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Thread: Homage vs the real thing

  1. #1
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Homage vs the real thing

    I have been thinking about doing this post for a while, so I figured I would do it now before I have a beer and whilst the house is quiet.
    As most who frequent this part of the forum will know I have an unhealthy obsession with British Military Issued Watches (all issued watches really) I have also picked up a few homages to the issued watches over the years.

    So I thought I would compare 2 very good homages to what I think is one of the best format chronographs ever made, this example being one of the very last of its kind. The Navy Issued CWC from 1982. There are plenty of reviews that focus on the technical detail, I will keep this focused on how they wear and compare with each other.




    First up the inspiration.
    This watch is one of the last in a long line of mechanical chronographs issued by the MOD. 82 was the last year of issue as they were soon replaced by the Quartz Seiko Gen1. These 82 issued watches have a Royal Navy issued number, so I presume they were issued to fleet air arm pilots and anyone else than needed an accurate timing device. I also presume they reached stores far to late to see action in the South Atlantic, although this does not stop people associating them with the SHAR and shooting down of Mirages, Etendards and Skyhawks.




    This watch is very good condition for its age, it still has traces of the polished upper surfaces, the brushed sides are still clear and defined. It’s powered by the venerable 7733 as were the other three of the Fab Four.






    I measured the diameter as 39.3mm (40.8 with the crown) it’s 11.8 mm thick without the NATO and the crown is 5.9mm in diameter. This makes grasping the crown easy to wind. It does take a long time to wind (50+ winds) but when fully wound it keeps time to within +2 secs a day. Not bad for a 38 year old watch.

    The dial on this watch is actually my favourite of the Fab Four. Whilst I am a fan of the non oval logo, I do prefer the layout on this version (they changed over time) I also like the colour original tritium lume. For some reason the lume on these 82 watches does not discolour like other earlier examples and they generally seem to have even green lume. I am guessing with the good condition lume and dials, these have sat in a cool dark store for most of their life.

    On the wrist the watch wears quite small, it’s quite a bit thinner than the homages (as we will see) so easily slips under a cuff. Winding the movement workman like but smooth, using the chronograph is crisp and authoritative, there is no slack in the buttons feel. Reading the elapsed time is no issue and the main hands are clear and bold, just what you need to read the time easily.

    The Precista PRS5; I bought this watch new from Timefactors in 2009. At the time I could not afford the real deal so this was the next best thing. This is an incredible watch for the price they sold for. A manual wind column wheel chronograph for under £300. WOW!




    Size wise these are 38.5mm in diameter, 40.5 with the crown, it’s is 15.5mm thick but I do have the display back fitted which will add a MM or 2. The crown is 6.5mm in diameter but I find it harder to wind than the CWC for some reason. Likely the thicker centre case and crown guards. Winding the watch is a bit less authoritative with less feed back when you are getting close to full wind. This is something I have never really liked about the watch. The movement is the ST1905 and when fully wound this keeps time with in 7 secs a day.




    On the wrist the PRS5 wears a lot more top heavy when compared to the others, this is not surprising with the smaller diameter but thicker case. The crystal is quite heavily domed but it has resisted knocks really well, I have never polished it yet is it’s pretty much un marked.

    The case profile differs from the CWC quite markedly, it’s much squarer, thicker more robust looking. It lacks the elegance (if you can used that word with a military watch) of the originals in profile. This is not helped by the beadblasted finish the case has, it looks a lot bulkier on the wrist.






    The dial is flat and quite stark but it is easy to read the time and use the chronograph functions. Speaking (writing) of which the chronograph buttons have a fair bit of creep before they engage. This is another thing that I am not a fan of, they feel a bit spongy when used. Lume is luminova and it does what it is supposed to do but it’s not very bright, there is also a difference in brightness between the hands and dial, the former being much brighter. Those hands… those hands… I have never been a fan. They just look odd and they look nothing like any of the originals used.

    I had to have the Newmark as soon as it was announced, so much so I bought one for my Dad (he also collects MOD issued watches and I thought it would be a good daily watch for him as he wears one of the original Fab Four every day. The Newmark is much closer to the original in form, although the lugs are more curved, the case shape is similar, the case finish is similar, the crystal profile is similar, all in all from a distance it could quite easily pass as an original Newmark, the attention to detail that went in to this watch was incredible.










