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Flieger Contemporary
Modernized airman watches.

History & Inspiration. 

Optimized technology and certification.

As one of the renowned manufacturers of Flieger watches, STOWA has a special responsibility for this timeless watch line. Not only the relaunch of old historical models is important to us. We are also striving for a modernization of the classic design. We call the watches that arise from this: Our best (Flieger) watches that we’ve ever built. The dial design of the models TO1, TO2 and GMT is very reduced. The function and perfect readability at all times - one of the DNAs of STOWA - are always paramount.

In 2013, we bravely had a watch undergo the new and elaborate TESTAF tests. We have not only mastered the test at once without complaint. Meanwhile, we also welcome the fact that we are able to offer more models with the extremely robust case technology. The Flieger Klassik Sport, for example, is built with the same technique and brings its wearers much joy during daily wearing because of this extraordinary robustness - one more STOWA DNA important for us: The absolute practicality.

The simple TO2 design chooses consciously not to have a rotating bezel. The plain time display and the reduced case design shows how the modernization of the classic Flieger watch can look.

The GMT version, that complements the model family as third watch, then ultimately combines a simple and extremely useful function - displaying a second time zone - with our simple dial and casing design.

2016. A new Fliegerwatch is launched. The Flieger Professional DIN.

Designed by Hartmut Esslinger. Successful tested on Friday 24th. June 2016. Now available.


TESTAF & DIN. 2016.

TESTAF becomes DIN:

The new standard for pilot watches DIN 8330.

The German DIN standards in the watch sector enjoy the highest reputation in Germany and internationally. For the first time in decades, a completely new German watch standard DIN 8330: time measurement - pilot watches (part 1: requirements and testing and part 2: evaluation of conformity), is issued. It defines the functional requirements for safe and reliable pilot watches and proves the innovative capacity of the German technology-based watch industry.

At the initiative of Sinn Spezialuhren GmbH, DIN decided to provide a standard for pilot watches in the summer of 2013, for the first time. For this project, a working group named pilot watches was founded, in which the following well-known companies and institutions participated: FH Aachen as engineering sciences test institute, DNV GL (formerly Det Norske Veritas and Germanischer Lloyd) as certification institution, Lufthansa Cargo and Airbus Helicopters as user and, as manufacturer, Sinn Spezialuhren, Stowa and Glashütte Original. In October 2015, the competent working committee for watches released both parts of the standard for publishing. Publishing is planned for spring 2016.

The basis for the new standard for pilot watches is the Technical Standard for Pilot Watches (, developed jointly by the Department of aerospace engineering at FH Aachen and Sinn Spezialuhren GmbH, and publicly presented in 2012. The TESTAF presented the first detailed and engineering science based requirements and test catalog for pilot watches in the institutional, professional and civilian air traffic.

TESTAF, and now the DIN 8330, transfer the uncompromisingly high demands that are placed on the equipment of planes and helicopters to wrist watches. It ensures that a pilot wirstwatch can replace the time measurement equipment existing in the aircraft completely for the pilot, that it is not affected by the physical stresses of air traffic, that it represents no hazard potential and that it is compatible with other onboard instruments of the air craft. This way, the concept of the pilot watch is supposed to be brought back to its origin as a watch equipped with special functional and technical features.

The main differences between the requirements of DIN 8330-1 and TESTAF can be summarized as follows:

(1) The DIN 8330-1 expands the circle of certifiable types of watches, for example by considering quartz watches or more practical requirements for the permitted magnetic signature of a pilot watch.                                                                                                                            

(2) In numerous concrete requirements the DIN 8330-1 surpasses the TESTAF. This particularly concerns the tightened test criteria for readability, vibration loads and resistance to air craft typical liquids. In addition, requirements for compatibility with night vision equipment are defined for the first time.                                                                                                                            

(3) The DIN 8330-1 specifies, systematizes and updates the regulations applied and developed for the TESTAF tests.

The new standard DIN 8330 Time Measurement - Pilot watches emphasizes the international leading position of the German watch industry and their claim to further promote the development of technologically sophisticated watches. Only a neutral institution approved by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) can certify that watches meet all the requirements of DIN 8330-1. These watches may then be provided with the known DIN mark.

The core team of the work group Pilot watches:                     

Specialists of any kind: test engineer, authorized officer, development manager, flight officer, project manager, manager WG DIN 8330, chief test pilot, aerospace engineering


Flieger Professional - Story & Inspiration. 



“Besides modern products in new but often unexciting shapes, for example smart phones, there are objects with a history in a traditional way, like ocean liners, cars and of course pilot watches, which speak to us emotionally by their visual familiarity. Apart from that, innovation and customer’s demands require modernization and with that new ways of designing. The trick is to balance the familiar with the new.

When I started working for Disney 20 years ago, designing innovative cruise ships for families, we discovered that kids loved the futuristic Star Trek liner whereas their parents liked the classical ocean liners Normandie and France better. I combined both, classical lines and wide bows with a descending stern as well as a navigating bridge in the style of a spaceship – and called the resulting design retro-futuristic, an established term nowadays.

