Straton Legera Standard and Bullhead

On Sunday, February 17, the Straton Watch Company will launch their Legera series on Kickstarter. Like previous Straton models, the Legeras are colorful race timers in a decidedly 70’s style. Buyers will be able to choose from the 44mm cushion case Legera Standard with its 3 o’clock crown, or the bold Legera Bullhead that positions both crown and buttons at the top of a 42mm wedge-shaped case. Both watches are offered with a choice of Valjoux automatic or Seiko MechaQuartz (a quartz timekeeper married to a mechanical chronograph module). In order to get a feel for the range, they let me borrow all four configurations. 

Straton Legera Series

One of the things I like about this brand is the way they have established a distinct design language. Every piece has been unique, but since the 2916 Curve-Chrono, they are all immediately identifiable as a Straton. They also offer a hell of a selection. As if two movements in two cases wasn’t enough, buyers also may choose from one of five color combinations, including a PVD black case, and an optional bracelet. I wouldn’t want to be in charge of Straton’s order fulfillment, but it provides a nice selection for the customers. I got blue, gray, black, and black/black. The only one missing from the set was brown. All versions have screwed down crowns and case backs, and are rated for a healthy 100m water resistance. The crystals and bezels are both domed sapphire, a look that ranks among my personal favorites

Straton Legera Standard Gray

The Legera Standard is the more conventional of the two; a broad tonneau case with bowed sides, crisp edges, and a 3 o’clock crown. It measures 44mm wide, 49mm* long, and 16.5mm thick from the case back to the peak of its domed sapphire crystal. Short lugs that are angled sharply downwards help keep the size in check, but the Standard still completely filled my 6.75” wrist. 

Straton Legera Standard blue wrist shot

The case is brushed stainless steel with a slim, polished bevel that runs from lug-to-lug along the upper edge. Broad rectangular buttons flank a signed, bun-shaped crown with deep, twisting flutes. I like the way the buttons tie into the bright bevel and blocky case, but I’m not entirely sure about the crown. While attractive in and of itself, its rounded form seems slightly out of step against the razor-creased case. 

Straton Legera Standard side

The main body of the case forms a table atop which sits a 3mm tall, toothy bezel, fitted with a 12-hour domed sapphire insert that matches the dial. It is easy to grip and moves smoothly through its 120-click, unidirectional rotation. I did wonder why a 12-hour bezel should be unidirectional, but it is hardly worth grumbling about as it feels so much better than most bidirectional bezels. 

Straton Legera Standard blue lugs

Around back is a screwed down case back stamped with the image of basketweave racing wheel. Behind it, lies a Valjoux 7763 automatic or Seiko VK63 MechaQuartz. The Seiko shows 60 minutes at 9, running small seconds at 6, and dual-time 24 hours at 3. The Swiss mechanical has its running small seconds at 9, chronograph 24 hours at 6, and chronograph 30 minutes at 3. Their cases are identical but a quick comparison gives up the game. The Valjoux has smooth sweeping small seconds and sweep hands, while the Seiko’s are noticeably choppier — although the 5 beats per second sweep hand and snap-back reset makes a good showing. The buttons feel very different too for although the MechaQuartz has far better engagement than most mushy quartz chronos, it is not the same as the firm click of the Valjoux. Finally, there is a difference in weight. You’d never notice it on your wrist, but with the two watches in hand, you can feel the added heft of the auto. 

Straton Legera Bullhead Black

The Legera Bullheads are quite another matter. They retain the same styling cues as the Standards and are undoubtedly in the same family, but are still wildly, gleefully offbeat. Their odd, wedge-shaped cases and top-mounted buttons are best operated in your hand like a traditional stopwatch. The lugs are stubby and almost fully integrated into the case. You will finds a similar bevel to that of the Standard, but here it runs up and over like a horseshoe. It has the same crown as the Standard and its domed shape looks a bit more comfortable on the Bullhead’s half-round case. 

Straton Legera Bullhead Valjoux side

Movement choices are different in the bull as well. The auto packs a Valjoux 7750 and the quartz a Seiko VK67. They both feel and operate the same as those in the Standard, but the registers differ slightly. The 7750 places the 30-minute chronograph at 9, the running seconds at 6, and the 12-hour chronograph at 3. The VK64 puts the running seconds at 9, a 12-hour at 6, and a 30-minute at 3. 

