A new logo is coming, has it been 7 years already? The New Isotope Hydrium Seconde/Seconde/
Its all about ideas, how to stay fresh and on top of your game they say. The consumer world it is always changing, adapting and in this hobby of watches, it is the same, I am not sure who introduced the concept of a new product every year but sometimes it gets overwhelming and other times it gets exciting. Whatever your preference is, there is no denying that it makes you feel that time passes by faster, one day you have an iPhone 4 and shortly after you are surrounded by the iPhone(s) 14. In a blink of an eye I still remember talking to Jose Miranda who is the owner of Isotope in a coffee shop in London, I was just starting to learn how to photograph watches and learning a bit more on the hobby, he gave me the opportunity to shoot and write about his Riding Jumping hour watch and other pieces that were coming, and it is unbelievable that it was 7 years ago but I have to say that he is still as passionate for watches as he was that day. Coming back to watches, it is an impressive feast to make it to year 7th and Isotope as a brand feels much stronger, always focused on quality and using their design language that so many watch brands are looking for today. The world of independents it is so much different now, there are more competitors and more collaborators, the bar regarding quality is higher than ever making more established brands conscious that there is a cult following for watches that cost much less. So, what is the secret to success?
Well, I think as a brand you need an icon, a piece that really stands out among the rest and when people see it they know exactly what it is, it sounds simple but it really isn’t, you need a balance between playfulness and seriousness, it needs to be functional but also break the mold on what you can find out there, basically, create a watch that looks new but feels familiar. This is to me what the Hydrium is for Isotope, as soon as you start talking about the brand this is the case, the finishing, and the details that you think of. When I first saw the design of the Hydirum ‘’will return’’ edition, I couldn’t believe the looks, the case and bezel were like nothing else out there and even if Isotope are not going to make more (Jose should have probably made that particular limited edition larger…sorry Jose) we have an array of variation that are even more attractive. The New Hydrium Seconde/Seconde/ is a collaboration with Romaric Andre who gain international recognition by adding unique touches to the seconds hand to vintage pieces, this led to collaboration with many brands including H Moser and Cie. The new Hydrium seconde is a celebration of this important milestone for Isotope, and they did it in a playful manner, let’s begin.
The New Isotope Hydrium Seconde/Seconde/ is a skull free Memento Mori watch, and what that means is that is a reminder that there is a new logo in town, the old one is gone. Nothing changes on the dimensions of the Hydrium and that is a good thing, we are still looking at 40mm of Micro Blasted case with a 48mm lug to lug width. The black dial is where all the changes are present, green highlights on the minute rail track, lacrima marker on the bezel and a Falling Heartbeat seconds hands are the most obvious, but if you look closely, you will not see the brand ‘’Isotope’’ at 12 as we are used to, we will read the word ‘Otopsie’’ (autopsy) to keep the theme going on. The contrast between the inly back dial and fluorescent green look really good, and that seconds hands look really good. Inside the watch we can find a Swiss Landeron which can be seen from the sapphire case back and a water resistance of 300m, all you expect from a good diver. The bezel has 120 clicks and feels as good as many watches that cost 3 times the price, it is an impressive feature.
On the wrist
The New Isotope Hydrium Seconde/Seconde/ wears like any previous Hydrium but now it has this playfulness that really transform the watch into something special, something unique. The case is really short, so it wears nicely in my 6.25 inch wrist, and the under 13mm height also helps with the wearing experience. To keep the black theme, we also have a soft black leather strap with green stiching, I really like the tapering which ends in a blasted steel buckle, attention to detail in all the departments. I wore the New Isotope Hydrium Seconde/Seconde/ for a short time before I wrote the review, but it is a watch that I know so well that feels very odd not tohave one in the collection, they are all very good looking and perhaps it is a good thing that the limited editions are in small numbers, we can always expect something different something unique.
Without getting too sentimental (and also starting to feel old) the Hydrium is a piece that I am a big fan of and I am happy that has brought a lot of success to the Isotope line up, its unique and it has enough merits to stand on its own in a room full of collectors, from the case to the movement, everything is different and in a good way. What better way to celebrate the change of a logo with a new watch? A specially a collaboration with a lot of pedigree, happy anniversary Isotope, we are all very happy for you.
• Swiss Made • Micro-blasted case, 316L stainless steel • Case diameter 40mm X 48mm (with lugs) • Height 12.9mm (14.9mm with double domed Sapphire Crystal) • Hydrium® screw-down exhibition case back • Uni-directional bezel with 120 clicks • Anti-reflective crystal sapphire • Screw-down crown at 3 o’clock • Black Matte dial and white railway track style chapter ring filled with Super-LumiNova® • Isotope “i” hands and Failing Heartbeat second hand filled with Super-LumiNova® • Water-resistance 300m / 30 atm / 1000 ft • 22mm Quick-release Soft Black black leather strap with signed micro-blasted Steel Buckle
Swiss Landeron Mechanical Movement
• Automatic, self-winding • Power reserve 40 hours • 25 Jewels, 28800A/h • Accuracy -12/+12 s/day • Bespoke finishing with Perlage and Côtes de Genève