A new month and a new watch company. It is not often that I get to write about a watch company in the making. How cool is that. The new watch company is the Praesto Watch Company. They are based in Hong Kong. They are the same people who run Giovino Watch Company. Giovino Watch Company is an OEM for many watch brands out there and this is their first watch under their own brand name. I understand that they have been working on launching their own brand for sometime now, and this is the fruit of their labour. And from what I see, it looks good.
Praesto is Latin for 'to stand out, to surpass or to excel'. The company hope to offer premium quality watches at affordable prices. This I like. You can see later from the pictures that they are indeed working very hard to achieve this. I also understand that some of their watches will be designed by Russ Schwenkler (a noted automotive designer and illustrator).
The unique part about this company is that their product offering can and will be influenced by the inputs from their customers. You can propose ideas via a forum that the company has setup for this purpose.
Well enough about the company, lets move on to the watches.
For more information:
Their first watch will be an Aviator based design watch. It is pretty cool as they have updated or given their perspective on how the Aviators would have evolved. The watch is the Modern Fliegeruhr - Aviator.
The blue dial version with bead-blasted case.
Functions: hours, minutes and seconds (sub-dial)
Case: 316L stainless steel, diameter 44 mm, bead blasted, screw-down crown
Movement: Miyota 8245 (more about the movement later)
Water resistant: 20 ATM (unique as most Aviators watches are only rated to 6 ATM)
The watches will be offered in 3 versions of 100 pieces each version. The first version will have a bead-blasted case and a near black dial. The second will be PVD Black case and near black dial and the last will be a bead-blasted case with blue dial. These watches will be a limited edition run.
Miyota 8245. We all know and love the popular 82XX series from Miyota (a Citizen company). This movement is from that series. I like that the company has chosen to use this movement as it is a robust and reliable movement and it allows hand-winding. Sadly I understand that this movement does not hack. The movement is an 11.5 ligne movement and has 21 jewels, beats at 21,600 A/h and has a power reserve of about 40 hours. The sub-second is located between the 4 and 5 o'clock position.
The Calibre 8245 that Praesto has chosen to use is an upgrade movement with nice decorations. From my understanding, Praesto has improved on the accuracy of the movement. The movement now has an accuracy of between 10-15 seconds a day as compared to the original -20 - +40 seconds a day (trust me, I have a number of watches with Miyota 8215 and they do run by that much).
The dial and hands.
I like the design of the dial. It is based on the Flieger B design, but updated. The B design has an inner hour circle and the minutes are rendered around the perimeter of the dial. Now you may be asking why I stated that the dial is near black and not black. Well, the inner hour circle is rendered as a black band with the hour markers in white. As such, the dial itself is not truly black. I like the fact that the minute markers are rendered in stencil.
The hour and minutes hands are skeletonised. I like the fact that the minute hand extends all the way to the minute markers. The seconds hand is made to look like a propeller and is bi-colour (orange/ red? and white). I like the overall look of the face of the watch. There is not much writing on the watch (minimalist in approach) and it is clear and easy to read. Some may question the lack of a date function though. The only other thing that I think people may have reservations about is the lack of the 4 and 5 o'clock markers (as the seconds sub-dial is there). Accurate time setting to these time may be an issue but I am sure it can be overcome by referencing the hour hands to the minute markers.
I do not know much about LUM-TEC's MDV lume that is used on the watch but judging from the pictures, I would have to say it is great. It is not some cheap lume that is for sure. Look at the picture below and I am sure you will agree. At least they don't skimp or cut corners. All the hands are lumed as are the minute and hour markers.
More pictures of the watch.
The PVD Black version. I like this one.
The company is currently taking orders for the watch. The watches will retail for about USD 500 and if you order now, you will get a 25% discount. There are other perks if you buy more watches (additional discount and other perks). Delivery is expect to start sometime in December 2009. From what I have seen, I think the watch offered offers good value for money.
I understand that they are currently working on their second model (ladies watch). I will bring updates on this company and their product offering as and when I get any information.
For more information on Giovino Watch Company: