The vibrance and energy of New York City has inspired artists and designers for centuries. Despite this, very few watchmakers have ever taken the city as an inspiration- until now. Stella Watch Company aims to change this with its inaugural line, the Stella Felix Collection, designed in and inspired by New York and built in the heart of Switzerland. Each of the six distinctive models in the Stella Felix Collection evokes a different element of the spirit of the city, while unifying around a playful and dynamic central theme.
While at first glance the 40 mm 316L stainless steel case of the Stella Felix Collection appears simple and elemental, on closer inspection the fine details of the four piece case construction shine through. The smooth brushed bezel and broad sporty lugs keep the look classical and discreet from above, while from the side the PVD coated mid-case shines through for a pop of dynamic contrast. This contrasting segment (black or gunmetal in most models, but a stunning champagne for the Gotham Gold variant) also helps to highlight the dramatic tapering shape of the lugs, while breaking up the visual profile of the watch for a slimmer appearance on the wrist.
The crown at 3 o’clock is proudly signed with Stella’s star emblem, while around back a deeply etched polished caseback surrounds a sapphire display window exhibiting the automatic movement within. This complex case construction provides a solid 100 meters of water resistance, ensuring the Stella Felix Collection can more than handle the rigors of daily wear in the real world.
Each of the six models in the Stella Felix Collection takes on its own personality through its dial. Like the case, the general layout is shared, with a playful and distinctive mix of applied Arabic numerals and skeletonized indices paired with a streamlined arrow and ladder handset. The seconds hand, with its wide squat arrow tip and counterweight, injects even further personality into the design, as does the loose scripted Stella logo at 12 o’clock.
Designed to work in both Manhattan boardrooms and Brooklyn barrooms, the Dress Blues is one of the most classic and versatile designs in the Stella Felix Collection lineup. The color palette is simple and pared back with white and silver accents, allowing the deeply textured linen surface of the blue dial to take center stage, while a single pop of red at the tip of the seconds hand adds a playful all-American flair.
The 77 Blackout, named for the famous 1977 Manhattan power outage that helped to influence the birth of hip-hop, offers a darker take on the style with a matte black dial with a bright red seconds hand and red “Felix” dial text at 6 o’clock. With a color and grit inspired by the brownstones and brick storefronts of the Village and the Bowery, the Downtown Red is one of the most striking and distinct models in the Stella Felix Collection. The matte oxblood red of the dial surface is accented by stark white numerals and indices, while a bright blue seconds hand injects some lively contrast.
With a reserved and dignified style influenced by New York’s most famous newspaper, the Times Grey version’s matte graphite gray dial surface feels as timeless and enduring as the Manhattan skyline itself. This clean and serious surface is given life and personality with sky blue accents throughout, along with a striking red seconds hand. Like the gleaming subway cars in the world’s most famous train station, the Grand Central Silver’s dial brilliantly reflects the light with a metallic sheen. This shining silver surface is accented with ice blue numerals, along with a brilliant red seconds hand. Capturing the warmth and luster of late afternoon sun reflecting off the city’s buildings, the Gotham Gold captures the glamour of Manhattan. The deep linen texturing of the off white dial, combined with gold accents and a subtle splash of blue in the seconds hand, creates a cosmopolitan and luxurious whole.
Each version of the Stella Felix Collection is powered by a reliable STP 1-11 automatic movement. Beyond offering a respectable 44 hour power reserve and hacking seconds, this powerplant is handsomely decorated with blued screws throughout and an ornate star shaped custom Stella rotor in black PVD with red accents.
Stella pairs each Stella Felix Collection model with a supple full grain leather strap in either pull up or vegetable tanned finish. Each model receives a complementary color, ranging from black to deep brown to honey gold. In addition, the Stella Felix Collection makes strap changing easy thanks to quick release spring bars and convenient drilled lugs.
All six unique interpretations of the Swiss Made Stella Felix Collection will retail at an MSRP of $1,185. The watch will first come available through the brand’s Kickstarter campaign, launching in March 2020. For more information, please visit Stella’s website.