In March of 2018, the month-to-month giveaway watch on aBlogtoWatch was a Nite Icon-212 Green T100 Automatic watch. The winner was David Williams from Bristol, UK and after enjoying his new timepiece (retail worth $930), he has given a watch winner evaluate for us to share with you, the aBlogtoWatch audience. Because of David and all the other watch winners who share their experiences with the world. Right here is David’s evaluate:
Nite Watches, based by Roger Green in 2003 and based mostly within the scenic and historic county of Dorset on the south coast of the UK, is an unbiased British watch model (too long-established to be described as half of the present wave of microbrands) providing a variety of strong, legible and classy watches on-line. They all have self-powered tritium illumination and are aimed toward wearers with lively life. The Nite Watches website neatly sums up the corporate ethos with the tagline “Nite Watches let you tell the time, any time.” All Nite watches have GTLS – Gaseous Tritium Mild Supply – illumination as a distinguishing function, so that night-time legibility is particularly good.
Nite was initially a provider of watches to UK armed forces and civilian emergency providers – and stays so – but in addition provides a pretty vary of watches on-line to the wider market, principally with Ronda quartz actions. Nite’s Alpha, Hawk, Icon and MX10 ranges derive from acquainted design inspirations – diver/sport, journey/expedition, aviator and area watch. There’s additionally a dressier and slimmer choice, the Marquess, which however retains the robustness and high legibility inherent to the model. The Icon Automatic is Nite’s first enterprise into producing a mechanical watch, as an evolution of their present Icon quartz.
My first impressions upon receiving the Nite Icon-212 Green T100 Automatic, to provide it its full identify, have been very beneficial. It arrived with time and date set appropriately and I used to be greeted by the nice aroma of leather from the strap, which is evidently of excellent quality. It’s attainable to discern aviator and field-watch inspirations within the design – within the arms, 24-hour numerals and utilitarian all-brushed steel case – but this can be a trendy moderately than vintage take on these, which succeeds in establishing an id all of its own. The designers have clearly put great effort into making certain that every function has a sound purpose for being there.
The 316 chrome steel case could be very finely brushed, giving a delicate satin sheen, and the plain bezel is a outstanding function. The sapphire crystal has triple anti-reflection coating, which could be very effective, and there’s an exhibition case back. The screw-down crown, at four-o-clock, bears the Nite emblem and is sufficiently giant and grippy to operate whereas sporting gloves. Water resistance is a reassuring 100m. The dial is pure white (there are additionally black and blue-dial versions) with a finely corrugated surface texture. There’s a plain and never especially giant date window between four and 5, a place that has the benefit of not slicing into any of the numerals.
At 44mm diameter and a few 14mm depth, the watch has a substantial presence. The lugs, although, are modest in size (a whisker over 50mm between their extremities and round 48mm between spring bars) so it sits nicely on all however the smallest wrists. The standard millimetre, an insignificant measurement in many purposes, has such a profound effect on watch design!
Each tritium tube you’re more likely to see in watches of any brand may have been made by one firm – mb-microtec of Bern, Switzerland. Along with Nite watches, they’re used by Ball, Marathon, Luminox and others – and in mb-microtec’s personal in-house brand, Traser. Tritium fuel is sealed in small glass tubes, the insides of which have been coated with zinc sulphide – a luminescent materials – which is made to glow by electrons released from the tritium during its very low-level radioactive decay. The light emitted is probably a little less vibrant than a large dollop of Superluminova, freshly charged by brilliant mild, however in fact retains constant brightness over time, while typical lume fades in a matter of hours.
The Nite Icon’s tritium illumination is as outstanding as you’d anticipate from a company that makes this know-how a declared selling level, with giant hour indices and smaller tubes on the three arms. The tritium illumination kicks in earlier than it’s correctly dark; there’s an fulfilling cross-fade as twilight provides method to night time and the lume takes over. Nite makes use of two levels of illumination – T25, which has a complete radiation of up to 25 millicuries (yes, for all of the tubes added together) and T100, with as much as 100 millicuries for the entire watch. T25 makes use of tiny cylindrical vials; T100, as on the Icon Automatic shown right here, has larger rectangular cells.
The radiation ranges are very low, as compared with other sources to which we are exposed day by day within the surroundings. To put them into perspective, even consuming a banana every other day apparently provides you a better dosage than may escape from a damaged T100 watch. The radiation is so weak, it’s incapable of penetrating human pores and skin and a sheet of paper will stop it. It has a variety of only 5mm in air; tritium oxidises in a short time on contact with air. Tritium illumination is subsequently a really protected and proven know-how. The watch I acquired has inexperienced hour indices – therefore the “Green” in its identify – except at 12-o-clock, which is orange. Other Nite watches have blue illumination, which is particularly desirable in a diver’s watch, as blue mild stays visible to a higher depth underwater than green.
