While I take ATM ratings with a big grain of sea salt, a missing gasket between case and back would clearly qualify as that kind of error. Unfortunately, discovering such a missing piece apparently voids the warranty, which is understandable from Stowa's pov I suppose (but IF they did not install the gasket in the first place that is also very unfortunate, as it would be a qc issue which now cannot be addressed fairly to the op).
I will take it on faith, respect the op, and assume that if he or she is willing and capable of removing a case back he or she is entirely capable of seeing and understanding if a gasket is missing. It is also entirely plausible that a gasket might easily be a misplaced and therefore not installed in a moment of inattention. Probably/hopefully NOT a "common" Stowa problem but who the hell cares...it apparently happened to this particular op/owner, aka the only person who really matters in this discussion.
To deflect the issue back on the user when that person states, "I noticed there is no gasket between the glass back and watch" does not feel very fair. Alternative notions and defenses such as "it might be user error" might explain IF water penetrated through the crown (although the Flieger Klassik 40mm has no screw-down crown, so not much real protection even if the crown was 100% properly closed) but would not remotely explain a missing gasket, which certainly would also allow more water to penetrate while washing hands than an open crown would.
That said, op, if Stowa states that the 2-year warranty is now completely voided because you opened the case after 2 weeks, why send it back to them at all? Ask them to kindly mail you either a new gasket or at least the specifications for the proper gasket and then have your watchmaker install it and test. Good luck.
The watch needed repaired for 200 dollars. I owned the watch for a couple of days! It was brand new. I am not really sure what's going on. I got a chance to wear it for a few days, anyway. Jinxed. I am sure they make quality watches. Mine was damaged apparently in transit. Too bad these watches are not robust enought to survive the mail. Very expensive lesson for me. good business model for them.
I don't get this kind of people...so you buy a new car, notice a problem with the engine and instead of bringing the car to the dealership, you pull the engine out of the car, can't find the problem and then go to the dealer to fix it under warranty. Really?
Last edited by Gargamel35; August 28th, 2019 at 13:40.
Panerai Luminor 0000 Logo
Laco Leipzig Erbstuck
Poljot Aviator IV
Orient Ray (blue)
Orient Bambino IV blue
Casio Tough Solar
Garmin Fenix 5+
Presumably Stowa pressure-tested the watch after assembly, my understanding is that pressure testing after closing the case is standard watchmaking practice. If the gasket was missing I would expect the watch to have failed the pressure test and Stowa would have investigated and taken appropriate action.
In other words, I don't see how Stowa could have sent the watch out without a case gasket as that would require two mistakes at minimum, no gasket, no pressure test.
All mechanical, all the time
Once one opens the case themselves, all bets/Stowa responsibility are off. They cannot be held to subsequent (or even previous) actions once the watch is opened by a non-authorized person.
The OP might argue, "But there was no gasket!" to which Stowa could, entirely within their rights, reply, "Did the gasket fall out when you opened the case?". It would be a very legitimate question.
And, frankly, what does "...Mine was damaged apparently in transit...." even mean, really? By whose judgment?
To then state, even more absurdly, "Too bad these watches are not robust enough to survive the mail." is insulting, ludicrous, and unfair to Stowa, and so you (op) really lose me there.
I do not know the numbers but I would assume that, since 2017 marked Stowa's 90th anniversary, more than just a few Stowa watches have survived arduous and tumultuous journeys all across the globe for many years without incident. I know that mine did, extremely well packaged and protected, from Engelsbrand, Germany to Los Angeles, CA, 100% fine. Mine arrived in a standard DHL box iirc, and was certainly not hand-delivered on a bed of fresh roses by a fair-haired maiden riding a pure white unicorn...I would have remembered that, I think. So, perhaps the hyperbole needs to be toned down just a tad?
this is what i wrote to the customer:
Dear Mr..........(i delete the name!),
its me, Jörg Schauer , CEO of STOWA.
Mr.........., i have to write you because we are trying to find a solution for your watch which is demaged.
Basicly i am sure that the watch was 100% waterproof when we shipped it.
Every single watch gets a double check on this specification.
Even though it can be possible that the watch loose its water resistant during wearing (if it gets a hit or shock at the crown position)
We don´t know if this or something during the transport happens.
Fact is, that your watch had condensation like you wrote to us.
This circumstance can have many reasons - like i wrote - this is difficult to find out.
You opened the watch by yourself which is basicly a problem, because things can be loose, things can be demaged by doing this and normaly the customer will loose the guarantee.
(of course it is easily possible to loose a gasket- especially on the caseback after taking of the caseback)
But i don´t say this like a fact - it might be possible.
That's not an assertion, but it could have been like this.
But all this doesn´t solve our challenge we are facing.
The only way is that we repair your watch and send it back like new.
Please confirm this and i hope this will help to satiesfied you.
We will charge nothing for this work because we are sure that you choose the watch in the reason you like it - now you are angry- i understand.
The reasons we can´t find out 100% - so we will do our best to bring back the satisfaction to you.
Bye for now
Wow! Stowa going above and beyond here.
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As one who is all for consumers rights and fairness above all, in general and whether member, "moderator", or company/sponsor on WUS specifically, I have to say that I am becoming increasingly disappointed in the "Problems with abc-xyz watch!!!" threads here on WUS (and I frequent very few forums here).
There have been at least several very recent threads, regarding both Stowa and Damasko in the cases I read, that start out as, "The sky is falling!", loaded with very negative titles, and then we find out "some details" were omitted by the complainants themselves; and/or that solutions had been provided months earlier to the ops in different, previous threads; and/or that communication with the company had/have already been going on; and/or that the companies were/are in fact doing all they could to resolve the issues in a timely manner...and yet the ops were/are still insistently posting negative claims here, in the public realm.
I do not know what the solution is, as of course this is a public watch forum, but I also do not feel that every time someone spills coffee on themselves they then have the right to scream about, let alone sue, Starbucks or McDonalds....nor that dissatisfied customers (who may in fact also be at least partially responsible for their dissatisfaction) should paint companies with negatively-titled threads that anyone then searching the internet for, in this case, "Stowa Flieger", might then read.
I see that Mr. Schauer has had to personally take the time to step in and address marginal-at-best complaints here at least twice now in the past weeks, regarding completely different issues, and has done so as always in his polite and professional manner. Mr. Schauer (and others) has had the class and courtesy to respond elegantly in a thread which title is negative (excessively so?) towards his own company. He has not complained about that, but rather only addressed the "issue" itself straight on, fairly and honestly, with an offer far above any basic responsibility of his. What a headache it must be.
I truly do hope that posters in the future address their concerns with the same fairness and grace that Mr. Schauer has, with more careful consideration regarding the general impacts of their airing personal "dirty laundry"...and that these public complaints about debatable "problems" do not also become increasingly common as measures by which customers attempt to "strong-arm" companies to provide "more".
N.B.: before someone specific chimes in, I do feel that this thread (and some similar others) is far different from the "Stowa movements" thread, which addressed a completely different (website-wide description errors versus specific-watch technical "problems") set of issues. The two categories are not at all comparable.
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