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Thread: PRS-53 Redux

  1. #1

    PRS-53 Redux

    There were only 300 copies of this limited edition watch produced. But Eddie has indicated that he's thinking about the possibility of producing more of them with the Miyota 9015 movement installed. Curious whether there are others out there that would jump at the chance to get one if they became available.

  2. #2
    Journeyman
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    I'll get one for sure, either auto or quartz!

  3. #3

    PRS-53 Redux

    The Miyota 9015 is a relatively new automatic movement made by Citizen.

  4. #4
    Master James.uk's Avatar
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    Really... I would have thought that was covered by the Smith 29's.

    I had a PRS53 but found it a little small...

  5. #5
    Apprentice
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    There were only 300 copies of this limited edition watch produced.
    FWIW, In April, there was one for sale on the German bay www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PRECISTA-Fat-Arrow-PRS-53-/251255741149? but seems still available. The watch is in Switzerland. It is the automatic version and seems unused. You may need to communicate in German.

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    There were only 300 copies of this limited edition watch produced. But Eddie has indicated that he's thinking about the possibility of producing more of them with the Miyota 9015 movement installed. Curious whether there are others out there that would jump at the chance to get one if they became available.

    Hi Mike and am very glad you asked this. I, for one, would very much like to see the TF Precista
    PRS-53 come back as it was, as long as it did not in any way replace the higher specification, and, for me, much more desirable TF Smiths PRS-29A.

    However, as a somewhat less expensive supplemental model, I would personally absolutely love to have one, iether an original ETA powered Precista '53 from a few years ago, or a new Miyota mechanical movement version provided the new TF '53 retained the earlier version's compact dimensions and great military specification domed and "armoured" steel tension ring secured acrylic crystal deeply set into the 316 stainless steel two-piece case. I'd also personally prefer the earlier version's mil-spec fixed lugbars.

    In fact, I'd personally much prefer the PRS-53 return exactly as it was but for the now perhaps much more affordable and available Japanese Miyota movement that is probably a much more practical alternative to the original's Swiss ETA movements in order to help better keep the TF Precista 53 what it originally was, one of the nicest and highest VFM true vintage military grade design watches available in the world at such an amazingly low price-point. Even if the mechanical Miyota movement used was the cal.8215, an older and lower spec predecessor to the new and improved (apparently more ETA 2892-like) cal.9015 you mention, should that earlier mainstay Miyota movement be deemed both technologically appropriate and mechanically adequate while being more condusive to better achieving an attractive price-point for a new '53, I'd personally be OK with that I think (well, at least if it had far better performance, as it is reputed, than the often, I think, disgusting, Seiko 7S26 A and B mov'ts). The only other change I'd personally like to see is a metal movement holder for the new version instead of the original PRS-53's plastic (nylon?) movement holder.

    Having stated all my own above personal preferences for any new version of the Precista PRS-53, though, if the original's far more desirable to me military specification "armoured" acrylic crystal and fixed lugbars, etc., which may conflict with what most "sapphire and springbar" oriented watch buyers are used to, would in fact compromise sales for Timefactors, I would very definitely not advocate their choice (and I'll try to find a mint condition older one). Rollon
    Last edited by Rollon; 16th July 2013 at 23:01. Reason: Belatedly noticed confusing misswording so modified that part to (hopefully) better convey the same thing more clearly

  7. #7

    PRS-53 Redux

    Rollon: I was hoping you'd reply to this post. I in fact already have one of Eddie's orginal PRS-53 watches (in mint condition). Along with Ewan Wilson, I consider the PRS-53 to be one of Eddie's top two or three offerings. I was just curious to know if there were others out there who'd be interested in picking one up if Eddie were to do another release (albeit with the Miyota automatic movement).

    But what really spiked my interest about your post was your statement that you consider the Smiths 29A to be the "much more desirable" of the two. I've read some of your other posts concerning the 29A vs 29B debate and wanted to know if you already own the 29A (as I suspect that you do). For my edification, can you elaborate on why you consider the 29A to be the superior offering. I'm right there on the fence trying to decide whether or not to order one. I've got a place for it right there in my watchbox next to my PRS-53 and PRS-6.

