Stowa Takes to the Sea and Sky at Baselworld 2016

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Regular readers of worn&wound know that we have a lot of love for Stowa. The popular German brand just gets it; clean design, superb construction and finishing, and a palatable price point make for a wholly appealing package. It’s by no means a complex formula, but it’s one that seems to elude some of the bigger firms. At Baselworld, we took the opportunity to meet with the man behind the brand, Mr. Jörg Schauer, to check out Stowa’s novelties. If what we saw was any indication, 2016 will be a strong year for this German favorite.

Flieger Professional

First up is the Flieger Professional. Designed by Hartmut Esslinger—who previously collaborated with Stowa on the Rana and the b2b series—the Flieger Professional is Stowa’s latest pilot’s watch and addition to its family of robust technical timepieces.

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Building on the the TO1 platform, Esslinger took a “retro-future” approach to the design to develop a unique visual take on a classic style. He pulled much of his inspiration from natural forms; in this case, a sine wave, or rather two of them combined at a 90-degree angle. The execution of that concept can be seen in the unique bezel, which presents a softer aesthetic than some of the more industrial pieces from the brand’s recent catalogue. The design is also a good example of form following function, with the bezel boasting a grip that’s entirely ergonomic. It’s an expertly milled piece, beautifully finished to the high standard Stowa is known for.

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The dial—Esslinger’s interpretation of the classic flieger—is highly legible, and quite different from what one might expect on a pilot’s watch. No triangle at twelve o’clock, no sword hands. Instead, we have an open “A” and a set of stylized leaf hands, the latter of which will surely be divisive amongst fans of Stowa. Rounded hash marks stand in for every minute (longer ones for every five), and a well-placed date aperture at six keeps the symmetry of the face. Overall, it’s a design that’s rooted in the brand’s heritage but not bogged down by it, which seems to be Stowa’s trajectory the last few years.

The Flieger Professional is not yet available for purchase.

Marine Original Blue

Stowa’s second novelty for 2016 takes a slightly more classic approach, though it feels modern in execution. The Marine Original Blue is an extension of Stowa’s Marine series, a family of timepieces based on pocket watches the firm produced for the German Navy in the 1930s. The watches are incredibly faithful interpretations of those historic pieces, typeface and all.

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The Marine Original Blue takes that winning recipe and adds an absolutely stunning blue dial. The copy describes the color as matte blue, but in person the dial has more of a metallic sheen, which gives it some welcome depth. The soft gray numerals are the perfect complement; they’re highly legible without creating too much contrast. Gone are the iconic heat-blued poires style hands, replaced with simpler but no less elegant silver leaf hands.

The overall execution is stunning, and it may very well be the most attractive marine watch Stowa has ever produced. From our brief time with the piece, I can honestly say that everything looked perfect—from the printing on the dial to the finishing of the case. This extends to the engine powering the watch—a highly decorated Unitas 6498 caliber with a swan neck regulator.

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The Marine Original Blue is limited to 200 pieces, and will retail for EUR 1490, or EUR 1252.10 (approximately $1,410) without VAT. It is currently available for order with an expected June/July delivery.

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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