Around this time last year, Stowa released the Antea “back to bauhaus” series. The “b2b” was an offshoot of the classic Antea line, which itself pulls inspiration from a watch Stowa first produced in the 1920s. The b2b was yet another product born of the collaboration between Stowa and famed German designer, Hartmut Esslinger, who also designed the Rana and Stowa’s new logo.
The b2b series was not without controversy, however. Some longtime Stowa fans were puzzled by the release, questioning Schauer’s direction for a brand that had for nearly 20 years produced timepieces based on tried-and-true designs from its historical catalogue. The trepidation online was also likely compounded by the fact that Stowa had recently made other changes that proved to be divisive, with the most obvious example being the aforementioned logo redesign.
Others–and I include myself in that group–were intrigued by the release. Few reservations aside, I liked the concept on paper, especially the myriad of color options and the dial redesign, but I have to admit that the press release photos left a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, as a huge fan of both Stowa and Mr. Schauer, I wanted to reserve judgment until I saw the collection in person. That was finally realized at Baselworld 2015, and with the watches on wrist, any lingering concerns quickly dissipated. We knew that we had to get one in for review.
The b2b series comes in three primary styles: the 355 features a 35.5mm stainless steel case and is powered by an ETA/Peseux 7001 top grade movement, and both the 365 (36.5mm case) and the 390 (39mm case) variants come equipped with an ETA 2824-2 top grade movement available with or without date. All three styles exist in 6 distinct colors: black, white, brown, green, blue, and pink. The watch being reviewed today is the black 355 currently available from Stowa for €950, or €798,32 (approximately $850) excluding V.A.T. for those of us outside the European Union. Let’s take a closer look.