Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.
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Thread: Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

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  1. #1
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    Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

    I've been into this hobby for more than 10 years and well over 300+ watches rotated. Started with a humble collection of vintage digitals (Citizens and Casios) and went all up to Omega SMPc. Inbetween all usual suspects - Seikos, Hamiltons, random microbrands etc. Sometimes, as many of us, I had up to 3 watches 'incoming'. Some of them got listed again within 2 hours from unpacking. You know the drill...


    My problem always has been this vicious cycle: even when I loved the watch and its details, after some time I started to be just bored with it. Take Omega SMPc as an example. Blue one. It was a big purchase for me. I loved the hands, the deep blue dial, the craftsmanship. Even the approving looks of some people who noticed the watch gave me satisfaction. But after a month or so I started to be tired with Seamaster. Everything original and unique about the watch, every detail that I initially loved, was.. meh. I simply got used to it and the initial love affair was over. So it got sold. And the madness continued - divers, pilots, military watches, occasional dress watch. Love > boredom > sale.


    Things changed in December 2018. I was well aware of Stowa watches. Had already Stova Ikarus and regular Stowa Flieger with blue hands. Loved the 40mm case and its comfort. But grey dial? Blue hands? Just another fantastic detail that started to tire me after few weeks.


    But Stowa had a Christmas sale and I was already eying Stowa Verus for some time. It was weird, a little quirky, cartoonish but also one of the cheapest of their watches and I was always looking for 'value.' So when I saw it on Christmas sale it was immidiete 'buy'. After a week or so it arrived. I opened the box in the presence of my wife (a rare occasion for obvious reasons) and... I wanted to post it for sale right away. Ugly. Childish. Too simple. Unimpressive. Almost looking like some kind of special watch for people haveing problems with vision. Those were my first impressions. But because my wife was witnessing this 'unboxing' I decided it to wear the Verus at least for a day or two before selling it. So she won't care anymore and I can just move on with my watches.


    But something weird happened. As I stared to wear it day after day, I stared to appriciate the ultra simplicity. No distraction, no ornamentation, no color. Pure function. Less emotional hype and less emotional mood changes. It is wahat it is - simple, useful mechanical watch. And nothing more. Literally nothing more. Every time I wanted to wear something else, I just got tired within few hours and wanted to wear the Verus again. When I put it on, I relaxed.

    Attachment 13999983



    I was fully expecting this attitude to change after few weeks but now it's more then 3 months and I keep wearing the Verus. Do I think it's anyhow superb? No, definietly not. There are better pilot watches, certainly the IWC Mark series is something that comes to my mind. But then this one just gives me this 'zen' feeling. It doesn't excite me but instead it relaxes my mind. I still don't fully understand why and how.


    I still waste my time browsing watch forus, reading watch news and watch listings, looking for bargains etc. But somehow I can not bring myself to buy something knowing that every detail that is going to be better then my Stowa Verus, will also make me tired after a while. So I'm in the hobby but also kind of out of it. Am I 'cured'? :)
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  2. #2
    Member Munchie's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

    Interesting write up.

    I have always avoided sterile dials because they seemed too ...sterile but I think I see something of what you are saying here - the dial doesnt look as "severe" as the more traditional pilot offerings from Stowa.

    What about in the summer months - surely you will need something on a bracelet for those hot sweaty days?
    Cheers

    M


    Current collection: Hamilton Khaki Mechanical H694190, Seiko "Turtle" SBDY015, Seiko Sarb 033, Citizen Diver NY0040-09e, VSA Alliance, Citizen "Ray Mears" BN0118-55E , Casio Edifice EF-503D-1A, Favre Leuba Vintage watch, Lorus field watch RXF41AX7, Pulsar field watch PS9045.
    Gone but not forgotten: Oris Big Crown Propilot, Seiko SKX009, Orient Star Classic, Citizen "Excalibur" BN0100-51E, Citizen NP4020-51A, Citizen BM8180-03E, Citizen BM6400-00e, VSA Officers day date
    Capture and release: Oris BC3, Hamilton Khaki Field, Timefactors Speedbird 3, Citizen World Timer CB0027-51E

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    Re: Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by Munchie View Post
    Interesting write up.


