ERA Prometheus Review - Can $1499 Really Buy You A Millionaire Watch?
After raising $1.1 million USD by promising to deliver a certified millionaire timepiece for $1499, I had to see whether this watch could really live up to the hype.
Tourbillon, Luxury Watches
Monday, February 11th, 2019
I was scrolling through my Instagram feed one day when a post caught my eye.
It talked about how a company had managed to create a certified millionaire timepiece for just $1499.
At first I was ready to dismiss it as crazy talk, but then I looked closer at the video -- and sure enough, there was a bona-fide Tourbillon in it.
It's unmistakable when you look at it. It's one of the most mesmerizing complications to look at, and part of the reason why this mechanism usually costs a couple hundred grand in most watches.
Could this be real? I knew I had to dig deeper.
So I watched their video below for their watch called the ERA Prometheus:
I have to admit, I'm getting excited.
The chance to own the holy grail of watches for basically the cost of a new iPhone is too exciting to pass up.
Before I was ready to pull out my credit card though, I knew I had to do more research first.
What Are Others Saying About The ERA Promtheus?
Since I didn't know anything about the watch or the company, I wanted to see if there was any chatter about them online yet.
The first thing I found was a photo of undefeated and undisputed WBA Super Bantemweight World Champion Ryan Burnett wearing the Titan edition at his title defense press conference.
I also saw they had professional footbal (NFL) players and professional soccer players psyched about their watches:
Since this new watch brand just launched on crowdfunding, they obviously don't have the money to pay these world-class athletes sponsorship deals.
What that means is these people mean what they're saying, because they certainly aren't being paid to say that.
I also found famed Esquire watch reviewer Steve Huyton's positive review of the ERA Prometheus.
Writing for such a prestigious men's publication and also having a published book on ultra luxurious watches, I'd say his opinion obviously carries some weight.
Is ERA Timepieces Capable of Pulling This Off?
OK so it's not just me that thinks that what ERA is trying to do is a great idea.
And yeah -- of course getting a millionaire watch for only $1499 is amazing, but is it even possible? Would this company even be able to deliver on their promise?
After some more research, I saw that ERA Timepieces started their project in September of 2018 and raised $768K USD on Kickstarter and $1.1 Million USD on Indiegogo for their low-cost Tourbillon watch.
Apparently, both of these are records, as that number makes them the most successful mechanical watch project on Kickstarter from New York City ever, and the most successful mechanical watch project on Indiegogo ever period.
Considering the sheer number of watches that have been launched on both those sites, it's clear they are onto something major, and with that money they definitely have the funding to deliver on their promise.
But everyone knows that many of these projects overpromise and then under-deliver. So I wanted to see what people who actually backed the project were saying since they all have received their watches now.
I looked at the first few pages of comments and it seems like the creator of ERA Timepieces, Michael Galarza, is extremely attentive and active in the comments. Many backers seem to have said that this is the most professionally run Kickstarter they've ever been a part of, and there is no shortage of people who say he has gone above and beyond for them personally, and that he personally responds to all tickets himself within a few hours.
Here are a few random comments I screenshotted:
It seems Michael has already delivered all the watches to all the backers in seemingly record time, and everyone is gushing over how much they love their watch in the comments.
This was good enough for me. I figured if I didn't like it, I could simply return it, as they have a 60 day return policy on it anyway.
So with that, I placed my order and waited for my watch to arrive... and about 1 week ago, I finally received it.
1 What Happened When I Received My ERA Prometheus
The Prometheus came extremely well padded and packaged. It looks like they created an air-bumper type of protective cover for the watch. It perfectly hugs the inner Black ERA box and my unit arrived with no visible damage anywhere.
My initial impression of the opening of the box is simply stunning. Right when you open up the box, you see a thick hand-stamped wax seal on top of the Art Nouveau checked wrapping paper with the Prometheus Torch and ERA logo. I've bought Audemars, Hublots, Rolexes, and Pateks and NONE of them come with a presentation like this:
2 Does It Perform Like A Millionaire Watch?
Being an avid watch collector, the first thing I did was set the Prometheus in my trusty Timegrapher, to see how its performance measured up to watches 100X more expensive:
I am simply SPEECHLESS.
At a ridiculous +2.1 s/d, this is nearly 2X more accurate than COSC specs, and nearly 5X more accurate than their own given "worst case" rating of +/- 10 s/d.
3 Hornback Leather Croc Strap Comparison
Hornback leather is my personal favorite material of choice on straps. I put my $575 Audemars Piguet Hornback Croc strap next to the Prometheus strap to compare them.
My AP strap is about 4 years old, and it's a nice, rich texture now that it has gotten extensive wear and has fully broken in. If you look at the stitching and the overall quality of the two straps, they're both quite similar in quality.
The Prometheus strap feels almost exactly like my AP strap did when I first got it. It's a little stiff as it should be since it's new, but I think once it breaks in, it'll feel just as good.
4 Review On The Wrist
So the watch is 44mm which is usually feels a bit large for my wrists, but because it's so thin, it actually feels and fits perfect on my wrist.
In the 1 week I've been wearing it so far, I've had 6 different people who came commented on how special my watch looks. Most of them weren't even into watches, but thought that my watch jumped out and looked expensive.
That's significant because in my years of wearing Audemars, Hublots, and Pateks, I've only had a handful of people TOTAL ever comment on my watch, and usually they were people who had the same watch as me or were also fellow watch nerds.
It's clear that to both the trained and untrained eye, this watch looks every part a "millionaire" watch and catches people's attention.
5 What I Didn't Like
ERA did a great job with a lot of things, but there were certainly things they could've done better. The biggest thing to me is the time it takes to get your watch. As of right now, their watches are around 2 weeks after you order so that's much longer than you usually have to wait for a watch.
Of course, due to the handmade nature of the product you're getting, along with the dirt cheap price it's at, I guess it's not really a surprise that there's a wait to get one.
I also wish the watch was automatic so I could store it in one of my watch winders for storage, but so far the watch hasn't left my wrist so it's not a huge deal. I see on the updates that Michael has said all future ERA's will all be automatic, so it's clear he's in tune with what his customers want.
So, is it worth it?
The goal of this review was to see firsthand whether this watch could live up to its bold and crazy claims of replicating a millionaire timepiece experience at just $1499.
I think no matter which way you look at it, the answer unequivocally has to be a resounding YES.
From the crazy COSC-spec performance to the fine details in both the watch and packaging, I have to say this watch seriously puts your average Rolex, Omega, or Breitling to shame, despite being 1/4th the price.
Whether you want a millionaire watch because you want others to notice your expensive watch, or because you love horology and the magic of owning a true mechanical masterpiece, the ERA Prometheus checks every box.
Whether you're a seasoned watch collector like me or just getting started, I don't think you can go wrong with picking up the ERA Prometheus as your next watch.
It's worth the wait.
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