After my article about my Laco Flieger (https://michaelswatchblog.de/2019/11/01/laco-augsburg-blaue-stunde-affordable-history/) today I will show you my other German watch, the Stowa Marine Original Red Limited Edition.
Stowa calls their Marine Original Series “elegant watches” and they sure are! But this Marine watches were historically not intended for the gentleman’s next visit at the theatre, they are called “Marine” for a reason.
A long time ago in the 18Th century nobody knew about elegant watches or even wristwatches. And almost nobody cared about the exact time with one big exception: it was important to know the exact time to determine the exact position of a ship on the ocean. With the exact time and the position of the stars (with a sextant) it was possible to determine the exact position of the ship even if you could not see any land. If you are interested how this works look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longitude_by_chronometer.
The watches to determine the exact time were called B-watches, deck watches, captain’s watches or marine chronometer. You can read about this watches here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_chronometer. This deck watches were huge, sophisticated, robust watches with high legiblitiy. The design of these watches were more or less the same as todays marine watches with a railway track for minutes and seconds and of course a small second – central seconds were not invented these days.
Because the better you know the exact time the better you can determine the exact position, the deck watches became the first chronometers. Two nations were famous for their deck watches: England and Germany, supplying both military and private fleets. Maybe the most famous one was Hamburg based Wempe, still producing deck watches until today: https://www.wempe-maritim.de/sortiment/chronometer/. As you can see many deck watches today are quartz watches because of the higher accuracy. But they are no longer necessary to determine the exact position of a ship on the ocean, Today all ships have GPS. So we can see: Like many other types of watches the Marine watches once had a specific role and purpose that today is no longer necessary. Think of military watches, Flieger or divers.
Let’s have a look at Stowa. The name of the company is derived from the name of the founder. Walter Storz founded Stowa in 1927 in the Black Forest where it is still located today. The rich history includes Bauhaus style watches and Flieger. Maybe Flieger are the most famous ones because Stowa is one of the five original companies building Flieger Baumuster A and B. You can read about this five companies in my blog entry of my Laco, https://michaelswatchblog.de/2019/11/01/laco-augsburg-blaue-stunde-affordable-history/
After the death of Walter Storz his son Werner Storz became head of the company. In 1996 the company was sold to watch enthusiast Jörg Schauer and he is still owner today. He brought the company to new heights, lancing historic models and newly designed watches as well. Under his lead the company won many watch awards, a new building was constructed and a museum was established (https://www.stowa.de/en/STOWA+history+from+1927-2017/). It was his decision to relaunch the classic design of the Marine watches and today they are true classic in the Stowa collection.
Let us now have a look at the watch. The movement is a hand wound Unitas 6498 with second hand at 6 o’clock, a reliable and easy to maintain workhorse. It’s not the top of horology but the rather big parts in the movement give much space for nice decorations. Look at the finished wheels the golden Stowa engraving! Stowa also improved the movement with a swan neck regulator and a screw balance. And you can see this beauty through a sapphire glass and enjoy it.
The dial is made of sterling silver, the hand are temperature blued steel and – finally – the second and hand and the 60 on the second subdial are red. So we have the name of the watch: Stowa Marine Original Red Limited. Limited because there are only 100 pieces of this watch and they are sold out right now. You can still buy the unlimited models with black second hand.
With a diameter of 41 mm the watch seems to have a mid-size. But with an almost 38 mm diameter of the dial this is a really big watch on the wrist. If you have a very small wrist maybe the 36mm version of this watch is perfect for you.
The watch came with a black or brown alligator strap of your choice. As one of the fist subscribers I had the chance to get a second strap for free and opted for the brown vintage leather version. This strap is standard version if you want the brushed version of the watch. It was a hard decision between brushed and polished, but finally I ordered the polished version. I like the contrast between polished watch and vintage strap. It still looks very elegant with a touch of sports – nautic if you like. I am still in love with this special piece in my collection!