Isotope Watches is a relatively new microbrand founded in 2016 by José and Joana Miranda. Based in England, the portfolio is anything but conventional with designs that really stand out. The GMT 0º Terra Maris is a great example, displaying the date and GMT as a visual spectacle with a very creative sandwich dial. The latest Isotope Hydrium X Blink is a follow-up to the Hydrium X “Will Return” model that’s now sold out. The colours and design of the latter mimicked the “Will Return” door signs used by countless businesses, but the Blink variant changes that familiar light blue and red aesthetic to a daring pink and dark blue. Stylish and very on-brand.
At first glance, the watch looks fun and very casual, but don’t be fooled. This is actually a very capable diver with a 300-meter water resistance rating. The professional angle is a bit muted as the unidirectional rotating bezel lacks a detailed scale or any marks at all, save for a reddish dot at 12 o’clock. It has a dark blue inlay with a tight knurled pattern, and both the bezel and case have a micro-blasted matte finish. The case is 40mm in diameter and 14.9mm in height, which includes a 2mm domed AR sapphire crystal. Lug-to-lug is 48mm. On the left side is a helium escape valve, reinforcing its street cred as a saturation diver, but the impressive specs are almost beside the point. It’s otherwise not designed to be a serious diver, but the contradiction makes it fun. The oversized crown screws down, of course, and there’s a sapphire exhibition case back, which is impressive for a microbrand’s 300-meter case. There are short, integrated lugs and the watch comes fitted with a 22mm blue FKM strap with quick release levers and a steel pin buckle.
The dial is the standout and really changes the “Will Return” vibe with bold, even polarizing colours. The dial is a light salmon pink, while the Lacrima hour and minute hands have a much bolder pink coating of Super-LumiNova, outlined in white. Oversized Arabic numerals are a matching dark pink, while a dark blue minute track is printed inside and matches the bezel inlay. If you’ve ever seen a lizard lose its tail, that’s what the seconds “hand” looks like. Just a hint of a hand with the primary function of showing that the movement is running. Look close and it’s somewhat useful if you need to count seconds without being precise. The combination of pinks and dark blue won’t be for everyone, but it’s certainly different and a cool option in the same vein as the Deep Pink and Blue Purple Nomos Club Campus models. Isotope calls the blue/pink colour palette “Blink,” hence the name.
Powering the watch is an unusual Swiss movement. In lieu of an ETA or Sellita (or even Soprod), Isotope uses a Landeron 24 automatic. This isn’t a new brand per se, originally founded in 1873, but the name was revived by DEPA SWISS Movement in 2018. It has 25 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 40-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes and seconds with date, but the latter isn’t used by Isotope. Accuracy is rated at +/-12 seconds per day.
The Isotope Hydrium X Blink retails for GBP 617 (excl. VAT) and is limited to just 100 pieces. Not bad for a saturation diver with a Swiss automatic and novel design. For more information and to place an order, please visit the dedicated page at isotopewatches.com.