    BTW - I've also got a PRS-9 in there as well. I know it a completely different watch, but I couldn't resist owning one.

    Berryman (Mike)

  8. #8
    I have a 53 and both versions of the 29, which are obviously higher quality than the 53 but the 53 is a really lovely little thing so I would like to see its return.

  9. #9
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    Hi Mike. Excuse me for taking so long to respond but I wanted to take the time to comprehensively do so.

    I do not have a PRS-29A as of yet but have absolutely been planning to order for a long time and will be doing so very soon if not imminently.

    Please do understand, though, that I have by strong preference for years owned and worn American and British military issue (or true military-specification case civilian/commercial market direct counterpart) Hamilton field/pilot type watches in the exact same vein as the original Smiths W10 and having most of the same basic technology that characterizes the TF Smiths PRS-29A (i.e. tough, resilient, small sharp shard shatter resistant, impact and temperature shock resistant, negative pressure resistant with tight temperature compensated crystal to case seat fit military specification domed and “armoured” steel tension ring secured plexiglass/acrylic crystal; very tough and cold temperature embrittlement immune 316L stainless steel two-piece screwback case [except for an MOD issue 1973 Hamilton W10 that has the one-piece front-loading “cabinet” type case]; fixed lugbars [some just have drilled lugs for shoulderless springbars which still met the U.S. modified military specification for these, IIRC, and are O.K. — though I personally prefer the fixed lugbars as with the 29A]; highly visible and sharply contrasting “white” lumed hands and markers on black dials [two of which have the MOD Type ‘48 dial pattern as with the 29A]; manual-wind Swiss ETA cal.2801 no-date movement [or the earlier ETA cal.2750 with the older issue navigators]; and men’s 1940s through 1970s vintage classic era compact 32mm to 36mm diameter watch sizing).

    Where none of these Hamiltons can come near the higher specifications of the TF Smiths PRS-29A is water resistance (all my Hams are only rated to about the 30m WR level whereas the 29A is rated to a much more useful 100m WR) and also magnetic resistance (the 29A’s very special MOD 1948 Mark XI specification derived soft iron Faraday Cage gives its movement 10 times the level of protection from magnetic fields that my standard military case Hamiltons have). I do have to admit though, despite some respective exposure to conducive conditions, I’ve never personally had water or moisture ingress problems, or even movement disruption from magnetization problems that I am aware of with any of these Hamiltons despite rarely wearing anything else, especially over the past several years. Nonetheless, I very much like it that the 29A requires less “babying” as regards WR or the seemingly more and more ubiquitous sources of magnetism in the modern high-tech world that has “amassed” around us.

    So you are very right to think I am sincerely enamored of the PRS-29A and feel it a near perfect thing for the reasons I've written about above and also before in several previous TZ-UK posts regarding it and the special military specification technology I think Eddie so well retained and also supplemented in recreating the vintage classic Smiths W10. For me, I think the 29A is Eddie's best watch design yet and I plan to put it to a lot of use and am looking forward to doing so. In fact, I will likely end up wanting to move along several of my beloved mil-spec Hamiltons as a result.

    And I certainly have read EwanW's great reviews of the Smith Military models, and all his other reviews as well. As probably the same with you, Ewan's reviews are favourite sources of mine, too, and I'd always recommend them as "must reads" for anybody interested in watches and especially those wanting to learn how to better and more comprehensively evaluate any watch they might themselves come across. Doing that beforehand can scotch a lot of buys, but then it can scotch a lot of post-sale disappointments, depreciated sell-offs, lost time, and pure BS off on a goose chase one might much more comfortably, pleasantly, and frugally have skipped by “good reconnaissance”.

    As you mentioned that one of your own, and apparently Ewan’s, favourites of Eddie’s TF watch line is the original TF Precista “Fat Arrow” PRS-53, I think it is very likely my own second favourite as well, and I very much regret that I delayed ordering one until too late.

