A Singapore retailer that focuses on affordable, unusual timepieces, Red Army Watches (RAW) is marking its 15th year in business with a series of limited editions, made in collaboration with brands that personify its ethos. Last month the Gorilla Fastback “RAW Celebratory Edition” was launched, and this month sees the debut of the Stowa x RAW Darth Pilot, an all-black aviator’s watch.
Stowa is, of course, the German watchmaker that is well loved for its accessible watches, mostly priced below US$1500. The brand was resurrected by its current owner, Jorge Schauer, in 1997, but was first established in 1927 by Walter Storz; the brand name is a contraction of “STOrz WAlter”. In its original incarnation Stowa was one of the five watch brands that supplied the oversized beobachtungshr, or B-Uhr for short, to the Luftwaffe, the German air force of the second world war.
A smaller, contemporary B-Uhr
Watches inspired by the vintage B-Uhr are now a key model line for Stowa, and the RAW Darth Pilot is based on the standard Stowa Verus, which is a modern take on the original Baumuster A B-Uhr. Compared to the vintage original, all the dial markings are larger, while the typography and hashmarks are rounded, as are the hands, giving it a more modern look.
Most aviator-style watches are oversized and chunky, but the standard Verus is a compact 40mm in diameter (Stowa also offers an extra-large 43mm version of the Verus). And the all-black finish gives it an even smaller presence on the wrist.
The standard Stowa Verus is a monochromatic black and white, but the RAW Darth Pilot gets orange accents on the dial. The “RAW” logo is also engraved on the case side, along with commemorative text on the backs.
Two case backs are delivered with the watch, one solid and the other see-through. The display back reveals the movement, which is a “top grade” ETA 2824. That means it’s decorated with blued steel screws and perlage, and also regulated to a higher standard than the lower grade examples.
Notably, Stowa sells most of its watches direct to the consumer and Red Army Watches is not a retailer, but instead does the occasional collaboration edition; the last was a variant of the Stowa Marine in 2016.
Material: Steel with black coating
Water resistance: 50m
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Frequency: 28,800bph, or 4Hz
Power reserve: 38 hours
Strap: Calfskin, or optional “Bund” cuff strap
Price and availability
The Stowa x RAW Darth Pilot is a limited edition of 100 watches, priced at 1,590 Singapore dollars, or about US$1150. The “Bund” strap is an additional 180 Singapore dollars. It’s available direct from Red Army Watches.
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