The Antea Crème arrived in late May, eight months after I ordered it for the missus’ birthday. We were shopping for a serious watch without the bling and diamonds for her to wear for most casual occasions as her hand-me-down 27mm Rollie is a tad too formal and small.
I showed her the Stowa website and she chose the Antea Crème over the KS due to its auto movement and date function. Of course there were other brands to consider from, but I shall not list them in this Antea review.
The large FedEx package looked good enough to protect the watch from most abuse during shipping. I guess this is worth the EUR59 shipping charge.
Moving past the white paper box, this is the standard Stowa aluminum box that owners are familiar with. It looks like a generic metal case lined with printed black faux leather on the inside.
Here you can see the complete set – watch, pouch and papers.
On to the all important watch, the Antea Crème is very well made. It has a clear and simple 3-hand dial with date at 6 o’clock. The Bauhaus fonts and numbering on this one really grip me. The black stick hands and markers are very well executed. Like its model name suggests, the dial is solid crème without any patterns. Markers and numbers are printed.
The extremely thin bezel allows maximum use of the 39mm case. The Antea is almost all-dial, making it wear larger than specs suggest. It is also important to note that the Antea has longer than usual lugs compared to other watches of the same case diameter.
Its straight and angular lugs are also another design element that attracts me and the missus. The flat sapphire crystal adds on to the angular design element.
This is a shot of the beautifully engraved crown. It feels very solid when winding.
The buckle is also signed with Stowa logo and name. Plans for a swap to a mesh bracelet were discarded to make sure this good-looking buckle remained. To my knowledge, there are no Stowa-signed mesh bracelets. I ordered the standard black strap because I feel that an alligator does not match this style of watch.
There seems to be a small gap between the case and crown when the crown is pushed in (look at watch on left). I don’t think this is a big issue although this has to be the biggest gap I have seen after owning several watches.
The engine is an adequately decorated 2824-2. Blue screws and signed rotor. This is the non-COSC version.
While the Antea is not generally considered a formal dress watch, I would still think that it goes better with a long-sleeved Thomas Pink shirt than a Rip Curl T-shirt. No issues on this for me, the lady is going wear this with her nice dresses. The 39mm size works fine for her as it is very common to see women wearing oversized watches these days (at least in my country). I have lost count of the number of B&R and U-BOAT look-alikes on women’s wrist when I walk down Orchard Road. Here’s a wrist shot of her. She needed two extra holes punched at a local watch boutique.
Here’s a wrist shot on me. Look at how long and straight those lugs are. It is as though the case was mounted on a rack.
It has roughly the same lug length as its German brother who is 43mm. That’s my dress watch – Meistersinger No.3 (I should write a review on him too). I used to dream of a larger Antea (about 42mm), but now I think it’s a bad idea because you’d either need to shorten the lugs (and lose originality) or have straight lugs sticking out both sides of your wrist (and look silly).
Thoughts and feelings
The Antea line is truly a great way to get started on Stowa watches. I am aware that the Crème and Black had been discontinued due to movement supply issues. This was why the waiting time for this one was so long. I am sure the KS, 365, 390 and DD will keep the flag flying high and proud for the Antea family. In fact I love the KS for its beautiful manual-wind movement.
Just to re-iterate my admiration for its angular case and lugs, here’s the same photo earlier that shows that the bezel and crystal are almost perpendicular to the side of the case. The watch on the right has a rounded bezel and domed crystal.
While our first Stowa has far exceeded almost all expectations, I suggest they look into the possibility of offering better packaging. Before other fans murder me for igniting a price increase, I feel Jorg can offer the option of having an upgraded box or something.
Some internet brands offer “deluxe packaging” at a small premium. I would do that (say EUR50) for a Stowa watch. That generic aluminum box, pouch and small cards do not befit the quality of Jorg’s products. I remember reading a review here about the 1938 Chrono, and the owner felt the same way as I do regarding the current packaging.
Back to the watch, my lady is very pleased with her gift and agrees that I should get a KS or MO some day. J