    What about in the summer months - surely you will need something on a bracelet for those hot sweaty days?
    Good question. I also hate sweaty leather in the summer. I purchased 3 two-piece NATOs from Timefactors (grey, black and green) for this purpose. They are awfully stiff out but they have these nice bead blasted buckles so the hardware macthes nicely. I think they will have to do for te warmer months. I just don't like regular NATOs increasing the height of the case.

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    Member NC_Hager626's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

    Enjoyed reading your review about finding the Zen with the Verus. I find it interesting how your initial negative view of the virus changed after a few days to a more positive view - your subconscious must have been telling you something.

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    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

    Excellent insight. Got to say I love the Verus in photos put I can understand your initial reaction.
    Brad (@bradwatch)
    - appreciating fine affordable watches since 2011



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    Re: Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by NC_Hager626 View Post
    Enjoyed reading your review about finding the Zen with the Verus. I find it interesting how your initial negative view of the virus changed after a few days to a more positive view - your subconscious must have been telling you something.
    That's the paradox. Usually, I like something first and then it starts to fade out as I notice more details in the daily wear. Here it's the complete opposite. Maybe, because there are not many details not notice in the first place ;)

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    Re: Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by lukkluj View Post
    Good question. I also hate sweaty leather in the summer. I purchased 3 two-piece NATOs from Timefactors (grey, black and green) for this purpose. They are awfully stiff out but they have these nice bead blasted buckles so the hardware macthes nicely. I think they will have to do for te warmer months. I just don't like regular NATOs increasing the height of the case.
    Nice Stowa.

    I work in the pulp and paper industry and often allowed to wear a watch (I visit many different mills), however no continuous bands (one piece Natos).

  9. #8
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    Re: Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

    Great thoughts, and appreciate the inner monologue. Almost scary to consider that an Omega could lose luster, because it speaks to much of what keeps me from jumping up to where I know my spending is more about believing that the much bigger price will bring much greater satisfaction, since I worry that such might not be the case. It's not so bad to pick up an affordable that fails to wow, but spending many thousands, and eventually being unimpressed, is a daunting thought, even if factoring in the option of selling it off.

    I can certainly relate to the shiny object syndrome, to where that new acquisition fails to end the search for the next one and, I guess for some of us, that's part of this hobby, in "Watch You Seek" because we are seekers, who find as much fun in the hunt, as in the capture. For me, in the world of affordables, since I haven't gotten rid of any of mine, I tend to go back and remember why I bought a watch in the first place, and, having not worn it for a while, I enjoy wearing it again.

    But, at the same time, that sentiment to hunt can be viewed as a sense of disillusionment, when seeking starts again, and can bring a feeling of almost wishing one last buy would satisfy to the point of having a "complete" collection. I guess that depends on viewing constant acquisition as a plus or minus, and whether or not one feels that there should be an "end point" to a hobby such as this. Views differ, of course, and some feel ongoing buying is the whole point, in the passion for watches, while others feel that it's some odd failure to settle and be done with it.

    For me, being here, and moving more toward quality than quantity in some respects, I have, of late, been starting to feel that I could almost be okay with a much smaller, refined collection, and see many of my early buys as learning experiences now, more than treasured acquisitions. As affordables, they are not prospects to sell, so they just remain part of my journey in this hobby, which continues to be both fun and educational. I knew nothing of watches, when I began, other than liking them and my views continue to evolve.

    Even considering a smaller collection is, for example, a pretty recent development for me.

    In fact, my last grail-esque buy (my Edox Chronoffshore 1) has not come off my wrist much at all, since it arrived, and, shockingly, has elements of being almost the only watch I'd ever want, since it's so versatile in look, and so feature rich, with great specs.

    So, I can see where a desired state of Zen could come into play, and I'll be interested to know how it goes in the coming weeks and months for you, if this "lasts" or eventually also becomes one that tires you. Do update us!

    I have somewhat resigned myself to never being done, and being quite okay with it. Maybe part of that is because my buys have felt progressive, not stagnant, and, thankfully, with bigger buys, thus far, I still love them. It's more my cheap early buys that are not as exciting anymore.

    So, quitting isn't on the menu. Even with this last quasi-grail buy, I wound up also getting a beautiful micro I saw on here, that was simply too good to pass up, and was a style I've long wanted. And, based on how much I love my Edox, the place I bought this one from had another model I have long admired, at an insanely great price, so I just pulled the trigger on that, as well.

