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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First-born Fraternal Twins

~ When my university career concluded in retirement at 65 in 2019, no gold watch was received.

That was fine, as the decades of doing field ecology with students had been adequate reward in and of itself.

Relocating to a balmy climate to serve younger students as a private tutor in empirical analysis and systematic reasoning, the watch I'd used for decades seemed adequate.

The Timex Easy Reader with Indiglo for night use had never been worn, but rather carried in pockets and placed on lecterns or desks.

In Spring, 2020 it was necessary to prepare several students for entry into Swiss Private Schools, which included careful consideration of all relevant aspects of Switzerland.

In books discussing Swiss culture, economy and travel, fine watchmaking was emphasized, with high praise given to the high quality standards of Swiss watchmakers.

Knowing nothing about horology, it seemed that the moment for familiarization with the fundamentals of timepieces had arrived.

Over six weeks articles were read, questions were answered, and a vague sense of what constituted a quality watch congealed in my thoughts.

A watch dial which was somewhat abstract, with a fresh approach to keeping time, had been a recurring daydream.

A watch which might be used while exploring murky pools and waterways, especially if it featured a bright glint to easily show up on the wrist, was another preference.

Having used fountain pens for sketching and handwriting, I'd commissioned bespoke pen nibs several times for specialized purposes.

Was it possible to ask a watchmaker to slightly modify one of their standard models to customize in a more or less bespoke fashion?

I reached out to Breguet, the only leading watchmaker with whom I was familiar, to inquire if bespoke watches were available.

Breguet's gracious reply in French noted that they seldom accepted bespoke commissions, but they recommended a German watchmaker who might meet my needs.

It was Breguet which redirected me from Swiss watchmakers to STOWA, for which I'll always be in their debt.

STOWA's location in the Black Forest interested me, as my fountain pen, ink and paper supplier of choice is 140-year old Fritz Schimpf in Tübingen.

Swabian culture, Pforzheim's reputation for skilled goldsmiths, and the superb cuisine of southwestern Germany all predisposed me toward STOWA.

Looking at STOWA's Web site, there was a strong sense of having arrived at the right place, where outstanding craftsmanship was paired with fresh yet respectful design.

After several weeks of looking, I joined Watchuseek in order to better acquaint myself with the insights of those with substantial experience with fine timepieces.

The images and comments in the 'Who else is wearing a Stowa today?' thread were influential in my consideration of STOWA models.

In the area where I work and live, most leading international Web sites and search engines are unavailable, therefore Watchuseek is especially valuable.

In making an initial order in July, one model stood out for its minimalist Bauhaus design. I'd wanted simplicity, which is what the Antea Dynadots 390 offered.

STOWA agreed to provide a hand-winding version. I requested a limette second hand in order to add a dash of color, reminiscent of a plant shoot sprouting in Spring.

On a wheel visible in the back, STOWA skillfully added the term "Ökologie", i.e. Ecology, and a pair of Gingko biloba leaves, to reflect my career in East Asia.

The overall theme of Ecology was such that it reflected the professional work I'd pursued during several decades of my life.

After ordering the above watch, a series of other orders were placed in the following months. One of those watches was an Antea Back to Bauhaus 355 Limited Silver model.

Rather than requesting an engraving, the limited edition number of 23/100 on a wheel personalized it with a prime number.

I'd never realized that watches might feature small seconds, nor had I ever known about silver dials or thermally blued hands.

As the Antea Back to Bauhaus 355 Limited Silver was ordered a couple of months later, I never expected it to arrive with the Antea Dynadots 390.

My career frequently takes me to sub-Saharan Africa for extended field observation. The conditions in remote areas are often somewhat rough.

Accordingly, it seemed best to add a watch case for bringing the STOWA watches out to worksites in the savanna, in forests or in the mountains.

A Montblanc 2-watch case was ideal for my needs. My backpack, briefcase, belts and wallet have all been crafted in Florence, Italy by Montblanc.

There was no hesitation in ordering a 2-watch case. Traveling and working with quality timepieces was an unfamiliar reality for which I wanted to prepare.

The two STOWA watches and the Montblanc 2-watch case were delivered to a former student, now a friend, across the border in Hong Kong.

He arranged for them to be brought to Shenzhen where more than one month was needed for customs inspection and customs duty assessment to occur.

Yesterday the three boxes were delivered to me by one of my students. Everything arrived in optimal condition, without any issues.

The entire process from initial discussions to the opening of the boxes was trouble-free. There's nothing whatsoever which might have been improved.

The Montblanc 2-watch case exceeded my expectations, with well-constructed protection for any watches contained therein.

Both STOWA watches were a revelation in their own right. The pleasantly scented STOWA boxes are sturdy, protecting the timepieces from untoward shocks.

Nothing was as I might have supposed, which underscores how inadequate my imagination is, when it comes to products purchased on-line

My Pekingese, Yubi, was the sole witness to my gape-jawed wonder when initially handling the first two STOWA watches I'd ever encountered.

Following are images made during the initial opening of the boxes and after the contents were removed.

They're posted for anyone interested, especially those who, like me, have never before seen or handled a STOWA watch.

There's another watch presently in the prolonged local customs process, plus several more being made in the Black Forest.

My heartfelt appreciation to all of those who've posted images and information about their STOWA watches over the past many years.

Tom Kellie
 

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Wow, that is absolutely amazing. Great story, beautiful watches (I like that green hue for the seconds hand a lot). Enjoy them!
 

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I love the Dyna Dot! Its a watch style that a usually dont like. But something about how Stowa did it makes it very appealing. So simple yet so purposeful.
 

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Beautiful pieces. The watch holder seems to be very well made as well.

Congratulations! Wear in good health.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Loved it - great post - great watches
 
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Love that limette hand. And, Ökologie", i.e. Ecology, and a pair of Gingko biloba leaves, to reflect my career in East Asia.
And, of course, Der Hund
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
~ In line with the comments above about Breguet referring me to STOWA, I stopped by their local boutique this afternoon.

It seemed appropriate, given how satisfied I feel with the first two STOWA watches.

Breguet's timepieces on display were superb. Trying on with with the power display on the dial was a pleasure.

To think that for nearly seven decades I never knew the satisfaction of handling fine watches.

Tom K.
 
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