Stowa Antea Review
Stowa was once one of the leading watch manufacturers in Germany in terms of production volume. Nowadays, Stowa runs a much smaller operation, but the watches they do produce are made to order for real watch aficionados. With a few lines drawing from their heritage, and a couple of new interpretations, Stowa is at the height of its power.
The Stowa Antea is one of the most popular & affordable watches in their line up, and is perhaps the best way to grab a ‘vintage’ Bauhaus watch without the worry of actually buying vintage. Bauhaus watches are some of the cleanest and most classic designs available. Many brands have had a go at designing their own, and many more have copied the designs of others.
Whilst Stowa may not have designed the dial of the Antea themselves, they were one of the first manufacturers to use such a dial way back in the 1930s when the school of Bauhaus design was still very much alive. Since 2004 (the year it was first reissued), the Antea range has once again become a core group of watches in the Stowa collection. Available in 4 case sizes (35.5mm, 36.5mm, 39mm & 41mm), and with manual wind and automatic movements, I opted to try the smallest and closest to the original – the Stowa Antea Klassik KS with a manual wind movement.
The face of the watch is silver coated, but plays wonderfully in the light and can appear white or cream at different angles. While the black printed numerals aren’t identical to the original , they are in the same font and work perfectly with the overall aesthetic. The modern Stowa logo is present at 12, and while I would prefer to see the vintage logo, I can understand why they have opted against this, bringing the brand into the 21st century.
A sub seconds register is located at 6, and unlike the original design, the number 6 has been completed omitted as opposed to being half cut off, something many people will undoubtedly be glad about. The use of blued steel stick hands bring a touch of class to the overall look and, as one would expect, these also play beautifully with the light. Around the dial is a simple minute track printed in black, and the words ‘Made in Germany’ sit proudly, but discretely, at the very bottom of the dial.
All of this is protected by a sapphire crystal glass. The case is superbly thin at under 7mm, and is a comfortable 44.6mm from lug tip to lug tip. The lugs also hug the wrist due to their sharp, angular drop mid-way down, best seen from the profile of the watch. This is one of the most distinctive features of the watch, and adds a real unique character to an already magnificent design.
This, of course, was also present on Stowa Bauhaus watches of the 1930s. On top of this, the lugs are also drilled, making strap changes a breeze. On the side, you’ll see the easy to use, flat crown has been signed with the modern Stowa emblem. Flipping the watch over will reveal a screwed down sapphire crystal exhibition case back displaying the manual wind movement.
Around the crystal you’ll find some information about the watch, including case material (stainless steel) and it’s water resistance (3ATM). The movement is a Peseux 7001, and while it is somewhat of a basic movement, it is decorated beautifully with rhodium plating, Geneva stripes and blued steel screws, as well as having the modern Stowa logo engraved on it in gold. The major drawback to this movement, however, is the lack of stopping seconds when adjusting the time.
Whilst this may not seem to be a huge issue, it does prevent you from accurately setting the time, though it is probably more faithful to the original watch. It is accurate to around 15 seconds a day. The watch is delivered on either a standard black or brown leather strap, but this can be upgraded to a steel Milanese strap or crocodile leather band at an extra cost, and the tang buckle is signed.
The watch is presented in an aluminium box with a folding clasp for security. It’s very utilitarian, but is a safe and secure way to house the watch without worry. The outer box is covered in images of old Stowa watches, and give a sense of pedigree when viewed alongside the watch. The watch is available for €1,020 inc. VAT within Europe. Overall, the Stowa Antea Klassik KS is a faithful reissue to one of the most classic Bauhaus watches Stowa has produced and the world has seen.
It is clear the watch isn’t identical to the original, but it gives a real sense of what Bauhaus design is about and could quite easily be mistaken for the original. If you’re in the market for a watch of this style, the great value and clear thoroughbred of this Stowa Antea should make it the only serious option for you, and I wouldn’t hesitate to add one to my collection!