The watch community is alive with a resurgence of retro style divers and mirco-brands bringing 60’s styled divers to the masses. If classic styled watches are not your taste, you may be interested in the Harbormaster series from Stolas Watches. A self proclaimed “draconian” timepiece, Stolas has made a very modern and flashy diver with Harbormaster line. Stolas is an Alabama based company which in addition to the Genoa, make the Spinnaker and Gennaker. The Genoa is the premium model from Stolas and represents a big jump in price over their other pieces, for the increased price you get a more unique style and a more complete kit.
- 44×14.5mm case
- Stainless Steel
- Sapphire Crystal with AR
- Silver embossed dial
- Applied Blued hands and markers
- ETA 2824-2 Movement
- Lumed Bezel
- Sapphire caseback
- 200m WR
- Includes bracelet, rubber dive strap and nato
- Limited to 50 Units
- MSRP: $1500
The first thing that stands out for the Genoa, and indeed all of the Stolas watches is the styling. The Genoa is a very shiny and colorful watch with a bright orange inlay in the bezel and matching luminous paint and second hand. The dial inlays are done in a blued steel and the hands are semi-skeleton. The dial itself is white with a sailboat and palm trees embossed on its surface. Under close inspection it is nicely finished, but overall it kinda looks cheap. The Genoa could be described as busy and flashy. On the bracelet it is very shiny and reminiscent of the Ulysses Nardin Maxi Marine Diver, which shares a similar hand and bezel design and has many polished surfaces. It looks like a high end fashion diver and even includes a nylon strap and a rubber diver-style strap which adds to its versatility.
The Genoa does not wow up close though, the bezel has only 60 clicks and swims around between each notch, that said its is lumed for the 0-20 minute range and when charged up looks really cool (see video). There is no lateral play in the bezel. It’s not cheaply made, it just doesn’t seem to be designed for use when diving – it seems more like a style choice. The crown action is and a little rough when winding or setting the date and the screw down action is hard to initiate, not at all what is expected at this price point. Accuracy was acceptable for the movement at -10 to +10 seconds a day but at this price point the movement should have been better regulated or even COSC certified. The case is very long and covers most of my 7.5 inch wrist, other than the large case, little about the watch would suggest its intended as a tool diver, its very shiny and its edges are very smooth.The bracelet is the largest disappointment, its looks very nice with brushed side links and polished center links but it rattles when properly sized and uses push pins (as opposed to screws) to secure the links. You do get solid end links but the safety keep on my test unit was loose and the pushbutton fold over clasp that it secured seemed very cheap. I have had far cheaper Seikos with far better bracelets. A watch at this price point should have a perfect bracelet with screwed links and a strong, secure clasp. The included rubber strap is excellent, however. It is thin, very comfortable and has cool orange stitching to match the Genoa’s bezel. The same goes for the included nylon nato strap, nicely made with good hardware. A nato is a option for flashy watch as it dresses it down a little.
Quality aside, the styling it not to my liking, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think they should drop the embossed sailboat from the dial and try to increase the blank space to alieviate the cluttered look of the dial. The Genoa is the premium timepiece from Stolas and has a starting price of $1499. If you decide to get a Genoa, be sure to use the promocode WATCHREPORT30 to get 30% off that price. Even at this discount I believe the Stolas Genoa to be overpriced, unless you love the dial or the exclusivity of the 50 piece limited run, consider the Gennaker or Spinnaker which offer the same aesthetic at a lower price point.
By James Stacey
Seems like for the money, you can get significantly better quality. +/- ten seconds a day?
Nice review….this watch has me interested. I like to see the offerings of new companies and can appreciate the originality of this watch. I really like that embossed dial and sapphire caseback. Orange and black aren’t my favorite colors really…but I like the coloring more on there less expensive models.
I really like the look of this watch. It’s awesome !
I think I prefer it with the stainless steel bracelet though. Shame you don’t think much of it.
It struck me very quickly that this watch reminds me so much of a Ulysse-Nardin Maxi Marine Diver.
The lightning bolt seconds hand is cool even though Rolex got there fist with the Milgauss model.
I have mixed feelings about the Stolas Harbormaster Genoa. It’s undoubtedly a nice watch, and I normally like throwbacks to 50s/early 60s Hollywood glamour (think: Steve McQueen), but I almost feel like it’s TOO retro… Though I have a feeling more people will love it than hate it! These will probably sell fast.