The British Royal navy received its last batch of mechanical divers back in 1982 and these watches have become quite collectible in their own right.
A few years ago, Eddie from Timefactors acquired the rights to the Precista name and set off to make some worthy re-editions. Watches like the PRS-14 or the PRS-18 have become legends amongst the micro-brands enthusiasts and the PRS-82 followed to their footsteps.
When Eddie secured a batch of new old stock ETA 2783 movements, the same that were used on those rare divers back in 1982, he thought the time has come to produce a worthy successor, with some modern features, and the PRS-82 became a reality.
The asymmetrical 40mm case that encompasses these NOS movements is very similar to the original and quite reminiscent of the one used by the Seiko 62MAS. It is made from stainless steel, it is fully brushed and it feels of very high quality. It features a screw-caseback which is nicely engraved with Precista’s P and offers some information about the watch.
When the new and the old watch are resting side by side, they seem remarkably similar with the most prominent difference being the bezel which is a bit thicker than the original version. It is unidirectional and the coin edge surface makes it easy to grip and operate under all conditions. The 120-clicks feel precise and solid and the markers align nicely with the dial. It is fully graduated using dots, numbers and rectangular markets which, paradoxically, seem to work very well together. Thankfully, the differences do not stop there and the homage features an upgraded, domed sapphire crystal and a Rolex triplock type, screw-down signed crown.
The dial seems to be quite close to the original with a slightly different Precista logo and a circled L that denotes the use of super luminova rather than T for tritium. The lume is mimicking the patina seen by aged tritium and although enthusiasts seemed to be put off by this in the past it is now turning more mainstream and people are warming up to it. In this case it really suits the watch and it adds to its character. The painted indices are very faithful to the original and combined with the “snakehead” minute hand offer excellent legibility.
The PRS-82 is a no bullshit watch on a rubber strap and it comes in a no bullshit 2-slot travel case which also houses a blue NATO strap, a polishing cloth and the warranty card. I tried it on a number of different straps and bracelets and I believe that it works best on a Strapcode oyster bracelet. The combination really looks good and results in a watch that easily punches above its weight.
Eddie has some loyal following and his watches more often than not achieve cult status. The PRS-82 has managed to do the same and the NOS movement really adds to its character. Unfortunately, after producing 500 with the 2873, the movement supply had dried out and the new watches are now offered with the equally impressive ETA-2824.
With a price tag of £425 the watch really is a no-brainer that can be someone’s everyday companion and satisfy the needs of the most demanding customer.