I know they are relatively inexpensive watches, but I have several Stauers. They seem to keep good time, I've gotten several compliments on them, and seem to be a good way to introduce yourself to automatic/self-winding watches. I am curious about other opinions on them. Good, bad or indifferent.
If you don't like them, why? The same for positive reviews, why?
Stauers (and their derivatives, all beginning with the letter S) do not have a good reputation on the watch collector boards, that is among the low-end of watch collectors. Reasons often cited include: Their advertising copy is made up out of whole cloth. The movements are rather cheap Chinese efforts which have (in other watches) gotten a reputation for poor workmanship and poor quality control. You can find similar ostentatiously-cased watches with Chinese or Russian movements for less. The designs of the cases tend to be pastiches of design elements from eighty or a hundred years ago.
If you like inexpensive automatic watches, the Invictas with Miyota movements and the Seiko 5 models are hard to beat in their price range. Search for Invicta automatic or Seiko 5 at Amazon or Long Island Watch. Their reliability coupled with the warranties of either brand are well worth the money. Orient (a Japanese watch company) makes its own auto movements which are highly thought of. You might Google "Russian wristwatch", and you will find some rather ornate models that may be interesting to you, though some would find the design rather gaudy--rather like baroque Stalinist.
If you like that sort of thing, you might look for something from Russia (ornate, somewhat better quality control and not so overpriced), Invicta (download a catalog, look for Lupah), the quality control is better, and the prices at e.g. Amazon are better. Also, Fossil has had some retro styled cases that are comparable, reasonably priced, and the Miyota automatic/Japanese quartz movements are better made and more reliable.