Today it is my extreme pleasure to talk about a new watch model from STOWA (Stoh-va) watches. About a decade ago, I was starting to become disinterested in many of the watches available on the market. Sometime in 2008-09, STOWA peaked my curiosity with their designs, especially their sport dive style watches such as the Seatime. I have had many pleasant conversations with STOWA staff members over the years and have found that the company is truly interested and concerned with the opinions of their customers and potential customers. The company is located in Germany and consists of a very small staffing compliment of around 20. It is my personal belief that being a small company is one of STOWA’s greatest attributes. A small staff can provide a level of personal touch where so many other companies fall short. One of the company’s newest collections is the Antea b2b “Back to Bauhaus” models. Bauhaus was an art school located in Germany with a fundamental principle of keeping things simple. The original Bauhaus watches were produced in the 1920s, first from Lange & Sohne and then in 1927, by STOWA, both of which had extremely minimalistic simple designs. The new Bauhaus design maintains the essence of the original concept while adding a bit of contemporary flair, which I am certain, many will appreciate. Antea 365 b2b, which is the subject of this article, comes with the following basic specifications:
- Case: Stainless Steel
- Case Diameter: 36.5mm
- Movement: Top grade automatic with or without date
- Strap: Leather options
- Water Resistance: 5ATM
- Retail: 950 euro, without VAT 798.32 – 902.78 USD
The extremely minimalistic designed case is composed of 316L stainless steel, which is refined to a mirror polished finish. The case measures 36.5mm and just under 40mm including the crown. While the case may be small to those that prefer at least 40mm or larger watch cases, the long lugs contribute to a nearly 46mm lug tip to lug tip measurement, which will satisfy many of those with larger wrists. I can attest with a 7 ¾ inch wrist the design works well and feels right at home on the wrist. While I was unable to obtain a precise measurement, due to difficulty with caliper placement, the lugs are probably somewhere between 6-7mm in overall length. The long angular lugs are still acceptable for maintaining an overall minimalist design, but in my opinion provide a level of uniqueness beyond minimalistic or simple. Still unlike some, I believe any modification to the original STOWA case lug design would have proven to be an injustice to the Bauhaus design concept. The lugs also have machined holes for simple strap changes, which will reduce wear and tear on the underside of the lugs. The lug width on the Antea 365 model measures 18mm.
The case is a fantastic 9.20mm slim, which will allow the watch to rest quite comfortably under a dress shirt cuff in turn, making the Antea 365 b2b a perfect accessory in the executive boardroom or a night out on the town. The watch weighs a meager 55 grams, so combined with the other case specifications, will feel quite light and comfortable on the wrist. A 5.5mm push/pull crown is located at the 3 o’clock position on the case. The crown has the STOWA logo engraved on the face and is extremely easy to grasp and engage. The crown is perfectly proportionate to the other case dimensions and pleasantly larger than crowns on similar style watches. The non-crown side of the case is very plain and simple, keeping with the minimalistic design, as well as, providing a great view of the mirror polished finish of the watch. I am pleased that STOWA does not over brand their cases by placing any sort of markings on that side of the case.
One of the fantastic aspects of the watch head is the very thin bezel area surrounding the crystal. The thin design aspect contributes to the illusion of a slightly larger than 36.5mm watch case as the Antea is almost all dial. The model is fitted with a sapphire crystal measuring nearly 33mm diameter, which provides a very clear view of the dial due to a quality interior anti-reflective coating. Bauhaus timepieces of the past, if you look at original designs from Lange & Sohne or even STOWA, were extremely plain with rather bland font type and minute markers. When you look at the Antea Back to Bauhaus, you will notice a slight update to the original Bayer font type making it slightly more whimsical as the numerals appear more rounded. The best way to immediately notice the difference is to look at the difference between the number “2” from the earlier models to the current. The other major difference on the dial is the minute markers. The original Bauhaus timepieces utilized hash minute markers, whereas the Back to Bauhaus models have much more lively dots similar to the “dynadots” found on the very modern looking Rana watch model produced by STOWA. The Antea 365 and 390 models have an optional date complication available upon request. However, I believe the no date option, in this example, works best with the keeping it simple Bauhaus design concept.
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