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Roy

PRAETORIAN Signifer Automatic Diver

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Is there anyone who wants to borrow this watch for a couple of weeks and review it then please let me know :) 

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14 hours ago, Littlelegs said:

Doh! I'm in too slow again. Roy if you'd like a third reviewer let me know.

Regards Jamie 

 

You can have it for a few weeks after Ventura :) 

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Well I received the praetorian from Ventura today and first impressions are good. It's a big lump in terms of case depth and sits quite high on the wrist, but not ridiculously so. Looking square on it doesn't seem much bigger than my SMP but I'll have to compare properly later. It's not uncomfortably heavy despite its size, but you know you're wearing it. The bezel is easy to use and has a reassuring click to it. I could see it being definite and practical to use underwater and probably OK with dive gloves on. 

Looking at the dial the date window is pointless in my opinion. It's too small to be of any use for me and in low light you can't actually read the date at all. Well I can't anyway. Here's a quick wrist shot taken with the iPad. I'll try get some better ones over the weekend and do a proper considered review.

image_zpsiljwfa3d.jpeg

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Well my time with the Praetorian Signifer is drawing to a close so I thought I'd post my impressions of the beast.

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It is a beast, but in a good way; a nice solid lump of a watch which actually looks heavier than it wears. Despite its size it does wear pretty comfortably too, provided that is you dont want to wear it under a shirt cuff. I wear short sleeves most of the time so it wasnt a problem BUT if you're a regular long sleeved shirt wearer this watch is going to be a little uncomfy for you. Due to the case it makes the cuff feel tight and constrictive on well fitted shirts. I doubt it was designed with shirt wear in mind so i'll forgive it for that.

You can see the depth of the case in the image below & compared to my Omega SMP its huuuuge.

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In general terms I really like this watch. My only dislike really is the date window which I think is wholly pointless and non-functional. Its too small and located badly to make it worthwhile. In poor light its unreadable. The watch doesnt benefit from it at all to my mind. Sorry Praetorian, but I'd ditch the date or move it to a more easily readable position. For those with better, younger eyes than mine you'll probably find its fine but not for me. The images I've shown actually make it look easy to read. In reality it isnt.

The strap was a little uncomfortable at first, but following some adjustments its bedded in well to my wrist and the watch is comfortable to wear all day. If it was my watch I'd probably change the strap. I have a grey/black distressed leather I think may suit it, but as its not my watch I didnt want to mess around and potentially mark the lugs changing straps. I also think it'd look great on a red zulu as someone mentioned previously.

The build quality seems good, the bezel rotates smoothly with definite clicks and the crown screws down nicely and despite its size doesnt interfere with daily wear. It also feels robust enough to use as a dive watch, which given the depth rating was I guess the idea. Most wont use it as such, & I didnt, so can only assume from previous experience, using various watches whilst diving, that it would be easy to use underwater. Certainly the bezel is grippy enough to rotate with gloves on and the dial clear enough to read underwater (date aside). I also love the engraved caseback - you hardly ever will see it, but its nice anyway. The curved lugs fit quite comfortably even on my relatively small wrists.

To accuracy - the movement was a little erratic at first and after the 1st week of wear it'd gained 30seconds. I reset it against timeis & this week it is now running at a 1second loss. When I received it the power reserve was depleted so I'm guessing that may have affected the first weeks figures. Either way its not horrific, for me in any case, and its improved the more I've worn it so I'd probably live with that. To get a true picture of accuracy youd have to wear it for a much longer period.

I've tried to get a lume shot but my photography skills are not great and the images were poor so you'll have to take my word for it that the tritium lume is good enough to read at night. The differing colours for hands, 12 oclock position and number indices are a nice touch. Its not as bright as my traser but bright enough to see in the dark should you need to.

The big question is would I buy it? The answer probably surprisingly is NO, but only because of the price. I think it is priced too high when compared to similar watches with the same movement. E.g Tauchmeister have the same movement & similar looks for 170-190euros. Granted I've not had one to compare with the Praetorian but it's the same movement and similar dimensions/appearance. I've no doubt Praetorian sell many of them and I do like the Signifer, but for £300 I could get a vintage Omega or similar. To me a more realistic cost would be around the £160- £180 mark. I'm probably doing Praetorian a diservice here for the work and build quality they've put into this and , but thats my gut feeling.

Thanks to Roy & Praetorian for the opporunity to try the Signifer. I've loved wearing it & will do til the end of the week. Just a bit pricey for me at its current price. Great watch though.

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