Correct hands on this Stowa?
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  1. #1
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    Correct hands on this Stowa?

    This one is on Catawiki as a 1940s military Stowa at 35mm. The hands don't seem right to me. Also, wouldn't there be certain inscriptions to designate that it was military issue?

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    Name:  stowa 02.jpg
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    Yep, it's missing a holding screw.
    Name:  stowa 03.jpg
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    Not a great photo.
    Name:  stowa 04.jpg
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    I'll probably pass, but the current $142 bid is keeping me interested.

  2. #2
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    Re: Correct hands on this Stowa?

    No, it's not a military watch, and no, the hands are not correct. And both of these things are pretty obvious, given that the case and movement don't meet military specifications (not German ones, at least, and while Stowa certainly wouldn't supply any other country during WW2, I doubt that they supplied anyone else prior to the war), and 1970s-style hands on a late 1930s-early 1940s watch are about as correct as a contemporary body kit with a giant rear spoiler on a Rolls-Royce Phantom II.

    The numerals don't look like they were ever lumed, so lumed hands are pretty much out of question as well. Most likely it had polished steel or white (painted) stick or leaf hands.

    Lack of military markings is one thing. Were it a German milwatch, it would also have to be equipped with a shock device (mostly Incabloc). Plated brass cases were found on milwatches of the period alright, and it wouldn't be a long shot to assume that probably most of them had brass cases alright. However, save for the B-Uhr of the Luftwaffe and British 6B/159 (with spring bars- HS8) watches for the RAF, pretty much all milwatches of the period had screw-in backs and hermetic (more or less capable of keeping water out) crowns.

    If it had the correct hands, it would be just a really nice watch from the late 1930s or early 1940s, with a pure and simple design. However, even if it would have the correct hands, I wouldn't pay north of $140, not even if I had some wonderful metabolism converting bread to cash.
    Last edited by mkws; August 23rd, 2017 at 02:58.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Correct hands on this Stowa?

    I'll consider it an accomplishment when I can start noticing the obvious in this field. I would've simply liked it as a correct 1930-40s Stowa. Anyway, they are not uncommon out there.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Correct hands on this Stowa?

    Btw, thanks for confirming, mkws.

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  6. #5
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    Re: Correct hands on this Stowa?

    Quote Originally Posted by OPChagall View Post
    I'll consider it an accomplishment when I can start noticing the obvious in this field. I would've simply liked it as a correct 1930-40s Stowa. Anyway, they are not uncommon out there.
    In this case, noticing the obvious isn't very hard. That the style of the watch and that of the hands are decades apart, that's one - just remembering the design features typical for a particular decade, nothing more. That it's not military... The lack of markings is one thing, but what one needs to remember, is that military watches were built to withstand rough conditions, and features like a non-hermetic crown and a press-in back provide no protection against water, dirt and mud whatsoever. Which is why I'm usually laughing hard, when I see sellers trying to advertise such watches as military ones. And which is why I usually advise to pass on such a listing, because the false claims of military provenance (and often also rarity) are unfortunately (and usually) the reason behind the mad prices.

    Stowas from that period were quite lovely, so I can fully understand why you're looking for one. Hell, if I found a nice specimen in a good condition at a flea market, I would probably find it very difficult to resist buying it.
    Shum and OPChagall like this.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
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    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  7. #6
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    Re: Correct hands on this Stowa?

    That watch is a complete mess!! The hands don't fit the 1940s claim - but then, the movement doesn't either and the hands actually fit the movement more than anything else. It's a standard Unitas calibre from the 1960s or 1970s, something like this (Picture 3):

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Unitas 6310N

    ...so there is even the possibility that it's all or mostly correct but from the 1970s. The dial doesn't really fit, though.....

    Hartmut Richter

  8. #7
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    Re: Correct hands on this Stowa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    That watch is a complete mess!! The hands don't fit the 1940s claim - but then, the movement doesn't either and the hands actually fit the movement more than anything else. It's a standard Unitas calibre from the 1960s or 1970s, something like this (Picture 3):

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Unitas 6310N

    ...so there is even the possibility that it's all or mostly correct but from the 1970s. The dial doesn't really fit, though.....

    Hartmut Richter
    The Ranfft archive doesn't provide any data on when was the movement introduced, and when was it discontinued - also, the movement in the original post doesn't have a shock device... Doesn't the nickname "Wehrmachtswerk" apply to movements (and their derivatives) used in WW2-era German milwatches?
    Can't check it with any DH watches, though- the best free online resource for British and German milwatches, time514.com, apparently is no longer there.

    Nevertheless, where one thing's wrong with the watch, often more issues follow. It never rains, but it pours.

    The case is very, very unlikely to be later than the 1940s.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  9. #8
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    Re: Correct hands on this Stowa?

    I've found a WUS thread of a Stowa with a dial that fits the 1930-40s look and has the same movement, which was identified as a Unitas 173. Another WUS thread has the same movement in a Unitas watch that was clearly military issue, and the movement was also identified as a Unitas 173.

    The Unitas 173 isn't in the Ranfft database, but perhaps it was a predecessor of the 631X series. So, it may just be the hands that were transplanted.

    Other than that, I don't think there's any colorable claim that this was produced under military specs, much less military issued.

    One thing I learned from this: I didn't know that Stowa never made movements in-house.
    esdy_11192 and mkws like this.

  10. #9
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    Re: Correct hands on this Stowa?

    I don't know why they call this a "Wehrmachtswerk" - the bridge and particularly balance cock shapes are typical of the post WWII Unitas movements and Ranfft doesn't show any specimen movements like this earlier than ca. 1960. I presume that this is based on a further development of an older movement with a different bridge layout which was used in WWII. If the case is definitely from before 1960 - which I have no reason to doubt - then it is very likely a mariage.

    Hartmut Richter

  11. #10
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    Re: Correct hands on this Stowa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    I don't know why they call this a "Wehrmachtswerk" - the bridge and particularly balance cock shapes are typical of the post WWII Unitas movements and Ranfft doesn't show any specimen movements like this earlier than ca. 1960. I presume that this is based on a further development of an older movement with a different bridge layout which was used in WWII. If the case is definitely from before 1960 - which I have no reason to doubt - then it is very likely a mariage.

    Hartmut Richter
    Did you see my previous post about the Unitas 173, which seems to match the one that I posted and appears to go back as early as the 40s?

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