Stowa v IWC?

Thread: Stowa v IWC?

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  1. #1
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    Stowa v IWC?

    I'm asking this out of curiosity really, as we see many Stowa v Laco and Archimede threads but no Stowa v IWC.

    So, for those who have them, how do the Stowa watches compare against similar IWC watches (I'm talking fliegers here I guess as I was struck by how similar the Stowa Ikarus was to an IWC flieger I saw on the net recently)?

  2. #2
    Member Peter Atwood's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa v IWC?

    I don't have an IWC flieger but I'm willing to be the fit and finish of the Stowa would give it a run for the money. To be sure, the IWCs feature in house movements with power reserve complication and all so they are a slightly different animal but still the price is about 10 times more than a Stowa and a little tough to justify to my mind.

    Now, the new Vintage line from IWC is a little bit different story...
    Rotating on my wrist this month: Stowa Blue WatchTime Flieger, Sinn EZM9, Sinn T1, Sinn 556 Blue, Stowa Antea LE Polish Forums, Stowa Verus 40, Damasko DS30 greenie, Sinn U1, Stowa Antea Klassik KS Rose, Nomos Tangente Silvercut





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    Re: Stowa v IWC?

    "So, for those who have them, how do the Stowa watches compare against similar IWC watches?"

    The reason you probably have not found any threads is because there is a huge difference between the two from movement to design and finishing. It would be like comparing apples to oranges. I believe if you did some research on IWC you would understand why there are no comparisons.

    However with that said, IMHO Stowa is in a class by themself when it comes to the value of the FO LE.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Stowa v IWC?

    Quote Originally Posted by bullitt731 View Post
    "So, for those who have them, how do the Stowa watches compare against similar IWC watches?"

    The reason you probably have not found any threads is because there is a huge difference between the two from movement to design and finishing. It would be like comparing apples to oranges. I believe if you did some research on IWC you would understand why there are no comparisons.

    However with that said, IMHO Stowa is in a class by themself when it comes to the value of the FO LE.
    Bearing in mind that IWC were subcontracted by Laco/Stowa to assist with Uhr-B comparison during WWII, and Joerg continues to create watches of the craftsmanship of the FO and MO, I would say that there must be some comparison with the IWC watches.

    From my basic understanding, IWC uses base ETA movements which is not at all disimilar to Joerg's enhancements in the FO.

    My main point is that comparing a Stowa with an Archimede/Laco etc is a bit unfair given the amount of work that goes into the Stowa watches. I would also think it fair/interesting to compare Stowa to IWC watches as the Schauer watches could surely match the IWC bretheren and Stowa is run by the same person (Not a conglomerate which has to be worth something these days!).

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    Re: Stowa v IWC?

    I think there is a little confusion here--do you mean to compare Stowa Fliegers to IWC Big Pilots? Then there is certainly a huge price and difference in finishing (in-house movement).

    However, there are many IWC Fliegers that use modified ETA movements (much like Stowa does). In fact, Peter (who posted above) does have an IWC Flieger (a 3717 chrono), which he made some comments about in comparison to the FO in a previous thread.

    IWC rebuilds and replaces many parts of the ETA base movements--to that end, they put a lot more work in than Stowa does. However, my conjecture is that if you look at the Stowa FO, the dial and hands are actually nicer than the comparable IWC. Peter said that he actually thought that the casework was nicer as well. All that said, IWCs are often at least 3x the cost of Stowa watches.

    FWIW, I decided to go with the Stowa FO rather than an IWC UTC classic. I think the individual attention of the FO, along with it's limited status and history make it more desirable.

    Cheers,
    Daniel

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    Re: Stowa v IWC?

    I have always wanted an IWC Mark XV or Mark XVI, but am glad I decided to go with the Stowa FO. Maybe one day I would add the Mark XV becasue the hands pay better homage to the original IWC/JLC Mark XI. The current Mark XVI leans more towards the B-Uhr look and I like the blued hands on the FO better than the black hands on the Mark XVI.

    As far as the movement in the Mark XVI, it is based on the ETA 2892 and has been re-worked with higher grade parts and materials. Like Daniel said, IWC puts a lot more work into the stock ETA movements. Also, IWC uses an iron inner core to protect against magnetism. That would be nice to have as well. Having said that, I wouldn't trade my FO for a Mark XV or XVI because of the things that Daniel said and the fact it has some beautiful blued hands and way better lume than the either IWC.
    ToddH

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  8. #7
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: Stowa v IWC?

