Hamburg model line, the case is made of 316L stainless steel. It is, essentially, a large ring of glass and steel attached to a cowhide strap by two outer and almost straight lugs, with a round lip of stainless steel where the glass takes over from the metal.
Every bit of the case is polished, supporting a sapphire dome. The STERNGLAS’ glass rises nearly 3mm over the edge of the steel case, amplifying its reflections-bending shape. It makes you want to look at what’s on your wrist for the sheer pleasure of watching the glass play with the light.
The STERNGLAS x Küste gegen Plastik features a thematically correct “satin deep blue” dial that gains richness and depth in direct light. As the dial approaches the edge, it curves out with a slight camber, adding a sense of relief and depth. The brushed rehaut reflects light back onto the dial, accentuating the impression.
The STERNGLAS x Küste gegen Plastik’s blue hands continues the marine theme. Two tracks of white indices circle the dial. The outer track indicates the minutes, the inner marks the hours. The hour indices are zero-padded, reading “01”, “02” and so-on. The small indices rotate along the track instead of providing clean breaks in it.
I suspect the hands’ luminescence was applied at sea; there’s paint all over their sides, in addition to a dangling piece of fluff. The hands glow orange as night falls, rotating around four markers, which glow silver. This is not the night light you’re looking for; I had to spend time in our walk-in pantry to confirm there was indeed any lume.
On the flip side, the case recedes into the wrist towards a 37.4mm caseback held in place by four misaligned screws. Rubber seals are conspicuous by their absence. Hence the STERNGLAS x Küste gegen Plastik’s 5 ATM water resistance rating. In common parlance, the German timekeeper’s splash-proof. Enjoying pride of place: a beautiful engraving of the Northern Fulmar, a North Sea bird famous for eating just about anything.
The content of the [dead] Fulmar’s stomachs are considered a reliable indicator of marine debris concentration. Researchers report a dramatic rise in the level of microplastics in the birds’ bodies. “In more than half of the birds, it is even more than the critical point of 0.1g of plastic. Grossed up accordingly to a human body size, this means you have 10g of plastic in your stomach.”
Also on brand (metaphorically): the anti-plastic model is a featherweight, weighing in at 51g. That’s no surprise given its 6mm case height and the fact that the watch’s beating heart is a Swiss (oh!) quartz (ah) movement.
The Ronda 715 promises a five-year battery life, boasts hacking seconds – by pulling the crown two notches – and reduces power by 70 percent when you do so.
STERNGLAS engraves the crown with the “Replace Plastic” logo. FYI The charity has a Germany-only barcode scanning app (and website) that generates a “friendly message” to a manufacturer using plastic packaging asking to “reconsider” and to “offer the goods plastic-free in the future.”
PETA members need not apply. The STERNGLAS x Küste gegen Plastik strap is made of black cowhide. The quick-release spring bars are practical enough but attach with a little bit of play. The small, STERNGLAS branded buckle small makes fitting your newly-purchased, stiff strap through the aperture a bit of a challenge.
The press release draws our attention to STERNGLAS’ use of recycled materials for packaging (”trays made of biodegradable sugar cane waste instead of harmful Styrofoam”) and filling. The watch sent by Sternglas was delivered with DHL GoGreen, a climate-neutral German shipping offering.
The watch industry has taken to “greenwashing” in a big way. The STERNGLAS x Küste gegen Plastik continues the trend with a handsome and affordable timepiece that salves environmentally conscious consumers’ collective conscience. If you don’t like the color scheme or prefer a different STERGLAS model, feel free to buy an alternative and donate $20 to the cause. Either way, both organizations accept plastic.
Model: STERNGLAS x Küste gegen Plastik
Case Material: Stainless steel
Movement: Ronda 715 quartz
Functions: Hour, minute, second, date
Water resistance: 5ATM
Weight: 51 grams
RATINGS (out of five stars)
Design * * * *
Elegant and slim. Very German.
Legibility * * *
Bold markers were cut for design and aesthetics. The hands are a shade too slim and the lume not lumey enough.
Comfort * * * * *
The ultra-light watch is quickly forgotten on the wrist.
Overall * * * *
The STERNGLAS x Küste gegen Plastik is a simple, cheap and beautiful watch. Priced to go, you get “free” karma points for helping a charity dedicated to eliminating ocean plastic.
The Truth About Watches is a fully independent website No commercial consideration provided by the manufacturer or seller. No payment for links. The model reviewed was provided by the manufacturer and sent back after review.