5.9.2022 | 6 MIN
I'm sure that over at Prim, they wouldn't want to hear my first thoughts about the Prim Aviator 2022 limited edition. I wondered if they happened to make a mistake. Did the designers get out of hand and did the watchmakers accidentally pile up the wrong components. It was liberating to look at them with distance and without over-enthusiasm.
From the name Aviator, it is clear where these Prims want to be placed. If all manufacturers were based on pilot watch icons, they would probably all be like the Zenith Type 20 or Big Pilot's from IWC. But it takes courage to come up with a design that is only yours, at least a little unusual, interesting in details and in a number that not everyone can achieve. And not everyone can do it.
And after a few days of these Pims being stuck in my head (and on the table), I came to this conclusion. What attracts attention is their original concept, the unquestionable characteristics of the pilots and their Czech background.
While the visualizations of the watch will leave anyone unmoved, the watch looks much more attractive on the wrist. In short, this watch does not belong in a display cabinet, but straight on the hand. Prim designed them for all airplane enthusiasts and as a tribute to the Czechoslovak Air Force.
In short, this watch does not belong in a display cabinet, but on the hand. Prim designed them for all airplane enthusiasts and as a tribute to the Czechoslovak Air Force.
The movement is Swiss and the watches were assembled by watchmakers directly in Primo in Frýdek-Místek. It is a numbered limited edition of 50 pieces of each color and will be available from August 2022 in white-blue and brown-black variants.
The white version is quite provocative for me. A truly white dial, the filling of the hands and numbers selected in light blue, and a darker blue on the bezel and strap. First impression? Children's watch transferred to a 41mm case. Second impression? When was the last time I saw a design like this? When was the last time cold colors managed to warm me up this much visually-wise? I do not remember.
Considering the focus of the watch, however, the brown-black version definitely resonated with me more. It seems pleasantly boyish, resolute. You just know that you have real male pilots in front of you. The case is in a black PVD finish, but the bezel remains in silver. It doesn't look too gloomy, and thanks to this, the bezel doesn't completely drown in the rest of the case.
The bezel is unidirectional rotatable (counter-clockwise) with a minute scale. Usually more a matter of diving watches, but here the intention was to add the possibility to measure the time in a simple and quick way. For example, if you know that a half tank will last you a certain amount of time, you can set that time on the bezel. Just like divers who keep track of how long they are underwater and how much oxygen they have.
Regardless of the use, the minute scale has always given a sportier feel to a watch, and that's the case here as well. Although from the photos I had the impression that it was thinner than it should be, in reality this impression disappeared, because the main attention turns to the dial. It is very comfortable to handle and there is no excess play, no unwanted wobble. The material is ceramic, i.e. a highly scratch-resistant material that retains its colors.
They looked for inspiration for the new Aviator in the design of the on-board clock.
I felt just as good about the crown, which is screw-on (the watch has 100-meter water resistance) and there were no unpleasant surprises waiting for me in the form of a loose crown. If there's something I really don't like about watches, it's when you set the minute hand and everything is so wobbly that it seems impossible to set the exact time. Here, however, where you leave the minute hand, it will remain there after inserting the crown. And that's the way it should be.
The back case is screw-on, with Czech information about the glass, water resistance and limited edition number. One of the other details that caught my eye is the silhouette of the plane on the sapphire case-back. It's a small detail, but I believe it will please aviation enthusiasts. As well as seeing the movement working inside.
Here, Prim decided to go for something more premium than what we know from regular production. The Swiss Made Sellita SW-290-1 is based on the well-known Sellita SW-200 (practically the counterpart of the ETA 2824-2), but it has received several interesting parameters.
I personally appreciate the silence of the machine, including the movement of the rotor. In addition, considering the 31 rock bearings and the frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per minute, I quite believe in the high accuracy of this Swiss machine. He will definitely want to test it again, but the 4 Hz frequency will please everyone who likes to observe the smooth movement of the second hand.
Although here it is placed off-center and that is another less common solution - it is at nine o'clock. It complements the design cross intersecting the dial. On the opposite side, you can see the date ring, which has a continuous quick setting.
And everything is complemented by unusually large Arabic numerals and dynamically selected hands in the shape of a sword. One can definitely talk about perfect readability here. The dial is protected by a curved sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. And regardless of the viewing angle, the last thing I would really have a problem with this watch was legibility.
Luminescence in the brown-black variant.
This also applies to poor lighting conditions. For both variants, Prim chose luminescence not only on all hour indexes and hands (except the seconds), but also on the bezel. The intention for pilots to see the time even at night? Certainly, but I believe that these pilots will be worn more outside the cockpit and will please everyone who enjoys night lumi-glow.
Luminescence in the white-blue variant.
The bezel and hands glow more intensely than the indexes, but the time was easily and immediately recognizable. I haven't had the chance to test the durability of the Lumia yet, but I think it deserves to compete with the competition in a similar price group.
The last element is the strap. It is different for both variants. In blue-white, it is softer, without more pronounced stitching. In brown-black, it is more robust, with distinctive, rustic (and very uniform) stitching. But don't look for any speed rails, both are attached to the case with honest screws. The buckle is steel with the Prim logo.
Despite the strength and thickness of the strap, it is pleasantly soft, pliable and fits beautifully on the wrist. This is also not exactly a common practice of some manufacturers, when you are not really sure whether the leather will succumb to your wrists and finally stop squeaking.
Overall, I rate the Prim Aviator Automatic 2022 a bit mixed. On the one hand, there is a design here that would not make my chin drop in awe, on the other hand, it is something really new and fresh after a long time.
Design navržený přímo designérským týmem Primu, který okamžitě vzbudí pozornost okolí. S materiály i zpracováním si dali záležet. (Ještě aby ne, prémiovosti odpovídá i cena hodinek.) Keramická luneta, šroubovací komponenty, antireflexní safírové sklíčko, ocelové pouzdro a řemínek z poctivé kůže. Nikde nic nevrže, neskřípe, neviklá se. Ano, tohle by mělo být standardem, ale víte dobře, že bohužel není.
Inside is a Swiss movement, which they probably chose not only because of the quality, but also the interestingly arranged off-center hand with the date.
In terms of size, these are not giants that are difficult to wear, but reasonably large watches that have one incredibly strong feature - excellent legibility. To this we can add that it is a Czech limited edition of 50 pieces of each color and you are clear. For lovers of pilot-style watches who already have their dream pieces at home and are looking for something new - the Prim Aviator 2022 is for them.