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Thread: Smiths PRS-29 and ETA2801-2?

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Smiths PRS-29 and ETA2801-2?

    Apologies if this has been answered loads of times but I can't find my answer at the moment!

    Compared to many on the forum, my watch ownership in relation to cost/budget will always be modest so I tend to look at the more affordable (all relative, I know!) end.

    I like military/field themed watches and something to wear every day without being too precious about it. I bought a new CWC G10 and I liked the watch and the size but not the lack of water resistance so I sold that. I then purchased Precista PRS-10 which was great with better specs than the CWC and with a little extra weight to, improved WR and sapphire but I did not like the date option so I sold that.

    I have been pointed to a CWC G10 GS sapphire, no date and my thoughts are that it would be a 'fit and forget' watch and would probably be all I need,
    but -

    I now find myself looking at a Smiths PRS-29 with the ETA2801-2 fitted. In regard to this one I like the idea of a hand wound watch and like that idea of the daily wind! I understand that this movement is or was used in many other watches so I guess it's a reliable one??

    Roughly, if I were to wear it as envisage, every day, how often would I need to have it serviced and, when that day comes, would the cost of servicing out weigh the price of the watch?

    If it broke would it be worth putting in a new movement or, at this price, is it considered, dare I say it, a disposable item?

    Also, I have seen that the early PRS-29 was slightly bigger and came fitted with a 'bombe' style crystal. I see that the current edition, albeit smaller, has a flat crystal. Is the later crystal considered and upgrade?

    Thanks for you thoughts.

  2. #2
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddiex View Post
    Apologies if this has been answered loads of times but I can't find my answer at the moment!

    Compared to many on the forum, my watch ownership in relation to cost/budget will always be modest so I tend to look at the more affordable (all relative, I know!) end.

    I like military/field themed watches and something to wear every day without being too precious about it. I bought a new CWC G10 and I liked the watch and the size but not the lack of water resistance so I sold that. I then purchased Precista PRS-10 which was great with better specs than the CWC and with a little extra weight to, improved WR and sapphire but I did not like the date option so I sold that.

    I have been pointed to a CWC G10 GS sapphire, no date and my thoughts are that it would be a 'fit and forget' watch and would probably be all I need,
    but -

    I now find myself looking at a Smiths PRS-29 with the ETA2801-2 fitted. In regard to this one I like the idea of a hand wound watch and like that idea of the daily wind! I understand that this movement is or was used in many other watches so I guess it's a reliable one??

    Roughly, if I were to wear it as envisage, every day, how often would I need to have it serviced and, when that day comes, would the cost of servicing out weigh the price of the watch?

    If it broke would it be worth putting in a new movement or, at this price, is it considered, dare I say it, a disposable item?

    Also, I have seen that the early PRS-29 was slightly bigger and came fitted with a 'bombe' style crystal. I see that the current edition, albeit smaller, has a flat crystal. Is the later crystal considered and upgrade?

    Thanks for you thoughts.
    It's all about the oil. If you want a simple service, and this is definitely a simple service with plenty of folk who can service it with change from a ton. Spares are easily available and a well looked after movement will last as well as anything else that doesn't have a more relaxed beat rate. While you can get new movements to drop in you'd be better servicing the one you have got. The bottom line is Eddie reliably makes a lovely watch and you will not go too far wrong.

  3. #3
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    The next batch will be fitted with the Sellita SW210, ETA movements are still unavailable. I usually get Swiss movements from 2 Swiss suppliers and neither of them can get ETA at the moment.

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

  4. #4
    Grand Master
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    Agree with Matt on this one, it’s a very straightforward movement to service, ‘change from a ton’ is in the right ballpark regarding cost. It’s basically a 2824 without auto- winding, many parts are interchangeable. Occasionally the winding wheel and sliding pinion can give trouble and need replacing but high quality generic parts are now available cheaply so it won’t be an issue going forward, I fixed this recently on one recently and I was happy with the parts available.

    I strongly recommend this model, only problem is getting hold of one, they sell like hot cakes. The white dial version is rather nice too.

