By putting out exceptional timepieces and providing some of the best customer service in the business, Stowa, under the helm of Jörg Schauer, has built up an unshakeable reputation within the WIS community. Schauer, who acquired the struggling company from the founding Storz family in 1996, recognized the inherent beauty of the brand’s heritage. As such, he envisioned Stowa’s current lineup by looking to the past, bringing back into production modern versions of Stowa’s historical timepieces. Among the watches to return was the Flieger series.In 1939, Stowa launched production of their flieger (pilot) watches for the German Luftwaffe (air force). They were one of five companies to do so, the other four being IWC, Wempe, Laco, and Lange & Söhne. Despite its connection to one of history’s darkest periods, the flieger remains an important marker in horology, and the design has endured countless iterations to become one of the most recognizable and homaged styles of all time. A quick Google search of “pilot watch” will return countless hits, ranging from low quality Chinese “knock-offs” to some of the most exquisitely engineered timepieces in existence.
So, with so many companies producing their own version of the pilot watch, how does the Stowa Flieger hold up? With a price tag of approximately $880 for the basic model, is the Stowa worth the money, or are you better off finding a more wallet-friendly alternative? Let’s take a look.