History Behind the Stowa Marine Classic
Today we are going to take a look at a classic and traditional piece produced by German watchmaker STOWA, that being the Marine Classic 40. This watch is based off of the original Marine Observation watches which were utilized dating back to 1939 around the time STOWA opened its' first factory. There were 239 custom
built Observation watches in total built inside wooden boxes for waterproofness and protection. These watches had to be extremely legible, accurate, and were even painted completely with luminous paint. Below, you can see an actual photo of the original STOWA movement which was used - being a beautifully crafted hand wound mechanical masterpiece.
The Stowa Marine Classic 40 has a perfect set of dimensions for my aversge 6.5" wrist. The solid steel polished case measures 40MM in diameter and stands 10.3MM tall. It features 20MM lugs and a 48.6MM lug to lug span. It really is the perfect size for todays ever so changing times. While a few years ago larger watches were a bit more standard, it seems now most traditional
companies are sticking to smaller diameters of 42 and under. In terms of finishing, I have never really had a complaint with Stowa - their finishing is very very goos for this pricepoint and definitely sits above other brands I have taken a look at such as Hamilton and Laco. In terms of water resistance, this watch does feature 50 Meters with a screw on caseback ( Classic German Tradition ) and a pull and push circular crown. The watch sits just perfectly across my wrist and rides nicely without any odd positioning at different angles. Another nice standard feature is the Sapphire crystal featured on the front of the watch and the backside for a nice clear view of the STOWA signed Swiss Made ETA 2824 Automatic calibre.
The white almost enamel looking dial definitely stays true to its lineage with great legibility and large numerals evenly distributed. I must say, this is probably
one of the most legible watches at a quick glance I have owned in a long time. A standard railroad track on the outer portion of the dial completes the look along with a reference triangle above 12:00. The thermal heated blued hands are really quite stunning to look at in the sunlight or at angles. The hands themselves are very long which I do prefer, reaching all the way out to the railroad track for better legibility and precise time telling. It is a rather simple and clean dial , and has always been like that for good reason.
Now - there are many customizable options abailable with STOWA if you didn't already know. You do have the option of movement, rotor, custom engraving on straps and movements. However, my model contains the standard Swiss Made ETA-2824-2 minus the date wheel. I have much experience with this calibre and it is used widely in the Swiss watchmaking industry as well as the German watchmaking houses. It is a rather robust and trusting movement which contains 25
jewels and beats at 28,800 BPH. This movement also feature hacking and hand winding of course with an average power reserve lasting around 38 Hours. A nice detail on my model is the custom engraving on the Rotor bearing the STOWA branding. Most of these movements are quite accurate when tuned a bit, mine being +5 seconds per day straight from Stowas factory.
My watch came stock with a very decent quality 20MM genuine cowhide leather band. The strap features a signed Stowa polished steel buckle and a solid yet thin construction topped off with black vertical stitching. Straight out of the box, the strap was basically broken jn already and comfortable. I do appreciate that, and hate when companies use super stiff straps on new watches. The backside is a light tan/white color and features branding embossed deep in the leather. Overall, it is comfortable and gets the job done with quality up to my standards. I dont think changing the strap will be necessary and you should be good to go.
Furthermore, I must say I am definitely pleased with this addition to my collection and to no surprise , I do not have a single piece that looks like this watch. I have always respected the history of true watchmakers such as German brand Stowa and others, and especially when they stay true to their lineage as Stowa most definitely does. I have not ever had a single issue with a timepiece built by them and the quality and finishing has always stood a bit higher than the actual cost. In all honesty, I can say I do recommend this brand to my readers and viewers - and hope one day you can experience them
and enjoy this brand as much as I do.
This Seiko 5 diver actually has a nice and sleek solid 316L steel case with drilled lug holes. The size is a bit biggee than norm coming in at 43.5MM x 13MM thick with a lug to lug width of 49.3MM. The watch definitely wears a bit bigger than something like a Seiko SKX but fits slimmer on the wrist. The flanks are highly mirror like polished with decent work and the tops of the 22MM lugs are finely brushed. As most Seiko 5 sports "Dive" models this watch does feature 100M of water resistance with a Pull/Push crown. I would not call it a true dive watch because of the lack of deep depth diving capability but it is certainly swimmable in most scenarios. Overall, it feels right on the wrist and does not sit out of place in any way.
The Blue sunburst dial is actually very eye catching when light hits it giving off different hues of blue. The applied markers are filled with lumibrite which gives off some decent brightness in the dark - but it does not seem to be as heavily applied in comparison to its' older brothers such as the Turtle or SKX. We get a date aperture at the 3:00 and an applied "5" logo and "Seiko" below 12:00. Personally, I always feel as if the 5 and the sports cheapen the look of the watch...but It IS a cheaper watch so I really cannot complain here. Another gripe of mine is the hands themselves...while legibile and filled with ends of lume - they just look out of place to me and I honestly do not like the semi skeletization aspect they embody. The crystal is Seiko Hardlex which is pretty common amongst most Seiko 5s and prospex models. Its obviously not as hard and scratch resistant as a true Sapphire crystal but once again we have to expect and deal with these things at lower pricepoints. Overall, it is legibile and gets the job done at the end of the day. Lastly, the unidirectional rotating Bezel is a good aspect on this model and feels pretty decent with minimal backplay and perfect alignment. ( Yay Seiko )
The common and robust Seiko 4R35 automatic movement is shown beneath the screw down caseback of this model. This movement is produced by Seiko and features a beat rate of 21,600 BPH whilst containing 23 jewels. The good aspect of this movement is the hand wind and hacking capability. Now, Seiko has a tolerance of around -35 +45 seconds a day for this movement - BUT usually they gain around 10 seconds a day max and sometimes even less.