    The other of Eddie’s TF watches I personally like best, but also missed out on, are the now, very sadly for me, discontinued Precista versions of both the PRS-5 and the PRS-10. In particular as regards the former of these two, I thought the PRS-5 a near perfect recreation of the circa 1970s vintage classic original Hamilton-Precista-CWC-[Etc.] MOD issue twin-button military chronographs I’ve always liked from first sight (along with the earlier single-button Lemanias) at an incredibly low comparative price, and with a classic column wheel mechanical movement that was apparently directly derived from a well reputed original Swiss design, the Venus cal.175 from the 1940s IIRC (I normally wouldn’t want a Chinese manufactured mov’t, but the Seagull ST19 Eddie used in these is a unique exception to that for me — and for anybody not yet well aware of it but interested, two of TZ-UK’s most knowledgeable members, RFrazier and Lysanderxiii, each did great analytical threads on it which can be found at the Classic Posts subforum). And, as I’m sure you already know, EwanW also did great reviews on the Precista PRS-5 and PRS-10 when they first came out.

    You also asked me in your latest post on this TF Watches “‘53 Redux” thread why I stated that I considered the Smiths PRS-29A to be “... the higher specification, and, for me, the much more desirable ....” of the two when compared to the original TF Precista PRS-53 that Eddie discontinued several years ago. I feel that way because, overall, though the ‘53 probably quite easily upstages my Hamiltons for classic vintage good looks, I think the comparison between the mil case Hamiltons and the original TF Precista ‘53 is pretty much a wash. These are both simple and basic military grade watches adept at handling the majority of conditions one might encounter, while doing so, in my opinion, with a somewhat undefinable class and charm that most modern watches never, for me at any rate, even approach.

    On the other side of it though, the 29A easily outclasses both the mil case Hamiltons and the original TF ‘53 with very useful higher specifications for 100m WR and a 50,000 A/m level of protection from magnetic fields. In a nutshell, Eddie’s TF Smiths PRS-29A, given a well regulated movement, is just one single notch away from meeting or exceeding the full benchmark MOD Mark XI specification of 1948 for the finest and best navigator grade wristwatches in military history, and perhaps commercial watch market history as well, at least according to what I understand of these watches. That one single notch short is the famous Mark XI’s threaded internal steel collet locked screw-down “flanged” type crystal design which not only is immune to almost any level of negative pressure one might ever encounter in any endeavor, but would also allow the very easy interchange between acrylic or sapphire or perhaps aerospace grade borosilicate glass (i.e. pyrex) or whatever crystal as the owner may prefer, assuming availability.

    However, given that non-standard replacement crystals can be quite hard to source, including the technologically outstanding and, I believe, probably quite superior, but still quite uncommon, “flanged” types, the ubiquitous availability of the well standardized and still technologically excellent military specification domed and “armoured” steel tension ring secured acrylic crystal of the TF Smiths PRS-29A may be optimum for many just as it is.

    There is one last aspect of the PRS-29A that puts it easily over the top with me in the comparisons, along with all of the above ---- it is apparently perfectly suitable for resolving what I feel is the one single shortcoming of even the great MOD 1948 Mark XI specifications and requirements: According to the 29A’s spec sheets and diagrams kindly put up by Eddie, and also EwanW in his great review, the factory cut crown tube hole drilled in the case appears small enough, and the tolerances of the steel case walling surrounding the crown tube hole appear fully “beefy” enough to allow an easy and perfect installation of a high quality, easily available, easily maintainable, and very easily replaceable generic Rolex thread specification 100m WR rated de-coupling stem TwinLock OysterCrown design screw-down crown and screwed-in crown tube unit. To my mind, that final touch makes the PRS-29A perfect in a technologically holistic sense, at least for me.

    Having said all that though, and because you are asking for my own opinions on these particular watches, Mike, I should be candidly self-aware and honest enough up-front to add that I am probably more than a bit unusual in thinking of scratches on the surface of a watch's crystal as superficial cosmetic trivia not worth worrying about while the underlying technological “talents” that apparently still inspire the military’s longstanding preference for “armoured” acrylic crystals for issue field and pilot’s watches are what is of true value, and going to the trouble of sourcing watch straps suitable for mil-spec fixed lugbars is worth it for the near rock-like reliability gained vs any kind of springbar set-up, etc., etc.,. As for the fact I also, for whatever subjective reasons, just seem to much prefer the more discretely sized watches that don’t jump out at people (or myself), that’s not very much in fashion now either.

