Stowa is one of the few watch brands universally loved by watch enthusiasts. Creating beautiful timepieces with a history not a lot of brands possess, Stowa checks a lot of boxes. Stowa is also active in the collector community. They host yearly hikes through the Black Forest where attendees can sample their watches as well as wine and chocolate from the region. It’s hard to find a reason to dislike Stowa.
It’s even more difficult to find a reason to dislike the Stowa Partitio. The Partitio is a modestly sized dress watch that still manages to feel a bit sporty. Simple lines and an attention to detail that is not often received by other watches at this price point means the Partitio will impress many.
Making Old New Again
At first glance, the Partitio is going to feel classic. A simple white dial with Arabic numerals highlighted in aged lume are the beginning of what makes the watch minimalistic yet practical. The Partitio is a no-nonsense watch; nothing is present on the watch that doesn’t serve a purpose. Flanking the Arabic numerals are hash marks with 5 second intervals. Only the words Stowa, Automatik, and Partitio are present on the dial.
Underneath the sapphire crystal, syringe-style hands (also filled with aged lume) are accented by one of my favorite features of the watch: the seconds hand. The seconds hand has no counter-balance. I haven’t seen this on many watches, and it fits the Partitio well. This detail further conveys the precision and clean design of the watch. The seconds and hour hands extend all the way to the edge of the dial giving a clear delineation between them and the hour hand. This makes the Partitio easy to glance at and obtain the time quickly.
The white dial of the Partitio, which appears to look almost like an enamel dial, has a slight texture to it. In direct light and sunlight, the dial shows a glossy texture. Only after taking some macro photos of the dial did I notice the texture. Stowa could have easily slapped a plain white dial on the Partitio and called it a day. The fact that the time was taken to choose a texture many might not notice on first glance exhibits the quality behind the watch.
A Simple Case Packed with Detail
Powering the Partitio is an automatic ETA 2824-2. Stowa, who offers many customizations when purchasing a watch, also offers the Partitio in a hand-winding 2804-2. The automatic version, seen here, has a solid caseback. The hand-winding version features an exhibition caseback which shows off Stowa’s excellent movement finishing.
The case of the Partitio is completely polished and it is done to an exceptional level. Upon the watch’s arrival the polishing was clean, scratch-free and smooth. I’ve received watches from other brands in the past where this wasn’t the case and it shows Stowa’s attention to detail in delivering a top-notch product. The engraving on the caseback is also done to an exceptional level. The writing is crisp, clear and contrasts nicely against the polished caseback.
While the 37mm case of the Partitio may seem small, it wears much larger. I own a Seiko SNK809, which shares the same case diameter but wears much smaller than the Partitio. This is largely thanks to the 46.9mm lug-to-lug height of the Partitio. Like many NOMOS models, the long lugs give the Partitio plenty of wrist presence without a large case.
Wearing the Partitio pulls all the case dimensions together and gives you the feeling of a watch that was excessively scrutinized until the dimensions were perfect. The diameter and lug to lug height paired with the 10.8mm height make the Partitio comfortable. It never felt too tall or small on my 6.75” wrist. The 18mm lug width also helps the Partitio feel slim and well-proportioned.
Vintage Style with Modern Flare
The Partitio comes on a black or light brown leather strap. The strap was flexible and conformed well to my wrist out of the box. I had to use the last hole when wearing the strap so anyone with a smaller wrist might need to punch a new hole. While the black strap certainly dresses up the watch, I felt brown paired well with the white dial and lume color.
The combination of the dial layout, case diameter, lug shape and size all fit into a package that is going to appeal to lovers of vintage watches. For those who find vintage watches appealing but don’t want to deal with the unknowns and risks of those watches, the Partitio will fill in those gaps. I have never owned a vintage watch, often admiring them from afar for various reasons. However, I have recently begun to appreciate modern watches that are adding some vintage flair but giving you all the creature comforts of a new watch. The two best examples being produced today are the Oris Divers 65 and the Stowa Partitio.
What makes the Stowa Partitio so appealing is how all the elements mentioned above are offered in an extremely neat package for a great price. I don’t often discuss price and perceived value in my reviews, but I feel it is worth mentioning here. The Partitio with an automatic movement is around $785 at the time of this writing. The hand-wound version costs an additional $140. I think it is going to be difficult to find another watch that can challenge these specs at that price, not to mention the finishing and attention to detail Stowa offers.
I would be remiss if I did not mention some of Stowa’s customization capabilities. Stowa is one of the few brands that offers customizing your watch at the time of purchase. When ordering your watch, you have the option to customize various parts of the watch such as case and rotor engraving. These options vary by model but Stowa makes it easy to select and order these customizations. I highly recommend checking it out as it gives you a fantastic way to personalize your watch or add something as a gift for someone else.
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|Lug-to-lug Height||46.9mm||Lug Width||18mm|
|Crystal||Flat Sapphire||Strap||Leather Strap|
|Water Resistance||5 ATM||Lume||Super-Luminova Old Radium|