According to Greek mythology, Prometheus was a Titan that ruled with others in the Golden Age. Famous for stealing fire from Zeus and giving it back to the mortals, Prometheus was sentenced to an eternal punishment and daily torture. None of this really applies to the world of Indie watch brands except that Prometheus is also the name of a watch manufacturer. The boutique dive watch market has exploded in the past few years to bring you countless and varied options for your next automatic dive watch. Among the fray is Prometheus watches and they recently created a new 1000m dive watch called the Manta Ray. The Manta Ray is a large and industrial looking dive watch that suits the brand’s name as it seems to have been built to suit a Titan’s wrist.
- 44 x 15.8 mm
- 52.5 mm L2l
- 22 mm Lugs
- Interchangeable bezel system
- Sapphire crystal
- ETA 2824-2 Automatic movement
- 1000 m WR
- 282 gram weight (with no links removed)
- Solid steel bracelet with hex key construction
- Push button clasp with ratcheting extension
The size of the Manta Ray is not especially noteworthy when you remove it from its leather box. Its weight, on the other hand, is instantly noticeable as the Manta Ray and the included solid stainless steel bracelet make for a very heavy combination. The whole package weighs in at 282 grams, which is a touch over a half of a pound (with the bracelet un-sized). Match the truly huge weight with a nearly 16 mm profile (stainless steel bezel) and the Manta Ray is not for those with small or boney wrists unless your preference is for an over-sized look and feel.
The Manta Ray is nicely made with exceptional attention given to the finishing (specifically the case edges) and the excellent bezel. The 44 mm case is chunky with short and stout lugs, an HEV at nine o’clock, and the screw-down crown at four o’clock. The flat sapphire crystal is optically very clear and does not distort or affect the clean white dial in any way. Black and orange dialed models are available and buyers have some choice as to the hand coloring and style of the indices. This model is the 1H characterized as such by a white dial, blue bordered hands, and arabic numerals at 6, 9, and 12.
The Manta Ray is very legible, even in low light. Unfortunately, the lume (glow from the hands and markers in low/no light situations) is not especially bright and does not last very long. This is definitely an area where the Manta Ray could be improved. I cannot comment on the luminosity of the other Manta Ray models, such as the 1O, which use larger indices. The signed crown exhibits a perfect fit, smooth action and a very robust build. Its an interesting crown design that does not screw flush against the case but into a screw setting that protrudes out of the case itself (see photos). Along with the excellent crown, the Manta Ray features a cool bezel system that allows the user to change bezels for a different look (a black bezel is included with the Manta Ray).
Important Note: The six 1.5mm hex screws that secure the bezel are COUNTER THREADED. Thus, to remove a screw from its tightened position you will need to turn it clock-wise. I was unaware of this and ruined one of the tiny screws in the process.
Once the bezel is properly secured, it features very little play and exhibits a very mechanical and positive action. I really like this bezel and believe the minuscule amount of play to be symptomatic of the interchangeable system and it is still less noticeable than I have witnessed on more expensive watches that feature a traditional snap-on bezel. The same hex key system is used on the lugs and to connect each link in the bracelet (see photos and video).
I found these hex keys to offer better grip than a conventional screw head but you will need two 1.5mm hex keys to control the screws which are a long pin with a screw on the other side. I easily sized the bracelet (removing five links to suit my 7.5 inch wrist), removed and re-mounted the bracelet, and exchanged bezels without scratching any of the areas surrounding the mounts.
On wrist the Manta Ray is nicely balanced but fairly long at 52.5 mm lug to lug. This is a watch destined for those who prefer a substantial and robust presence on their wrist. Even though I feel the Manta Ray is too big for my tastes, I do not think its too big for my wrist and it is comfortable on both the bracelet or any 22 mm strap I had lying around (looks great on an ISOfrane). The nicely finished and comfortable bracelet is fitted with a push button clasp with a lovely button actuated ratcheting dive extension. The overall finish shows a strong attention to detail and control over the manufacturing process. We have reviewed a few other Prometheus watches including the Recon 5, the Jellyfish, and the Oceandiver and feel they have represented excellent value and interesting designs.
Prometheus, which is based in Portugal, is offering the Manta Ray on their website for €555 if you’re buying outside the EU and €671.55 in the EU after taxes. At current rates, the Manta Ray will cost a US buyer ~$748. This price point is completely saturated with watches from all of the popular Indie brands. While the $700-$800 price point may be stacked with watches, the Manta Ray has very few peers when it comes to design, size, and weight. Providing your preference lies with larger and heavier watches, the Prometheus Manta Ray is a nicely featured and reasonably priced dive watch that combines solid construction, an excellent bracelet and huge water resistance into one complete package.
We would like to thank Prometheus Watches for providing the review unit seen in the photos and video.