1/21/2019 0 Comments
”Original Factory in Germany before it was destroyed and the new modern factory was built”
Background on Stowa
Stowa is a German watch brand most famous for their traditional flieger watches along with their rich history in watchmaking dating back to Pre WWII. They did produce watches for the German Pilots during the second war along with other notable brands such as IWC, WEMPE, LACO, and Lange Sohne. The current watches they offer are almost identical in design to those watches worn back then besides the modern sizes and materials used today. When you purchase a German produced and assembled Stowa timepiece, you are getting much more than just a great timepiece - you are indulging your wrist with a large piece of horological history. Today, we will take a closer look at a traditional B style Flieger...only with a twist - this model has a 200M water resistance rating and slight different dimensions.
”Vintage B-Uhr Flieger from World War II Era”
”The size of the original fliegers were as large as 55MM and meant to be worn over flight jackets”
“Stowa factory watchmakers at work”
The Stowa Flieger Klassik Sport , first introduced in 2013 features a slightly larger dimension than your standard Klassik Flieger, largely due to the 200M water resistance rating this case can hold up to. At 43MM across and 12.8MM thick it most definitely wears larger, but in a good way. I feel the legibility is great with this model as well as the watches ability to portray a manly look , while not being over cumbersome. In terms of finishing, the solid 316L stainless steel case is matte and hand ground brushed which is super silky smooth to the bare skin. I find it hard to believe that brands such as IWC can charge 4 times as much for a flieger , with generally the same quality casework and finish. Now, the crown itself is a midsized pull/push onion crown which is just the right size for my tastes. It is not as exaggerated and as large as the original world war II Luftwaffe fliegers were, which is good to see - as those watches were huge! ( But for good reason ). A nice feature included on my example is the sapphire screwed down exhibition caseback, giving us a real clear look at the beautifully decorated top grade Swiss movement. Overall, the case cut and finish - definitely punches a bit above its’ pricepoint.
Now there are two types of Flieger dials that have been traditionally used since the WWII era. The one on my example is the B style Baumuster dial which looks much different than the traditional A style dial which I reviewed last year. This dial has an extremely legible face at any given angle due to its layout. It consists of a neatly printed 0-60 minutes/seconds track which circles around a 12 hour standard format. The heat treated blued hands are sized perfectly to match each ring making it really easy to distuingish hours from minutes. A thin seconds hand reaches all the way to the fine minute markings for a crisp sweep around the dial at 28,800 BPH ( 4 HZ ). Lume? The whole dial is basically lumed with bright applied C3 superluminova including the orientation arrow triangle pointing directly upwards to the 12:00 position. Obviously at this pricepoint the crystal itself is a nice thick slightly domed genuine sapphire crystal which really doesn’t give off any glare in direct sunlight or indoors - which is a wonderful thing!
There are so many different movement options when it comes to customizing your own Stowa timepiece. The movement I chose is the Swiss Made automstiv ETA-2824-2 which features perlage work and dazzling blued screws. The rotor that came equipped is sort of like a dog tag and lists all of the information belonging to my watch such as Movement,Style,Maker. Anyway, mine is running at +2 seconds a day consistently which is good to see, and I have zero issues with that. This movement also contains hand-winding, hacking, 42 HR power reserve, and boasts 24 Jewels. It is a top end ETA workhorse movement that will last decades if serviced properly over the years.
”Custom hand engraved Stowa Rotor”
Supplied Leather Band
The 24MM brown leather band supplied produced in a traditional pilot style seems of good quality and has a nice soft feel to it. It also contains a brushed sign buckle, and two buttons on each top end for that true flieger style. Overall, It is comfortable, supple, and does not require a break-in period. However, if you are planning to use this watch to go swimming as I am, I do reccommend equipping a nice rubber band or silicone band.
Conclusion and Value
Furthermore, Stowa definitely is in my opinion one of the best value German made timepieces currently available today. It has all the DNA, History, and quality you would look for in a watch that costs even double the price of their standard models. Secondly, the customer experience is truly wonderful as you get a more one to one feeling when talking to their staff, which is almost non existent in the swiss watch luxury industry. This model is priced at around 1050 EUROS for this configuration. I think this is most definitely a fair price for the quality and movements used , as well as the history aspect and true German Manufacture and production. I can definitely reccommend Stowa as I have two timws prior to this with their Stowa Antea and Klassik Flieger lines. Please do check out those full written articles and reviews on the website and YouTube channel. Thanks for taking the time to read.