I noticed this particular watch on a forum and thought to myself “now I like that!” So I did a bit of research and found that Isotope is a British brand founded by Jose Miranda. Jose a Portuguese national, moved to the UK a decade ago. I got in touch with Jose, and he offered a watch for me to review. His passion for watches is clearly evident, and it all started back in 1976 when his parents gifted him a mechanical Timex, “I was fascinated by it, being a hand wound mechanical wristwatch” he told me, “my passion just rolled on from there, on receipt of my first pay check working in advertising, I acquired a Breitling Jupiter”. His enthusiasm never stopped, and the likes of Bell and Ross, Tag Heuer and Eberhard joined his growing collection.
He then started to admire the works of the legendary Gérald Genta, specifically the jump hour watches. “I wanted a specific jumping hour watch” he told me “then my wife said (back in 2013), why not make your own?” the rest is history as they say. Miranda then took lessons in watchmaking, assembling and disassembling them, “my aim was not to become a watchmaker, but to simply understand them”. He than found design partner Vikenty Gryaznov, whom had worked on the Konstantin Chaykin Lunokhod, and everything then fell into place. And from this relationship, Isotope have created the quirky Swiss Made Rider Jumping Hour, and the stunning GMT, which these are both well worth a look into.
Jose agreed to send me a Goutte d’ Eau Compressor for review. A few days later, and after chasing the postman down the road, as they had tried to deliver it when I was on the school run, a box was in my hand. Inside I was presented with something different (and I like different) a grey felt watch roll, the Isotope logo on a patch stitched to the corner. I was not disappointed when I opened it up to find the watch, the gloss black sandwich dial really does look great. Jose had sent it on their own FKM quick release rubber strap matched to the colour of the hands and inner bezel. It really is a very good looking and finished watch for the money. The name Goutte d’ Eau is French for water droplet, this is reflected in the shape of indices at 3,6 and nine as well as in the inlay of the sandwich dial, it’s also represented on the crown for the inner compressor dial, which is also colour matched.
Isoptope offer five colour variations, Green, Yellow, Red , Orange and Blue. All (bar the blue) have a Sapphire case back to show either the Seiko NH38 or the Swiss Sellita movement. The Blue version is the Nordblad Special Edition, named after their brand ambassador ice Freediving World Champion Johanna Nordblad, so you can be assured this watch has been tested to the extreme ! The Nordblad comes with a engraved solid case back depicting an image of Johanna.
The FKM strap is super comfy on the wrist and feels great quality too. The bracelet is very nice as well and refreshing to see its not an Oyster copy, and I have not seen anything similar, it really is a great bracelet on a watch as this price point. Its has butterfly clasp and a ratcheting diver extension which is a great touch and well engineered. If like me you suffer in the heat with your wrist swelling, this is a very welcome addition. The case is a brushed finish, with slight polish to the bezel base. The time adjustment crown is a conventional screw down, whilst like on most compressor style divers the inner rotating bezel isn’t. The Lume is good not to dim and not too bright, on this green version its blue and green
Overall, it really is a beautiful watch, and having the FKM strap as an extra, along with colour matched Nato strap also available, it gives the owner options to chop and change. I really do like this watch very very much, so much so its going to be difficult to give this Swiss powered version back ! I really am in love with it. Now for the price, the Sekio powered NH38 retails at £379 with the Swiss Sellita version being £519 which in my opinion is a bit of a bargain. The Nato and FKM straps are also well priced at around £25.00. Yep I need one, so have placed an order, its that good. If you like the look of them and have enjoyed this review if you enter WATCHCROWD10 at the checkout, you will receive a 10% discount off your purchase.
Jose has also told me that he has some other watches that are going to be released this year, so look forward to seeing them. It was great talking with Jose, and his passion for the brand clearly shines through.
Available to order at https://isotopewatches.com
- Brushed case, 316L stainless steel
- Case diameter 40mm X 44mm (with lugs)
- Height 12.7mm (with SW200) or 13.4mm (with NH38)
- Exhibition screw-down case back (Orange, Yellow, Green and Red)
- Stainless steel screw-down case back (Nordblad)
- Security inner bezel
- Anti-reflective crystal sapphire
- One crown with 4 gaskets at 2 o’clock for the inner bezel and one screw-down crown at 4 o’clock to adjust the time
- Hands, bezel and sandwich dial with Super-LumiNova® BGW9
- 22 mm brushed Isotope Tread Bracelet and extension clasp in 316L stainless steel
- Water-resistance 200m / 20 atm / 656 ft
- Automatic, self-winding Japanese Seiko NH38
- Power reserve 41 hours
- Accuracy -20/+40 s/day
- Automatic, self-winding Swiss Sellita SW200
- Power reserve 38 hours
- Accuracy -12/+12 s/day
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