This review was written by member safi cz.
It is not necessary to introduce Stowa brand to watch enthusiasts around the world. But in case that someone asks me to present Stowa in three points, I would highlight:
Antea belongs to segment of watches with minimalistic functional design, medium diameter, slim bezel and hand-wound movement, designed as every-day wearer with price below 1000EUR (in case of Stowa below 500EUR). You can wear this type of watch for evening events, into office and also when you simply just go outside. Diameter 35,5mm is sufficient even for larger wrist because of slim bezel.
- 80 years of un-interrupted history
- Excellent German developed functional design
- Very reasonable price corresponding with overall quality of watches
- Short introduction of Antea
Kleine Sekunde in watch name indicates, that watch is equipped with small second hand. In some cases, words "Kleine Sekunde" are replaced by "KS"
- Nomos Tangente with glass-back
- Nomos Club
- Stowa Partitio
My story with Antea Kleine Sekunde (KS)
I have bought Antea on December 2007 on Ebay. Stowa was my first German watch. Before Stowa, I owned many Seiko watches including Samurai, Sumo, Spirit SCVS003, Spirit SCVS011. When I bought Stowa, I wore King Seiko 5626 chronometer which despite age of almost 40 years, sets very high standard for dress watches. And to be honest, Antea KS is fully comparable to this iconic King Seiko watch line.
When I look back, I have to say that purchasing and delivering processes of my new Stowa means two weeks full of adrenalin. I wanted to buy new Antea on Stowa web pages, when I found Antea KS on Ebay.de. I started to participate on auction. Last five minutes I have fought with one guy and finally I have won auction when I added 12 EUR just 7 seconds before end of auction. It was mine!
Few days before, I have bought some things for my friend via Ebay.de and I set-up his address as my default Ebay address (silly idea, I know). When I made payment and order administration, I forgot to change address, so seller sent Stowa Antea to my friend who lives far from me. He was really shocked when he received new watches without any payment or even order from his side. What saved me was fact that many people on Czech watch forum Chronomag.cz knew that I have Stowa Antea KS on way to new home. So he contacted me and he sent me my watch.
Delivery from Germany to Czech took 4 working days. Delivery of watch between two Czech cities (Opava to Prague) took one and half week (it was Christmas time, so post office was overloaded). I was calling to post office twice a day and visited them every day for more than one week. Finally watches arrived and I was totally exhausted. At that time I was engaged with my wife Lucia and untill today, I can still remember how I'm quickly running from Post Office with postal packet containg my Stowa to her flat and I'm without my breath and absolutely out of order from receiving Stowa KS We were unpacking Stowa together. What a romantic memories!
I wore Stowa almost every day for seven months and I also had Stowa for my wedding day and party. After my wedding I bought Grand Seiko 6146-8000 by accident and since that time I wear it almost every day to office and congregation. I was not able to sold Stowa, because it has been my wedding watch. So together with Lucia, we decided to never sell Stowa Antea. Today she wears Antea KS on third party light mesh bracelet and she is very happy with it.
History of this model is described on Stowa pages. During the 1930s, STOWA designed a number of watches based on the vocabulary of the Bauhaus movement (1919-1933). The hallmark design elements were a minimalist dial, Art Deco typography and simple case with beveled edges. Case of original model had diameter 32mm and was chrome-plated. Watch was equipped with Unitas 146 movement. Dial was silver-coated, hands were steel blue tempered.
Source: Stowa Museum
In comparison with today’s Antea KS, the old one has softer lines and also dial is little bit cuter than today’s Antea (Mr. Jörg Schauer please forgive me), but the main elements of Antea remains:
I have to say, that today‘s Antea KS is pure descendent of original model. Maybe the design could be more retro, but I think, that more functional and technical design fits better to watch for third millennium. Hope that Jörg introduce pink Stowa Antea KS soon.
- Hand-wound movement with small second hand
- Thin bezel
- Silver coated dial
- Blue tempered hands
Source: Stowa Museum
Antea KS has three pieces steel case with diameter 35,5mm and height 6,8mm. Single pieces of case are:
Case has shape of pure cylinder, disturbed by line between case and bezel. Bezel is about 0,2mm narrower than rest of the case. All parts of case are polished. Lugs have geometric design and are drilled for easy change of strap. Unfortunately, you cannot use screwed spring bars, which are sold for Nomos Tangente because of different diameter of drilled holes.
- Medium part of case
Crown has diameter 5,5mm, width 2,5mm. First models had no sign on crown, today’s models have laser engraved Stowa logo.
Glass back has light V profile and is equipped with sapphire glass with diameter approximately 24mm. Back is connected with rest of case by six solid screws. On glass-back you will find following information (clock-wise):
- Model name
- Stowa Logo
- Made in Germany
- St. Steel
- 3 ATM
- Production number
Dial has diameter approximately 31,5 mm and it makes Antea KS looks like a 39mm watch. Dial is mat silver coated in color variation from off-white to slightly creme depending on light conditions.
