Hands-On with the Stowa Prodiver Blue Limited

Stowa’s hardcore dive watch, the Prodiver, has been around for a little over a decade now, and in its 10th year Stowa released a new blue dial version limited to 200 pieces. Being a fan of both Stowa and blue-dial divers, I couldn’t help but check it out and take the opportunity to look back at some of the lineage of the model.

Stowa may be more readily associated with their Flieger and Antea lines, but the German brand first introduced their Seatime dive watch in the 1960s, and the following decade saw a variety of different dial designs and case shapes bear the name. Somewhere along the way, these variations hit upon both a case shape and a dial/hand design that would later become recognizable traits of the Stowa Prodiver available today.

From the archives.

Under the stewardship of Jorg Schauer, a modern interpretation of the Seatime was introduced in limited numbers in 2004 with a simple dial and stick indices. This was updated a year later to a full production model with a more recognizable Seatime dial featuring even-number Arabic numerals around a circular track.

Another year on and Stowa teamed up with designer Greg Bottle of Studio808 to create the Seatime Prodiver. Essentially a beefed-up Seatime, the Prodiver took the Seatime case and added a slightly domed sapphire crystal, solid case back, and a helium escape valve to create a diver with 1000 meters of water resistance.

Click here for our in-depth review of the Stowa Seatime Prodiver in stainless steel.

Introducing the Limited Edition Stowa Prodiver with a dynamic blue dial.

The dial design was reworked to replace the Arabic numerals with large blocky indices, and to change the bezel insert to a silver and black segmented one. Although the Prodiver line has seen a variety of colorful dials and different bezels available over the years very little else changed, until 2014 when Stowa moved to using a titanium case instead of stainless steel, but even then the case shape and dimensions remain unchanged.


Hands-On with the Stowa Prodiver Blue Limited

Bead-blasted titanium
Eta 2824
Galvanic blue
C3 Super-LumiNova
Rubber; matching blasted titanium
Water Resistance
1000 meters
42mm x 50.3mm
Lug Width
Screw down

The new Limited Edition Prodiver Blue represents a slight departure from the tool watch that has been around for the last decade. Firstly, the blue dial has a subtle sheen to it–moving gently away from the bold, high-contrast dials that preceded it. The blue isn’t dazzling, nor does it have the same sunburst finish as other Limited Edition blue Stowas of recent years, but the dial is nevertheless interesting. Going from a rather dull, dark blue in low light to a bright azure in direct sunlight, the dial even sometimes takes on a pleasing gradient effect similar to the Oris Aquis or Rolex Sea Dweller, albeit the effect is much more subtle.

The blue of the dial really pops.
The application of luminous material is careful and exact.

Sitting above the dynamic blue dial, the large sword hands are filled with C3 Super-LumiNova and are very legible day or night, but they are also framed with highly polished nickel-coated hands giving the watch even more of a dressy diver feel. Step back to take the whole watch in and you realize that despite the dressy facade you won’t get away wearing this with a smart suit anywhere near as easily as with a whole host of other slimmer, more polished dive watches. The dull grey finish of the blasted titanium case with its sharply angled lugs still make this feel very much a tool watch–just an eminently pretty one.

The date window at six o’clock is perhaps on the small side, and the date wheel color isn’t matched to the dial–a common bugbear–but it balances the design nicely. The frame of the date window echoes and breaks up the inner circle track, and is also eclipsed perfectly by the lume dot as the second hand sweeps past.

The launch of this Limited Edition version last year also coincided with the news that a titanium bracelet would finally be available–something lacking since the switch to a titanium case three years ago. Although the watch itself started landing on wrists at the end of 2016 the bracelet has only now become a reality and the Stowa Prodiver is a great example of a bracelet being a part of the whole package. With crisp angles and a sandblasted finish, the bracelet matches the overall feel of the watch perfectly, and it pleasingly follows the flow of the lugs around the wrist.

The engineer-style bracelet is wonderfully crafted. The clasp is signed with Stowa’s logo.
On the rubber with a dress shirt.
The effective size of the watch goes up on the bracelet.

When the watch is mounted on the stock rubber strap the sharp, abrupt lugs are a focal point of the overall styling and also help the watch to wear well on smaller wrists.  With the bracelet attached instead, the lugs and first links form a further surface to echo and enhance the structure of the case. The downside is that the lug-to-lug length of the watch is effectively extended from just over 50.3mm up to 58mm, which can lead to overhang on some wrists.The price of €1,109.44 (this excludes V.A.T., rounding this out to about $1,242 as of this writing) with the rubber represents a pretty good value for what is a well spec’d watch, and it stands up admirably to its Swiss counterparts in this price range. The titanium bracelet is an extra €193.28 (this also excludes V.A.T., which rounds the bracelet out to about $216). It’s an added expense, for sure, but one that helps to complete the watch. The strong lines and pronounced angles of the Stowa Prodiver may not be to everyone’s taste, but I have found it very easy to fall in love with. Stowa

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Brad stumbled into the watch world in 2011 and has been falling down the rabbit hole ever since. Based in London, Brad's interests lie in anything that ticks, sweeps or hums and is slightly off the beaten track.