    Sellita’s version of the movement should be fine too, same comments apply.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddiex View Post
    I now find myself looking at a Smiths PRS-29 with the ETA2801-2 fitted. In regard to this one I like the idea of a hand wound watch and like that idea of the daily wind! I understand that this movement is or was used in many other watches so I guess it's a reliable one??

    Roughly, if I were to wear it as envisage, every day, how often would I need to have it serviced and, when that day comes, would the cost of servicing out weigh the price of the watch?

    If it broke would it be worth putting in a new movement or, at this price, is it considered, dare I say it, a disposable item?

    Also, I have seen that the early PRS-29 was slightly bigger and came fitted with a 'bombe' style crystal. I see that the current edition, albeit smaller, has a flat crystal. Is the later crystal considered and upgrade?

    Thanks for you thoughts.
    As Matt has said, the ETA2801-2 is very reliable and hardy. It can be easily repaired, regulated or serviced by many independent watchmakers and as it's been in production for many years, the supply of parts shouldn't be an issue. I think you'd have to have had a major disaster if a replacement movement were required.

    Winding them is a nice feeling and I like manuals more than automatics, as during this time of lockdowns, you can wind them daily and if you're not that energetic, they'll still be fine. As always, wind until they stop.

    They can also be very accurate movements. Here are a couple of tables from timegraphers showing how the 2801 in my PRS-29B (the now discontinued slightly larger version of the 29A) behaved when it was last serviced back in 2012 and then below, how it's behaving now. Very little difference over the last eight years. I'm actually a bit shocked it's been that long!





  6. #6
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    The original version with the acrylic crystal is my favourite. Runs very well, lovely to wind and feels very much like a vintage watch. Eddieís finest watch in my humble opinion.




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  7. #7
    Apprentice
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    As Matt has said, the ETA2801-2 is very reliable and hardy. It can be easily repaired, regulated or serviced by many independent watchmakers and as it's been in production for many years, the supply of parts shouldn't be an issue. I think you'd have to have had a major disaster if a replacement movement were required.

    Winding them is a nice feeling and I like manuals more than automatics, as during this time of lockdowns, you can wind them daily and if you're not that energetic, they'll still be fine. As always, wind until they stop.

    They can also be very accurate movements. Here are a couple of tables from timegraphers showing how the 2801 in my PRS-29B (the now discontinued slightly larger version of the 29A) behaved when it was last serviced back in 2012 and then below, how it's behaving now. Very little difference over the last eight years. I'm actually a bit shocked it's been that long!




    Excuse me for the impromptu: is the lift angle for the 2801-2 53ļ or 50ļ? I found both per different sources...

    Thanks a lot,
    Tom

  8. #8
    Craftsman
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    Owned a 29a for a couple of years, a real nice watch, though with the launch of the Navigator I decided to part with it to help fund getting this new model. Also have the eta 2801-2 movement in a USAF issue Marathon (Gallet) GG-W-113 from 1985 and still running like new. Very straight forward to get serviced with no issues currently on parts as far as I'm aware.

  9. #9
    Grand Master
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    One thing I donít like about the ETA 2892, 2824 and 2801 movements is the tendency for the back of the winding wheel to rub against the mainplate. I donít fully understand this problem, some watches seem to suffer with it whilst others donít. ETA donít stipulate that the back of the wheel should be lubricated, but judging from the witness marks and wear observed when stripping movements down its clear that there is contact. I always grease the back of the wheel, thatís what I was taught and it makes sense. Like most wear issues this becomes a problem if the watch hasnít been serviced for several years.

    As I mentioned on another thread, I recently encountered a 2801 with a damaged barrel arbour, almost certainly caused by continuing to turn the crown when the watch was fully wound. Never seen this before!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomas_Meinhardt View Post
    Excuse me for the impromptu: is the lift angle for the 2801-2 53ļ or 50ļ? I found both per different sources...

    Thanks a lot,
    Tom
    I found and used 53. The first table is from Duncan Potter at Genesis Watchmaking and he used 52. :)

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne View Post
    The next batch will be fitted with the Sellita SW210, ETA movements are still unavailable. I usually get Swiss movements from 2 Swiss suppliers and neither of them can get ETA at the moment.

