We’ve been following EZA ever since their re-launch a few years ago. Whenever we have the chance, we catch up while enjoying a beer (or two) in my hometown Rotterdam or in Switzerland. Last week we had one of those moments and they had something exciting to share. While catching up they opened a watch roll on the bar (labelled Monday to Friday) and pulled out their new model, the EZA 1972.
The EZA 1972 is a completely new model which follows the Sealander and Airfighter models. We’ve covered those in the past and for those who aren’t familiar with them, make sure to check our earlier write-ups about EZA. This new 1972 brings EZA back to its roots. Where the first models merely carry the historic name of the watch brand that was founded in Pforzheim, these new models are a re-issues of original models. And you can tell right away from the design that these are from the ’70s. With these new models, EZA also makes a shift in their collections by naming them vintage and contemporary.
EZA is always looking for original watches and after a long search, they acquired a NOS timepiece. They found it on the other side of the globe, in Australia. Together with a friend, and collector, they also found two original dial colours which were used on this timepiece. Black and blue. The fun part is that EZA decided to do an exact re-edition of the original version. That means in the size that was common back in the days. Due to the fact that 36mm is considered rather small nowadays, a modern variant is launched at the same time in 39,5mm.
The re-edition in 35,8mm comes in a stainless steel case which has a domed plexiglass fitted. And from the first look, you can see where it comes from. This watch clearly breathes the ‘70s and it’s rather fun. From the cushion-shaped case with its integrated lugs to the fully synthetic uni-directional bezel. And then the dial with its remarkable hour markers. Available both in blue and black with applied hour markers in stainless steel. The small version is limited to 100 pieces in each version with the blue and black dial.
Inside the EZA 1972 beats the automatic ETA 2824-2 calibre which is adjusted to six positions by EZA. Fitting this movement into the small case was quite a challenge. It was a nice one from a watchmakers’ perspective according to Adriaan who is the owner of the brand. He also said that the watch is very thin due to the case design. And the slim case is one of the beauties of these re-issues. For the small version, you rather expect it to be thin anyway. Yet the modern version is where it really stands out. All of the watches come with both an Italian leather strap and one of those iconic Tropic straps. Each of them with an EZA branded buckle.
For the modern interpretation, a version in a modest 39,6mm is also presented. From lug to lug it measures 50mm and it only adds 11,95mm to the wrist. And from the side, it looks thin, very thin. The case design is still spot-on despite adapting the sizing of today. Quite frankly, some re-issues by other brands failed miserably due to massive cases used for their vintage ‘inspired’ watches. This watch is so close to the original and that’s one reason why it turned out great. Unlike the small version, it will be part of the standard collection next to the models in the ‘contemporary collection’.
There are a few differences between the models. Where the small version is only waterproof up to 3 ATM, like the original. The 39,6 mm version is waterproof up to 20 ATM, or 200 meters. To achieve this it comes with a domed sapphire and screw-down crown. The crown on the small version simply pulls away from the case to set the date and time. Another difference is the bezel on the larger model which is made in steel with a ceramic insert and has luminous markers. With a minimal change to the original design, the most noticeable difference is the date window which is slightly larger. This gives a clearer view of the numbers. And honestly, it also makes a better-balanced design of the dial compared to the original ‘70s version. Due to technical reasons, the bezel is also slightly wider.
Our first impression is a good one. It’s great to see a re-issue from the (true) heritage of EZA which is also the first model in their “Vintage Collection”. At the usual price setting of EZA, you can’t really go wrong. Their watches retail between 659 and 839 USD (+VAT if applicable) and the 1972 blends right in at 759 USD. For those interested in the EZA 1972, it can be pre-ordered at the reduced price of 659 USD (+VAT if applicable) until the end of February. The first deliveries are planned for March 2020. Whether it is something for you is purely a thing of taste. But as mentioned before, the original look of this watch still appeals today which is clearly a thing of good design.