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I’ve had the watch two weeks now and am very happy with it.

The executive summary: The Stowa Seatime Black Forest Limited Edition is a value-priced, robust titanium dive watch made in Germany that punches above its weight, powered by a Top Grade ETA 2824-2 movement. With its unique styling, it will never be mistaken for a Submariner or Sub clone.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to my eye this watch is a beaut, more like the rugged granite cliffs of Yosemite than a soft meadow filled with wildflowers, both beautiful in their own way; more Geländewagen than 911. I like that it doesn’t look like so many other dive watches. I like the Brutalist Architecture of the case, with its sharp angles and sand-blasted matte titanium finish. If I want to enjoy fine Zaratsu polishing, I’ll strap on my Grand Seiko SBGM221. Note that the 42 mm diameter Seatime wears large because of the 50.3 mm lug-to-lug distance, but it’s fine for my 7.25” wrist. It’s 13.5 mm thick, which is 2 mm thinner than said Grand Seiko GMT.

The chiseled, angled toughness of the case is softened by various circles, the four Dynadots of increasing size on the bezel, the lollipop seconds hand, and the black sector dial. I’m a sucker for sector dials and the designers wisely kept this dial clean and uncluttered, with a mere two main lines of text: Stowa under 12 o’clock and Automatic above the date window at 6 o’clock. Ok, there’s also a small font “Made in Germany” that practically blends into the minute markers on either side of 6 o’clock. The gap in the sector dial between 5 and 7 lets the small, round date window unobtrusively fill that gap, while maintaining symmetry and balance in the dial. Clear Arabic numerals are at 8, 10, 12, 2, and 4, which is unusual but pleasing to me.

I like that the bezel angles slightly inward towards the sapphire crystal, a nice vintage touch on an otherwise very modern design. The Superluminova C3 lume is bright and abundant. As a dive watch, the bezel is unidirectional, with 60 clicks. There is a bit of play in the bezel, which isn’t too unexpected in a more value-priced watch, but is an area for improvement. When you turn the bezel, be prepared for those clicks to sound more like liter beer steins clunked onto a Munich beer hall table than the soft clicking whir of a roulette wheel in a Monaco casino. At least I assume that’s what a fine roulette wheel would sound like, having never been in a Monaco casino, but I have watched some Bond movies. Finally, the lime green hands add some pop and whimsy to this functional tool watch, like a touch of dry humor beneath a stern Teutonic demeanor.

Let’s turn the watch over. I appreciate sapphire casebacks and yes, now and again I look at the movements of my watches, both with a loupe and without. This ETA 2824-2 certainly isn’t a work of art Lange, but is surprisingly nicely done, with some blued screws and a bit of decoration. I opted for an upgraded handmade rotor with a custom engraving: Vollgas. In German, that means “pedal to the metal” colloquially, or “full gas” literally. I have no hesitation about diving with a sapphire caseback watch and once I can travel again will use this 200 meter water resistant watch scuba diving. The caseback also has all the other verbiage that often clutters watch dials, including that this is a limited edition, so only 199 other people in the world have this watch. Although CEO Jörg is clever. Inscribed is Edition 1 No. 154/200, so in theory there could be Edition 2, etc., but I don‘t actually care about that.

I assume the movement beats at 28,800 vph and has a power reserve around 40 hours, but I can’t find that specific information anywhere.

I don’t like rubber straps, so I opted for the titanium bracelet upgrade, which is very comfortable on wrist and is perfectly matched to the watch. Total weight of the watch and bracelet is 135 grams. The lug width is 22 mm and you’ll need to use the provided screwdriver to change out the bracelet, which is microadjustable to four positions but requires a standard spring bar tool to adjust. The deployant is basic and the buckle doesn’t have great action, but when all closed up everything is very secure. The crown shows the Stowa logo and screws out and in nicely. I’ve read that titanium scratches easily so I’m prepared for that. Lots of my things, like the La Pavoni espresso machine with lots of patina, have beausage (beauty by usage) anyway, so having a watch with beausage will surely be fine.

Stowa only sells on-line and I found the staff (hi Sarah!) very helpful and responsive. If I sent a question during the day Pacific Standard Time there’d be an email already the next morning. Their website is easy to use, as is their rotor design page. The unboxing experience is great. I quite like the small metal box that holds the watch, almost like a mini footlocker, and the hand-written card is a nice, personal touch. You also get a Victorinox Swiss Army knife with a standard knife blade and a watch case opener, although the likelihood is I’ll never open the case. Below is the price breakdown.

I look forward to using this watch on lots of adventures over the coming years.

Base price: €1,168
Titanium bracelent: €176
Hand-made rotor with engraving: €116
Shipping to USA: €39
Vocher: -€17
grand total: €1,483

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Beautiful watch! I’ve always thought Stowa’s diver line is incredibly underrated, they offer so much bang for the buck. (As do all Stowa watches) The way their divers are designed is refreshingly different from the standard Rolex style dive watch, which do look incredible but gets worn out after a awhile IMO. I agree with pairing your Seatime with a bracelet, mostly because the Stowa bracelet looks very nice and flows with the watches tool/dive like design so well. Stowa really knows how to design amazing timepieces! Great review, love the pictures!
 

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Great review and pictures. One of Stowa's best, IMHO.

Good job.
 

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38,927 Posts
I’m not such a fan of this bezel, but that’s a good review of a nice watch.
 
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