Stowa Partitio Review

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When one thinks of Stowa, there are a few watches that immediately spring to mind. Front and center are the iconic Fliegers, followed closely by their Marine chronometers and the Antea series. But there is another watch in Stowa’s catalogue that almost never gets mentioned, overshadowed by its more popular siblings: the Partitio Klassik. The Partitio is the hidden gem of Stowa’s lineup–a classically styled 3-hander that may offer their greatest value, especially given today’s favorable exchange rates for American buyers. As of this writing, the Partitio is 579 EUR excluding VAT (690 EUR with), which is approximately $667 USD.

The Partitio was first released in 2008, initially through the German retailer Manufactum before becoming a standard model in the brand’s catalogue. That inaugural offering featured a black dial, with the overall design very similar to a watch Stowa made back in the 1930s. In 2012, Stowa unveiled an update to the line featuring a white dial with parchment colored lume, as well as a choice between an “AUTOMATIK” movement and a “HANDAUFZUG” movement. The watch we’ll be looking at today is the more recent white dial variant with the manual 2801 movement. The watch being reviewed is my own. Let’s get to it.

Stowa Partitio Review

STOWA_PARTITIO_FACE1Case: Polished Stainless Steel
Movement: ETA 2801-2/2824-2
Dial: White
Lume: Superluminova Old Radium
Lens: Domed Sapphire
Strap: Leather
Water Res: 5 atm
Dimensions: 37mm x 47mm
Lug Width: 18mm
Crown: 5.5mm x 2.5mm
Warranty: Yes
Price: Approximately $667

Case

The Partitio comes in at a width of 37mm with a lug-to-lug height of approximately 47mm. By modern standards, the case is definitely on the smaller end, but for those of us who love smaller or vintage watches the size is just right. The case is also relatively thin coming in at 10.8mm, which includes the domed sapphire crystal. Looking at the watch from the top down, the lugs appear angular. When viewed in profile, however, you can see that the lugs are actually rounded at the ends, giving the case a slightly softer looker. The crown is signed with Stowa’s logo, as is the case back, which also features some of the specs and is secured via 6 screws. Overall, the case is simple and effective, capped off with an attractive high-polish finish.

STOWA_PARTITIO_DIAL5

Dial and Hands

The Partitio white features an incredibly attractive dial. It’s matte white with a fine eggshell-like texture, something not readily visible to the naked eye but is immediately apparent in photos. Contrasting the white of the dial is the Bauhaus-inspired hours track, generously coated in Old Radium Superluminova (the dial has excellent nighttime visibility) and outlined in a fine black border. It’s impressive how precise and delicate the outlines are, and how effectively Stowa was able to pack in the luminous material. I’ve seen watches with an asking price four times higher than that of the Partitio with printed dials that were half as good as this one. The crisp printing is extended to the rest of the dial, and everything from the insignia to the minuscule “PARTITIO” is done with exactness and care.

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The charming Bauhaus-inspired typeface is one of my favorite features of the overall design. It’s well proportioned and gives the Partitio the appearance of a vintage timepiece. I especially like the way the 6 and 9 do not complete their loops. I also appreciate Stowa’s decision not to include a date window, which would have ruined the wonderful symmetry and simplicity achieved by the current design. The outer minutes/seconds track is arguably the only extraneous aspect of the dial, since it unnecessarily divides into markings indicating 1/5th of a second. I personally think this addition gives the Partitio an attractive field-watch quality that makes it much more versatile as a sportier piece, and not just a dressier one. Plus, it’s where the Partitio gets its name (“Partitio” is Latin for partition).

The attractive syringe hands are a perfect match for the vintage flair of the dial. They’re polished and nickel-plated, the latter of which gives them a softer appearance. The hands are also generously filled with luminous material, so they glow as bright as the dial. Another interesting detail is that the seconds hand has no counterbalance, a detail that you don’t often see on watches.

STOWA_PARTITIO_DIAL8

Movement

As previously mentioned, the Partitio is available with either an automatic ETA 2824, or a manual 2801 with hacking. Both movements are a great choice, as they’re known workhorses from ETA. Depending on the movement, the dial will indicate either “HANDAUFZUG” or “AUTOMATIK” underneath the insignia. For my money, I prefer the hand-wound version. There aren’t many affordable watches on the market with manual movements apart from those sporting larger Unitas calibers, so it’s always a joy to come across one that’s under 40mm.

STOWA_PARTITIO_CASE1

Straps and Wearability

The Partitio comes with a relatively standard calfskin strap in either black or brown, though the only option readily available on the Stowa website is black. A quick email to Stowa will easily remedy that. You also have the option of getting an 18mm milanese bracelet, produced for Stowa by Staib, for an additional 140 EUR (114 without VAT).

