I will write a full review in a few short weeks, including pictures, once the LOOK AT MY NEW WATCH !! excitement dies down.
I have had a couple of experiences buying watches without being able to handle them in person, sight unseen. I have had mixed experiences with doing this.
The Stowa Prodiver has been 'calling to me' for a number of months now. Although I can honestly say, it was not love at first sight, this watch grew on me the more I looked at pics and read owners experiences. I own many upscale brand divers, Rolex, Omega, Breitling, IWC, Doxa.
The Stowa Prodiver is a 'modern' dive watch, IMHO it's possibly one of the best and unique dive watch designs I've seen introduced in several years. it's not a 'clone' of anything. It's design is definitively German, utilitarian, it's a very good looking tool watch and an incredible value.
Movement ETA 2824
Case The steel case is a unique design, I've heard some criticism of it, but I absolutely love it. It's a bit squared off, almost a cushion case, it's chunky, it's sandblasted almost to the point it appears titanium. The shoulder crown protecters are particularly impressive. It's simply and tastefully engraved on the back. I don't know if this is the case on all the PD models, but the engraving is perfectly right side up, which is a nice touch. Some of my watches with engraved case backs (Omega PO) are turned to a side. Surprisingly, no sharp edges. There is a Helium valve.
Crystal Sapphire, domed, I believe it's 3.7mm thick and AR coated.
Crown Nice size 7mm I think, the engraving is particularly impressive. It grips easily, handles sturdily, and winds smoothly. It does not dig into my wrist.
Dial Nice black matte. Very legible. Minimal writing, no clutter. The date window is perfectly placed just above the 6 o'clock marker and is done in black w/ white font, so as not to mess up the symmetry of the dial. Nice balance, no cyclops, or missing markers at 3. Lume is superluminova, it's applied liberally and neatly it glows like a torch, just as everyone I have heard from. The lume is the best of any watch I have owned.
Hands All 3 hands on my version are black and packed w/ superluminova, I mean this stuff must really be loaded on there by the way they glow. They are sword style with a hint of plonguer style. The size of the hands are perfectly proportioned for the dial with the minute and second hands hitting the minute markers the way I like. The ball on the second hand is large, on my version with the all black hands, the ball appears to 'float' around the black dial and it is designed to sweep across to perfectly ride atop the drawn white inner circle, when it hits the six o'clock mark, it perfectly eclipses the circular date window - WOW. I have ordered an orange second and minute hand from Stowa - but I may keep this look, it's nicely balanced, understated, and elegant.
Bezel It's a 60 click bezel, which is different, but it gets the job done. it's abit louder than most when turned. Nice lume on the dot. It operates flawlessly and smoothly. The edges are easy to grip and not sharp. it sits nicely above the case to protect the crystal, but not too predominant or tall. The black and white OEM bezel version looks MUCH better in person than in photos. The bezel slants slightly inward towards the crystal. There are many versions available through Stowa - I may buy another for a simple and easy change of look.
Bracelet The bracelet is a pleasant surprise. It's 22mm and UNtapered - which I also love. Mine is also bead blasted, it's thick, solid, and drapes over the wrist nicely. The solid end links are screwed into the case, which I prefer to springs. The connection of the end pieces to the case is as solid and flush as I have seen, no play at all. The rows of 5 design is much nicer in person, the sytle matches the case perfectly. The links are simple to adjust by screws. The screws seem a little larger than some - which make it easier to work on. It comes with a rubber strap and signed deployant - but I don't think I'll use it. IMHO the heaviness of this watch is matched better with a solid and heavy bracelet.
Clasp Signed, divers extension, and 4 micro adjustments, flip lock. It's a bit tough to open, which I guess is a good thing - takes some getting used to to get it right. Again - no taper, the width of the clasp further helps balance the head of the watch.
Accuracy Too early to tell.
Comfort Surprisingly nice. I had read about how BIG this watch was, so I was a little scared it might be too large. I have a 7 3/4 wrist and it fits nicely. It doesn't even seem particularly heavy to me when on the wrist - when I take it off, it feels heavy in my hand. Of course I am used to wearing dive watches (I'm surfguy). Wears no bigger than my IWC AT or Breitling Steelfish.
Packaging Nice metal box, w/ a Stowa leather bag for the rubber band and extra links.
Manual A paper foldout with instructions mostly in German. There is a sticker on the back with serial number and warranty information. This is an area for improvement.
Value I can assure you, this watch would be very very hard to be disappointed in.
Overall Impression Conservatively this watch matches the upscale Swiss brands I own in quality, fit, and finish. I honestly see no difference in these areas. If this were in the jewelers cases - it BLOWS away anything in its price range (almost laughingly so), it could fly out the door at twice it's MSRP if it were sitting next to Rolex, Omega, and Breitling.
I'm a lousy photog - but this watch is so worth it - I will get some pics soon to complete the review.