This review is based on an October 2017 Stowa Partitio Klassik Black, handwound with sapphire displayback, purchased second hand for USD630 (excluding shipping). Based on other forum posts, I believe it has a slightly larger crown compared to other earlier Partitios, which are otherwise identical.
This is my first review on WUS, so any useful feedback would be most appreciated.
- The dial is seemingly simple, but the details are sublime. It is a case study in restrained execution and I loved staring at it. The font choice & sizing, print quality, positioning of numerals and words, rotating orientation of the 5-minute numerals, sub-minute track, etc. The dial colour is a lovely matte black, even in bright sunlight (to my eyes). The Superluminova C3 works well as one would expect and is tidy and consistent in application.
- The hands. Length of all 3 hands are perfect. The polished dark grey (silver?) finish of the seconds hand allows it to be something of a chameleon - visible when you want to look at it, but otherwise disappears. Again, thoughtful execution here. Lack of counterbalance on the seconds hand is a unique touch which I liked.
- Readability / legibility. This is a major factor for me after having had watches that are not too easily read at a glance (silver dials with polished hands watches, I'm looking at you!). The Partitio Black is ALWAYS easy to read, even without any AR coating on the crystal. Great contrast and clarity. The dial and hands combine to do a fantastic job in this department.
- The case. It's a very comfortable size and height for my 6.25" wrist. My handwound Partitio was slightly thinner than the automatic. It's easy to forget the watch is there. I love how the side profile of the case transitions almost seamlessly into the domed crystal. Very smooth.
- The crystal. Some want this to have an acrylic crystal and I understand why. For me, the sapphire is a pro because it always looks pristine. The slight dome is perfect.
- The movement. It's nice to stare at it through the sapphire displayback. I am not a movement snob and I could just as happily stare at a Seiko 5 or Chinese movement because all mechanical watches are fascinating to me. That said, the blued screws and Stowa branding on the movement add some visual interest and character. It's not a work of art in the way that a boutique IHM would be, but it's well presented IMO. Time keeping was measured at approx +3s/day which is excellent.
- I bought the handwinding version and this was the reason why I sold it. I wanted to wear this daily and I didn't like having to wind a watch daily. I thought I'd enjoy it, but it turns out I'm rather lazy. In cooler weather, it's not much fun winding a small'ish crown with rather crisp edges. The winding action is acceptably smooth.
- The basic black Stowa strap is serviceable but if the watch punches above its weight in quality, then the strap doesn't quite keep up. I would replace it. The Stowa tang buckle is nice though.
- The lugs. Ultimately I'm not a thin lug guy. Yes it fits the 1930's (?) vibe of the watch and it would be weird to see thicker lugs on this watch, but I never loved the lugs here. Of course, I knew that going in and thought I would be able to look past them, but eventually the lugs bothered me.
General observations (neither pros nor cons):
- Strap versatility. I put the Partitio on a grey nato for fun and didn't like how the lugs almost disappeared completely on nato, so it strikes me as a watch that works better on leather. YMMV of course. Some people are wearing the Partitio on mesh but I never tried this option.
- Anti-reflective coating on the crystal could be useful, but not essential.
Perhaps the Partitio is too much of a chameleon. Not dressy enough and not sporty enough. For some, it could be all the watch they need. For what it is though, Stowa has done a fantastic job with it and the Partitio deserves more attention / kudos. I am glad to have tried it out and owned it for a while.