Attention: Problems with Stowa
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  1. #1
    Member Nyrfen's Avatar
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    Attention: Problems with Stowa

    Hello Watchuseek,

    This is a thread I did not want to create in the first place but I felt that I had to.

    So where should I begin? This is my first "serious" watch. I ordered a marine 36mm with roman numerals with the hand-wound movement (2804-2) from Stowa. I decided to purchase the hand-wound version because I did like the look of it on their website and I liked the fact that there would not be a rotor that disturbs me while observing all the fine details on the movement. I fell in love with the balance wheel, the perlage finish and basically the whole movement and the way it looked so I decided that all the "bells and whistles" would be worth the extra 150€ that it would cost me. Me being a bit naïve I also fell for the "you get what you pay for" dilemma, so obviously I thought I would get something great, I spent 150€ extra so that should be the case, right?

    So since this was my first watch I was a bit green/new on the subject of watches and grades of ETA movements but I came to realize that people used terms such as "top-grade", "Elaboré-grade" etc, I did not know the hierarchy of those I just knew that there were different grades of the movement and since Stowa explicitly tell the customers that the automatic version is in both top finish and the top grade (for 130€ extra) and also suggest that you can upgrade to the 2804-2 hand-wound version for 150€ you might believe that you will get the best possible movement that they can get, because it's the most costly alternative within that watch model. So I later came to realize that the grade of the movement was elaboré and that the standard of that one is not as good as the top-grade one. I had to email them and ask to find this information it's not clearly stated when you select the hand-wound movement that it is of lower quality.

    So now I have bought something that is of less quality for 20€ more than the cheaper alternative that is better on paper. But I still liked the fact that I could see the beautiful movement without a rotor, and I've also heard that Stowa regulate their ETA movements so I still didn't really care since I am sure that I would not notice the difference anyway. I was so hooked on the appearance of the movement so I didn't really care that much of it being a little bit inferior in the timekeeping aspect compared to the top-grade automatic one.

    After reading a bit more on this forum I found out that they have had old pictures of their watches before, something about their regulators used to have screw adjustment and now they don't. That kinda scared me and made me write an email to Stowa asking them if their movement pictures on their website is a true representation of the movement or if they had changed anything on it. Turns out that the beautiful movement I fell in love with was an old picture and they sent me a picture of the new one to my mail and they had basically changed everything. The balance wheel was replaced with an uglier one, they added extra text to one of the bridges, the pearl finish was gone the only thing that was left was basically the blued screws honestly it looked dull and depressing compared to the picture they advertise with on their website. So now I am in the process of emailing back and forth with them hoping to find a solution. So don't trust the images on their website they might be outdated or false in some way. Also, their FAQ says that the 2804-2 comes with the pearl finish on the movement but it does not.

    How are customers supposed to know what they are purchasing if all information is either false or outdated somehow?

    Old Pic (the one they use to advertise their hand-wound movement on the website)
    Name:  Pic on website.png
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    This is the new one you will actually get (totally different). This pic was emailed to me from the support. (as you can see, no perlage finish, totally different balance wheel etc etc)
    Name:  new pic.png
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    I think it's called false marketing..
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  2. #2
    Member LosAngelesTimer's Avatar
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    Re: Attention: Problems with Stowa

    If you're not happy and you don't have the watch yet, why not just cancel the order? Seems simple.

    Stowa make a great watch but if what's on offer doesn't please YOU, then look elsewhere. There is hardly a dearth of marine/deck watches out there.

    However, I'm surprised Stowa have not updated the photos on their site. This is at least the second post I recall reading where someone voiced the same complaint - the movement photos on the site not matching the movement as delivered. This is not a difficult change to make - literally a few keystrokes since they already have photos of the new(er) movements.

