Watch Lust: Stowa Flieger Chrono

Articles | Series | Watch Lust | 10.03.2011

I’m a huge fan of pilot watches.  While many look all too similar, there are also those pieces that, within the constraints of the very traditional pilot watch aesthetic, stick out from the crowd.  A perfect example is the upcoming release from Stowa, the Flieger Chrono.  Tradition, simplicity and mechanical complication meet perfectly in this seriously lust worthy watch.

Case: Stainless steel, fine matt, grinded by hand
Movement: Valjoux 7753 automatic
Function:  hour, minutes, 30 minute recorder (stop function)
Dial: Black matte
Lens: Front sapphire crystal domed and sapphire display case back
Strap: Leather strap or metal bracelet
Water Res.: up to 5 ATM
Diameter: 41 mm (50.20 mm lug-to-lug)
Thickness: 14.7 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Warranty: 2 years

At first glance, the Flieger Chrono seems like so many other very well produced pilot watches.  It features traditional and elegant design and is powered by a decorated Valjoux 7753 automatic movement.  Upon further inspection however, your realize that Stowa has taken simplicity to a whole new level with the Flieger Chrono.  The face is clean, with no markings nonessential to the function of time telling – no logos, no indication of where the watch was made.  Further, for the sake of simplicity, Stowa has even eliminated a permanent second hand all together.   The chrono has been paired down to just a large chrono second hand and one oversized 30 minute sub-dial.  That’s it.

To put a point on it, here’s what Stowa has to say about active second dials on chrono’s in general, “As for chronographs, the permanent second dial really only indicates whether or not the watch is running; otherwise it often interferes with visual appearance or needs to be integrated in the design with some minor flaws. Only very few watchmakers manage to include the dial of the permanent second nicely or to even highlight its position on the major dial.”  A pretty bold statement, but in the case of the Flieger Chrono, 100% true.  This choice to remove the permanent second makes complete sense on this watch, removing any distraction from a beautifully designed and perfectly implemented pilot watch.

The Flieger Chrono can be yours for around $1,900.

  • jay

    Nice watch. I think I like aviation watches, but if someone asked me ‘what defines an pilot watch?’, I simply don’t know. I’ve seen them with chrono and non chrono. Gmt and non GMT. With slide rule, without slide rule. With 24 hour dials, with 12 hour dials.

    So, in your opinion, what defines a pilot’s watch?

    • http://URL Frank

      A ‘pilot’s watch’ definition is not really interesting. It can mean any watch that has some link to aviation. Multiple fields, multiple decades. Much too broad. You have to look at the special ones. For example the ‘Fliegers’ that are (largely) based on the old ‘B’or ‘Beobachtungsuhren’ of the Luftwaffe (German Airforce) of World War II.
      To complicate matters, the term ‘B’ Uhren also comes into play with sailors: the Marine B Uhren.
      Stowa made (makes) both.