    Eddie
    Thanks for the update Eddie - should you see this reply - could you tell (or anyone else?) me why was the earlier bombe crystal changed to the box crystal?

  12. #12
    Craftsman
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    Many thanks to everyone else for the replies - has really helped me making a decision, but, as walkerwek1958 mentions - getting one will be the hard part!!

  13. #13
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddiex View Post
    Thanks for the update Eddie - should you see this reply - could you tell (or anyone else?) me why was the earlier bombe crystal changed to the box crystal?
    As I understand it Eddie was getting too many returns with cracked/scratched acrylic crystals, so now specifies sapphire in all cases. Acrylic can be retrofitted into some watches - I've done it a couple of times on TF and other watches - although water-resistance is likely to be compromised.

  14. #14
    Master
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    i paid 85 + signed delivery both ways to the watchmaker for basic service.

    some people cant find a watchmaker who doesnt rip people off and you may get quotes of double that or more.

  15. #15
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.Ldn View Post
    As I understand it Eddie was getting too many returns with cracked/scratched acrylic crystals, so now specifies sapphire in all cases. Acrylic can be retrofitted into some watches - I've done it a couple of times on TF and other watches - although water-resistance is likely to be compromised.
    Ah! That makes sense - thanks.

  16. #16
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    i paid 85 + signed delivery both ways to the watchmaker for basic service.

    some people cant find a watchmaker who doesnt rip people off and you may get quotes of double that or more.
    This, and the other replies, have reassured me that servicing issues are not a problem for this movement or the Sellita one in the new batch. Thanks for your reply.

    Just got to try and nab one now!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by TheGent View Post
    The original version with the acrylic crystal is my favourite. Runs very well, lovely to wind and feels very much like a vintage watch. Eddieís finest watch in my humble opinion.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I own an original Smiths W10 an am fortunate to have handled one of these before - a marvelous recreation!

  18. #18
    Craftsman
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    Well, I managed to buy one, new from the shop when it last opened - it has the Sellita movement. Iím really pleased with the look and the way the watch wears with the long lugs.

    Having read about how some people overwind and damage their hand winders Iím paranoid about damaging it!

    So far, I wind it every morning at the same time (8am). Using my thumb and forefinger I roll the crown. I guess that rolling movement gives about half of a full revolution of the crown. I do this for 20 times.

    My question I guess is should I be winding it more - ie: 20 full revolutions (or more or less) to get to a fully wound situation?

    I havenít really got the feel yet and donít want to overwind!

    Thanks




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddiex View Post
    Well, I managed to buy one, new from the shop when it last opened - it has the Sellita movement. Iím really pleased with the look and the way the watch wears with the long lugs.

    Having read about how some people overwind and damage their hand winders Iím paranoid about damaging it!

    So far, I wind it every morning at the same time (8am). Using my thumb and forefinger I roll the crown. I guess that rolling movement gives about half of a full revolution of the crown. I do this for 20 times.

    My question I guess is should I be winding it more - ie: 20 full revolutions (or more or less) to get to a fully wound situation?

    I havenít really got the feel yet and donít want to overwind!

    Thanks




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have the Navigator with the SW210 with the only difference being that it is the top grade but has the same power reserve ect. I find that from a completely unwound movement that it takes about 38 winds to pretty much give it full power and then I wind mine once a day also around 20 winds but I have never had a problem with over winding and I will wind it all the way until it stops but giving it less torque as it gets tighter just until you feel it stop and then let off.

    This is just how I do it so it is really a preference for each person. Enjoy your watch my friend.

  20. #20
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddiex View Post
    ...
    I haven’t really got the feel yet and don’t want to overwind
    You can't overwind. When you reach full wind, you'll know, and unless you're The Incredible Hulk or use a pair of pliers, you won't be able to wind further.

    I fully wind each day (part of the morning ritual).

  21. #21
    Craftsman
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    Thanks to you both - very helpful. I wound mine this morning and I am now happy with the winding procedure!

  22. #22
    Journeyman
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    Missed out on the original one, but these pictures are great.

  23. #23
    Journeyman
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    same here, 20 winds from flat and about 10 every morning. Watch goes slightly tighter before the stop.

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