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  3. #3
    Member Nyrfen's Avatar
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    Re: Attention: Problems with Stowa

    As I said, I am emailing with them back and forth trying to find a solution. But right now I just feel like I have been fooled. Because as you say, they are supposed to make great watches, I have heard that as well... I just want to raise awareness so this does not happen to somebody else.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Attention: Problems with Stowa

    Sorry, but when your first post is to complain about a company with a good reputation because you couldn't be bothered to ask questions before purchasing I don't have a lot of sympathy. Fortunately for you, I have found their customer service to be quite good and accommodating.
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  6. #5
    Member LosAngelesTimer's Avatar
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    Re: Attention: Problems with Stowa

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptical View Post
    Sorry, but when your first post is to complain about a company with a good reputation because you couldn't be bothered to ask questions before purchasing I don't have a lot of sympathy. Fortunately for you, I have found their customer service to be quite good and accommodating.
    Really? Stowa posts photos of a specific movement on their e-commerce site and then slap a different movement into the actual watch they send out to buyers and you're blaming the buyer? That's some twisted, HIGHLY FLAWED logic there. Blame the victim.
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  7. #6
    Member kiwi71's Avatar
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    Attention: Problems with Stowa

    I really wish I hadn’t read this thread. I just received a manual wind Ikarus from the recent special offers. I’ve been raving about the watch and don’t get me wrong, I do love it. I won’t be complaining further to Stowa or requesting any refunds or exchanges. But this thread did just call to my attention that I did get a different movement than was depicted in the advertisement. This is the photo on the actual listing in the special offers:



    And this is the movement I received:



    I’m just saying the OP’s kind of got a point. I already have the watch, been wearing it, and i had no clue about this until reading this thread.

    I’d say if the new movement was aesthetically equal to the one in the photos, no problem. But I have to say the one in the website photos is quite a bit prettier to look at. And as someone else said, just update the photos. It shouldn’t be that hard to do.

    I’m also just kind of wondering, did the manual winds only until recently actually have this nicer looking movement in them? Or did the change happen a while ago?

    Again, I love my new watch, I’m keeping it. Stowa is a great company and I’ve been a fan for a long time. But I do happen to be a living example of the OP’s point.

    P.S. Who would ever think to ask “Hey, am I actually going to get the movement in the photo you have posted on your website, or is it possible you might a throw a lesser one in there?” Yes, not logical.


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    Last edited by kiwi71; 1 Week Ago at 04:37.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Attention: Problems with Stowa

    Dude, Stowa is a first class company. They will resolve any issue with their customers. You coming on this board and whining, and accusing Stowa of false advertising is just wrong, and quite frankly a dou- che move. If you are not happy you should have just cancelled your order on moved on with your life. Instead you besmirch Stowa stellar reputation because you can't get what you want, waah waah.

    The new movement still has Geneva strips, and is finished appropriately for its price point. I fail to see your issue, at all

  9. #8
    Member mitchjrj's Avatar
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    Re: Attention: Problems with Stowa

    While I can’t comment on the OP’s experience I will say mine – over two Stowa pieces – has been outstanding. And that is the prevailing attitude towards them here.

    Hope it works out for you.
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  10. #9
    Member LosAngelesTimer's Avatar
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    Re: Attention: Problems with Stowa

    The absence of perspective and objectivity on this thread is disconcerting.

    Did Stowa put a different movement than advertised in a watch? YES. There is no arguing that point. None.
    You can argue wether it was a mistake or not but, as I posted above, this is not the first time someone has complained about this precise issue. At this point, one can only assume there's negligence involved. Updating the photos would literally take under an hour - and that's being generous. It would also obviate future customer service complaints, which will only snowball if they continue to use outdated photos.

    Does the OP come across as a "The sky is falling! Ermergerd!!!" type? Yes, perhaps a little of that, too but he does have a point, which has been backed up by another poster on this thread.

    The brand cheerleading on this thread strains credulity and makes me weep for the future of our species.
    Last edited by LosAngelesTimer; 1 Week Ago at 04:35.
    toph, Nyrfen, praetor47 and 5 others like this.

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  11. #10
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    Re: Attention: Problems with Stowa

    Quote Originally Posted by bjjkk View Post
    Dude, Stowa is a first class company. They will resolve any issue with their customers. You coming on this board and whining, and accusing Stowa of false advertising is just wrong, and quite frankly a dou- che move. If you are not happy you should have just cancelled your order on moved on with your life. Instead you besmirch Stowa stellar reputation because you can't get what you want, waah waah.

    The new movement still has Geneva strips, and is finished appropriately for its price point. I fail to see your issue, at all

    You are absolutely wrong. Whilst I agree that the movement on the watch is still of good quality it is not what is advertised, and in fact appears inferior.
    Is it the end of the world? No. Is it wrong in principle? Absolutely

    Someone has the right to spend their money on exactly what they want, as advertised, and expect to receive just that.

    It appears they are advertising a different movement to one that Is sold
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