Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The HydriumX "Will Return"

From Isotope Watches -

Courtesy of Isotope Watches
I love a bit of whimsy, and the "Will Return" from Isotope Watches has whimsey by the boat load!

The design inspiration is miles away from the usual "homage" diver and actually interesting and original (something we really don't see as often as we should). 

Courtesy of Isotope Watches
The dial, hands and bezel all pay tribute to an unlikely inspiration - the "Will Return At..." sign that several stores use to indicate what time they will return to re-open.  In this case, 10:10 ; )

Leave it to a designer to come up with something this fun!

Courtesy of Isotope
This is currently a pre-order item, available direct from Isotope Watches.

Should you be as intrigued as I am, here are the pertinents -

Technical Specifications

  • Micro-blasted case, 316L stainless steel
  • Case diameter 40mm X 48mm (with lugs)
  • Height 11.3mm (14.8mm with domed Sapphire Crystal)
  • Exhibition screw-down case back
  • Uni-directional bezel with 120 clicks 
  • Anti-reflective crystal sapphire
  • Screw-down crown at 3 o’clock
  • White glossy dial filled with Swiss  Super-LumiNova®
  • Isotope Lacrima hands with Swiss Super-LumiNova®
  • Water-resistance 300m / 30 atm / 1000 ft
  • 22mm Quick-release Cordura and FKM straps with signed micro-blasted Steel Buckle

Mechanical Movement

  • Automatic, self-winding Japanese Miyota 9039
  • Power reserve 42 hours
  • Accuracy -10/+30 s/day

The Chronofighter Vintage Bronze

 From Graham -

Courtesy of Graham
This one must have snuck past me when it was released, but I stumbled across it recently and thought I might re-heat it.

The case is of bronze, and measures 44 mm in diameter.  Underneath the hood is the Calibre G1747, automatic chronograph, which operates via Graham's now signature "Trigger" chronograph pusher.

Courtesy of Graham
Like several of Graham's current collection, this one can also be purchased directly from Graham through the shop on their official site -


SNGLRTY - This Is Not A Watch Review

I recently had the opportunity to wear the SNGLRTY  Desert Sunset for a few days -

So as the title informs you, this is not a watch review, but you will get my feedback on the SNGLRTY Desert Sunset.

For those of you just tuning in, SNGLRTY launched through a crowd funding effort a few years back. The brand currently offers 2 models one with a date function which uses the Ohi-4 module configuration, and one without which uses the Ohi-2 module configuration. The Desert Sunset does not have a date and uses the Ohi-2:

Module & Movement

OHI2 time adjustment
SELLITA SW200-1 Standard Execution
25.6mm Diameter, 4.6mm Height
28’800 A/h (4Hz)
38 Hours

The case is of stainless steel and measures 40.5 mm in diameter and is 12.2 mm thick -

For me this offered a good size and fit -

In terms of design, I have to say that overall I like it. In terms of the "outside" of the watch, my only disagreement is that the case lugs utilize hex key screws to secure the strap -
I know and appreciate that there are folks out there who love feeling like they are "handy" using tools to remove and attach their own straps. And I accept that this is a personal choice from my side - I simply can't be bothered. To this end whenever I get straps made by Lic I always request quick spring bars. (Publisher's note - James Henderson has worked with Lic straps in the past to help promote them in the US. While he does not currently distribute Lic straps, Tempus Fugit believes it is important to fully disclose this previous relationship).

As far as the strap and buckle goes, they are absolutely first class!  Very comfortable and well made.
Needless to say, the movement has a staring role with this watch. I like single-handed watches and am the proud owner of a MeisterSinger. That being said, the actual mechanics behind the SNGLRTY and its patented module have taken the ideas governing single handed watches to a whole new level. The SNGLRTY watches offer the wearer a much more accurate read on time as the minutes are displayed within the ring at the tip of the hour hand as the minute ring circles counter clockwise as the hour hand circles clockwise. 

You won't be reading about all of the technicalities here - remember, this is Tempus Fugit ; ).  Suffice it to say, I think it offers something truly different than what has come before it. And add into the bargain that you have the opportunity to customize a SNGLRTY to your own design (within the constraints of the SNGLRTY customizer anyway).

For me, this is about more than a watch. It is a very interesting story about two guys who probably could have picked better ways to obsess, fret, get frustrated, and ultimately succeed than making a brand new concept for a micro brand. But that's what makes the story great.