Here we have a 1968 Stowa “Big Eyes” Divers Chronograph and what a rare beast it is!
It is wonderfully original too; with the untouched matt black face still showing the red “Regatta” markings on the chronograph minutes sub-dial and beautifully aged Tritium hour markers. The White oversized, or “Big Eyes”, sub-dials are starting to discolour. Yes, the face has foxing spots here and there, but we think this only enhances rather than detracts from the watch. It has history!
The hour and minute “Baton” style hands are similarly aged, with the lume having turned a gorgeous cream, and these are complemented by the faded “Fanta” Orange chronograph second’s hand.
Surrounding the face is a beaten-up Stainless-Steel bi-directional rotating diving bezel that has obviously seen a lot of use in its lifetime and in our opinion, it is this that makes the watch!
We love the fact that the main wear on the bezel is between 12 and 4 o’clock, which shows it has been worn by a right-handed person; these being the points your fingers naturally fall, to adjust it. It has seen a lot of use, but unusually, still retains its luminous pip.
The case itself is nice and sharp and does not appear to have been polished. It and the screw-down case back show light scratches and swirls, but again, no nasty gouges. At 39mm x 45mm, the case was larger than usual “in-period”, but today is perfectly suited to modern tastes, and sits very comfortably on the wrist.
This Stowa Chronograph was previously owned by our Watchmaker, so as you would expect, the Valjoux 7733 movement contained within, has been serviced properly and runs as it should. One thing to note is, the chronograph pushers look younger than the crown, so must have been replaced at some time.
So, there you have it, a fabulous Stowa “Big Eyes” chronograph ready for duty again!
Who is Stowa anyway?
STOWA is a German luxury watchmaker founded by Walter Storz in 1927 and is based in Engelsbrand, Germany. The name is a portmanteau of the founder’s name, Storz Walter. The company is probably most famous for making Flieger watches for the Luftwaffe!
Stowa has since produced quality timepieces in Germany’s south-west; around the Black Forest, Pforzheim and Rheinfelden.