    Case diameter is 39.6mm (40.7 with crown), thickness is 12.5mm. The crown is a whopping 7.1mm in diameter and is very easy to grasp, which is a shame as you don’t need to grip it apart from when the clocks go back or forward. The Seiko mechaquartz movement is very accurate at less than +1 sec a day, the action of the pushers is very crisp almost like the original, the only poor point is the stopping of the chrono using the top button lacks a bit of snap compared to starting the chrono running. However the 2 downsides of this watch are both movement related
    1. Lack of running sub seconds - it’s not the end of the world though
    2. The 60 minute sub counter - it’s too crowded to use quickly at a glance, you have to really look at the elapsed minutes when using the chrono. This means I don’t tend to use this watch when I need a chrono.

    If I am honest the dial on this watch is the best quality when it comes to printing, the print is crisp and white, the circle L is a nice addition and the lume is incredibly bright, it lasts all night long. Hands being the same as the dial. The hand shape is identical to the originals.




    The addition of the original NSN on the rear is a nice touch, and on the wrist it wears very similar to the CWC however it’s a lot lighter than either of the other watches, I should have weighed them but it is noticeable in its lightness. But again for the money this is a very good watch and the above gripes are me being picky.

    So to finish this ramble both homages are a good alternative to one of the original Fab Four. Both have their plus points and their features I am not so keen on. I am happy I have been able to own both homages but neither get the wear they should as I always reach for the 82.

    Well done for getting this far.
    Thanks for taking the time to read.
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 19th June 2021 at 11:22.

  2. #2
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    An interesting and entertaining read, thanks for taking the time to do it. I have a Broadarrow version of the PRS-5 and love to wear it, usually for a weekend for a change of style as it wears quite differently to my other watches. Given the height/diameter ratio it feels almost cylindrical compared to my Damaskos, which of course are very slab sided themselves!

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    Nice write up.

    I sold my PRS5 for pennies, £165 IIRC. One of many regrets. (£1800 sale of a 5513 being another - but it was a long time ago and I actually thought I'd done rather well at the time. A watch that's totally overrated IMO.)

    I do wish Numark would do a mechanical version - I suspect they'd sell shedloads. The quartz movement, and a bit of a lack of weight/heft/ smallish feel, was my reason for selling. But it was actually a lot of fun to wear.

  4. #4
    Master
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    Thanks for sharing. For me, the two homages donít compare to the real thing.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Really nice comparison. Made me think about picking up a Newmark as a daily. I also think my interest is rubbing off on my wife. I was sitting beside her as I read this, and asked her which of the three was the original. She said the CWC, Ďno doubt.í

  6. #6
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Excellent review, thank you so much for postingÖ


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  7. #7
    Master alfat33's Avatar
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    Good read, thanks for posting.

  8. #8
    Thanks for your review. I am lucky enough to own a Newmark and like it for the attributes that kk dislikes. Each to his own of course, it might be that different size wrists account for the different responses to the piece.

  9. #9
    Master mindforge's Avatar
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    Nice comparison. I have only owned the PRS5 and the Newmark so naturally have wondered how they compared to the original. With the PRS5 I enjoyed the sight of the movement through the back but otherwise found it far too tall, unnecessarily so, and didn't like the bead blasted finish, it felt and looked cheap and marked easily. Like the poster above, the I sold it here for about 165 but didn't feel it was worth any more.

    I really like the Newmark, the finish on the case is much better, the height is better and the dial and hands are great. Yes it would be nice ot have the running seconds hands but for a cheaper watch, it's reassuring to know I don't have to spend the price of the watch on servicing it so the mecha quartz works well.

    Sent from my IN2023 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    That was so good I read it twice - and will have another read later. Thanks for posting.

    I haven't owned any of the watches, but, like serial wives, each has its individual character which makes for a tough comparison. They are all great watches, so better to own all three I reckon!
    Last edited by Geralt; 19th June 2021 at 09:14.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Very interesting, thanks for writing your thoughts and observations up Jon. I have a Newmark homage too and also like it for its lightness, lack of maintenance and convincing looks, Ewan did a great job. They are a huge bargain used now and a good everyday watch imo, I don't think any more could be expected from a homage at that price point. Mine has a few scars now and looks all the better for it.

    I have a few issued military watches but wear the more valuable ones (within the context of my means) less and less so I do appreciate the low cost pleasure of being able to wear a convincing 'look' with no worries. That's the gap that a good homage should fill, imo.

