Praesto GMT Watch Review

Praesto GMT Watch Review

Say hello to the Praesto GMT. We quite liked the Praesto Aviator, and now they've got a GMT watch for us to review. Built on the Shanghai RK4D movement (aka 'Shanghai B'), the GMT is the second watch for the Praesto brand. Praesto is a spin-off effort from the folks at Giovino, who after years of making watches for other people decided to start their own brand. Bravo!

At 48.2mm by 15.8mm, the GMT is large, though with a 24 by 4mm band and 140g mass it still sits well on the wrist. The PVD case and black dial reduce the apparent size a bit, though if you really want subtlety I'd replace the strap with a plain black calfskin.

Case is 316L, PVD plated. Their site claims 45mm but my calipers find it larger, 48mm not counting the crown. This is a pre-production unit, which is why you see a non-coated crystal; the release version will have double-sided, AR-coated sapphire. Water resistance is a versatile 100m with the screw-down crown. Functions include time, 24-hour hand and date. Quickset, handwind and hacking movement with 35 jewels and 42 hour power reserve. As you can see, the hands and dial have generous amounts of SuperLuminova:

The aviation-style hands are very legible indeed, high contrast against the dial and just the right length to not block the 24-hour hand. Though the end of the second hand is painted black; I don't see why as that is quite hard to discern against the dial.

The strap is quite nice, at 4mm thick nicely robust but having enough flex to be immediately comfortable. I'm not as fond of the oversized 'pre-V' buckle style, but it is the same as the Aviator model.

A nice exhibition caseback, showing the PVD'd rotor and movement.

It sits quite well on the wrist, very comfortable.

The case finish is quite good, smooth and even, with a semi-gloss that's somewhere between matte and shiny.

Timekeeping has been fantastic, within 5 seconds a day, and I am most impressed by it. Lume lasts well into the night and my only caveat is that the GMT movement is the home-centric variety, where the 24-hour hand is continuously set, instead of the jumping-hour variety seen in Rolex and Omega. One of these days there'll be a Chinese movement with that, too, I predict; until then this will suffice.

Interestingly, the crown wheel is eccentric, so it puts on a show when you hand wind it. Not that any non-movement-geek will care, of course! Basic, functional finish on the movement, nothing fancy here.

Now that we've discussed the watch, take a guess at cost. The Praesto Aviator is, for comparison purposes, $527 in the PVD version.

(Oh yeah, I should mention that there are orange, blue and black dialled versions available, all in PVD cases.)

The pre-order price is a stunning $180, full list $250. That is one heck of a deal. They describe it as 'The most affordable GMT ever" and if you exclude quartz that's probably not far from the truth. Highly recommended.

  • Kris C.

    While this colour combo does not do it for me, it comes in option, and there must be one that I’m in for – at that pre-order price, how can you say no?

    I really like the chapter ring – it has so much to say without bugging you about it. And that lume shot is awesome.

    I’ll have one in the collection shortly,

  • Chris

    Cool, a boutique watch brand that I have never heard of…seems like once a week one gets to discover a new one. $180 is certainly a good price for just about any GMT watch – so I went over the site to see what was there. I had to look around for a while before I found product information and the purchasing area. I am liking the blue dial but hesitating since the delivery date is not known. I have a Remora on order at Benarus that I have been waiting for since the summer – preordering is torture. It’s almost better to find another watch to buy.

  • Will

    Maybe its simply the stigma of Chinese movements, but that’s the only off putting thing about this watch. I enjoy the styling and overall look of the case, and I appreciate the simple but well designed rotor.

    I’m not too familiar with Shanghai movements, how do they compare to other entry level movements?


    The Asians (Chinese in this instance), are producing better quality products across the boards. This includes knives, cars, watches, electronix, etc. I believe Mr. Adams positively reviewed a chinese tourbillon not too long ago, retailing for under 10K.

  • Peter Bruins

    The Asians (Chinese in this instance), are producing better quality products across the boards. This includes knives, cars….

    Cars? Seen any Chinese car crash tests lately?

  • Paul Muscroft

    I love the look of this watch. I also love GMT watches and this movement – although not perfect is great for the price. Are the photo’s preproduction? If this is the production watch then there is one big problem with the chapter ring as Greenwich is in London not Paris. The 24 should be on London. Unless I am missing something I have a horrible feeling they are all wrong.

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  • A. Steinberg

    This is a very neet watch for the price. Recognition of a Chinese movement that is and accurate copy of a well respected Swiss movement. I must have one.

  • A. Steinberg

    This is a very neet watch for the price. Recognition of a Chinese movement that is and accurate copy of a well respected Swiss movement.

  • Francis J.

    Hi Ariel,

    Actually the “sliding” non-incremental 24 hand is not such a bad thing. After all, several timezones are off Greenwich time by halves or quarters of an hour:

    French Polynesia -9h30, Venezuela -4h30, Newfoundland -3h30, Iran +3h30, Afghanistan +4h30, India +5h30, Nepal +5h45, Burma +6h30…

    Unlike the rest of incremental 24h watches, this Praseto has the benefit of allowing to display odd timezones as well.

  • mattsh

    Hoo Woo! Pre-order orders came via email and I am shot them my $ for the black PVD with orange strap, just like this one. With shipping from China, I hope I get within 2 weeks. Great looking watch, great looking deal.

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