Straton Legera Bullhead Valjoux wrist shot

At 42mm wide and 46mm* long, the Bullheads are smaller than the Standards. Thickness, on the other hand, is more complicated. At mid-point, the Automatic is the same 16.5 as the Standard and the 13mm MechaQuartz is considerably thinner, but that is really only part of the story. Take a look at the fat end and note how the case sides envelop the case back. If you were to slip your calipers between the lugs and measure from the case back to crystal, you would get the same 16.5/13mm result,; however, when viewed from the side, you just see one tall, solid slab. Measure that from the foot of the lug to the crystal and the overall thickness jumps to 17.5mm for the MechaQuartz and a whopping 20mm for the automatic. Now, I know we never measure thickness from the lowest point on the lugs, but I did it here to show just how radical the case really is. 

Straton Legera Bullhead Valjoux wrist shot

On the wrist, the angled case presents the dials like a miniature dashboard. After trying a couple of much larger bullhead designs I expected it might feel awkward. I am pleased to report that it is, in fact, quite comfortable. You certainly notice the top-heavy design at first, but you quickly grow accustomed to it. Now, if you are one of those people who (like me) always feel as if your watch is traveling to the outer part of your wrist bone, the Bullhead will exaggerate the sensation. This was most apparent when wearing the taller, heavier mechanical watch. When I wore the MechaQuartz it barely registered. Bear in mind, this was on my smallish wrist. Bigger folks will wear that mechanical bull better. 

Straton Legera strap

Regardless of the case, the straps are the same across the Legera range. They are 22mm wide perforated leather, lightly padded and tapered to end in a 20mm signed buckle. Colors coordinate with the dials you select, which by the way, are the same on both Bullhead and Standard, and quite lovely. 

Straton Legera Standard gray and blue

Moving inward from the bezel, you have a brushed tachymetre index, orange-checked minute track, and finally, a sunray dial fitted with brushed and applied hour markers. The markers are peaked to catch the light and while they are not lumed, a pip on the minute track behind each does the trick. The diamond-cut baton minute and hour hands are polished and filled with channels of BGW9 lume, as are the arrowhead indicators on the subdials. The sweep hand is bright orange. Cushion-shaped frames surround the three subdials, eliminating the 3, 6, and 9 markers. An applied Straton “S” logo up top finishes it all off. It is a full dial, but uncrowded and height legible. Accent colors are fabulous, especially the metallic shimmer of the orange and blue. My personal favorite combination was the black dial with blue tachymetre and register frames. Between that and the orange on the sweep hand and minute track, you get all of the grooviest elements in a single dial. 

Straton Legera Bullhead Valjoux black

Lume is simply excellent, lighting up like a torch when darkness falls. The bezel on the blue watch is particularly pleasing, suffused with a blue glow that fills the domed ring. 

Straton Legera series lume

The Straton Legera series launches Sunday, February 17 on Kickstarter. The preview page is open to the public so you can browse the collection, but you won't be able to order until it goes live (note, the linked page will automatically update). When it does, early birds will be able to grab the MechaQuartz for as little as CHF 329 ($335 USD) and CHF 829 ($874 USD) for the automatic. Bracelets are $40 extra. After the pre-orders, full prices will be 29-33% higher.

I'd say the Legera is well worth your consideration. All versions are great fun and with such a wide variety of color, movement, shape, and strap configurations, you will surely find something that catches your eye and fits your budget. For more information, photos, and news visit ⬩

* Note that Straton's info lists the Standard as being 50mm long, not 49mm, and the Bullhead as 48mm, not 46mm, but try as I might, I could not duplicate those measurements on the precision instruments here at Time Bum Labs. That said, I'll readily admit there is room for error. 

Straton Legera Bullhead Valjoux thickness
Straton Legera Bullhead mechaquartz black pvd
Straton Legera Bullhead mechaquartz black pvd
Straton Legera Standard Blue
Straton Legera Bullhead MechaQuartz foreground, Valjoux background

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