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Thread: Stowa Marine A10

  1. #1
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    Stowa Marine A10

    The prompt

    So after visiting Stowa, I bought a Stowa. It's not a souvenir, it's a watch that I was eager to have. All the same, it's a good while since I sold my Airman and Antea, and it feels right and proper to have a Stowa again.

    At the end of the visit, with every Stowa watch spread before me, it was the Marine A10 that I kept coming back to. Fortunately for me, in a range that runs from €570 to €6,900 (and not including the chronographs), my favourite version of the Marine is the second-cheapest at €830.






    The choice

    It's the solid silver dial that does it for me, and the slightly smaller size. The case width is 40mm, rather than the 41mm of the Marine Original, and the Soprod movement allows a depth of 9.2mm, rather than 12mm. The lug width is 20mm, as against 22mm.

    It makes quite a difference. With a fair amount of bright white space on the dial, and 22mm lugs, the Marine Original is not a small watch, even with sub-dial seconds occupying some of the space. You could opt for black, but the black dial almost makes the Marine a different watch. The reduced dimensions and the muted silver dial give the A10 a reserved but intriguing character.

    The A10 also comes with the onion crown, which I prefer. I went without the convenience of a date to keep the circle of numerals unbroken.






    The watch

    I have no real evidence for this, but the overall quality of Stowas might have gone up a notch since I owned early examples of the Flieger and Antea. It's intangible, but I once thought the quality was everything you could wish for at the price, but now I can't see anything to separate it from watches at a significantly higher price. If asked, Jörg Schauer might say, 'No, it's the same', but I swear there's something... Anyway, quality? Not an issue.

    The design, of course, has historical antecedents, and if visiting Stowa, you can see the 1940s original in the museum. The design says: 'pure and simple, with time-served elegance'.

    The hands are a watch-fanciers delight - graceful, delicate and perfectly proportioned. Their classic style provides a link to centuries of watch and clock making. The heat-blued steel has a depth and lustre that defies any conventional description, such as cobalt or indigo. Truly beautiful hands - and on a modestly-priced watch, too.

    What may not be obvious on a first scan of the catalogue is that the A10 and Marine Original have different hour and minute hands. Those on the A10 are probably a better match for a sweep seconds hand.





    The silver dial, as already noted, has an intriguing quality. The fine-grained surface makes it softer and more relaxed than white. The colour shifts through silver, grey and cream, depending on the light. An invisible lacquer guards against tarnish. I could develop a bit of a thing for silver dials - there's a quiet sophistication about them.

    The brushed finish of the case complements the dial, and is another reason for me preferring the A10 to other variants.

    The movement is a Soprod A-10, which is said to be the subject of a licensing agreement with Seiko, relating to the high-end 4L25 movement. The 4L movements were designed to be the same size as the ETA 2892, which on the introduction of the A10, led some to assume that the A10 was based on the ETA movement. Whatever the mechanical genetics, the A10 is a step up from the ETA 2824, and is the equivalent of movements used in some pretty expensive watches. Stowa uses the top, chronometer-grade version of the movement.





    What else? The onion crown is a tactile miniature sculpture, and it's practical, with its grippy size and shape.

    The sapphire crystal is lightly domed with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface. The rear crystal is also sapphire and AR coated.

    The strap is the one also fitted to the Antea. It's good, but it's unpadded and I've ordered something slightly thicker. I've also switched to the brown Stowa strap since taking these pictures, and I prefer it to the black.

    I like the logo. I didn't take to the modernised form when introduced, but now it looks natural and right. It probably lodged comfortably in my head as I saw it repeatedly when touring the workshop. Jörg Schauer was right, and the reactionary old conservatives, myself included, were wrong. (Ask a watch enthusiast which is the best version of a watch and they'll tend to nominate the one that has just gone out of production, especially if it's the one that they have...)






    Summary

    Deck watches were designed with clarity in mind, and there are few better ways of achieving clarity than with Arabic numerals and needle-tipped hands passing over a minute track. Blued hands provided high contrast and corrosion-resistance. The design works as well as it ever did, even if it was never intended for wristwatches, and it's a refreshing alternative to the effortful design of many contemporary watches. There's nothing new about minimalism, and with the Marine you get minimalism with a bit of antiquity thrown in.

    It's a perfectly simple watch. The hands and crown provide an elegant link to the past and keep plainness at bay. The silver dial has a soft, tone-shifting quality. It's dress-watch thin, very wearable and very well made. I'm not keen on bigger and brighter watches in the marine style, but this one, in its quiet and understated way, hits the spot.

  2. #2
    Bone Collector Bwana's Avatar
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    Lovely piece, great write up too...congrats on the new addition

  3. #3
    Member appa papa's Avatar
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    Seems like I was the only one that knew how insignificant the logo change actually was when the announcement came through. I think you nailed it as to the real reason why people flipped out over it.

    That is a beautiful example for sure. I love the amount of thought that was given that led you to choose this particular model. Fantastic!

  4. #4
    Undistinguished
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    Stunning watch, thanks for sharing! I did not know that about the A-10 movement, it is always nice to learn something new!

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  6. #6
    lost in translation birdynamnam's Avatar
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    I understand your choice
    Miss mine:
    "chirp, chirp"

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  8. #7
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    Very elegant looking watch.
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

  9. #8
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Smart, Alan, very smart. Got a movement shot? Stowa decorate them just to my taste.
    Follow IWL on instagram! https://instagram.com/iwatchleague

  10. #9
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    Name:  fxhsa.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffbot View Post
    Smart, Alan, very smart. Got a movement shot? Stowa decorate them just to my taste.

    Nothing to see - just some cogs, a swinging bit and a wheel that goes like the clappers. All the interesting bits are on the front.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tribe125 View Post
    Nothing to see - just some cogs, a swinging bit and a wheel that goes like the clappers. All the interesting bits are on the front.
    'Just some cogs'?!?!?!?!?!

    'Swinging bit' !?!?!?!

    We're waiting !........

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