Ask any competent field general and they will tell you one thing: reliability is crucial to the successful execution of any strategy. The importance of technical proficiency in military applications and all kinds of outdoor crafts has always been well regarded. In fact, the watchmaking industry itself reacted to the need for synchronicity on the battlefield with the invention of the hacking seconds function, which, for the first time, applied a brake to the balance wheel, stopping the seconds hand from ticking whenever the crown was pulled out enabling to-the-second adjustment.
But what use is split-second synchronicity without split-second accuracy to boot? Tactical watches need to be reliable. They need to be accurate. That’s why, in the spirit of the A-11’s roots, Praesidus took the decision to offer a choice of movements designed with different consumers in mind.
For those concerned more with long-term reliability and extremely precise timing regardless of watch position or environmental conditions (so the rugged woodsmen or hunters among you), there is now a quartz option for the first time in the A-11’s esteemed history.
Quartz movements are very low-maintenance, often requiring little more attention than a battery change every few years (with simple watches like the three-handed, time-only A-11 running for several years on a single good-quality battery cell).
The Praesidus Origin A-11 utilizes the Swiss caliber 763 by quartz specialist Ronda. Ronda quartz movements are ubiquitous in the industry and have been employed by brands in every major price bracket. They are tough, reliable, and tested to extremes. Measuring just 15.30 by 17.80mm, this three-handed quartz module boasts five jewels and gold-plated bridges to protect against possible oxidization of the components.
The battery life of the Ronda 763 quartz movement is projected to be 40 months (three years and four months). This particular module takes a 364 battery, which is a common and readily available battery cell that most watch repairers will be familiar with. While your battery should always be changed by a professional with access to pressure testing tools to guarantee water resistance thereafter, it is possible to source these batteries oneself and cheaply (with each battery costing a couple of dollars).
When it comes to the automatic calibers used within the Praesidus Combat Editions in both 38 and 42mm models, and the 38 and 42mm A-11 Tom Rice editions, the Japanese-made NH35 caliber takes pride of place.
The NH35 is well-known and frequently relied upon automatic movement produced by a division of Seiko. The movement is 27.4mm wide and just 5.32mm thick. The balance wheel oscillates at 21,600 vibrations per hour. It has the aforementioned hacking function so it can be set to the second.
Thanks to its popularity, the NH35 is familiar to many watchmakers meaning you should not have trouble finding a capable craftsperson able to repair it should it suffer a critical injury out in the field. Knowing that you have a choice of such dependable calibers on your wrist and that both are easily serviced and maintained should give you the confidence to just grab your A-11, strap it on, and get down to the task at hand.