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Actually, I was aware of this Rodina, my understanding is that it is a small group of people in China (or HongKong), who use a Russian name 'Rodina', bought movements from Seagull. Whether the watches are made in their own workshop or in Seagull factory, I am not sure. But I think the later case is unlikely, Seagull is a big company and would not be interested in earning so little amount of money. Because from 'taobao', Rodina watches are sold for less than 100 euro (800 RMB). How much would Rodia pay for Seagull for making a watch, 10 euro? It makes sense they buy movement from Seagull, for something around 50 euro (1701 movement). But not buying watches from Seagull.
But I also heard that Seagull might lease their production facility to the others, then it is difficult for me tell more.

Having looked into many other posts, another point I want to make is that: China watch companies can make very good watch cases, like seagull 819.415, is with a case vey nice, comparable with Mido or Longines. I have a seagull 816.357, I am happy with the case (though not as good as 819.415) and movement, it gains 1 s per day consistently. I paid 2600 RMB (less than 400 euro) for it. But the case back is not in good quality. Good thing is that I do not need to see the watch back.
I also have a Stowa Ikarus, honestly, I am not so satisfied with the case, the connections between the lugs and the main body are not well treated, in short, these areas are not smooth, not uniform. I am thinking whether I need to bother Stowa to polish/improve the case a bit. Also the date window is a bit to the left, especially, when it is in two digits. At moment, I wear Seagull 816.357 more often than Stowa ikarus.

Hello,

now i could find the time to check some details of the fake.

Now i can say that this is not a "pimped or tuned" Original STOWA Antea KS 41 - i thought maybe somebody bought the Original watch and put in a other dial and movement.

But some of the casedetails (quality and engraving) are not bad made, but never this is or was a Original STOWA watch.

So i have to check if we can make something against the producer because they are using our Companys name and modellname.

But i think this will be a big fight from a small company like STOWA is against a big company (Seagull is a very big chinese company)

Lets see whats happen ;)

Best regards

Jörg Schauer
 

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stowa pilot straps are really good for value and lasting. i have one on my laco and it still looks good after many years. but my original laco ones have already reduced it's width size and I can see the spring bars at the edges.
lest people get the false notion that im hellbent on spreading negatives re: stowa, i received a new flieger around the time of this thread.

the pilot strap that came with it is quite rubbish - chintzy, stiff, uncomfortable to wear, hard to fit in the clasp and buckle.

the standard strap is more supple, but is clearly cheap top-grain/corrected leather [i.e., original surface buffed down thin to hide irregularities]

is it horrendously bad? is it unreasonable expectation for a watch of this price? thats a personal answer, but (1) the cheapness in the strap is the immediate impression i received, (2) OE strap on the Stowa M.O. felt better, (3) only cheaper impression of watch at this price range was from Meistersinger, and finally (4) rest of watch - case, etc - felt good as expected
 

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Ya, actually i am also think that the strap can be better or at least give us other options. But that is perhaps discussion for another thread. This thread we talk about the origin of case. haha
 

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Before I begin, let me state that I'm glad this thread has not been deleted because it contains a lot of good information and, more importantly, a fascinating debate. If anything, my recent thread about Stowa components should be deleted because it is repetitive (this was accidental on my part because I could only see threads from the last month, so this one was not visible to me).

What's most fascinating about this thread is that it raises important questions; or more correctly, one important question...the origin of Stowa cases. What's equally fascinating is how much my opinion changed as I read the thread...and this is what I want to postulate my own opinion on.

I couldn't help but agree with the majority of posts...from both sides of the discussion. This is extremely rare for me as I'm quite opinionated. That doesn't mean I'm closed-minded and can't see other people's points of view, but it's rare where I see both sides of an argument equally...as was the case (no pun intended) here.

Essentially the debate can be reduced to how important the provenance of a watch (or its individual components) is. This is not an easy thing to answer honestly to oneself. On one hand, I think all of us (being WISs) would be proud to say that our German or Swiss watches were 100% sourced, finished, and assembled from their respective countries of origin. This is probably not realistic unless you're buying a Patek Phillipe, A. Lange & Sohn, or Jaeger LeCoultre...maybe not even with these companies. On the flip side, I think most of us would be disappointed to learn that nearly half of the components in our Swiss or German watches were made and finished in, say, China and merely assembled in their respective countries of origin. So the question comes down to what compromises you can live with.

Before I address that let me address one other thing: Made in China. No three words (edited by mod, see rules and guidelines) creates so much controversy. Made in China is synonymous (at least in the U.S.) with cheap quality, cheap labor, etc. While there is plenty of truth to these opinions, it would be unfair to say that everything made in China falls into these categories. With that being said, the stigma of Made in China is not likely to disappear soon and I admit that I generally don't look favorably upon things made in China.