The solid steel bracelet contains hollow end links and push pins to adjust along with a decent ammount of micro adjustments for exact fit. Its your typical seiko 5 bracelet - it works and gets the job done without looking too out of place. It does feature a stamped fold over clasp with a signed seiko buckle which is a nice touch. Honestly, if it doesnt pull hair and fits right I would leave it on the watch.
Furthermore, this watch is definitely a good piece to have as an everyday sports/leisure watch while your more expensive pieces take a break from destruction. It looks good on the wrist, comes in some nice dial
colors, and keeps fairly good time. I can definitely reccommend this watch to any experienced watch collector or someone just getting into the hobby.
This watch comes with an Egard Zulu style leather NATO strap as well!
The Poseidon by EGARD is definitely a truly unique watch in terms of the esquisite finishing and engraving they have achieved on this model. The case itself is 44MM in diameter and measures around 12MM thick. Of course comprised of solid 316L stainless steel which is a must, and featuring 100M of water resistance with a screw down signed crown. The case does resemble
or homage a Rolex Submariner a bit, but honestly what company has a model that doesn't? If we look closely at the fine engraved sides of the case and lug tops - it is really precise and professionally done. Now, if you wanted to do something like this custom to your watch it would cost you around $2500 USD from a few different engraving artists which have done work that mimics this on many luxury timepieces. With that being said, this watch is truly a great value in that aspect. The sides and tops are smooth to the hand without any error or sharp edges. I really was quite blown away by the level of finishing once I had the Poseidon in hand.
The screw down caseback features your unique serial
number as well as an engraved octopus, as well as basic specifications.
The black gridlock style dial features applied luminous markers with a date window at 3:00 minus the cyclops. Overall it is definitely really legibile and does kind of match the motif design which fits together just fine I think. The crystal utilized is a genuine sapphire crystal topped off with a traditional coin edge 90 click unidirectional dive bezel. The action is good, with minimal back play and perfect alignment. The lume
itself is not Seiko LumiBrite bright - but its bright enough and gets the job done.
The popular and affordable Japanese Miyota 8215 automatic caliber is used inside the Poseidon - which is a fairly robust and easy to maintain mechanism. It features a quickset date, 40 hours of power reserve, hand winding, and can go many years without attention or care. In my experiences with this movement over the years reviewing watches, these movements tend to gain or lose around 15 seconds a day. I think it was the right choice because I am sure the case work and other aspects of the watch were not cheap to bundle all this together at $550 USD.
Full Engraved Bracelet
Now, the 22-20 MM engraved bracelet
is where the design really flows into reality. Considering this is a dive style watch there are tons of ocean related drawings engraved such as a Starfish, Divers Helmet,
Anchor, and more. The detail is very good as well on the bracelet just as the case is. A signed egard clasp tops
it off with a two button stamped durable clasp.
Furthermore, the Poseidon by California based EGARD is definitely a piece of art as well as a decent timepiece. It fits, functions, and feels great just as any other automatic diver would - with the exception of the great value propositin which is the engraving. I feel many people do not understand the ammount of work and time it actually takes to do this - thus stating the watch may be overpriced. However, it is truly a very good value considering what it actually does cost to have this done to your watch! I definitely can reccommend this watch to my readers if your on the hunt for something truly artistic, functional, and good looking at the same time. I highly doubt you will meet another person with such a unique timepiece.
9/24/2019 0 Comments
Oceanica, a watch company based in New York is set to launch their latest model via Kickstarter October 25Th, 2019. They have had two successful campaigns so far with their Flieger and Reef Dive watch - So I do not see a reason why this one should not succeed! It is actually a rather very nicely designed and executed super
compressor styled automatic diver. It also features a nice modern aesthetic mixed with a twist of vintage characteristics, such as the hands and font utilized. I have tried the watch on myself, and at 42MM with a lug to lug of 46MM it wears like a true 40MM watch on my small 6.5” wrist. Some nice new features include a lumed logo / markers / inner bezel - and a fully custom milled bracelet with screw links. There are other Super Compressor styled divers on the market such as the Dan Henry Super Compressor and I do not believe any other smaller companies are producing these ever so popular styled pieces. The watch will kick off at $200 USD shipped worldwide Via Kickstarter October 25TH. I think this is a really great offering and have high expectations for this release.
Please do sign up for the newsletter on their website below to be notified of updates and day of launch!
Full review coming soon on Watch Addiction Watch Reviews YouTube channel!
