Review of the Prometheus Ocean Diver GMT by Time2watch.net
Time2watch.net just made a review of the Prometheus Ocean Diver GMT. Full review can be found at their website
I remember the first time I saw the Prometheus Ocean Diver on the equationoftime.com Dive Watch Forum.
I was not too sure what to make of it. Retro styling, yet modern at the same time. It was a tough combination to pull off and I was not quite certain they had. Having now seen quite a few on line and on many different strap combinations, I must now confess, I like it!
The design was born from a competition held on watchuseek.com, where the winner would get his design manufactured and his name immortalized on the case back. Though the path was difficult and filled with obstacles, in the end congratulations are in order. Brian F. Green's original design has now become and entire collection! There is the original diver, a chronograph and a GMT, which is the subject of this review.
Before we dive right in (pun intended), enjoy this little video of the OD GMT in action.
CASE & BEZEL
The 44mm solid stainless steel case is really quite simple and because there are no unnecessary elements, such as a protruding crown guards or oversized lugs, it wears much smaller than its diameter would indicate. In fact, my 41.5mm Ball SpaceMaster wears much larger. The entire case, except the center / decorated disc at the center of the back is bead blasted.
I have owned several watches with this type of finish and most of the time I find it too dull and usually wind up polishing them with a dap of Polywatch in order to soften / brighten them up. The closest I have come to owning a watch with a similarly refined bead blasting finish are my Sinn U1 and UX. Though I must point out, the latter watches cost 2-3 times more.... USED!
The lugs are rather short, thin and curve very nicely to fit around the wrist. These attributes make the watch very easy to wear and combined with the super supple strap, you almost forget its there (more on the strap later). The lugs sit 22mm apart from each other and use twin screw bars for strap changes.
The screw heads themselves are different from other watches, where they protruded ever so slightly from the lugs and the edge is lovingly beveled and polished. It is difficult to detect, but I believe you can almost see what I mean in the 4th and 5th picture from the top on the left. I have not tried to change the strap, but one should take extra precaution, as the screw drivers may slip, which could lead to ghastly scratches.
As is the case on most dive watches, the back is screwed down and instead of the standard wrench system, Prometheus has opted for the Rolex style "teeth" system. This makes the case back very smooth to the touch and it is also curved to sink nicely on the wrist. The engraving is very well executed, with a wave pattern and Prometheus name and logo. Upon closer inspection, I noticed something a little odd. The flame logo is off kilter. It seems to be leaning slightly left. Not sure if anyone has ever pointed this out, of maybe it is just my imagination, but that is how I see it.
The unsigned crowns are actually quite remarkable. They feature a very impressive checker board pattern and are of generous size. They also screw / set down into the case. Thus negating the need for crown guards. The one at 4 o'clock screws down and is extremely smooth to wind and set, which is typical of the ETA movement within. The crown at 2 o'clock surprisingly enough, does not screw down and yet, the watch is still rated to a depth of 300m.
The internal bezel is unidirectional and clicks 120 times around the dial. Again, this is strange, as the previous watches I have owned with inner rotating bezels (Ball Master II diver and Hamilton Khaki Navy) both had screw down crowns and rotated in both direction.
DIAL & CRYSTAL
The GMT gets 10 on 10 for dial symmetry. It is exceedingly rare to see dials that have this much displayed information be this symmetric. Kudos Prometheus!
When I first saw the hands online, I was a little disappointed, as I thought the mat black finish would just wash out against the mat black dial. This is not the case. At least not in "real life". My guess is the 3D view up close allows the hands to pop off the dial and it works. I also like the outer 24hr GMT track, as opposed to an inner track with a shorter hand. Especially on a watch with an internal rotating bezel.
Another bright spot is the use of a white on black date wheel. This has long been a pet-peeve of mine. I still cannot understand why companies still manufacture black dialed watches with black on white date wheels. Some companies like Eterna have been getting it right for years, yet some still do not.
The lume material used is C3 Super-Luminova, which glows like Chernobyl when first charged. It dims down with time, though it does last a good 4-6 hours, depending on the charge. I also really like the unorthodox lume arrow on the bezel.
The flat sapphire crystal is coated on both sides for reflections and just like the screws on the lugs, its edge is beveled. Now I have seen many other crystals with beveled edges, but none that are polished. I would not have noticed this minor detail, except I recently purchase rimless glasses and they asked if I wanted the edges polished or not. Makes a difference in eyewear, and you know what? Looks pretty darn good on watches too!
Within the Prometheus Ocean Diver GMT is the venerable ETA 2893-2:
The ETA 2893-2 is a Swiss Made automatic movement, which is based on the 2892 non-GMT calibre. This very same movement can be found in watches from Ulysse Nardin, IWC and even Omega, not to mention many others that cost 3-4 times more. It is highly regarded as one of the premier mass produced Swiss Made movements.
Clicking the winding crown to the 1st position allows you to set the date in one direction and the GMT hand in the other. Apart from that, everything else is the same as on most standard time only wristwatches. So far it has been very accurate, keeping +4-6 seconds / day when worn 24 / 7.
I honestly went into this project knowing I would dislike the strap. First, I read that it was very long and I have a small 7 inch wrist. Second it was silicon... Can you say dust magnet? Third there is as pattern etched into the silicon. Now if there was a way to make it collect more of dust, surely this was it. Well... I LOVE IT!!!
When wearing this watch on THIS strap you absolutely feel like you are wearing a dive tool. No ifs ands or buts about it. The strap is a perfect match. It is so supple that you can wear the watch tightly and it still feels extremely comfortable. I usually hate wearing my watches tight on my wrist. The straps extra length and 2 extra large keepers also help make it feel like a tool.
This is not something I can really describe. You just have to try it on to see what I mean. Oh sure, it is a dust collector, but the way it feels and looks on my wrist negates any of the aforementioned unwelcome attributes. The brushed steel tang buckle is also a nice touch, though usually the signature is in the other direction so that the wearer can read it when look down at their wrist.
Prometheus has come a long way from its humble beginnings and with watches like the Ocean Diver, I see nothing but success in their future. Now granted, their design is not for everyone, but if you like the retro "super-compressor" look and are in the market for a serious tool dive watch, then I challenge anyone to find more watch for €529.00!
I must also say that dealing with Carlos was a real pleasure and that I will be following his upcoming Manta Ray project very closely. Man, that interchangeable bezel system looks great. Congratulations Carlos, you are onto something special there! STAY TUNED EVERYONE!!!
Until then, I will just have to enjoy my GMT...
Thank you for reading,
Last edited by sapcmc; November 15th, 2010 at 14:58.