Some might feel that the arms are somewhat brief, but I can see the logic behind it. Understandably for this brand, the arms depart the luminous indices unobscured as they move by. All of it makes nice sense at the hours of darkness however the dial can also be simply legible in daylight. On the white-faced Icon, the arms are completed in a robust shade of blue, giving them a outstanding visible presence. The minutes hand links naturally to the similarly blue minutes/seconds monitor – the human eye-brain combination instinctively and easily completes this type of visible puzzle. The hour hand relates to the 24-hour numerals, which appear vibrant silver or a darker gray, relying on the sunshine. The seconds hand has a blue tip, again referring to the blue indices. The dial is well-designed, with legibility evidently a excessive priority; it’s never troublesome to inform the time, day or night time.
So, what exactly is tritium and how does tritium illumination work? In a nutshell, hydrogen has two “heavier” isotopes: deuterium (heavy hydrogen), which has a neutron along with the proton and electron of hydrogen, and tritium (super-heavy hydrogen), which has two neutrons. Very small quantities of tritium occur naturally in the environment, the results of hydrogen atoms being zapped by cosmic rays – trace quantities are delivered to the ground by rain. Commercially viable quantities are produced as a by-product in sure varieties of nuclear reactor; the nuclear business of Canada is a outstanding supplier. Production and handling of tritium are subject to the very best security requirements.
Tritium is unstable and, consequently, mildly radioactive. That’s what makes it helpful in watches. It emits electrons as it decays, causing the zinc sulphide coating on the within of the sealed tubes to glow. Totally different colours are achieved by varying the coating; brightness depends upon the strain, and subsequently amount, of fuel within the tube. Tritium has a half-life of 12.three years and will remain effective, without charging from a light-weight or power supply, for an excellent 20 years or more. Tritium lighting has other uses too, in crucial conditions the place battery or power failure can be a disaster: in army gun sights, marine compasses and Exit signs for buildings and aircraft, for instance.
ABTW’s David Bredan had the great fortune to visit mb-microtec a number of years ago and his article is properly value a read. In tribute to mb-microtec’s spectacular micro-engineering expertise – and since this can be a Nite watch – right here’s another lume shot, displaying the tritium tubes turning into seen as daylight fades. It’s a reasonably cool mild present!
The Icon Automatic is powered by the Sellita SW200-1 motion, which is equal to the ETA 2824-2. It’s the plain (and completely applicable) Commonplace version, with non-decorated rotor and gilt stability wheel, visible by means of the exhibition case again. Provided that ETA restricts availability of its movements to Swatch brands, it’s useful that Sellita movements – Swiss-made in La Chaux-de-Fonds – can be found to all. The Sellita SW200-1 motion has 26 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve – with hacking, hand winding, Incabloc shock absorber and quick-set date. It operates at 28,800 vibrations per hour – 4Hz – so the seconds hand moves easily across the dial. I discover that mine runs nicely inside the quoted accuracy of plus or minus 12 seconds per day.
The strap is a substantial piece of thick leather-based, with two rows of holes and a two-pin buckle, and provides every indication that it’ll last a very good whereas. Lug width is 22mm. I had thought that the buckle could be a bit fiddly however, no need to worry, the pins prolong from a single tang and go into place simply. The leather-based, tan in this occasion, is of excellent high quality and is nicely treated. Two pairs of rivets contribute to the aviator look.
The Nite website lists this similar strap additionally in black and dark blue, together with the option of a metal bracelet or a number of colours of Nato strap – all at commendably affordable prices, which makes a pleasing change from a brand’s personal web site. The watches are accessibly priced too; this specific Nite Automatic, on the strap, retails at £625.
In conclusion, I enterprise to recommend that the majority ABTW readers in all probability personal at the least a few watches, perhaps a number of – probably together with a finely crafted and much-prized timepiece from a status manufacturer and perhaps a more strong watch for more lively off-duty days. Nite watches fulfill this latter requirement with considerable type. They convey a reassuring confidence that here is a model long proven as a provider to armed forces and civilian first-responders. For the remainder of us, who aren’t truly in the army or emergency providers, robustness and rugged attractiveness are interesting traits. I want to avoid the time period “beater” – which, to me, one way or the other implies malign intent – and tend to assume more when it comes to weekend, outside, travel, journey or expedition watches. In case you’re on the lookout for a watch that’s robust and useful, with an interesting “can do” fashion, you must take take a look at Nite’s website you’ll find good things there.
Nite clearly has the contacts and design expertise to supply some fascinating and good-looking watches, and I’m wondering what they’ll do subsequent. I stand by the remark that gained me this watch – “Given that Nite already have the main professional design inspirations well covered (field watch, diver, aviator) how about a fun and extrovert weekend watch – bordering on the fashion category – in which multiple colours of lume are put to decorative as well as functional use. In men’s and women’s versions, of course! Or – at the opposite end of the aesthetic scale – a robust and understated expedition-style watch with brushed surfaces and subdued dial colours, definitely including green!”.
Whaddya reckon, ABTW commentariat?
Very many because of ABTW and Nite Watches for such a superb giveaway and for the chance to study tritium illumination. I’ll be sporting this watch so much!