    I feel less generous, so to speak, towards homages like the new Timor WWW for example that are actually more expensive than the original but I suppose they are looking to occupy a different niche in the market.

  12. #12
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Thanks All
    I am glad my ramblings were vaguely interesting to some.
    The Newmark is a really good watch especially considering the price, itís also a much nicer wear than the PRS5, perfect for work (for me anyway)
    I did put the PRS5 up for sale a few weeks ago (admittedly at far too much money in hindsight) and it obviously didnít sell. I am going to give it another try over the next few weeks to see if it can keep its place in the safe. It wonít replace the 82 though, thatís for sure.

  13. #13
    Nice read buddy

    I have always admired the way these asymmetric cased watches look, but on trying to wear them something just doesn't click with me.
    Take for example the PRS-18, I have the cosc version, bought it as soon as it was released, and as much as I try I just can't wear it for any longer than a couple of hours.

    Will I sell it?

    Never, it's a great watch and the spec for the price is amazing.

    Hopefully one day I'll get used to its lop sidedness.

    On these chronos, the one thing I do like is the extra protection to the pushers.

    Sent from my IN2013 using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    I bagged a Newmark when they were released and thought it a superb watch, but as a chronograph I simply hated the right hand sub dial, if you're flying a ''blacked out Vulcan'' or perhaps in a Submarine I get it's purpose, but other than that it seemed pointless, however the Seiko meca-quartz movement was a revelation and I'd buy a watch using it any day.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  15. #15
    Master
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    The Newmark is a great looking watch at a very fair price. The lack of utility as a chronograph is a little off putting. That said I tried and failed to buy one last night, inspired by this thread. Does anyone else make a homage?

  16. #16
    Craftsman NCC66's Avatar
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    I enjoyed reading that. Thank you.

    The Newmark has interested me for a while and seems like a genuine bargain. I think Iíll be keeping an eye out for one now.

  17. #17
    Craftsman williemays's Avatar
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    Does the CWC 82 have an acrylic crystal? I really like the Newmarkís crystal and hope Ewan sticks with acrylic when refreshing the 6BB lineup, but with a brushed rather than polished tension ring. Also, are some of CWC hands painted white?

  18. #18
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by williemays View Post
    Does the CWC 82 have an acrylic crystal? I really like the Newmarkís crystal and hope Ewan sticks with acrylic when refreshing the 6BB lineup, but with a brushed rather than polished tension ring. Also, are some of CWC hands painted white?
    To answer your questions
    Yes the all issued CWC chronographs had acrylic crystals
    Yes some of the MOD replacement hands on all the Fab Four were painted white, these are usually the larger style hands.

  19. #19
    Master
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    Where does the CWC Quartz Chronograph fit in. https://www.cwcwatch.com/collections...onograph-watch

    Is it a homage to an actual CWC model or a Seiko?

  20. #20
    Master
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    And I answered my own question. 😁

    https://cwcaddict.com/quartz-chronograph

  21. #21
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Iíve never seen the CWC addict site before - thanks for the link - excellent information there!


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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    I bagged a Newmark when they were released and thought it a superb watch, but as a chronograph I simply hated the right hand sub dial, if you're flying a ''blacked out Vulcan'' or perhaps in a Submarine I get it's purpose, but other than that it seemed pointless, however the Seiko meca-quartz movement was a revelation and I'd buy a watch using it any day.
    I agree. I bought a Helgray Silverstone with that movement but seldom wear it. Irrational, but it really bugs me. I wish they'd do a meca-quartz that had sensible real world functions like a running seconds and a 30/45 min counter. When I see a watch with that '24' dial I immediately discount it sadly.

  23. #23
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGent View Post
    Iíve never seen the CWC addict site before - thanks for the link - excellent information there!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You should check out the guys instragram account, complete bonkers. He posted on the MWR that he got into CWC about 4 years ago and has since bought over 180 watches.

    https://www.instagram.com/jjhughes1969/?hl=en

    I love the way he chucks in a £30k+ Submariner just for fun.

  24. #24
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    You should check out the guys instragram account, complete bonkers. He posted on the MWR that he got into CWC about 4 years ago and has since bought over 180 watches.

    https://www.instagram.com/jjhughes1969/?hl=en

    I love the way he chucks in a £30k+ Submariner just for fun.
    That is truly crazy - I can understand the addiction to some extent, there is something so utilitarian and functional about military watches. Itís a very distinct appeal and one that Iíve really fallen for in recent months.


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