You might not be familiar with this name, but Isotope Watches is a niche (boutique-like) brand with a relatively young history. Based in the UK and founded in 2016, the brand combines original designs with classic elements of watchmaking, resulting in watches with their own, unique appeal. Look at the GMT 0º Terra Maris here or the recent Hydrium here, and you’ll see that there’s something special about their design. Now, the brand goes back to slightly more traditional codes, by introducing a bronze edition of their pilot/field watch, with the new Isotope Watches Old Radium Bronze Pilot.
“In 1942 the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom asked Isotope to produce watches for the armed forces, a request they happily obliged. Now, 80 years after it was first made, Isotope is releasing the ‘Old Radium’ once again as a limited edition.” This could have been the introduction of the brand’s communication regarding this new watch. But, as said, Isotope Watches was founded in 2016, which means that the brand plays on a different level, and can invent history in retrospect. There’s nothing wrong with this, especially since Isotope likes to play with the classic codes and add a personal touch.
The Old Radium Bronze Pilot is thus using classic elements of pilot and field watches, but brings something fresh and different. Straightforward and vintage-inspired, we’re here talking about a new edition of a watch released first in stainless steel and now cased up in bronze. 40mm in diameter, 47mm in length and with a reasonable height of 10mm, the case is well sized and will surely be easy to wear on a daily basis. The specificity of this new sub-collection is to opt for CuSn8 bronze, a bronze alloy with a warm hue close to that of rose gold. Consisting of 92% copper, 7.5-8% tin, and around 0.30% phosphorus, it’s also known to develop patina at a rather slow rate, meaning that it’ll take a bit of time to reveal its unique greenish look. But also, it means that it’ll be easier to get rid of the patina in case you want to stick to the original look. The fully brushed case is equipped with a sandblasted titanium caseback, a sapphire crystal with AR coating, a screw-down crown and has a comfortable water-resistance of 100 metres.
Most of the originality of this Isotope Watches Old Radium Bronze Pilot comes from its dial. First of all, three colours are available. The central area with the signature Lacrima (the brand’s most distinctive design element) is always treated in black with a grained finish. The area surrounding it can be, however, ordered with colours. In addition to a relatively toned-down grey option, you’ll be able to go bolder with an olive green or an ox-blood red version. Also grained and placed slightly higher than the central part, this coloured zone is also home to old radium-coloured hour markers matching the bronze sword-shaped hands. All elements are filled with lume and a date takes place at 3 o’clock.
Under the caseback with sapphire crystal is a Swiss-made movement, the Landeron Calibre 24 – a recently-launched alternative to the classic ETA and Sellita calibres. This 4Hz movement stores 40h of power reserve and is here rated for a -/+ 12 sec/day accuracy. The Old Radium Bronze Pilot watches are worn on a supple calfskin strap with a bronze pin buckle and quick-release spring bars.
The Isotope Watches Old Radium Bronze Pilot collection will be offered in a limited edition of 300 pieces per colourway. It is available exclusively online from the brand’s website at a price of GBP 800 (excl. taxes). Note that for now, only 10 pieces of each colour are available to ship and that a second batch is planned for October/November 2022. For more details, please visit isotopewatches.com.