Old Radium Bronze Pilot
Isotope Old Radium Bronze Pilot
In 1942 the Minister of Defence of the United Kingdom asked Isotope to produce watches for the armed forces, a request they happily obliged. The result of their efforts was a watch that was as handsome as it was sturdy. It quickly got the nickname 'Old Radium,' as the soldiers affectionately called it because of its charismatic luminous hands and hour markers.
This is what could have happened if it wasn't for the fact that Isotope was founded in 2016. However, this does give the brand the advantage of being able to invent its history in retrospect. The 'Old Radium’ is an ode to the brave pilots that fought the odds of WWII, which were often not in their favour. They fought for what was right with their magnificent aeroplanes, and the 'Old Radium' could have been a welcome companion on their missions. Its design is a subtle mix of straightforward functionality and vintage elegance.
Several elements give the 'Old Radium' its charismatic character, starting with the case. With a diameter of 40mm, it can be worn as easily over the cuff as underneath it, proving its worth in all facets of an active lifestyle. While stainless steel would be period-correct, bronze offers a more exciting proposition. Opting for CuSn8 bronze, one of the finest qualities available of this alloy, the case has a warm hue, close to that of rose gold. This alloy is known for being very pure and consists of 92% copper, 7.5-8% tin, and around 0.30% phosphorus. It will develop patina at a lower rate than lesser quality bronze but eventually does reveal its unique look.
The dial is highly legible, as one would expect from a Pilot's watch. It features Isotope's hallmark lacrima in black, featuring a grainy finish just like the area surrounding it. This is placed slightly higher so that there is quite a bit of depth to the dial. The area surrounding the lacrima is available in Ash Grey, Olive Green, and Ox Blood Red, each giving the 'Old Radium' a different touch. The Arabic numerals, as well as the sword hands, are filled in with Super LumiNova in a colour that is reminiscent of the aged radium of vintage watches, hence its name 'Old Radium.' A date window adds another practical touch to this Isotope, which thanks to its black background, blends in nicely with the rest of the dial. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal which has an anti-reflective coating.
While bronze cases add character to a watch, this unique alloy can also cause allergic reactions when worn directly on the skin for extended periods. To prevent this, the 'Old Radium' features a titanium case back. A sapphire crystal insert allows owners to see the Swiss-made Landeron calibre 24. This rugged movement is the perfect engine for a sophisticated gentleman's Pilot's watch, featuring automatic winding and a power reserve of 40 hours while running at 4Hz/28.800 VpH. The 'Old Radium' is water-resistant up to 10ATM, unique for a Pilot's watch. The finishing touch is the comfortable strap made from an Italian soft calf. It comes with a buckle engraved with the Isotope name made out of CuSn8 bronze alloy.
PLEASE NOTE: For the 1st batch, there are only 12 watches of each colour available to ship now. The 2nd batch will be ready to start shipping in October/November. Once the 2nd batch starts shipping, prices will increase 10%
- Brushed CuSn8 Bronze case, sandblasted Titanium exhibition case back
- Case diameter 40mm X 47mm (with lugs)
- Height 10.1mm
- Anti-reflective crystal sapphire
- Screw-down crown at 3 o’clock
- Textured dial with Old Radium luminescent coating applied on numbers and indexes
- Isotope Brushed Bronze Sword hands applied with Old Radium luminescent coating
- Water-resistance 100m / 10 atm / 330 ft (Light swim rated)
- 20mm Quick-release Calfskin strap with bespoke Bronze Brushed Buckle
Swiss Landeron Mechanical Movement
- Automatic, self-winding
- Power reserve 40 hours
- 25 Jewels, 28800A/h
- Accuracy -12/+12 s/day
- Decorated, Côtes de Genève, perlage
Caring for your Bronze CuSn8 Isotope
Bronze is a copper alloy and oxidises when in contact with oxygen. The bronze forms a natural patina, which gives your watch a unique character. With time, your Old Radium Bronze will become darker due to oxidation: the patina. This is a natural process and does not indicate quality issues.
Bronze is a living alloy and it's not hypoallergenic - data suggests that more than 10% of the world population is known to be allergic to nickel. Therefore, a bronze watch case may irritate your skin.
Hands-on Review by TimeToGo
Hands-on Review by Worn And Wound