PRiSM Smart Metropolitan

PRiSM Watches of Geneva, Switzerland is about to launch Kickstarter pre-orders for their first model. This stylish automatic boasts a unique style in five variants: the Premium Rebellion (black or white dials in brushed stainless cases), and the Smart Metropolitan (black or white dials with black PVD cases and/or case elements). They let me test a Full Black Smart Metropolitan for this review.

Prism Smart Metropolitan Swiss automatic black

PRiSM’s founders are understandably proud of their Swiss heritage so it is no surprise that their watch is Swiss made. Its heart is a Sellita SW200-1. Based on the venerable ETA 2824 design this 28.8k bph automatic has 26 jewels, a 38-hour power reserve, 3 o’clock date display, and an engraved rotor visible through the Metropolitan’s sapphire exhibition window. 

Prism Smart Metropolitan Swiss automatic black back

A mix of brushed and polished surfaces complements the large 44mm case. I found the glossy accents on the tops of the lugs and slim side edges of the bezel and case back to be particularly appealing on this blacked-out model. It has a flat sapphire crystal and a push-pull crown. Water resistance is a modest 30m, a sign that the watch is intended more for fashion than sport.

Prism Smart Metropolitan Swiss automatic black

From a modest peaked bulge of a guard rises the PRiSM’s most striking element, a 12-faceted, diamond-shaped crown. If a Cartier turned evil and wanted to stab you, the PRiSM’s crown might be its weapon of choice. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it is certainly distinctive and it mirrors the brand’s crystal logo. Pointy ends notwithstanding, it was perfectly comfortable on my wrist. Everyone wears their watch a little differently, but I never found it anywhere approaching poking distance of the back of my hand. On the other hand, it felt awkward to use as its broadest part is positioned closest to the case.

Prism Smart Metropolitan Swiss automatic black crown

Turning to the dial, we find the 12 facets repeated on its surface, creating an intriguing display as it catches the light. All markers are cut away, even the minute track, revealing a bright SuperLuminova layer below. I’m a sucker for sandwich dials and this one is no exception. The combination of the depth with the reflections is quite satisfying. One interesting choice was the way they used three dots at 3 o’clock. It makes sense as there is no room for a matching numeral and too much space between the date and the minute track to leave it empty, but it also makes me wonder if the dial would have made more sense if the watch were a couple millimeters smaller and the date window could have filled that space on its own.

Prism Smart Metropolitan Swiss automatic black lume

In dress watch fashion, they went with polished and faceted dauphine hands but added a sliver of lume on each. Polished hands on a dark dial tend to become invisible in the wrong light so the channel of white lume is a welcome touch. The second hand has an open spear tip and provides the only pop of color, bright blue on this Smart Metropolitan, green on the Premium Rebellion.

Prism Smart Metropolitan Swiss automatic black wrist

My biggest complaint is its logotype; wildly stylized with the image of a crystal serving as the “i” in PRiSM, it is too large and very dated. In fact, it is strikingly similar to the typeface used on the 1982 album “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. It’s not quite old enough to be charming, and even if it was, it is in the wrong context. That said, I am of a generation that remembers the 80’s all too well. Someone in their 20’s may very well view it in a very different light.
The strap is 22mm black leather with minimal white stitching tapering to a 20mm signed buckle. As I expected, the 44mm wide, 52mm long PRiSM looked large on my 6.75” wrist. This is not out of line for a modern sports watch, but while the Smart Metropolitan has some sporty aspects, it lacks tool watch utility. This one is really more about weekend style.

Prism Smart Metropolitan Swiss automatic black strap

The PRiSM Kickstarter campaign is expected to launch May 1 with Early Bird prices starting as low as 495 CHF ($486 USD). Full retail after the campaign will be 990 CHF ($970 USD). If you find the Smart Metropolitan fits your fashion sense, head over to PrismWatches.com for information and announcements. [Update: the Kickstarter campaign is live: http://bit.ly/PRiSM-Kickstarter.]


Prism Smart Metropolitan Swiss automatic black side

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