Vintage Stowa?

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  1. #1
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    Vintage Stowa?

    Hello all,

    Sorry if this has been asked before but I am trying to find any information on the quality and reliability of vintage Stowas. Even from briefly looking around the web it is clear that the current Stowas made by Jorg are of excellent quality but were the movements in older watches of a similar high standard?

    I am particularly interested in the model show below which looks like a beautiful watch but I can not find any additional information on.



    Thanks in advance.

    BB

  2. #2
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Stowa?

    Hi -

    First of all, welcome to WUS. Hope we can help you here and that you have a good time.

    Second: I recognize the watch from eBay, it's from the Ukraine, right? If so, avoid at all costs: my take is that this is one of the innumerably fakes that come from that area, and you must exercise great, great caution when considering watches from that region.

    Generally speaking, the "S" in Stowa is wrong, as it is not on the same plane as the rest of the word, and the case is wrong for the time period suggested (1930s/1940s).

    JohnF

    PS: I'm not saying it's definitely a fake, but it really, really, really doesn't look correct to me. The photo of the movement that is also up on eBay is also very, very dubious...
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  3. #3
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    Re: Vintage Stowa?

    John,

    Thank you for the welcome and also for responding so quickly. Although I could not find much on Stowa fakes I did find a few posts on watches from the Ukrane so was not planning on bidding on that watch anyway. However, I do particularly like the style - did Stowa do anything similar? I had a look at the Stowa museum but could not see anything with the same kind of fat luminous hands.

    I have looked around a bit but have not been able to find anything on the quality of vintage Stowas. Everyone raves about the current models but was the quality still there in the past? I have not regularly used a wristwatch for almost 15 years but am particually interested in a vintage (not necessarily perfect condition) watch since I want one to use day to day rather than only on special occasions - I already have a couple of dress watches.

    Thanks again for the help.

    BB

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  5. #4
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Stowa?

    Hi -

    The quality of vintage Stowas varies somewhat. As one of the key mid-range German manufacturers, Stowa went through good times and bad times, but always aimed at providing a good watch for the money, and most were exactly that. I've got a number of vintage Stowas (including several in disassembly...) and as far as vintages go, they're not bad at all.

    But you need to differentiate between early Stowa and later Stowa. Early Stowa looks something like this (lousy picture, but it gives you the right idea):



    This is one of my all-time favorite vintage watches, because it is so ... perfect. Got it on eBay for about half of what I was willing to buy it for, came in the original box!

    This is a pre-war watch with a beautifully done, hand-inked screened dial (the fonts tell you this), blued hands, keeps rather good time, but with a fairly battered case that is on its last legs (doesn't do a great job keeping much of anything out, and has popped a few times while wearing it...). I've got three of this generation (took around 2 years of patient observation on eBay to get them), and they're rather a bit better than the later Stowa offerings.

    Stowa from the late 1960s onwards faced the same pressure that almost destroyed the Swiss industry, and some of the watches reflect this pressure: I've got several from this time period, and while the quality is fine, the design just doesn't do it for me...

    Stowa was really, as far as I can tell, the only manufacture back then that really applied the Bauhaus design concepts. While the Junghans Max Bill watches reflect this as well, they're sufficiently different that I don't really consider them to be vintage Bauhaus watches. That's why I treasure the three from that time period that I have: rather nice watches that are, in addition, original...

    JohnF
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  6. #5
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    Re: Vintage Stowa?

    Thanks again John, I appreciate the time you are taking educating me.

    It is good to hear that vintage Stowas are of good quality - I am not usually bothered about brands but Stowa does appeal to me for some reason. The first watches I looked at were Omegas but none of them seemed right. Pre-war would work well for me since I would prefer that over a watch from the 60s or 70s. I think I will have to spend quite a lot more time searching and hopefully find a genuine Stowa that fits - there are also a number of other German brands that seem worth looking at.

    That is a beautiful watch you have there, although I will admit to not being particularly keen on the strap. I did a search on Bauhaus and see what you mean about the style. They are very attractive but not exactly what I was looking for in a day-to-day watch - something with a little more rugged look would be better. I have a feeling I am going to end up starting a collection rather than just get the one additional watch that I was originally after. I obviously have a lot to learn.

    Thanks for the help,

    BB

  7. #6
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: Vintage Stowa?

    Welcome to the Official Jörg Schauer & Stowa Forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by BarrowBoy View Post
    ...However, I do particularly like the style - did Stowa do anything similar?
    They did but the Stowa museum is not a complete mirror of what Stowa had produced in those good old times.

    Re: Quality

    As John already pointed out quality was different from watch to watch. Nevertheless Stowa was one of only 5 manufacturers for B-watches during WW II whicxh should be seen as a sign of quality products.
    Last edited by stuffler,mike; July 30th, 2008 at 08:32.

  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage Stowa?

    Thanks Mike. From the size of the Stowa museum I had hoped that it was a far from complete listing but had also hoped that it would give a decent overview.

    Glad to hear about Stowa quality during the WW II period. I guess I will keep looking for something from around about then.

    Cheers,

    BB

  9. #8
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: Vintage Stowa?

    Quote Originally Posted by BarrowBoy View Post
    Thanks Mike. From the size of the Stowa museum I had hoped that it was a far from complete listing but had also hoped that it would give a decent overview.

    Glad to hear about Stowa quality during the WW II period. I guess I will keep looking for something from around about then.

    Cheers,

    BB
    A WW II B-watch in good condition will be about 2000 Euro and (much) more. Good luck.

  10. #9
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    Re: Vintage Stowa?

    Thanks Mike, I have no problem paying that sort of money although if I do I want to make sure I get an original and something that will last. I probably will not wear it every day either....

    The more I learn the more interested I become.

    Cheers,

    BB

  11. #10
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Stowa?

    Quote Originally Posted by BarrowBoy View Post
    Thanks Mike, I have no problem paying that sort of money although if I do I want to make sure I get an original and something that will last. I probably will not wear it every day either....

    The more I learn the more interested I become.

    Cheers,

    BB
    I strongly suggest that you don't buy any expensive old watch until you have investigated and understood the basics of it's history and what it would make in todays market. Use ebay as a reference price of sold items if there are many enough around. Check specialist watch stores on the web. Check prices against comparable models from other manufacturers. In the end condition is the most important. Do have a look at our vintage & pocket watches forum's stickies as well:
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/forumdisplay.php?f=11

    Erik_H
    Last edited by Erik_H; August 2nd, 2008 at 16:14.

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