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The new revised Sternglas Zirkel features a solid brushed 316L Stainless Steel case with 50M of water resistance. It is very circular in shape and stays true to the bauhaus theme of German watchmaking. The exact dimensions are definitely modern and wearable coming in at 40MM x 48.5MM x 10MM. The lugs themselves are quite thin and long adding some substance and visual excitement to a rather bleek traditional design. If we jump over to the caseback, a nice detail is the screws holding down the solid caseback along with an exhibition sapphire window for a view of the automatic Miyota 9015. Overall, it fits comfortablly on my wrist without any sharp edges nor errors in production.
Heading to the black dial, you can see it is rather plain and legible. The print work in a white text is very on point and neat. The pencil style brushed hands and thin seconds hand follow along the same Bauhaus and minimalist theme as the printed numerals, allowing for perfection at every visible angle. I do like that they matched the date window at 6:00 with the dial - If it were in white I do not think it would be a good look.
Now, the movement utilized
is certainly a big upgrade from the prior iterations. This time around they chose the automatic Japanese Miyota 9015 calibre. This movement was created by the Citizen group and sort of competes with the other 4HZ movements used in the swiss watchmaking industry. It feaures hand winding, hacking, 24 jewels, and around 40 hours of power reserve. The best part is that it beats at 28,800 BPH allowing for a super smooth continuous sweep of the seconds hand. I do have a lot experience with this movement and can honestly say that they are quite accurate, robust, and reliable.
Genuine Calf Leather Band
I am a big fan of the straps Sternglas creates, and it was no surprise to me this time around the strap was super
comfortable and well made. It is a thin Quick-Release black genuine calf leather band with a brushed buckle. It is definitely one you can wear straight out of the box and does not require a break in period. There are many different strap options they offer, but I figured a black dial watch with a black band would look just right.
Furthermore, the Zirkel V2 certainly shows that Hamburg based Sternglas is trying to constantly
improve their watches with each new edition they release. The quality is there, as well as the design factor. There are much more higher end Bauhaus styled watches with better movements from more prestigious brands of course, but those would cost almost 4 times the ammount of this watch. I think for a well made Bauhaus design German timepiece, at $438 USD you cant really go wrong with the Zirkel. It gets the job done in style at an affordable entry level price - and most definitely will scratch that Bauhaus itch for your collection.
Available for Pre Order on Kickstarter Now
The all new Beaufort Aerotimer out of New Zealand is a mix of traditional pilot styled watches with World War II Era design cues. It is indeed named after the Bristol Beaufort Torpedo bomber which was utilized by British, Australian, and NZ forces. The watch itself comes in a few different flavors but I must say the Pastel light blue color dial is my favorite. It is a very well constructed watch and does not feel like it comes from a smaller brand or “Microbrand”. The 316L solid steel rose gold case measures in at 40MM x 11.5MM x 48.5MM. It features 20MM lugs and an excellent and useable 100 Meters of water resistance. The leaf like lugs are rather bold and really stand out when on wrist, while the thickness is actually quite thin for a swiss made automatic caliber. I like the neat exhibition sapphire caseback which is held down with real screws and done right. Overall, it feels good on the wrist and the finishing is very good in comparison to other timepieces at this price bracket of under $400 USD ( Kickstarter Pre-Order Price ).
The dial is probably the most beautiful part of the watch with its’ light pastel colour and traditional California dial layout. The California dial consists of half Romans and half Numerals. The sword style hands and applied indexes at 12-3-9 will feature BGW9 Blue lume which I think will look slick on this color dial. Everything is very legibile at a glance thanks to the Inner AR coated single domed sapphire crystal. Classical railroad tracks circle the outer portion of the dial marked with minute and seconds. There are a few different dial color options so I would suggest looking over all of them, as the white option really caught my eye as well. There was an alignment error on the prototype models at the 1:00 marker but no worries as the owner has told me this issue will be fixed on the production models.
Powering the Aerotimer is the trusted and reliable Swiss Made automatic Selitta SW200. I have tons of experience with this caliber and really enjoy its’ solid performance and reliability. The movement features a 38 hour power reserve, 26 Jewels, Hand-Wind, and seconds hand stop. My prototype model is keeping decent time at around +5 seconds per day, which is A OK in my book!
Full grain Italian Leather Band
The bands they have chosen are Genuine Italian leather quick-release straps equipped with a two button deployant clasp. In terms of comfort, they are soft, supple, and broken in out of the box. A nice detail is the double stitch on esch end which matches the 12/3/9 applied markers just fine. If I were to take the Aerotimer near water or in water I would probably throw it on a nice seatbelt NATO or canvas band...that
would look stellar.
Furthermore, the Aerotimer has certainly surprised me in terms of overall fit and finish. It IS a well made timepiece at a reasonable price and It
is no surprise they have surpassed their goal
already on Kickstarter. I like the clean aesthetic which is traditional and classical - yet slightly sporty at the same
time. It is definitely one that can be dressed up and dressed down for casual situations. I can certainly reccommend the Aerotimer by Beaufort and wish them more success in the future.