STOWA 90th Anniversary Celebration

On July 16th STOWA celebrated its 90th anniversary with a customer appreciation day the Black Forest town of Engelsbrand.  Even though the brand has not been in a continuous ownership, Jörg Schauer acquired the company in 1996 from Werner Storz, the successor and son of founder Walter Storz.  As a trained watchmaker and designer, Jörg re-designed the historical STOWA watches in co-operation with Hartmut Esslinger, and moved the design element forward with the times.  STOWA’s philosophy is that form follows emotion.

STOWA 90th Anniversary Flieger

STOWA 90th Anniversary Flieger

After all destruction of the factory in 1945, today STOWA as a company with a modern factory, unique museum, and staff of 9 watchmakers (23 total employees). What makes STOWA unique is their direct-to-sales sales and marketing. The direct sales channel has low prices, competitive prices, and saved them from the dilemma faced by many brands with traditional retail channels in the cutthroat online marketplace.

Stowa factory and museum
STOWA Factory and Museum

Mike Stuffler, Watchuseek moderator and my watch-mentor, and I decided to visit STOWA and expect the customer appreciation day. Our visit before the event. I have visited the museum a few times in the past five years, but it never seems to amaze me when I discover hidden gems. This year I was fascinated by miniature alarm clock.

Mike and I had the opportunity to meet other collectors at the event who are avid collectors of vintage and modern STOWA watches.

STOWA 90th Anniversary Flieger collection
STOWA 90th Anniversary Flieger collection
STOWA 90th Anniversary Flieger
STOWA 90th Anniversary Flieger
Marine Automatic Limited to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Pforzheim city
Marine Automatic Limited to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Pforzheim city

After the tour, we viewed the entire 90 th anniversary collection. The vintage “old radium” luminescence has really enhanced the appeal of these limited edition flieger watches. My personal favorite was the Marine blue with DUROWE movement to commemorate the 250 th anniversary of Pforzheim, a city known for watch and jewelry manufacturing.

Delightful ride in the Golden Bus to the hiking point
Delightful ride in the Golden Bus
Golden Bus was an attraction in itself
Golden Bus was an attraction in itself
Jörg Schauer giving instructions to the early morning hiking group
Jörg Schauer giving instructions to the early morning hiking group
Hiking in the North Black Forest
14 km hike in the North Black Forest
Celebratory picture after the completion of the 14 km hike
Celebratory picture after the completion of the 14 km hike

On the morning of July 16 th 130 customers and friends of STOWA, divided into four groups, began a hike at different skill levels, in the surrounding Black Forest. Mike and I selected the leisurely hike group which was more of a two-hour stroll through the forest. The Pforzheim Golden Bus, made of 24k gold plated pieces, was hired for the day to transport the guests to the starting and finishing points.

A leisurely 2-hour hike of our group
A leisurely 2-hour hike of our group
We crossed a small village on the way to the forest
We crossed a small village on the way to the forest
Jens Gerlach from Ebner Publishing, Mario Gaspar from iGANE Slovakia, and Mike Stuffler from Watchuseek
Jens Gerlach from Ebner Publishing, Mario Gaspar from iGANE Slovakia, and Mike Stuffler from Watchuseek
We found an old wrecked helicopter on the way to the forest
Mike found an old wrecked helicopter on the way to the forest
We had to take some of the helicopter to take some wristshots
We had to take some of the helicopter to take some wristshots
Mike's T02 Flieger
Mike’s T02 Flieger
Hi-tech hike to a tall watchtower
Hi-tech hike to a tall watchtower
We could see city of Pforzheim from the watchtower
We could see the city of Pforzheim from the watchtower
Rest of the group
Rest of the group was waving to us from below
We did not miss any wristshot opportunity
We did not miss any wristshot opportunity
A group picture by the watchtower
A group picture by the watchtower
Hiking back to the starting point
Hiking back to the starting point
Upon return from the hike, we were greeted with sparkling wine. Mike Stuffler stylishly wearing the new Watchuseek tshirt
Upon return from the hike, we were greeted with sparkling wine. Mike Stuffler stylishly wearing the new Watchuseek tshirt

We returned from the hike to the place of event – a special “Schwarzwald house”, a typical Black Forest home with modern design elements from Jörg Schauer.  It had a large outdoor seating area, a sundeck, room with all the watches on display, another room with a master chocolatier, and finally a cellar with special wines from a local vineyard.

STOWA event team preparing Black Forest delicacies
STOWA event team preparing Black Forest delicacies
Black Forrest speciality - Ravioli - Maultaschen
Black Forrest speciality – Ravioli – Maultaschen
Lunch and watch discussions
Lunch and watch discussions
Out of this world deserts made by Kevin Kugel, Chocolatier
Out of this world deserts made by Kevin Kugel, Chocolatier
Mango desert by Kevin Kugel
Mango desert by Kevin Kugel
The owners of Merkle Wein Ochsenbach presented wine tasting from regional vineyard
The owners of Merkle Wein Ochsenbach presented wine tasting from regional vineyard
Regine Schauer tasting Merkle sparkling wine
Regine Schauer tasting Merkle sparkling wine
Jörg Schauer discussing next project with a guest
Jörg Schauer discussing next project with a guest
Serious discussion between two Watchuseek members on vintage Stowa
Serious discussion between two Watchuseek members on vintage Stowa
Perfect example of vintage Stowa from a collector
Perfect example of vintage Stowa from a collector

While enjoying the authentic Black Forest specialties, we had an engaging discussion with collectors about German watches and vintage and modern STOWA watches.

An entire room was dedicated to STOWA and Schauer collection
An entire room was dedicated to STOWA and Schauer collection
Limited Edition Fliegers with special engraving
Limited Edition Fliegers with special engraving
The Antea collection was also popular with guests with appreciation for Bauhaus style
The Antea collection was also popular with guests with appreciation for Bauhaus style
There were also several options for ladies watches
There were also several options for ladies watches
Sandra Rodriguez patiently answering any questions related to the collection
Sandra Rodriguez patiently answering any questions related to the collection
Like a true WIS, I placed an order for the 1938 chronograph - for the 2nd time
Like a true WIS, I placed an order for the 1938 chronograph – for the 2nd time

STOWA forum is one of the most popular forum on Watchuseek. Jörg participates often in discussions including posting about new developments and seeking feedback.  We wish Jörg Schauer and the STOWA family all the best and look forward to the 100th anniversary.

Greetings from Jörg Schauer

Greetings from Jörg Schauer

You can view and purchase the 90 th anniversary collection directly from the STOWA website .

Editorial and Photo Credit: Mike Stuffler and Bhanu Chopra

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