    I remember at the end of last year, thinking I was done, having picked up a couple of great divers in styles I did not have, and yet, here it is not long into the new year, and three more watches are in the collection.

    And, I'm glad for the new three. My buying has certainly slowed, but I don't feel it should or needs to end.

    Weirdly, I find posts on here, often, in terms of larger scale watch buying and topics about how many is enough, etc., that invariably attempt to paint owing many watches as a bad thing, a moral failing, and even some kind of lack of appreciation of watches (which is just bizarre) but I know it's just some folks trying to justify buying fewer watches as good, by saying that buying more is bad, which is a false premise.

    In either case, big collection or small, I think it's important to feel good about what you're doing, as with any choices in life. No point in artificially trying to berate oneself for having many, or trying to rationalize restrictions, if being a larger scale buyer, or collector, brings satisfaction. Of all the many vices, watch buying is hardly a sin. At the same time, if all one ever wants is one watch, or a handful, be happy in that.

    If moving from a big set, to a small one, or even a single watch to rule them all, again, if it's what's working, go for it boldly.

    My inner debate now, as I mentioned at the outset, is, having spent progressively higher on affordables over the years, wondering if it's worth bumping up in price bracket again. I suspect it is, within reason. For me, probably more Sinn territory than Omega-ville. Time will tell. It always does.
    Lots of watches in many brands: Breitling (finally!), Raymond Weil, Maurice LaCroix, Louis Erard, Seiko, Mido, Certina, Tissot, Hamilton, Victorinox, Wenger, Christopher Ward, Edox, Gv2, Swiss Army Charmex, Luminox, Bulova, Citizen, Casio, Orient, Seagull, Reef Tiger (yes, that one, ha!), Invicta, Deep Blue, Air Blue, Magrette, Belmoto, Leyden, Lum-Tec, Dryden, House of Horology.

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    Re: Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

    I bought a STOWA GMT because I liked STOWA's design sensibilities but wanted a little more visual interest on the dial. It essentially has the same flieger dial layout as the Verus. I feel like I can ascertain the exact time immediately on that watch, more so than others I own. Over time, I've found that aspect to be very reassuring and calming, as weird as that sounds.

    When one gets bored, thats what the rest of the watch collection is for!

    Enjoy that watch!
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    Re: Stowa Verus: finding a ZEN state. Against my will and after a decade in the hobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by morewatchesthanmoney View Post
    Great thoughts, and appreciate the inner monologue. Almost scary to consider that an Omega could lose luster, because it speaks to much of what keeps me from jumping up to where I know my spending is more about believing that the much bigger price will bring much greater satisfaction, since I worry that such might not be the case. It's not so bad to pick up an affordable that fails to wow, but spending many thousands, and eventually being unimpressed, is a daunting thought, even if factoring in the option of selling it off.

    [...]

    My inner debate now, as I mentioned at the outset, is, having spent progressively higher on affordables over the years, wondering if it's worth bumping up in price bracket again. I suspect it is, within reason. For me, probably more Sinn territory than Omega-ville. Time will tell. It always does.
    That was a fantastic reply and very appreciated. Thank you! To touch on few points you mention:

    - It's been described many times: there are two types of people here - watch collectors (like you) or serial flippers (like me). I admire people who keep their watches and build gradualy interesting collections. But it's just not me: I get irritated by watches lying around and the money 'wasted' in them. So I always flipped watches and, of course, usually ended up losing money on the transactions. (I hate bargaining with people).

    - the fact that I wear now this Stowa Verus doesn't mean I don't have other watches. I do have a Seiko Pepsi Turtle SRP779 on tropic rubber and a gold Bulova Accutron Alpha (the re-issue). I also have some cheaper ones fun pieces and some sentimental ones. They are not worth selling and I think they do no harm :)

    - I think the posts about moral aspects of watch collecting you mentioned, come mostly from serial flippers like me. So people, who don't even enjoy watches anymore because they feel like there must a better one just around the corner. It's pretty tormenting. This leads to a line of thinking about a final 'exit watch' and stoping the cycle. Or slowing it down - all the posts about 2 or 3 piece collections. Problem is those 'grail' watches rearly do their job.

    - so I think collecting is fine but serial flipping is harmful in many instances, mine included. That's why I'm thankful for the Stowa effect. But of course to each his own.

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