    Quote Originally Posted by bydandie View Post
    Bearing in mind that IWC were subcontracted by Laco/Stowa to assist with Uhr-B comparison during WWII....
    Would you mind to provide more info in that ? I am not aware that IWC was subcontracted by Laco/Stowa

    Here are some historical facts as I understand them:

    The German term "Beobachtungsuhr" (short: B-Uhr) goes back to pilot´s watches of WW II. Strictly translated it has to be an "Observer´s watch" or "Observation watch" but on most watch related fora you will read "navigator´s watch", "pilot´s watch", "B-watch" or even "Flieger".

    These B-watches have been made for the German Luftwaffe by only 5 manufacturers

    A. Lange & Söhne
    Laco (Lacher & Co)
    Stowa (Walter Storz)
    Wempe (Chronometerwerke Hamburg)
    IWC

    and contained high quality pocket watch movements:

    Lange & Söhne: cal. 48/1
    (due to limited capacities watches have been assembled by Huber/Munich, Felsing/Berlin, Schieron/Stuttgart, Schätzle & Tschudin/Pforzheim, Wempe/Hamburg).
    Laco: Durowe cal. D 5
    Stowa: Unitas cal. 2812
    Wempe: Thommen cal. 31
    IWC: cal. 52 SC (SC= "seconde central")

    The specifications of these watches had been defined by the „Reichsluftfahrtministerium“ (RLM) – Imperial Air Ministry.

    All 5 manufacturers fitted the bill.

    Due to those specifications all B-watches had the following features in common:

    - A case diameter of 55 mm
    - Marked on the back with FL 23883 (FL = flight, 23 = navigation)
    - Equipped with large crowns in order to be used with gloves
    - Hacking movement (the second hand stops when pulling out the crown / essential for a precise time setting)
    - Breguet balance spring
    - Regulated and tested as chronometers
    - Long leather strap (to be worn on the sleeve of a flight jacket).

    There have been two different types of dials:

    Type A (Baumuster A) from 1940 to January 1941
    a classic dial with numerals 1 to 11 and the triangle with two dots at 12

    Type B (Baumuster B) starting in January 1941
    Big minute numerals from 5 to 55 and a small inner circle with numerals for h, at the position of 60 min a triangle and a line on its top.

    If your are interested in watches of WW II and their history I recommend to visit the hompage of Konrad Knirim. He wrote a book on "Military Timepieces".

  9. #8
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    Re: Stowa v IWC?

    Quote Originally Posted by stuffler,mike View Post
    Would you mind to provide more info in that ? I am not aware that IWC was subcontracted by Laco/Stowa
    Hi Mike, I may have got that wrong or misunderstood but will try and find this - until then, I bow to you greater knowledge.

    I have already caught the bug in watches and will certainly look more into the book you mentioned when I have time (Ironic really!)

    Regarding the other comments thus far, I'm an engineer not an artisan. My love of watches is from an engineer's perspective and therefore I am interested in watches that use the best engineering principles and maintain their 'personal touch'.

    Saying that you can't compare IWC to Stowa because one costs more than the other doesn't really wash with me. No offence meant, but this is like saying that a Schauer watch can't be compared to a Stowa due to the differences in price but the same person with the same passion is responsible for both. I fully accept that the Schauers are a totally different class, but the MO and FO have to surely be compared to the very best of watches too.

    I am ecstatic with the fact that I am getting a watch with a German silver rotor engraved with german. I also feel that the criticism that Stowa gets for being overpriced on some fora is missing the craft that goes into it - most COSC v non-COSC discussions here determine that the non-COSC are regulated to a high level which which shows that attention to detail that is employed within Joerg's factory. I will be proud to wear a watch with real history, craft and a personal touch.

    All I really started this thread for was to see where IWC betters the Stowa. If it's on the quality, movements and accuracy then fine, but if it's the decoration of the movements that sets it apart then it's less of an issue to me.

  10. #9
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    Re: Stowa v IWC?

    Just a few points as I understand them, Stowa purchases the entire movement from ETA, and it is a 2824. IWC uses a 2892 and does not purchase the entire movement they purchase a kit and replace the following:

    IWC uses a 2892 KIT -- not an assembled ebauche. They take this kit and replace parts or use parts of their own design to meet their own specifications for tolerance and strength. These include:

    the gear train
    wheels and levers
    mainspring and barrel
    a 21 K gold mass is added to the rotor for winding efficiency
    all parts are finished and assembled by hand
    the 2892 ius already considered a better movement than the 2824 in most circles. When IWC is done very little of the base 2892 kit remains

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    Re: Stowa v IWC?


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