Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

Thread: Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

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  1. #1
    Member ahkeelt's Avatar
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    Question Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

    I understand the technical differences of the following 3 watches:

    Airman Original - Unitas, handwound, 41mm dia
    Airman Auto w/o Logo - Auto ETA movement, 40mm
    Airman Auto - Auto ETA, 40 mm, Logo

    > Are there any visual differences in workmanship of these watches?
    > Are the dials different; Are the case finish different?
    > AND, why do folks wait >12 months to get a handwound Unitas 41mm historically significant watch or is there more to the story???

    I am on waiting list for the AO, and see myself now trying to justify getting an Airman Auto w/o Logo (in the interim) to overcome the long wait . . .

  2. #2
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    Picture Re: Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahkeelt View Post
    I understand the technical differences of the following 3 watches:

    Airman Original - Unitas, handwound, 41mm dia
    Airman Auto w/o Logo - Auto ETA movement, 40mm
    Airman Auto - Auto ETA, 40 mm, Logo

    > Are there any visual differences in workmanship of these watches?
    > Are the dials different; Are the case finish different?
    > AND, why do folks wait >12 months to get a handwound Unitas 41mm historically significant watch or is there more to the story???

    I am on waiting list for the AO, and see myself now trying to justify getting an Airman Auto w/o Logo (in the interim) to overcome the long wait . . .
    Your questions are odd, but I'll answer them anyway. It will help you to pass the time less painfully.

    I am fortunate to wear all three timepieces in some random, crazy watch rotation!!

    1. Not sure what you mean by your first question, but there are no differences in workmanship. They are all superbly crafted top to bottom, front to back, and end to end.

    2. Cases of the Airman autos are identical. You can order the watch with a standard or onion crown. The dials have obvious differences - one has a logo, one has a logo and a date, the other does not - all have a COSC grade movement option.

    3. I acquired the larger handwound Airman because I enjoy the history behind such a fine timepiece, the craftsmanship, the dial, wrist presence and the comfort. I would imagine others put their name on the waiting list for the Airman Original because they know they'll be receiving one of the best handcrafted, best valued timepieces on the market today. The watch is popular. Stowa does not pump out watches like Dunkin' pumps out doughnuts. Why did you order your AO?

    Glen









    Last edited by inlanding; January 30th, 2009 at 08:32.

  3. #3
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahkeelt View Post
    I understand the technical differences of the following 3 watches:

    Airman Original - Unitas, handwound, 41mm dia
    Airman Auto w/o Logo - Auto ETA movement, 40mm
    Airman Auto - Auto ETA, 40 mm, Logo
    If you do understand the technical differences I don't get it why you added the questions Kinda odd.

    However:

    Are there any visual differences in workmanship of these watches?
    No, case quality of the 41mm cases as well as of the 40mm case is excellent. However the Unitas is the more elaborated movement and an eye-catcher as well. Comparing the ETA 2824-2 and the Unitas In its FO execution is comparing apples and pears but this have been written again and again and again on this and other fora.

    Are the dials different; Are the case finish different?
    Different case diameter, different dial Quality is the same.

    AND, why do folks wait >12 months to get a handwound Unitas 41mm historically significant watch or is there more to the story???
    Because it is a Stowa and the overwhelming majority appreciates
    + the craftmanship of the Stowa team
    + the willingness of Jörg to listen to the customers and his and the brand's reputation all over the world
    + the technical features of the FO (offering big bang for the buck, try to find such a modified Unitas movement for the same price)

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  5. #4
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    Re: Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahkeelt View Post
    I understand the technical differences of the following 3 watches:

    Airman Original - Unitas, handwound, 41mm dia
    Airman Auto w/o Logo - Auto ETA movement, 40mm
    Airman Auto - Auto ETA, 40 mm, Logo

    > Are there any visual differences in workmanship of these watches?
    > Are the dials different; Are the case finish different?
    > AND, why do folks wait >12 months to get a handwound Unitas 41mm historically significant watch or is there more to the story???

    I am on waiting list for the AO, and see myself now trying to justify getting an Airman Auto w/o Logo (in the interim) to overcome the long wait . . .

    Don't try to justify - just buy and be happy,


    Volker

    P.S. My order for the AO L.E. was placed in Nov.2006 and finally I got it in autumn 2008 - and the wait was worth each day.

