Stowa Airman Original?

Thread: Stowa Airman Original?

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  1. #1
    Member kai-wun's Avatar
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    Stowa Airman Original?

    Hey all.

    I'm looking to make my first significant watch purchase. (I've never spent over $150 on a watch before...).

    I would like a watch to keep, wear it proudly every day and then hand it down to another generation. *That* type of watch =)

    Something with pedigree. History. Significance.

    I was looking around, and slowly but surely fell in love with the Luftwaffe Flieger style watches. That is.. a watch I can rock every day, a distinct style.

    The Airman Original is beautiful. Blued hands, blued screws. Handwound, just like the watches back then. Huge exposition.

    Beautiful, just beautiful.

    I was originally planning to purchase the Omega Speedmaster Professional. That one has an amazing history as well, and I know it's a quality timepiece. But I think the Stowa AO is more my type. I really do like both, but the AO I would wear every day where the SMP I might not want to wear with some outfits.

    I know the SMP will never lose value, or go out of "style". It's a timepiece that will last forever and never drop in value. And it's got a beautifully modified movement, while the AO has a "simple" 6497.

    I would even dare say the modern SMP is closer to the original moonwatch than the AO is to the watches the Luftwaffe pilots wore back then. So in a sense, the SMP is a truer collectable timepiece and there's really nothing all that special about the AO (other than the fact it's a beautifully crafted watch). Is this correct?

    There's also the fact the AO is a quite a bit cheaper than the SMP... enough to pick up an Antea KS, a true dress piece.

    Decisions decisions. (I know it will be biased posting this in this forum...)

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Cheers
    -k

  2. #2
    Member Rikku's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Airman Original?

    I definitely plan on buying the stowa at some point. Though, I've never been a huge omega fan...

    Think you should go for it!

  3. #3
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    Re: Stowa Airman Original?

    I have the SMP and I love it, it's a great watch. I also have the Airman/Flieger Original on order (June 2009 arrival). To my mind, these are quite different watches - chrono vs non-chrono, space vs aviation heritage. There are also LOTS more SMPs out there than there are AOs, so I see the AO as quite a unique piece - I doubt that STOWA can make more than 1,000 pieces per year of the serial model, plus from next year the supply of raw ETA movements will be gradually reduced to non-ETA producers (I don't know what the implication of this will be for STOWA but it can't be good).

    Plus, the original B-Uhrs were powered by pocket watch movements, which means that the AO is authentic in that way, and STOWA was one of the original five producers.

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  5. #4
    Member Hary's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Airman Original?

    Appetizer for those who are still waiting for the FO. Good things must wait


  6. #5
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    Re: Stowa Airman Original?

    My rule in collecting is, buy the most expensive that you can afford first, then see how you go with the AO. Both are great watches therefore I recommend owning both. I have an SMP Apollo 11 LE and a STOWA AO LE. Both are great in their own right but the SMP has been around for over 50 years virtually unchanged so it's an icon in my book.

  7. #6
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    Re: Stowa Airman Original?

    While these are both aviation themed watches, they have very different personalities. The Lemania movement in the Speedmaster is truly spectacular and the hands, dial and lume and casework on the AO are also spectacular. However, it all depends upon what you want.

    Personally, I would ignore the price and puchase the watch you want the most. If you are mainly purchasing the AO due to the lower price point, you may regret passing-up the Speedy later.

    Tough decision.

  8. #7
    Member Zoot Allures's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Airman Original?

    Quote Originally Posted by taipan168 View Post
    from next year the supply of raw ETA movements will be gradually reduced to non-ETA producers (I don't know what the implication of this will be for STOWA but it can't be good).
    Jörg Schauer owns the Durowe trade mark (new old stocks and maybe blue-prints, parts too) for a while, now. Wishing he'll gradually switch Stowa products to Durowe movements as soon as possible providing us with 100 % German watches (modulo the few one with a fareastern case).
    Didier/Dieter
    Omega Constellation pie-pan (cal. 551, 1962)Stowa Flieger Baumuster A AutoSwatch SUJM704 day-date

  9. #8
    Member kai-wun's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Airman Original?

    Wow... such a difficult decision. You guys are right, price isn't a big issue. Money can always be earned again =)

    So far Omega has the edge on heritage, with amazing Lemania movement and respect from the common public that it is a quality piece.

    I am leaning towards the Stowa because it is a brand that hardly anyone knows, Luftwaffe heritage, and I prefer the look of.

    However, the fact that it's a "plane jane" 6497 that's in the AO, compared to the beautiful Omega 321 movement that is in the SMP is making this decision extremely difficult. Sure, the movements in the original B-Uhr watches were handwound pocketwatch movements, but surely it wasn't the 6497 was it?

    Lookswise: AO. Beauty under the hood: SMP.

    Ack! I might have to end up getting both! I really do like the idea that the AO is "made for me" while the SMP is just one I pick off a shelf....

    //edit: Any news on that Durowe TM? A true German watch would push me over the edge to get an Stowa flieger style watch (powered by a German movement) ....
    Last edited by kai-wun; November 29th, 2008 at 23:13.

  10. #9
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: Stowa Airman Original?

    I don´t agree. The Stowa AO Unitas isn´t a "plain-Jane". It differs a lot from what you say is "plain-Jane": A "plain-Jane" does not feature blued screws, a screw balance, a swan neck regulator (optional) and Côtes de Genève.



    That said, the Omega 321 is a beauty too....


  11. #10
    Member Zoot Allures's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Airman Original?

    Hi Kai-Wun, hi all,

    Quote Originally Posted by kai-wun View Post
    edit: Any news on that Durowe TM? A true German watch would push me over the edge to get an Stowa flieger style watch (powered by a German movement) ....
    If the goal aimed by Jörg is quite clear since he bought Stowa then Durowe, now even with blue-prints, a good crew of skilled watchmakers, the mass-production of a improved old movements to feed his own products (becoming sort of manufacture) then maybe providing other german watch factories... is the hardest part of the trip.
    Following the decreasing of ETA supply by increasing his own engines...
    But the man Schauer really has the guts to get it someday.

    Since he's been sneaking this topic, maybe could he just explain that a bit...
    Didier/Dieter
    Omega Constellation pie-pan (cal. 551, 1962)Stowa Flieger Baumuster A AutoSwatch SUJM704 day-date

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