Dial is flat. Part of dial under small second hand is approximately 0,1mm below surface of remaining parts of dial. Surface of this part is covered by very tiny concentric circles. You have to look very carefully and under good light source to see single circles. What an attention to detail!!
Minutes indexes, hour indexes, logo and hours from 1 to 12 are printed in shining black. Quality of printing is excellent, even under magnifying glass.
All hands have pencil shape. Pencil shape means long, slim hand with circle profile like a pencil. Ends of hands are also similar to drawing end of pencil – this is the reason, why it is called pencil hands. Hands are made of steel and tempered blue by heat, not painted. Color of hands depends on the light conditions - from shining blue to dark blue (almost black). Total length of minute hand is approximately 11mm, length of hour hand is approximately 16mm. Hour hand is aligned just one mm under bottom of hour numbers. Minute hand is aligned to middle of minute indexes.
Readibility of time is excellent because of high contrast between white dial and dark hands. There is no lume on dial and hands, what is pitty. I saw luminosity on Nomos Tangomat, which has the same type of hands and I think, that Jörg could use luminosity for this model .
In brief: Flat saphire crystal withou anti-reflective coating, aligned with edges of bezel.
Stowa uses ETA Peseux 7001 movement, which is very reliable hand winding movement without date and hacking. Movement has stable run and has no problem to achieve almost stable chronometer accuracy if properly adjusted (already done in Stowa). This movement is used and upgraded by many brands like Baume & Mercier, Blancpain, Bucherer, Chronoswiss, Eberhard & Co., Enigma, Limes, Louis Erard, Maurice Lacroix, Omega, Paul Picot, Tissot and others.
Diameter of movement is 23,3mm and height is only 2,5mm, what makes Peseux 7001 really slim movement. Just in comparison – ETA 2801 hand wind movement has height 3,35mm and big Unitas movement has height almost 5mm. Slim movement makes slim watches. Stowa Antea KS has height 6,8mm. Just for comparison – original Stowa Antea from 1938 had height 10,5mm (Source: Stowa Museum).
Movement is beautifully decorated, but without any construction change. Edges of movement are mirror polished. Surface of main bridges is decorated with Geneva stripes and golden engraved Stowa logo and tempered blue screws. Early models do not have engraved Stowa logo on the movement, like my watch with production number 38. Base plate has perlage decoration, which can be seen under balance, I do not know if perlage is applied for parts hidden under main bridges (even some movements from Panerai do not have perlage under bridges). It is pleasure to watch movement during winding and in every other occasion during day.
Daily accuracy of movement is around 5-7 sec/24 hours, what is very good for non-chronometer watch.
Strap and buckle
I received my watch witch alligator strap signed as "Schauer". Alligator strap was dark purple with shiny finish. It could sound wildly, but overall impression was very decent one. Outer surface of leather was very soft and pleasant to touch. Strap was equipped with simple Stowa buckle. After few weeks I bought original Stowa Butterfly buckle.
Original Stowa butterfly buckle is solid-made, equipped with buttons for opening the buckle. Buttons reacts as they should, with adequate resistance and precision. Buckle is attached to strap by axe on one side, on second side strap is attached to buckle by screw.
After two months, I visited one of my friend who has company focused on production of leather goods. In his atelier I have chosen leather for my straps and ordered two straps. One black with black stitching, one cognac with white stitching (I also ordered belt in the same color). I wore straps in hot summer and they passed test with excellent results – no color on shirt sleeve, no ugly smelling, outer appearance of straps is the same.
Today Lucia wear Antea on third party light mesh bracelet.
Long term experiences
My Stowa was produced in 19.9.2005 (according to papers). On my papers there is Jörg signature. I was checking Ebay auctions and I found many Stowa watches with papers without his signature. Maybe his signature will became rarity soon There are not any problems with the watch, movement keeps it accuracy, there are no signals of any potential problems when winding watch or setting the time. Both glasses are without any scratch, so it seems, that Jörg really use Sapphire crystals.
Antea KS has medium diameter case and also slim one, what is very good to prevent many accidents resulting from wearing big watches. But there are accidents. There are some hair scratches on polished case, but they can be very easily removed if necessary. On the edge of the bezel there are deeper scratches – this is tax you pay for case with functional design and sharp edges.
On 19.9.2010, I will send Antea KS to Jörg to check the watch and I will send it every 5 years. I’m sure that in 40-50 years, my grand-son will wear this watch and it will works without any problems. This will be the best award to Mr. Jörg Schauer and his team, who produce watches with not only German design, but also German quality.
This article has been originally published on my blog. Article will be also published on WUS forum, translated to Czech and published on Czech watch portal Chronomag.cz.
All pictures and texts can be used for non-commercial purposes only and with publication of sources (URL of article).
- My memories and photos
- Stowa Museum (photos of vintage Antea)