Prometheus Watch Company, a boutique manufacturer based in Portugal, was founded by Carlos Carvalho in 2008. Mr. Carvalho is a watch enthusiast who decided to turn his passion into a business venture, much to our delight. In Greek mythology Prometheus was the Titan who brought mankind out of the stone age by stealing fire from the Greek Gods and giving it to us mortals. Similarly Prometheus, the watch company, has used its diligence and ingenuity to design, engineer and build Swiss made watches of uncompromising quality and made it available to the market at very affordable price levels. Mr. Carvalho has brought Swiss made watches out of the realms of the Horological Gods and placed them within reach of us everyday watch enthusiasts.
Prometheus watches are made in the Swiss Jura mountains, the traditional home of the Swiss watch making industry. Being based in Portugal, Mr. Carvalho uses the internet to communicate with his Swiss suppliers and manufacturers. He also utilizes web based forum technology to constantly communicate with his customers, soliciting valuable input and feedback to improve on Prometheus’s product offering. In fact the successful Ocean Diver collection is a direct result of a design competition sponsored by Prometheus on Watchuseek Forum. It is this unique blend of savvy internet marketing and fiery passion that has differentiated Mr. Carvalho’s Prometheus brand from the many other small independent watch brands which have sprung up in the past few years. Prometheus watches are truly designed by collectors for collectors.
Prometheus Recon 5
The Recon 5 is the latest collection from Prometheus. It is described as a modern interpretation of the ever popular fliegeruhr or pilot watch. True to its aviator roots, the name Recon 5 was chosen to pay tribute to the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron of the US Air Force.
A close up of the watch emphasizing the clean look of the dial.
The Recon 5 is a modern pilot watch, clearly inspired by aviation history. It has a minimalist dial design, one which emphasizes legibility. Reflecting the trend in large sized watches, the Recon 5 measures 44mm in diameter without crown. The large diamond sized crown easily adds another 6mm to its dimensions. As the Recon 5 is a manual wind watch, the oversized crown is a real plus in facilitating watch winding by hand.
Watch specifications (Taken from Prometheus Web Site):
- Case diameter: 44 mm
- Case height: 10.5 mm
- Super Luminous dial and hands
- 2 Years Warranty
- Sapphire Crystal on dial and case back
- Swiss Made
- Brown Leather Strap
The engine behind the Recon 5 is the venerable Unitas 6497-1, one the most popular and reliable manual wind calibers in the market. The 6497-1 can be found in many prestigious Swiss watches, such as the Panerai Historical Base models, costing multiples of the price of the Recon 5.
Unitas 6497-1 Specifications:
- Model: Caliber Unitas 6497-1
- Description: Mechanical movement with lever escapement, manual winding
- 18000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz)
- 16 1/2 ligne
- 17 jewels
- Diameter: 36.60 mm
- Thickness: 4.50 mm
- Functions: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds
- Index assembly: ETACHRON with fine rating adjustment
- Power reserve: 46 hours
The Unitas 6497, originally a pocket watch caliber, has been successfully adapted for use in mechanical wrist watches, particularly in large sized models. It has an excellent reputation as a reliable workhorse movement, and can be found ticking away in many quality wrist watches, including the Panerai Historical Base models and the Sinn Regulateur 6100.
As the photos below show, the movement finishing in the Recon 5 is nicely done. The plates and bridges are decorated with Geneva waves or Cote de Geneve decoration. Blued screws are used in the movement, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal.
A close up of the display back showing the elegantly finished Unitas 6497-1 movement.
A close up of the balance cock and the Incabloc shock protection mechanism.
A close up of the winding wheels with blued screws.
The Recon 5’s watch case is 44mm in diameter and 10.5mm thick. Lug end to lug end the watch measures approximately 51mm. It is made of surgical stainless steel (SS316L) with a matt brushed finish. The screwed-in case back comes with a display crystal which gives a clear view of the Unitas 6497-1 movement. The watch is rated to 5 ATM water resistance.
Frontal view of the watch face.
Recon 5 inside its travelling watch case.
The Recon 5 is equipped with scratch resistant sapphire crystals on both front and back. Sapphire crystals are normally found only on higher grade watches and are much more durable than the lower cost mineral glass. Also a common way for the watch manufacturer to reduce cost is to provide mineral glass for the display back. Credit must be given to Prometheus for providing full sapphire sandwich crystals for the Recon 5. Although the sapphire crystals are without AR coating it is hardly unreasonable given the Recon 5’s value proposition.
Dial & Hands
The Recon 5’s large minimalist dial is matt black and legibly printed with arabic numeral hour markers (less the numbers 12 and 9). At the edge of the dial is a border ring lined with minute markers. At the twelve o’clock position is printed a large luminous triangle, clearly depicting the military lineage of the watch. The subsidiary seconds dial is placed at the nine o’clock position, neatly positioned between the 8 and 10 o’clock markers. It is definitely a plus point that the size of the subsidiary seconds dial is correctly proportioned so as to leave the two adjacent hourly markers unscathed.
Recon 5 with its minimalist dial design.
Above the six o’clock marker is printed the name “Recon 5” and below the same marker, at the edge of the dial, is the finely printed “Swiss Made” label – clearly certifying the watches to have been made in Switzerland . The hour, minute and seconds hands are sword shaped in traditional military style. The hands and indices are all coated in Super Luminous material, providing the dial with exceptional legibility during low light conditions.
Lume shot of the Recon 5.
Oblique view of the watch face.
Aviator style sword hands of the Recon 5.
The Recon 5 is equipped with a large diamond shape crown, following its aviator theme. Traditionally pilot watches are provided with these large diamond shaped crowns to allow hand winding with gloved hands. The unsigned crown is non screw down type and is nicely knurled. A common problem with these large diamond shaped crowns is the sharp edges poking against one’s wrist. Prometheus’s solution is to smooth out the sharp edges on the crown. This alleviates the irritation, even if one wears the watch all the way down the wrist.
Large diamond shape crown on the Recon 5.
The Recon 5 comes with a brown leather strap with white contrast stitching. The buckle is the tang type and is signed with the label “PWC” which stands for Prometheus Watch Company.
Signed polished buckle.
The lugs curve gently down from the watch case and are brush finished with no sharp edges. The lug width accommodate 22mm size straps which are attached using screwed bars.
Recon 5 comes with threaded lug bars to facilitate strap change.
Packaging and Warranty
The Recon 5 comes delivered in a neat simulated leather case which also serves as a travelling watch case. The watch is guaranteed for 2 years against manufacturer’s defects. The 2 year warranty is testament to Prometheus’s faith in the quality of its products.
Prometheus logo on the watch case. Note the flame symbol.
Watch case secured with elastic strap.
Watch instruction manual and warranty certificate.
Swiss Made – symbol of quality watches.
The Recon 5 is the latest member of the Prometheus watch family and it has inherited the important qualities which we have come to expect from Prometheus, namely excellent quality at a very reasonable price point. Anyone shopping for a good quality (Swiss made) and affordable flieger style watch need look no further than the Prometheus Recon 5.