There’s no question about it, the 60s and 70s were a fabulous time for design in watchmaking and the automotive industry. Race cars were dangerous and raw with jaw-dropping style that modern electronics and computer engineered body work just can’t compete with. Similarly, brands like Breitling and Heuer were creating sporty chronographs that wowed everyone.
It is this melting pot of nostalgic design that Indonesian microbrand Soldat have used to create the Promessa, a chronograph available in a trio of colourways.
The name Promessa comes from the Italian word for promise, hinting at the brand’s dedication to creating stylish, sporty and well-made watches. All three versions of the Promessa have 40mm diameter stainless steel cases with a brushed finished and a polished crown with two pushers. It’s a relatively simple design that really lets the dial do all the talking, which is no bad thing.
It has a tricompax layout featuring a small seconds subdial at 3 o’clock and a 30-minute timer at 9 both picked out against a white background, while the 12-hour timer at 6 o’clock is set on the base colour of the dial. Speaking of which, you have three to choose from: Red Comet, True Blue and Green Forty Nine, each finished with sunray brushing. The colours are inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO, Lancia Stratos and Lotus 49, providing further 60s nostalgia.
While Soldat may be based in Jakarta, their watches are manufactured entirely in Japan, which is arguably the second most venerable site of international watchmaking after Switzerland. Housed inside the Promessa is the Japanese SII NE88 Automatic chronograph movement from Seiko, a solid and accessible calibre with a 45-hour power reserve and the weight of Seiko’s engineers behind it.
The Green Forty Nine and True Blue are both offered on calf leather straps of matching colours while the Red Comet comes on a NATO strap. That means the red version has a price tag of $1,150 while the other two are a fraction more at $1,250 (approx. £840/£910).
Price & Specs:
Model: Soldat Promessa
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter x 50mm height, stainless steel, red, blue or green dial
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Calibre SII NE-88, automatic, 35 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 45h
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, chronograph (measures up to 30 minutes and 12 hours)
Strap: NATO style red and white nylon (Red Comet) and blue or green calf leather (True Blue and Green Forty Nine)
Price/availability: $1,150 (approx. £832) (Red Comet) and $1,250 (approx. £904) (True Blue and Green Forty Nine), limited to 100 pieces each
More details at Soldat Watch.