The Partitio is a versatile timepiece that can be dressed up or down with ease. The lugs are a standard 18mm, so finding a great third party strap shouldn’t be difficult. For a dressier look, pair it with a darker strap like brown or burgundy in leather or shell cordovan. Burgundy looks especially nice since it is packed with warm tones that play off the parchment lume quite well. For a slightly more casual pairing, go with a leather two-piece in whiskey or even a nylon one-piece for the summer.

STOWA_PARTITIO_WRIST2

The Partitio wears extremely well. Due to its size and curving lugs, it rests comfortably on my 6.75-inch wrist and easily slips under a shirt cuff. It does, however, wear a tad larger than its measurements might suggest, mostly due to the white dial and the longer lugs, both of which add some presence to the wrist.

Conclusion

When we discuss value on worn&wound, it usually involves some sort of concession. With the Partitio, there is no compromise. From the case to the dial to the movement, Stowa got the details right. At it’s current asking price, I think the Partitio is grossly undervalued. Were another brand to make this watch, it would easily cost three times as much (though they’d probably ruin it with a wayward date window). Plus, the Partitio is wholly unique. Off the top of my head, the only watch with an aesthetic even close to the Partitio’s is the Nomos Club, and though I love that watch, it does operate in a different pricing bracket. Its versatility also makes it a great option for someone not looking to have a large and varied collection. Overall, I am extremely happy as a Partitio owner, and I suspect others are as well since it is a watch that rarely pops up on the secondary market.

The Partitio can be purchased directly from Stowa’s e-store.

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
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17 responses to “Stowa Partitio Review”

  1. Никита says:

    Don’t want to sound girly, but I feel butterflies in my stomach… This Stowa is true love, little piece of perfection! Notice how precisely second hand contours the second ring, its magic. Awesome value proposition for 660$, forget all this Chinese-made “unique indie watch brands” from Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Stowa Partitio is much much forward.

    • Philip Beresford says:

      Totally agree. Stowa offers excellent value for money, and the quality is absolutely unmatched in the price bracket. I love my Flieger B dial!

  2. Read Frost says:

    I have the black auto Partitio and I love it. It’s super versatile too, whether on leather, a NATO, or even a bracelet, this watch looks stunning without being flashy. The white dial looks great too, especially on that whiskey strap. Great review!

    • Blaise Wilson Brennan says:

      Looking into buying one now, and it’s funny how difficult it is to decide between manual/auto and black/white. Every review I’ve seen has claimed that their review configuration is the “obvious” winner, which leads me to believe that all four options are just that good!

      • Read Frost says:

        I went for the auto over the hand wound variation because I wear it 9 times out of ten, so it would always be wound. As for black vs. white, it’s completely a matter of personal preference. I find the black more understated, while the white has a slightly more vintage look. While I have not handled the hand wound version, I suspect it is as you said: that every combination is equally great.

  3. Alexander says:

    I love the watch and the shirt!
    I’ve been looking at the Nomos Club for a while now, but this might just do it albeit less sporty than the Club…

  4. B. von Schwerin says:

    While this is a lovely watch, I think the ratio of case length to diameter is out of whack. 10mm longer than the diameter is too long, IMHO. The lug-to-lug length of the NOMOS Tangente is generally 9mm longer than the diameter, and *that* watch is known for long, ungainly lugs. *This* watch takes it even further.

    Personally, I think 6mm longer than the diameter is a good length, e.g., 38mm x 44mm or 42mm x 48mm.

  5. Joel Schumann says:

    Lovely watch with a bit of vintage feel – went straight on my “want” list. Stowa’s own renders do nothing for me, and if you aren’t on their pay list already, you should charge them right now 🙂 Really nice to see it in the flesh with different strap options. Good job!

  6. CortexUK says:

    Nice. Added to my list of “possiblys”.

  7. ccn1410 says:

    A beautiful watch like this, should have date. It would be fantastic!

  8. Erenz says:

    Cool watch love the Lume color. Reminds me of my timex weekender that I love so much.

  9. PB says:

    I used to have a Raymond Weil with a very similar face. The RW was stolen and I’ve been looking for a replacement for a while – this might be it.

  10. Bambi6666 says:

    The Victorinox Infantry Mechanical is very similar to this Paritio. I’d rather say the VSA is better because it features :
    – 10 atm WR
    – sapphire crystal on both sides ( visible movement )
    – date
    – 3 years warranty

    and it’s a bit cheaper.
    Anyway, this Stowa is still a wonderful watch 🙂

  11. E says:

    Ilya, great great article. Just curious, where is the burgundy dress band from?

  12. Alex says:

    Anyone know which whiskey leather strap that is and where it’s sold? Thanks!

  13. farins says:

    I’m a huge fan of the white dial, I’m drawn to the vintage aesthetic. Really wish I could have the clear case back like with the black dial tho!!