The Flieger B Dial, an evolution of a classic - The Stowa Baumuster B
We reviewed the history of pilots watches before, and there is no denying on the simplistic but beautiful approach to their design, a true tool and a true icon.
The B dial is an evolution of the A dial which had a more sterile look, the B dial is what I would call the perfect non distractive watch which feels more accurate and easier to read version for a pilot, yes is more cluttered with information but is as useful as anything. At this time in the watch world we are used to design departments mixed with marketing ones taking decisions on how a watch should look like, this is as far as possible when Flieger watches were design in the 40's by the German Ministry of Air, there was no survey to the buyers because there were none and there was no marketing involved, just pure utilitarian porpoise, there is something cool about that right? To showcase the B dial variant on this review we have the Stowa Baumuster B and let me tell you, this is something special, as soon as you hold it you understand what a tool must be like, yes this watch has some modern refinements but the essence is still there, thought as nails and sharp as German engineering, very easy to wear and with a great history to tell, let's begin.
The Baumuster B is 40mm which is the perfect contemporary size, it has an old school manual wind ETA 2824 -2 top grade which has been regulated in 5 positions for more accuracy, the feel when you wind this movement is one of best I've revied so far, not at this price range but an any, it feels like a diver bezel turning with
reassuring clicks and a kick back when is fully wound, even my Panerai Luminor which coast 3x the price doesn’t feel this good. The case is thin as anything with a height of 10mm, perfect for my 6.25 inch wrist, brushed details give an utilitarian look and the sapphire case back gives a touch of modernity to see the movement with blued heated screws, quality trough out. Then we have what we are here for, the B dial, the hour hand has been shortened compared to the A dial and it had an inner right displaying the hours then, you have a large heated blued hand which points to the outside showing the minutes in increments of 5, when the dial gets to the 30th minute you have the date aperture, it blends perfectly, I thought I was not going to like a date but in this case the way that Stowa executed this it
really works. The typica arrow is at 12 o clock for orientation, a details that is present in all fliegers watches. The mate black is perfect for the amount of text (numbers) on the dial but there is no logo on the Baumuster making feel more like a cockpit instrument than a watch, contrary of people thinking that the name was taken out because it would distract the pilot, the logo was removed because if the object fall into the enemies hands then they would know who is making the watches and potentially attack the factory, this actually happened to Stowa in 1945 when it was bombarded.
On the wrist:
As you can tell with 40m and a very thin manual movement/case the watch is easy to pull, it feels like a tool watch but also feels like a piece you can wear all day, easy to read and no distraction, coming back to the date I really appreciate that is there, more information without feeling too much. The strap is one of the best recreation of a pilot watch I've seen, is longer than usual with a quality that feels that is what it was actually
worn on those cold days in 1940, the strap could fit on top of a jacket but even so it can be worn on the wrist as normal, kudos to Stowa for the attention to details here. Legibility as you expect from a flieger is great, easy to read and of course on a mission minutes are more important than hours, I found this approach on my everyday life very pleasant, hours became more secondary with a B dial.
As you can tell I loved my time with the Stowa Baumunster B, it was easy to wear but it also made me feel special, I can tell you once you know the history of these instruments it becomes harder to wear a piece that it's just good looking, it is an irresistible proposition that could fit on anyone's collection. The B dial versus the A dial is a battle that anyone who is about to pick their first flieger will have, to me you cannot go wrong with any and it would be a conversation piece no matter what, also is hard these days to trace history and heritage, Stowa being one of the original manufacturers of these watches can really give something extra, this is no fashion watch, back then it was meant to do a hard job and it can do the same today.
More information at www.sotwa.de
follow us on Instagram #robbieandwatches