Up for review today is the second watch from Prometheus, and it’s quite a bit different from the Ocean Diver. The Recon 5 is an handwinding aviator, with the characteristic re-think we’ve come to expect from Prometheus. Let’s get started with some specifications:
- Stainless steel case: 44mm by 10.5mm.
- Sapphire crystal and caseback.
- SuperLuminova hands and indicies.
- Brown leather strap with thorn buckle.
- 22mm lugs.
- Non-screwdown large crown for easy winding and setting.
- Unitas 6497-1 movement: non-hacking, handwinding, 42 hour power reserve, decorated with Geneva stripes, blued screws, and a bit of perlage.
- Water resistant to 50m (165ft).
- List price 269 Euros, or about $366 as of this writing.
Please read on for the full review.
The Recon 5 is shipped in a very nice leather reusable travel case as seen here, with warranty card tucked into the pocket. This is nearly ideal for packaging: it’s useful for travelling, protects the watch well, and is nice and slim. Well done.
Just as the Ocean Diver was a redesign of the dive watch, the Recon 5 is a change from a lot of other WWII-style “flieger” watches, as you’ll see from looking at the dial and hands. Very functional and eminently readable with a spacious, uncluttered face.
The Unitas 6497 and 6498 (which differ only in the placement of the subseconds) are among my favorite movements. They’re Swiss-made, accurate in all grades, very tough, and used in watches all the way up to five-figure Panerai. This is a tool watch movement of the very highest caliber (pun intended). In the Recon 5, Prometheus has used a mid-grade version with nice machine-applied decoration for a result that’s quite visually appealing. If you compare the movement here with the one in the much-more-expensive Stowa Marine Original, you may wonder (as I did) if I overpaid for the Stowa!
At the end of the Stowa review, I said that “About the only thing I’d change is a touch of lume on the hands and dial. Readability at night would be nice.” Right on cue, the Recon 5 arrived and delivered exactly that. It has a bit more modern feel in the dial design, but otherwise it’s quite a spectacularly-priced replacement.
Case finishing is very good, especially for this price range. The edges are even, the finish is smooth, and the design is flowing and unobtrusive.
The dial is actually a very dark, subtle shade of brown that appears grey in most light. It’s set off nicely by the contrast-stitched brown strap. I like that Prometheus skipped the two steel rivets that many fliegers have; it’s a non-functional decoration, and this watch is all about function.
Here’s a closeup of the movement. Part of the fun of a clear caseback is enjoying the visual detail, and the Unitas is excellent in that regard. The lack of a rotor weight leaves lots of details to see and watch in motion.
Overall, I think the Recon 5 is a fabulous deal and an attractive, highly functional watch. You get the enjoyment of a Swiss-made handwinder at a fraction of the price of other brands. Highly recommended.
Our thanks to Prometheus for the review unit.
By Paul Hubbard