We are celebrating a modest 3-year milestone of Flieger Friday at Watchuseek this December. Our very first post was a review of Stowa Ikarus flieger on December 2016. Over the last three years we have covered pilot watches from around the world including Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Finland, Japan, India, Singapore, and Canada. Our most popular in-depth posts included history of various fliegers (Baumuster A and B), Flieger Chronograph, French Type 22, British RAF, and a Japanese rare WWII pilot watch. We covered new watch releases from Baselworld, as well as announcements throughout the year. We also narrated background stories and history of watch brands. We had fun reviewing a range of affordable as well as expensive flieger watches.
So it is only appropriate that Stowa is commemorating Flieger Friday milestone with a bronze pilot watch. This is a first ever bronze watch in Stowa collection! However, this is only the beginning. Stowa will be unveiling few pilot watches with bronze cases in 2019, and into 2020. The Stowa Flieger Friday Bronze Edition is limited to 20 pieces – 12 in Baumuster A dial, and 8 in Baumuster B dial. Our team collaborated on the design of this special watch with Stowa CEO and creative head, Joerg Schauer. The idea for this originated at Baselworld 2019 Armbanduhren award ceremony, where Stowa won the Classic Watch of the Year award. Joerg Schauer and Watchuseek met with a German case manufacturer where we discussed this special project. Ultimately bronze case idea won for delivery in 2019.
There are two types of bronze cases currently available – ones that do not oxidize, and the others which do, and form a dark green/brown patina. Joerg wished for a bronze case which has a worn-in look (not too dark brown, or polished bronze) but does not oxidize any further. After the treatment applied by Stowa, it turned out to be a perfect warm brushed bronze with a slightly dark hue. Being a warm dark bronze, the case could be used in several combinations of dials, hands, and straps. Joerg began to tinker with prototypes of green dial with gold hands, or black dial with blue hands which could be seen on Stowa’s Instagram feed.
The Flieger Friday Bronze needed a combination of traditional flieger with modern elements. The winning combination was a traditional sterile black dial (in both Baumuster A and B) with old radium lume. The dial is manufactured in Pforzheim by a dial factory owned by the Swatch Group. The hands chosen were also traditional heated blue with old radium lume. The hands were sourced from the famous Swiss watch hands manufacturer, Universo SA, also part of the Swatch Group. If you are familiar with the Stowa 90th anniversary flieger watches, similar dial and hands were used in those limited edition watches. The movement selected is ETA 2804-2 Elaboré grade hand winding/manual movement with top finish. This movement supports the traditional flieger functionality of central seconds, yet remaining a manual wind.
Once the watch was conceived, we designed some fun elements like adding a twist to the traditional massive steel case back with a Flieger Friday engraving in Star Wars font. All the watches are numbered x/20 in the case back. A matching strap is always a daunting task, however we found a perfect vintage brown leather strap from Kaufmann with beige saddle stitch. Finally, since the release date also happened to fall on Black Friday, Stowa is offering a black pilot style glove by GANE Leather as a gift for the 20 lucky owners. This special glove is made from deer skin and lined with natural wool, handmade in a small atelier in Slovakia. Watchuseek and Flieger Friday readers will get a head start for ordering this special watch 24 hours prior to it appearing on the brand’s website. Click on the link below to directly order directly from Stowa. The price of the limited edition is 1,290 Euros (including 19% VAT) . We hope to keep you entertained with another year of Flieger Friday posts and perhaps even more Flieger Friday limited editions.