I just ordered my first automatic/mechanical timepiece from Stowa. I opted for one of the Stowa Antea Black (no date) that was available at a discounted price because it was shown at an exhibition.
I've never owned a fine watch of any sort. When I was a much younger man, I determined that my wild lifestyle could put a nice watch in jeopardy. In fact, I recall scraping the paint from the crystal of my cheap quartz watch on several mornings (perhaps afternoons) following wild nights on the town.
Now, however, I am older, and I have a family to care for. I seldom drink, and when I do, it is rarely to excess. This year, I turned 39, and I realized that I am nearly 40 and I still don't have a proper dress watch. Thus, I embarked on the long search.
The Internet is both a blessing and a curse--it is a blessing in that I was able to find what I wanted, but a curse in that there are so many watchmakers out there, with so many lines of watches to review.
It took days of research just to even get a feel for what I wanted, beyond the requirement that it be a suitable "dress watch." I managed to come up with the following requirements:
- dress watch (no dive watches, racing watches, or aviator-style watches)
- classic look (no trendy watches)
- leather band (can come with metal, but must still look good w/leather)
- automatic/mechanical (no quartz, battery-driven, or manual wind)
- clean layout (few or no complications, no chronographs)
- round dial
- Arabic numerals (index marks or Roman numerals only if the watch face design is exceptional)
- cost below $1k
You can imagine my reaction when I stumbled across the Stowa Antea. I actually found it fairly early in my search, but I persevered--I wanted to make sure that I'd seen plenty of candidates before I made my decision.
I managed to come up with a couple of contenders (e.g., Oris Classic Date, Tissot Classic series), but I kept coming back to the stark beauty of the Antea. After eliminating nearly 50 other watchmakers, I chose the Stowa.
Prior to making my purchase, I browsed through these forums very carefully, learning as much as I could about Stowa and Jörg Schauer. When I ran across the note on the exhibition watches (posted here, though no doubt it won't be mentioned there for long), I knew I could wait no longer. I placed my order this morning.