The early history of the Precista brand is a bit murky. It looks like the brand dates to the late 1940s or ‘50s, but there isn’t a clear founding date or founder to point to. What we do know is that the brand originated out of the Southern Watch & Clock Supplies Ltd. who used the Precista name on watches that they produced themselves. The bulk of Precista watches that garner interest from collectors are those produced for the British Navy. These include the PRS series that were in production for decades. In the middle of the PRS series production run was the PRS-82, launched in 1982. As a collector’s item, what gives this watch its value is that it was the last mechanical dive watch issued by the British Royal Navy. These watches only come up for sale occasionally and, with a snake-head minute hand, are highly sought after pieces.
The PRS-82 up for auction is a re-issue of the original 1982 version. In the early 2000s, Eddie Platts purchased the rights to Precista and began making reissues of some of their most famous watches including this PRS-82. There are two key factors that make this reissue special. The first is the limited time frame between the original production date and the reissue. Just under 20 years apart, there is significantly less time between the two production runs than most historical re-issues. The second is the movement. The original PRS-82 was powered by an ETA 2783 movement. Luckily for us watch enthusiasts, Eddie was able to source a group of new old stock ETA 2783 movements for his reissue. This means that the original watches and the reissues are powered by the same movement.
The 40mm asymmetrical stainless steel case of this watch is in excellent to collector quality condition. It features a few minor scratches but there are no major defects to note. The case back shows a bit more wear than the front of the watch with a greater number of scratches most likely from sitting on hard surfaces. The most significant update from the original to the reissue is the sapphire crystal which offers more protection and scratch residence than the original plexiglass.
The Dial and Hands
The dial and hands of this watch are also in excellent to collector quality condition. The notable features of the dial and hands are lume filled snake-head hands, semi-matte black dial, and SuperLuminova “vintage lume” applied to the dial. This lume is a modern update that was not featured on the original issue.
This watch is powered by an automatic, ETA 2783 movement that was sourced as new old stock for this reissue. The watch is currently running and keeping good time. The service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Model||Royal Navy Diver|
|Movement||Automatic, ETA 2783|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|