Omega Speedmaster Pro, Stowa Marine 36 KS, Sinn 104
When looking for a small, everyday-casual handwinder (I'm trying to avoid the word 'GADA') to complement my rotation of 40-42mm [mostly automatic] pieces I kept coming back to two German brands: Nomos and Stowa. Particularly Stowa has quite an appealing selection of watches in this category of smaller designs; the Partitio, Marine 36, Antea and even the Flieger 36 all fit the bill.
I kept changing my mind, trying to come to a rational decision. But I eventually decided on the Marine 36 Handwound. Not just because it's a beautifully designed and executed object which really sings to me on an aesthetic level, but also for what the Marine deck watch concept embodies.
After being cooped inside the home for the better part of a year now, there's a certain appeal in a watch that conjures up visions of adventurous exploration and naval conquest.
It turns out that one of my wife's great-great-great-[...]-grandfathers was head of the naval academy in Rotterdam in the late 18th century and wrote a handbook on marine navigation for the Dutch Admiralty. He would have admired this watch.
It took some getting used to the 36mm size on my ~7.5" (185mm) wrist. The proportions of this watch are so very different from e.g. my Speedmaster or Sinn pilot watch. The logical choice would have been to go for the 41mm Marine Original, but I really wanted a smaller watch to get out of my usual 40-42 range. And 36mm is the classic territory of military field watches and icons like the Explorer, the ur-GADA watch. When looking in the mirror the 36mm actually looks beautifully proportioned to my wrist and arm.
The Peseux 7001 movement was one of the reasons for picking this model. It's wonderfully thin and I like the look of the winding gears. Compared to e.g. the ETA 2804 it has a slightly 'cleaner' appearance which fits the teutonic style of the watch.
Being used to the ratchety sound and haptics of the Speedmaster's movement, the winding is smooth and quiet, but with a pleasing amount of resistance. The entire back of the watch reminds me of a porthole, which fits nicely with the marine design theme.
The watch runs ~11spd fast, which is just inside the promised range of +/- 15spd. Accuracy is not hyper important to me, but I had expected a bit more from a regulated top-grade movement. I have cheap Miyota powered watches that perform better. But since I have a rotation of watches that I go through, it's not a big deal.
The watch came in a huge box with lots of empty compartments. In fact it only contained the charming small wooden watchbox with the watch and warranty card inside. I suppose the big box contains a book and goodies if you're a Youtube reviewer, but in this case I guess they should have just sent the wooden box because this felt a bit odd and inefficient.
But then you look at those pretty blue hands, and all is right in the world.