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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On this, the happy occassion of my 100th WUS post :gold , I've decided to celebrate by sharing a pic of this vintage Stowa Armee Francaise I acquired recently.

The photo really doesn't do it justice, it is very attractive in person. From the dagger hands to the nice arabics and fine detail of the dial...it is a rare treat in a military issue watch.

If anyone is interested in knowing more about the watch, let me know and I'll post a little history.

Cheers,

Stephen

 

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Nice-looking watch with a cool history. |>

I owned a mint example of this watch, but parted with it as I just couldn't warm up to its small size.
 

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Very nice! I had one but the case was in so-so shape and the second hand kept falling off so I returned it to the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice watch. Please share some pictures of the caseback as well; I believe there should be an inscription? Is this a 50ies model?

Erik_H
Hey Eric,

Here is a picture of the caseback, along with the movemement and a slightly better shot of the dial (still working on getting a good one). I'm going to add some history later today.

Cheers,

Stephen





(Pardon the dust on the crystal...I just snapped this pic as an afterthought last night.)

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Brief history of Stowa Armee Francaise

I've done a little research on the Stowa Armee Francaise, and this is what I've turned up so far:

The Stowa Armee Francaise was produced by Stowa and Walter Storz between 1946 and 1949. The watches were made specifically for the French Army, and were manufactured as war reparations in the wake of the Second World War.

There were two versions of the watch produced, in roughly equal numbers. The hands, case-back, and strap/buckle differ slightly, but otherwise the watches are the same.

Only a very limited number of Stowa Armee Francaise watches were ever produced (est. 2700) each individually numbered on the caseback. Many of these watches saw service in Indochina in the early to mid 1950s.

Specs:

17 jewel handwound movement
33mm chromed steel case
18mm lug width
Shockproof

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That's about all I've been able to dig up so far. Please let me know if you know of any corrections or further applicable information.

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It's too small for me to wear comfortably, but I'm enjoying owning a rare and interesting piece of history.

Hope you enjoyed |>

Cheers,

Stephen
 

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Re: Brief history of Stowa Armee Francaise

Interesting history. I remember seeing a similar watch on an online auction recently, with slightly higher serial number. There can't be many left in this good condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Brief history of Stowa Armee Francaise

Interesting history. I remember seeing a similar watch on an online auction recently, with slightly higher serial number. There can't be many left in this good condition.
Hi Eric,

You've got that right, not too many around in this condition at all. This has the original strap and buckle, and hasn't been restored or altered in any way. I believe I saw the same auction as you did - you may have noticed that the caseback had been over-polished, and it was on an aftermarket strap. Still a nice piece, but not as original. To me, for a historical piece, the more original, the better.

Here is a picture of the early variant of the watch that hasn't aged quite so gracefully. ;-) You'll notice the different hands, the dial says "Stossgesichert" instead of "Shockproof", the movement is 16 Rubis instead of 17, and the minute and hour hands are different as well.

*I would really like to acquire a mint condition, original example of this variant, so if anyone happens upon one, please let me know. |>

 

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Hi Captain, I just picked up a second version of this watch and am curious about the strap. You're convinced that the grey strap you have pictured is the original shipped with the watch? Have you seen an original strap on the earlier version?

I know the one I bought will not have an original strap, but I would like to match it as best as possible. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Captain, I just picked up a second version of this watch and am curious about the strap. You're convinced that the grey strap you have pictured is the original shipped with the watch? Have you seen an original strap on the earlier version?

I know the one I bought will not have an original strap, but I would like to match it as best as possible. Thanks.
Hi Uwe,

Congrats on your find. :)

Yes, I'm convinced that the strap pictured is the original, as it is a closed strap on fixed lugs.

As well, I've seen the same strap on several versions of the same watch.

Best,

Stephen
 

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Thanks Stephen. It looks like I'll need to find a grey leather band for a fixed bar then. Nuts! :-d

The photo of the first gen watch looks like it has springbars? Is that possible? Did you find yourself one of those as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Stephen. It looks like I'll need to find a grey leather band for a fixed bar then. Nuts! :-d

The photo of the first gen watch looks like it has springbars? Is that possible? Did you find yourself one of those as well?
They appear to be springbars but I don't think they are. I believe they are fixed as well. My understanding is that this is very common amongst military watches (particularly for infantry use) as they are more rugged under heavy use than springbars would be.
 

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On this, the happy occassion of my 100th WUS post :gold , I've decided to celebrate by sharing a pic of this vintage Stowa Armee Francaise I acquired recently.

The photo really doesn't do it justice, it is very attractive in person. From the dagger hands to the nice arabics and fine detail of the dial...it is a rare treat in a military issue watch.

If anyone is interested in knowing more about the watch, let me know and I'll post a little history.

Cheers,

Stephen

Hi all,
I just got one of these Stowas made for the French Army (2nd edition). The movement of the 1st edition seems to be a Durowe 412, but does anybody know who made the movement of the 2nd edition?
By the way: Any ideas where I can get exactly the same (or a similar) grey strap as used originally?
Thanks a lot!
peet
 

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Thanks for your quick reply Volker. Maybe Kaufmann can manufacture a copy of the original strap. Otherwise I'd buy one of these straps you suggested.
Any idea who made the movement of the second generation Stowa FA?
peet
 
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These watches have been given to France as part of WWII war reparations (like the Vixa Type 20) and used in Indochina circa 1954.

After the war, the Black Forest was part of the French Occupation Zone, so Hanhart and Stowa had to fit in the WWII war reparations.

The French Army (ground troups) got app. 2500 watches starting in 1949. Two types have been delivered: Type 1: 15 jewels moevment (No. 1 - 750), Type 2: 17 jewels movement (No. 751 to 2500).
The Vixa Type 20 made by Hanhart have been used by the French Air Force, the Stowa has been in use by the ground troups.
 
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