A few years ago Praesidus Watch provided me its A-11 Combat watch to review. While I liked the watch, I found its 32mm size too small for my taste. The size was authentic to the original, but I'm used to wearing larger watches. Thus when Praesidus offered to provide me with another review watch, I was interested in trying something more in my wheelhouse. The A-11 Type 44 is available in a 38mm version, which is more in my wheelhouse. It also packs a Swiss mechanical movement. I elected to go with the White version shown here, rather than the Patina model.
Praesidus A-11 Type 44 First Impressions
As expected, I found that the case size of the Type 44 better suits my tastes. I also prefer the crisp white markers and hand designs over the Combat. It didn't lose any of the charm, however, and still makes me feel like I'm wearing an authentic military watch from the 1940s (albeit in perfect condition).
Wearing the Praesidus A-11 Type 44
While it doesn't completely disappear on the wrist, the 38mm A-11 is still quite comfortable.
At 13mm thick, it isn't extremely thin, but a lot of the thickness lies in the boxed acrylic crystal. The sloped coin-edged slims out the case visually even more, and a flat caseback allows it to sit flush on the wrist.
The larger size also makes an already legible watch even easier to read. Crisp white hour numerals and distinct minute hash marks make it easy to check the time.
The domed crystal creates a fun distortion when viewed at an angle, but it's still easy to read the time.
Although the lume isn't the brightest, it does the job, and the watch is quite legible in the dark. I like how all of the markers and hands are coated in it as well.
Praesidus A-11 Type 44 Details
The case on the Type 44 is fully polished. While it's not high-end finishing, it's appropriate for the design brief.
The coin-edge bezel provides the main visual interest of the case.
Although the included strap and bracelet are quick-release, Praesidus still drills the lugs. It's a nice touch for owners as this will likely be a popular watch for pass-through straps.
The polished crown is unsigned like the dial. I appreciate the restraint used here to avoid advertising the brand on the outside of the watch as it makes it feel more authentic.
The hour and minute hands of this version are frameless, while the second hand is fully polished. Both the minute and second hand are curved down towards the dial. This provides clearance, and also a nice vintage touch.
Praesidus A-11 Type 44 Strap and Bracelet
The A-11 Type 44 has a few different strap options. One of the standard options is the green canvas strap shown here. It's fairly comfortable and features a soft leather backing to avoid skin irritation from the canvas.
The strap feels and looks appropriate for the vintage military vibe. It fit me just fine, but my 7.25" wrist was on the smallest hole. Anyone with a smaller wrist would likely require a different strap unless they liked to wear their watch loose. Luckily it has 20mm lugs, so any of your favorite strap suppliers should have good options. :)
Praesidus also provided its quick-release bonklip bracelet. This provides an alternate look and feel that is still authentic to an A-11 watch.
The bonklip looks like it would be a major hair puller (something to which I am susceptible), but it was quite comfortable, and never tugged at my arm hair.
It's quick and easy to install and can be easily adjusted on the fly due to its unique clasp design. While I prefer the look on the strap, I found myself wearing it more than I expected.
Praesidus A-11 Type 44 Movement
This version of the A-11 is powered by a Swiss Soprod P024. It's a 2824-based movement, but the automatic winding mechanism has been removed. This gives it a more authentic feel being manual wind and likely allowed them to make it thinner.
Normally manual wind watches have a stop mechanism to let you know when they are fully wound. Because that is an automatic movement originally, that is not present. It threw me off when I first started winding it, but doesn't cause any issues.
The majority of the Praesidus is filled with very authentic vintage military-inspired watches. The A-11 Type 44 sticks to that same strategy, but improves a number of things over the Combat version.
At over $500, it is quite a bit more expensive. It does pack a Swiss movement and is also American-assembled. I'm also not aware of another brand with such an authentic military aesthetic. If that appeals to you, Praesidus is worth checking out. To learn more, you can visit the website here.
Name: Praesidus A-11 Type 44 White
Price: $555/$595 (strap/bracelet)
Lug Width: 20mm
Movement: Soprod P024 Manual Wind
Power Reserve: 38 hours
Water Resistance: 100m
Crystal: Double Dome Acrylic Glass w/ AR Coating
Bezel: Fixed, stainless steel
Strap/Bracelet: Green canvas and stainless steel bonklip