If you were to ask me to summarize the watches made by Prometheus as of last week I would have said “a line of sport and tool watches for divers and sport watch enthusiasts.” And I think that would have been a legitimate generalization of the Portuguese brand’s offerings. They are known for serious, hard-as-nails contemporary dive watches (and one pilot), such as the Ocean Diver GMT (a design favorite around w&w) and the Manta Ray, which are both big no fuss watches with real diving credibility and surprisingly good looks. Well, they went and turned that summary on its head with the release of the Signatura Day/Date line of dress watches, which are not only gorgeous, but a fair deal at $530 considering their looks and features.
Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Selitta SW220
Dial: Black or White Enamel
Lens: Flat Sapphire with A/R coating
Case Back: Sapphire Display
Strap: Steel Bracelet
Water Res.: 50m
Lug Width: NA
The Signatura line is clearly inspired by 60’s dress watch design, featuring super clean dials with no numerals or lume. They simply have applied markers for the individual hours and printed tick marks for the minutes. There is a logo by 9, which is large, but not distracting and a day/date window at 3. The aesthetic is minimal, almost conservative, but comes off refined and lacking in ostentation… exactly what a dress watch should be, in my book. The dials are made of enamel, which will give the colors a lot of depth, making the black deeper and the white fuller as well as giving a classic watch flare to the whole thing. At the same time the case, which has a classic Oyster shape, is 42mm in diameter and almost 11mm tall, giving the watch a sporty build. It is certainly on the large size for a dress watch, it’s as large as the Steinhart OVM for example, which might make it miss for some people, but on the other hand, large watches are certainly in, and the C. Ward C9 Jump Hour was 43mm and looked perfect. The size definitely comes down to personal taste.
Dial and case aside, my favorite feature, as far as I can tell from pictures, are the hands. Prometheus went with something that is a cross between a Dauphine styled hand a sword hand, creating a classic look with an aggressive edge. The hands crest in the middle, giving them three-dimensionality and more style. The black dial version has hands of polished stainless, which give it a serious and reserved demeanor. The white dial version has blued steel hands that add a ton of personality. The subtle hint of color and classical decorative style they bring to the white version really up the ante on that model. Blued hands are not common enough, in my book, and to see them used in a somewhat unexpected environment is very exciting.
The Signatura Day/Date is powered by the Selitta SW220, which is a 25 jewel automatic, Selitta’s answer to the ETA 2836. They feature sapphire crystals on front and back, cases with brushed and polished finishing and stainless Oyster style bracelets. For $530 (US no VAT) the Signatura clearly is a good value with great looks. All that watch nerd excitement aside, it is fantastic to see Prometheus leave the sort of “comfort zone” of sports watches and enter into casual-to-dress territory. I think it is a great and bold step for the brand to take; a step that I hope more of the smaller brands will go for in the near future.
images by Prometheus Watch
by Zach Weiss