Regarding STOWA’s new Flieger watch, an uncompromising-professional time measuring instrument, together with Jörg Schauer I combined a classical watch case with a bionic shaped bezel: two spatial sine curves, combined at an angle of 90 degrees, create perfectly ergonomic shaped transitions which meet the high DIN standards concerning safe handling with gloves while capturing the avant-garde style of a Boeing Dreamliner.

Yet, such a complex design would not be possible without computer-based production. Moreover, the watch features an innovative dial: we replaced the classical triangle on 12 o’clock with an open A, making the minute hand close the triangle visually in its center precisely when it hits the 60 minutes mark. In the sense of Odo Marquart’s future always needs a past (Zukunft braucht Herkunft) STOWAs new Flieger watch is a logical step forward.”  

Hartmut Esslinger, March 2016


Idea & Implementation.

Inspired by nature and realized with most modern technology. 

When Mr. Esslinger and myself discussed in autumn 2014 about a new Flieger watch for STOWA it was clear that this should be something completely new. Mr. Esslinger asked me whether I could imagine a bionic design. A design derived from nature and its structures. I was at once tempted by this idea to realize something completely new in watch design, though the design freedom was limited by future DIN norms. However,  the result of this design process now is a bionic bezel, an innovative dial and a special crown.


Bionic bezel.                     

A classical watch case is combined with a bionic shaped bezel: two spatial sine curves, combined at an angle of 90 degrees, create perfectly ergonomic shape.




Innovative dial.    

The classical triangle on 12 o’clock watch changed to an open A, making the minute hand close the triangle visually in its center precisely when it hits the 60 minutes mark. 

TESTAF and DIN. Elaborate tests. Impact. Vibration. Fluids. 

Complying with the Technical Standards for Pilot watches (TESTAF) gives the user the security that such a pilot watch complies with the relevant functional, technical, physical and normative requirements for timing devices in various aircraft classes; allows the pilot to plan and carry out the time-dependent maneuvers necessary for the operation of the flight, and this way to replace equipment for time measurement that is required and existing in aircrafts in its entirety; that its functionality is not influenced by the physical stresses of regular flight operations and by unexpected disturbances, and that it is easy and safe to use and read in all conditions; that it is not a risk potential for crew members, other instruments or the aircraft.

Requirements of the TESTAF. 

1. Functionality: Required functions for visual or instrument flight. Readability by day and night. Ensuring operability. Accuracy and power reserve.
2. Resistance to external loads: Absolute and cyclically changing ambient pressure, operating temperature range and rapid temperature changes, shock and impact resistance, G-loads and vibrations, watertightness, resistance to typical liquid of flight operations and effects of magnetic fields on the watch.
3. Security and compatibility: Impact of the magnetic signature of the watch on the emergency compass, avoiding reflections (glare effect), special shape and secure bracelet fastening.

Preserving Tradition - Yet Thinking Ahead.

From the original Fliegerwatch (1940) to the new Flieger Professinal DIN (2016) 


2013. Flieger TESTAF TO1. 

TESTAF (Technical Standard for pilot watches), the standard for pilot watches since 2012. Developed by the FH Aachen. For the first time, a clear technical and functional requirement catalog is presented, which determines what requirements bracelet pilot watches must meet today.

2014. Flieger GMT. 

The complication of the second time zone, widely referred to as GMT (Greenwitch Mean Time), is very useful for travelers. Using the central hand, the time difference can be set to local time. After that, the time at home can be read on the bezel.

2015. Flieger TO2. 

The classic STOWA Flieger watch becomes more modern and sporty. The 43 mm case and the extra thick sapphire glasses of the model Flieger TO2 enable a 200-meter watertightness and increased shock resistance. The luminous intensity of the hands and the dial is particularly strong.



2016. Flieger Professional/DIN. 

A new inspiration, a new concept. In June 2016 STOWA launchs his new Fliegerwatch which will get the new DIN 8330 (Deutsche Industrie Norm). Designed by Hartmut Esslinger.


Some details of the new Fliegerwatches.


Luminous hands and luminous markings. Best readability.


TO Dial by day. 

The graphic of the TO dials was very complicated. The requirements of the Testaf criteria are demanding: clear and easy to read dial design by day, but especially at night. To make the reading of the time even more clear, the logo is printed in dark gray.

During twillight. 

During twilight or later in complete darkness, the TESTAF shows one of its strengths. The large hands and markings are very luminously intensive. Pure functionality! The models of the TO series light up in blue at night!, although the markings and hands are white in daylight.

Flieger GMT. Useful function. A second time zone.

2014. Flieger GMT. 

The complication of the second time zone, widely referred to as GMT (Greenwitch Mean Time), is very useful for travelers. Using the central hand, the time difference can be set to local time. After that, the time at home can be read on the bezel.

GMT movement. 

The automatic movement of our Flieger GMT is based on the proven Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement. The motherboard of the original caliber was enlarged to make the movement more optimal, especially for large, sporty watches. A robust movement in a beautiful appearance.