REVIEW: Eza Watches 1972 reissue
(if you want to read the full article on the original website including all the pictures, please click here.
Occasionally, I get the opportunity to review something special and other times I am entirely surprised by the review subject. In this case, it is both! I had been in contact with Eza Watches for some time, several months in fact, and when they were finally ready, I was asked a question. Blue or black?
Almost by instinct, I chose blue, but I was not entirely sure which model they would be sending me. I knew it was something new, not yet released, but was it going to be the 1972 re-issue or something else? If it was the 1972, would it be the modern 39.5mm version or the faithful 35.8mm Limited Edition version?
Couple of weeks went by and just after the holidays I received it! The new modern version of 1972 re-issue with blue dial! I was immediately struck by the case proportions! It was a long, long time since I have worn a watch that is so thin. I am no stranger to vintage re-issue watches and have owned many. From the Doxa re-issue in 2001 (which I was a part of) to the massive Aquadive Bathyscaphe 300 I reviewed here.
I was immediately smitten. Just like today’s trend of watches finally coming down in size, I was ready. Three years ago, I would not have even considered a watch under 42mm. Now? It is perfect! Last summer I went from a massive 44mm Breitling Chronomat to a 40mm Omega Railmaster. When I first received the Railmaster, I thought I was out of my mind. You know what? I freakin’ loved it!
The size was perfect. It was incredibly comfortable and boy, did it keep good time. Unfortunately, I was the victim of an Icelandic scammer and despite retrieving my beloved Omega, I could not help be feel deceived every time I looked at it. At any rate, I have moved on and right now, this Eza 1972 modern re-issue is hitting the sweet spot!
The inspiration for this watch comes from the original Eza skin diver from 1972. The one I will be reviewing shares all of the design cues, but with all of today’s manufacturing capabilities. I cannot wait to share all the details with you, so let’s dive on in! (pun wholeheartedly intended)
The stainless-steel case is, as previously mentioned, is 39.5mm in diameter and an incredibly slim at just a fraction under 12mm. This includes a gorgeous sapphire box crystal, which stands above the bezel. So, the actual steel profile is roughly 10mm. Outstanding and once strapped to the wrist, it can slide under any cuff with ease. The lug to lug measurement is just about 50mm lug to lug, which means even the smallest writs can pull it off, but it is not too small for the big dudes out there.
The entire case is polished, as were most watches back in the day and the screw-down case back has a sweet skin diver engraving. Not something very deep or ornate like the hippocampus on my Railmaster, but exactly how case backs were engraved in 1072. One of the details I like most is the straight lines between the lugs. This means any strap can fit flush against the case, leaving no gaps, similar to what Breitling does with many of their models.
Hard to believe a skin-diver this size can be water-resistant to 200m, but that is indeed the rating! I am thoroughly impressed. Just like the case back, the crown screws down and is engraved with the Eza “E”. The crown is easy to use, plenty grippy and winds, sets, as well as screws back down without a hitch. All in all a very well made case.
BEZEL & DIAL
The unidirectional bezel offers just the right amount of resistance to turn and has barely any play. It is easy to grip, thanks to the coin edge and if all of this is not enough, the insert is ceramic, as well as partially lumed! Talk about using the latest material and technology? Nice!
The aforementioned sapphire box crystal is coated for anti-reflections and offers just enough vintage flair to be appropriate for the design. The dial itself is a complete throw back to the 70s. With rounded and polished applied markers, with red accents. The writing is kept to a bare minimum and is incredibly small. In fact, I can barely read the text at 6 o’clock. Mind you, I am no longer the young whippersnapper I used to be!
Speaking of small writing. There is something I do have to pick a nit at. The font on the date wheel is amazingly tiny. Now, I do not mind the text on the dial being small, but the date is a feature I use daily and I am having a difficult time with this one. I have a hunch that they made the date wheels in a large batch to accommodate both 1972 re-issue sizes and perhaps a standard date size would have looked out of place on the 35mm model? That is my guess.
Unlike the date font, the hands are perfectly sized and work flawlessly with the design. Just like the bezel, they are generously lumed and last all through the night until morning. The entire look and design screams 1970s and as a one that lived through that, I cannot help but have a feelings of nostalgia when looking down at my wrist.
After all of these years, what has not been said about the ETA2824? I cannot even count how many watches I have owned with this workhorse movement inside. From my Breitling SuperOceans and Seawolfs to countless Ball watches and so many others. It is a fantastic, rugged, accurate and now, extremely coveted movement.
In a world of abundant microbrands it is great to see Eza going the extra mile and putting a tried and true Swiss movement into their reissue 1972. Not that there is anything wrong with many of the Japanese alternatives. Personally, I like the Miyota 9015, BUT, if this is to be a reissue, it should have a Swiss movement, just like the original.
Kudos to Eza for not cutting corners!
I am not going to go into multiple details about this movement as I have so many times before and frankly, others have done so with even more detail. I recommend googling ETA2824 if you need to read up on it. Meanwhile, what I can do is tell you mine was a consistent +6 seconds / day, when worn 24/7 and that is for a period of several weeks. Excellent performance.
BRACELET / STRAP
The 1972 came on a silicone style tropic strap, which picked up lint, hairs (we have cats) and dust like a powerful magnet. I quickly changed it to a grey leather strap I happened to have lying around. I found it incredible comfortable to the leather and the color went so well with the dial.
Shortly after, I found a cheap 30$ stainless-steel mesh strap on Amazon and true to form, the next day I had a new bracelet for the 1972. Boy did it ever work well! It was thin, supple and fit the vintage part so well. I think I may have had a Timex on a similar strap back in 1979! LOL…
I believe the package will now come with a beautiful leather strap, with white stitching and the silicone option. I think this is a great combination and should be good for those that a strap for every day and another for when water sports are around the corner. That said, the straight space between the lugs makes it such a fun watch to try different options.
I have always loved vintage designs, especially as a child of the 70s and 80s, BUT, I do not have the fortitude to actually acquire vintage watches. I like watches that keep good time. I like knowing that my watch is solid and water / dust resistant. I like having a warrantee and best of all, I like knowing that if something does go wrong, parts are readily available.
This Eza reissue is the best of both worlds! All the incredible charm of a 1970s skin-diver, but with a sapphire crystal, a ceramic bezel and a modern ETA 2824 movement. It does not get much better than this. Not to mention, the size and how unbelievably wearable it is.
Now, there is one detail I have not mentioned yet. How expensive is the Eza 1972 reissue? Well, would you believe that it is under 800$? And right now, it can even be pre-ordered for under 700$! In fact, it is being offered for only 659$!!! That price seems almost too good to be true. It is also my understanding that shipping should start as early as March, which is coming right up!
If like me, you love the vintage look, but do not want to give up contemporary benefits, than the Eza 1972 reissue just may be the watch for you!
Thank you for reading,