  6. #5
    Member ahkeelt's Avatar
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    Re: Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

    I only ask these "odd" questions for two reasons:

    1. AO does seem to be more attractive in pictures on Stowa site than the other Airman models, and
    2. I am trying to justify my purchase of a Airman now (delivery March 2009) while I wait for the AO (delivery Dec 2009).

    Apologies if my odd questions caused anyone too much heartburn for any of us.

  7. #6
    Member watchsk's Avatar
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    Re: Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

    Hi. Your questions are not odd. You have the right to ask any question you want and the point of any of these forums is the excahnge between people. We all have different levels of experience and knowledge within the hobby. The fun part of all of this is the interesting communication that we have with each other about our passion for these watches. I am always learning something new. Have fun and keep posting. Stephen
    https://www.instagram.com/whichwatchsk/

  8. #7
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    Re: Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahkeelt View Post
    I only ask these "odd" questions for two reasons:

    1. AO does seem to be more attractive in pictures on Stowa site than the other Airman models, and
    2. I am trying to justify my purchase of a Airman now (delivery March 2009) while I wait for the AO (delivery Dec 2009).

    Apologies if my odd questions caused anyone too much heartburn for any of us.

    No worries, no justification needed at least to anyone here...I wear them all!

    It's hard to improve on perfection... ...hence, the comments

    Glen

  9. #8
    Member Bishamon's Avatar
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    Re: Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

    There are some visual differences between the Airman auto without logo and the Airman Original. First, the cases are obviously different, with the Original being noticably thicker compared to the auto case, in addition to being 1mm larger in diameter. The Original dial also has a font used for the numbers that more closely matches the vintage font from the 1940s, and the hour and minute markers are a little thicker/wider. The minute marks are lumed on the Original with only the hours being lumed on the auto, which makes a differnnce in low light conditions. :) There is also less of a border on the Original dial versus the auto. The Original dial appears more densely populated when compred to the Airman auto or the vintage model (the Original is more accurate from a font and marker standpoint, whereas the auto appears more accurate from a density standpoint, if that makes any sense -- YMMV). The dial is also set deeper into the watch on the Original (I prefer the auto in this case). The hour and minute hands appear pretty much identical between the Original and auto, but the second hand is notably different; on the Original, the second hand has less of a 'tail' when compared to the auto, and it tapers slightly towards the tip. The auto has a longer 'tail' (closer to the vintage model), and does not taper (also more like the vinatge model). The movements used also have a visual impact, in that the Original beats more slowly, producing more distictive (and historically accurate) ticks compared with the smooth operating sweep of the more modern movement in the auto.

    Umm.... that's about all I can think of at the moment. Obviously what appeals to each person from a visual standpoint can vary... I like both models, and I had a tough time deciding between the Original and the auto without logo. In the end it came down to a few things: first, my wrist is only 6.25", so the auto made more sense from a practical standpoint. Price made a difference as well, not just because a single Original would have cost more, but because I would have felt compelled to seek out an Original LE (I was already lucky enough to get an auto LE from Stowa when they were released). If I don't have an Original to wear, then I don't 'need' an Original LE to 'keep'... might not make sense, but it's the way my mind works. ;) I really like the second hand on the auto compared to the Original, and I also prefer the smooth sweep, despite it being more modern. I ended up going with the auto, but whenever I see the beautiful movement in the Original I have to quash the temptation to buy one. :)
    Last edited by Bishamon; January 30th, 2009 at 18:00.

  10. #9
    Member ahkeelt's Avatar
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    Thumbs Up Re: Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

    Bishmon - That is EXACTLY what I was hoping to get a perspective on. THANK YOU.

    Just to clarify my original question was to gather facts such as above rather than find quality or workmanship issues per se with these obviously very very fine watches. Just to elaborate a little further, my Stowa MO ranks higher than the other 7 fine watches I have (IWC included). Hope that clarifies the intent of my question.

    So, what do the others feel - are there these minute differences in the various Airman that somehow make the AO to be visually more appealing than the other very fine Airmans? It certainly appears visually superior than the other Airmans.

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    Re: Various Airman models . . . any difference in workmanship?

    Glen,

    Mind if I ask which crown you prefer on the Airman and why? I am going round and round over this, and would appreciate hearing your feelings. Perhaps ankeelt would like your subjective input on this, as well. Looks, comfort/ease of use, authenticity, other...?

    Many thanks.

    Jim

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