Getting back to my point, many watches that say "Made in Germany" or "Swiss Made" are a compromise. Just looking up "Swiss Made" on Wikipedia you will find not only what constitutes a watch's right to bear the "Swiss Made" logo but examples of such watches that may incorporate Asian-made dials, hands, and crystals as well as opinions on how lax the "Swiss Made" standard is in some people's eyes. In addition, Wikipedia states:

"Made in Germany" is not controlled by a central regulatory body. However, its status has been defined by several court rulings in Germany. In 1995, the Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart ruled that the term Made in Germany is misleading according to Germany's Fair Trades Act when the largest part is not German raw materials or German craftsmanship. (This may actually be good news in the case of watch cases as they could be considered the largest part of a watch)

The bottom line though is how much compromise is each of us willing to accept. Is the essence of Swiss Made and Made in Germany upheld if components come from foreign countries? I guess it depends what watch you own...and what country the part was sourced from. Excluding the ultra high-end watches mentioned earlier, I don't think most people have issues if major components are European sourced. I would inherently expect that the more expensive a watch is, the more it uses domestic sources but this is probably false. Once the sourcing moves out of Europe is when the problems arise. Few of us would be thrilled to learn that a component in our watch was sourced from China. Why? Because of the stigma "Made in China" carries with it but also because of the lengths many German and Swiss watch manufacturers (including Stowa) go to to stress the inherent high quality in the German and Swiss parts they purchase as well as the time and cost involved with finishing to Swiss and German standards. I am proud to read that my Stowa Flieger Sport uses expensive, hard to manufacture thermally-blued hands, and Swiss movements in TOP finish...and frankly, Stowa is just as (rightfully) proud. This is all part of horological provenance...something that all of us, to varying degrees, subscribe to. So, of course, when one reads that a major component like a case may have been sourced in China, it becomes a sore spot for some...including me. However, one must take into account the difference between sourcing a high quality Chinese component and finishing it domestically to high standards versus buying a cheap Asian made alternative and leaving it as is. Yes, a case, dial, bracelet, and hands are major components to a watch and should at least be finished in Germany or Switzerland but sourcing the original raw piece from a foreign country (even China) is not a huge deal IMHO if it is of equal or better quality to domestic options and is finished to high German and Swiss standards. That doesn't mean that I expect a German or Swiss watch manufacturer to source ALL of these components from China, but having one or two is not a huge deal to me especially seeing how many watches that bear the "Swiss Made" logo may in fact have even more components coming from China than Stowa does.

So why the change of heart? Put simply, because it's a Stowa. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Stowa fan boy. Before a few weeks ago I'd not even visited their website) let alone given them much thought and although they get glowing reviews here, I take everything with a grain of salt. But I sympathize with Stowa's stated philosophy and the position they're in in the watch community. They are not held in the same light as an IWC or an A. Lange & Sohn but they are not a Citizen either. In my eyes, they are the next step up from your affordable "Swiss" watches like Hamilton. But that's part of the dilemma...they are a company that makes beautiful, quality watches at relatively affordable prices. That's not an easy niche to fill without some compromises. I was at a local store the other day where the cheapest watch they had was Hamilton and it ran the gamut up to Jaeger LeCoultre. Some of the ultra high end pieces were exquisite but I'd have put Stowa (from the Flieger I own and the hundreds of pics I've seen of their other watches) up against, say, the Longines that I saw there. That's not a knock on Longines at all but their watches were mainly in the $2,000 - $3,000 range and I certainly didn't see twice the quality there. Even my favorite watch that I own, a Baume & Mercier Riviera XXL Chronograph 8724, is hardly worth the $4,300 retail price (I paid $2,000 from a local authorized dealer who had it at 50% off because it was discontinued and hadn't sold). It's a beautiful watch IMHO and worth what I paid for it but I never would've bought it at it's usual selling price of over $3,000. So Jorg has the same unenviable task manufacturing his watches that I have when buying watches (and other expensive things like cars, TVs, stereo equipment, etc.)...buying the nicest quality product I can find at a reasonably affordable price and knowing when I'm not gaining much more for my money when buying the next level up. Personally I think he and Stowa have done a great job of this and if they have to source a few minor things and maybe even one major thing (not the movement though, lol) from outside of Europe and maybe even China, as long as it is of equal quality to its domestic counterpart and is finished in Germany or Switzerland, than that's the compromise I've decided to accept. Should more and more components need to be sourced from China due to economic reasons, than I too would rather see a price increase from Stowa rather than a potential reduction in quality (or even a watch that was largely Chinese sourced)

Everything I own is a compromise to some extent because nothing that I own that's worth more than a few hundred dollars is the absolute best available because, frankly, I'm not a millionaire. But I am proud of everything I own that cost me some money because I took the time to pick out the absolute best that I could afford and have never been left wanting (and I'm not easy to please). These are the compromises I've made and are the same as most of us have to make. I am most thrilled when I buy something that I feel I could've paid twice as much for from another manufacturer and not gotten the same quality even at that price point than what I got from my purchase. After all I may not be able to afford the "best" of everything, but if I can get 90% of the way there in quality at a fraction of the price, than I'm happy.

So the question comes around again...what compromises can you live with?

Thanks for reading...sorry for writing a book on the topic.
 

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Well, that is a long post, but I think well stated. Germans Fricker and Ickler make great cases, but not sure Stowa uses either. I love my Ikarus, including the case, wherever it comes from. I doubt Jorg would compromise quality with an inferior component, so if my watch case was sourced outside Europe, I'm sure Stowa made sure it was up to snuff. But I hear you; these types of products have emotion wrapped up in them, and we all weigh things a bit differently. It is interesting to see the different standards for "Made In...." Every country seems to have its own standard, and there's even a separate standard for Glashutte (which has resulted in a few lawsuits in the past). As far as I know, the toughest standard to meet is Made In America, perhaps a bit too tough in some instances.
 

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I agree with Jorg. Why does any manufacturer have to divulge their source? Ask any other company to tell you where they source their parts and they will tell you to take a hike. Jorg was polite enough to give an answer. Rarely does an owner even answer a said question on their own forum or any forum for that matter. I trust Jorg and his assembly. As long as his company abides with the "Made in Germany" guidelines I am ok with that.

This is just conjecture but I bet all high end "Swiss" brands have some Chinese parts.
 
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