    Rollon

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    To add a thought to what I just posted above (because I ran out of my alloted 10,000 characters before I could include it, to be honest), I might personally even like to see the 29A supplemented, but never replaced, by a Smiths Military “Deluxe” version having something like the excellent ETA 2824 or 2892 series automatic movements, or something special in high quality vintage NOS A.Schild or ETA, etc., automatic movements from the past, as availability might allow, and a discretely windowed white numeral on black background date function. And, I do need to say, the other feature I would personally possibly very much like to see incorporated into any Smiths Military “Deluxe” would be iether the classic Mark XI’s original internal type, or perhaps alternatively the technically better externally screwed type, threaded steel collet locked screw-down “flanged” crystal design previously mentioned despite the possible eventual need to resort to custom made replacement crystals, if that part’s availability ever became a problem, as I personally think the design itself might well be worth it. But, while I think such a Deluxe version would have its own desirable advantages and increased capabilities, I don’t think, at least for me, its coexistence would in any way negate or diminish the classically simple technological "elegance" of the PRS-29A, just as it is.

    And by the way, while I'm at it, I think that the "Caribbean" style frontally screwed threaded collet is ultimately the technically better means to lock in "flanged" crystal designs versus the vintage original Mark XI's use of an internally screwed type threaded collet in that rising external water pressure forces the more physics congruent externally screwed type “flanged” crystal into its case seat gasketing for an increasingly tighter WR seal. This is in a technological sense almost analogous to a martial artist deftly using an opponent's own strength back toward defeating him. Conversely, with the Mark XI’s original internally screwed type “flanged” crystal design which seals forward into a lip at the case front, rising external water pressure increasingly pushes against the crystal in the direction away from its case seat gasketing, technically making its WR seal with the case less effective as water pressure goes up. Rollon

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutchgray View Post
    I have a 53 and both versions of the 29, which are obviously higher quality than the 53 but the 53 is a really lovely little thing so I would like to see its return.
    Kind of agrees with my thinking too. Have the 53 and 29B and the 'Cheap and cheerful' 53 has a certain charm to it that my superior 29B doesn't.

  12. #12
    Master James.uk's Avatar
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    There is still a Zeno branded version if your desperate for one...

  13. #13
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James.uk View Post
    There is still a Zeno branded version if your desperate for one...
    Does it still have the Precista case back? Are they still making the Speedbird rip-off?

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  14. #14
    Master James.uk's Avatar
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    Never seen a Speedbird.. Never actually seen a '53 either ( I had one of yours ). I know the '53 is on the price list. No pictures though...

  15. #15
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Curious to hear why the 53 would be rated so highly ie in the top 2 or 3 of eddies offerings . I suppose it comes down to personal preference in the end but I am surprised it rates so highly against some stiff competition .



  16. #16
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by seikopath View Post
    Curious to hear why the 53 would be rated so highly ie in the top 2 or 3 of eddies offerings . I suppose it comes down to personal preference in the end but I am surprised it rates so highly against some stiff competition .
    Fixed bars and a cheap and cheerful charm that's hard to beat. A nice acrylic click tap sound too, unlike a saphirre thud! Liek the Lotus elise thread - it just makes you smile to look at it.

  17. #17
    Grand Master Glamdring's Avatar
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    ^
    That's about it, really. It is a wristwatch in its simplest form. No fuss, no nonsense.

  18. #18
    Master Harry Tuttle's Avatar
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    I have one and it's a very nice, no nonsense watch. I prefer the hand set to the PRS-29 and the only thing I'd change would be to have a white second hand rather than a silvered one. I only bought mine second hand because there was no new one to buy. The Miyota has proved itself in the Everest so I'd have no qualms if the new watch had a Miyota movement fitted. I suspect that a quartz 53 might make a brilliant replacement for the late lamented PRS-10.

  19. #19

    Rollon - Please Clear Your PM's

    Berryman (Mike)

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