History of STOWA pilot watches

Pilot watches - Historical originals - Excellent design

From indispensable instrument to chic everyday watch.

One of the most successful watch genres of all is the pilot's watch.

Its popularity has to do with its unmistakable design, which in turn has to do with its eventful history: when man took to the skies, timepieces became an indispensable instrument.

A new type of watch developed - the pilot's watch.

STOWA was one of the very few pilot watch manufacturers who were allowed to build these watches.

Characteristic for the original pilot watch is the typical design, such as the case engraving Fl 23883 opposite the crown and the simple, but very easy to read typography on the dial.

The pilot's watch was an indispensable companion on board for navigation.

The pilot's watch was an indispensable companion on board for navigation.

Back then, it was the crazy men in their flying boxes who caused a stir at the beginning of the 20th century. Mobility was gaining in importance. Horse-drawn carts were replaced by gasoline-powered hackney carriages, railroads connected numerous megacities, and in the air, pilots moved with nerves of steel - flying was dangerous at the time. Admittedly, the times when every pilot needed a special pilot's watch for support are over today - modern measuring instruments and, not least, GPS, the global navigation satellite system for determining position and measuring time, are now the necessary working tools - but what remains is the typical look: with their classic design, pilot's watches are among the cherished favorites of many watch collections.

STOWA, as one of the oldest German watch manufacturers, has again been building its characteristic pilot's watch in a wide variety of designs since 1997. With manual winding movement, automatic movement or as a chronograph.

Original watches - pattern A and pattern B.

Baumuster A

Baumuster A

The initial design of the original STOWA pilot's watch (1940) was characterized by the usual arrangement of the hour numerals on the dial. These pilot watches were called version Baumuster A (see picture at the top). Around 1942, the Baumuster B was developed. Characteristic for this dial is the large, outside (number) minute circle and the smaller, inside hour circle.

Baumuster B

Baumuster B

The large original pilot watch in 55 mm case size, in the Baumuster B version by STOWA, is one of the rarest, large pilot watches ever. Most likely only 42 pieces were built. Both original STOWA pilot watches can be seen in the museum in Pforzheim. The movement of the pilot watch was very precise and was made by Unitas (caliber 2812). Today, we again use Unitas movements in a part of our pilot watch collection (caliber 6498).

Relaunch of the STOWA pilot watches

STOWA has been building mechanical watches continuously since 1927. In 1997, the typical original pilot watch is reissued in the Baumuster A, then from 2010 the Baumuster B version is added and in 2012 the STOWA pilot chronograph is joined to the collection.

Details of typical pilot watches

Luminous numerals. Blued steel hands. Triangle.
Blued steel hands

Blued steel hands

Thermally blued steel hands with luminous material help with readability - especially at night.

Luminous numbers

Luminous numbers

Typical design features for pilot watches are luminous numbers on the dial, which also contribute to optimal readability in the dark.

Triangle

Triangle

Classic: a luminous triangle with two luminous points. This makes pilot watches extremely easy to read - even at night.

Luminous at night

Luminous at night

Luminous numbers and hands. Great readability at night guaranteed!

Pilot watch certification DIN 8330

Pilot watch certification DIN 8330

To ensure the authenticity of pilot watches, the pilot watch standard DIN 8330 was created in 2016. STOWA was one of the key companies that worked on the new DIN. The result is a set of instructions for building new, more modern pilot watches that must undergo numerous, elaborate tests. For STOWA, it was proof of the technical achievements of which in-house production is capable.

The movements in our pilot watches

The movements in our pilot watches

STOWA has different movements for its pilot wristwatch to choose from. Many collectors love the classic pilot watch with hand winding. The daily ritual of winding is important for some people. The somewhat easier variant in operation - even if you wear the watch daily, is the pilot watch automatic. Both movements are of TOP quality. The Pilot's Watch Automatic is about 1 mm higher and the movement can be viewed under the sapphire crystal case back, just like the hand winding movement.

All pilot watches from STOWA are produced with passion and love, this is what distinguishes our manufactory in the Black Forest. With handwork, expertise and a dose of adventurousness, we create a piece of watch culture for your wrist. Whether as authentic as possible, based on the original pilot watch from the 1940s or modernized, you are in good hands with the pilot watch manufacturer STOWA and we deliver a piece of emotion and history to your wrist.

Do you have any questions?

Do you have any questions?

We are here for you.

0049 7231 20444-00 (Monday to Friday, 9 am - 4:30 pm)

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