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TimeFactors Speedbird III (PRS-22) Hands-On

TimeFactors Speedbird III (PRS-22) Hands-On

Sit back, present yourself with a drop of your top choice and have a think…

If somebody disclosed to you that you could get a legitimate Flieger from a shop producer, numbered case and dial, in-house configuration, fastened crown tube (none of this squeezed in stuff), 80,000 A/m delicate iron internal case and a top-grade ETA 2824-2 development, what might you surmise the sticker price could peruse?  £3,000?  Maybe a cut at £2,000?

Now we’ve began, a couple more questions…

Where would you expect this paragon of low-volume horology to come from?  La Locle?  Geneva?  La Chaux-de-Fonds? Glashütte?

And what might the logo on the dial read?  Omega, potentially.  IWC, maybe.  Breitling or Bremont, maybe?

I’ll wager you a 16 ounces in my town neighborhood (should you be adequately fortunate to wind up in Bampton’s magnificent Morris Clown) that your answers are not, individually, £470, Sheffield and Timefactors .

From South Yorkshire, Eddie Platts, Timefactors’ proprietor, has been shooting across the bows of the marked Swiss watch industry since 1996.  The PRS-22 with its new, updated development is, in my view, his absolute best yet. Regarding compatibility qualité- prix, they truly don’t come any better.

Case: 316L Brushed Steel Movement: ETA 2824-2 TOP Dial: Black Iron Lume: C3 Lens: Sapphire A/R on Underside Strap: Steel Bracelet + Nylon NATO Water Res.: 100M Dimensions: 39 x 42.6mm Thickness: 11.9mm Lug Width: 20 mm Crown: screw-down Warranty: long term Price: £470 (around $760)

If you’re acquainted with IWC’s early pilot watches, the PRS-22 may begin a couple echoes.  There’s a likeness to the more modest MK XII and, all the more intently, the 38mm Mk XV. To be reasonable, appropriate fliegers like the MK XV and PRS-22 will have comparable features: delicate iron inward case, negative pressing factor got gem, unornamented, clean dial.  Here, the similitudes run further.  Both the MkXV and the PRS are controlled by ETA developments, adjusted on account of the Mk XV.  Both have a completely plain, brushed (don’t need glare in the cockpit) case and a hefty treated steel arm band.  In the two watches, the craftsmanship centers around work as opposed to form.

This implies that the PRS-22 isn’t a watch for blingmeisters. The delicate iron dial (some portion of the antimagnetic insurance) is semi-matte dark and doesn’t convey a logo, simply numbers, records selected in C3 superluminova and “Great Britain”.  And it’s a thick, hefty dial as well.  Telling the time takes close to a fast flick of the eyes, day or night.  Just as it ought to be.

The 39mm case is plain, processed 316L hardened steel – a similar stuff Rolex utilized for their cases until the mid 2000s.  The configuration is somewhat suggestive of the piece sided Sinn 756; plain, nitty gritty, only a spotless, brushed completion.  The back and crown are both screwed-down, so you have a valuable 100m of water protection from play with.

Open the external case and you’ll see the rear of the delicate iron internal case, helping the PRS towards its 80,000A/m rating.  That’s comfortably inside the ISO 764 norm of 4,800 A/m. To be reasonable, the Glucydur adjusts and Nivarox hairsprings of most present day watches render them impervious to practically any attractive field you’ll meet, so it’s a smidgen pointless excess. However, individuals purchase Sea Dwellers with 1220 meters water obstruction and never adventure farther than their neighborhood swimming showers, so why not?

This is planned as a reasonable flight watch, so the counter intelligent covered sapphire gem is tried to a negative pressing factor of 0.4 ATM.  That ensures it won’t come away from the bezel if there’s a fall in cockpit pressure when that troublesome Messerschmidt gets on your tail and you need to climb extreme left.  Although watches in aeronautics are generally excess, a watch with such a detail will be appropriately powerful.  You can toss a lot at a PRS-22 and it’ll come back ticking joyfully.  In actuality, in the event that you wind up needing a substantial (165 grams), heavy-handed tool, the PRS could be exceptionally convenient indeed.

A part of that watch’s weight is in the tempered steel, close-connected arm band.  And it truly is a wonder.  If you stepped a genuine, Swiss-brand logo on this you could charge double the cost of the PRS-22 and pull off it.  The joins are strong impeccable with tight resistances, a spotless focus fasten and screwed agents.  You’ll simply need two, minuscule jewellers’ screwdrivers to change it to length – and the playing is great for the security.

If, similar to me, you like the possibility of wristbands however not really wearing them, Mr Platts has cooked for you as well.  In the helpful delicate travel case that comes with the PRS-22 is a Speedbird NATO tie.  I substitute mine (as in the photos) between a plain, dark NATO and a dark, Horween Cordovan band.

So, as I would see it, there isn’t a watch out there to beat the PRS-22 for quality at its present cost – or, in fact, even at a somewhat stiffer sticker price. Its plain lines won’t appeal to everybody, except in my view, it has an effortlessness that simply works and gives a false representation of its low cost.

But a watch like this brings up some troublesome issues. Pardon the philosophizing, however what do you get when you hand over a wedge of money to purchase a watch?  Clearly, you get a development, a case, a changed determination of hands (however just one on the off chance that you full for a Meistersinger) and a lash.  But what else?  You’re purchasing history as well; the historical backdrop of the brand you pick.  The sub-ocean, motorsport and hiking legacy of Rolex.  The military flying history of Bremont, IWC and Breitling.  And that set of experiences and brand come at a price.

The PRS-22 doesn’t offer a portrayed and developed brand history.  So, given that you’ll locate the 2824-2 development (or subordinates of it) and comparable case particulars in watches costing in any event five fold the amount, it implies you can put an extremely unequivocal cost on the brand and history from different producers.  The unavoidable issue is – are you arranged to pay it?

by Mark McArthur Christie