Nite Watches Icon Automatic
There are a few notable watch brands who use tritium tubes, the big names being Luminox and Ball Watches. For those who are fans of microbrands, Deep Blue is the first one that comes to mind. Some reading this might not be familiar with the brand I am reviewing here today, the Nite Watches Icon Automatic. Nite Watches headquarters are in England, though the watch manufacture is outsourced. Looking through their website, I was trying to find when the brand started but did not come up with a definitive year, though I did find that in 2010 they started direct to consumer sales, meaning they can not be found in any dealers or retailers. One notable thing I read on their website is the UPGRADE feature, where if you have a Nite Watch, in any condition, you can use it to trade it in a for a new model and receive anywhere from $70-$130 off the price. That is not something many brands do and it is nice to see a brand being loyal to its previous customers like that. The Icon Automatic I will be discussing today is a great looking field watch with T-100 tritium tubes all in a stainless steel case with an H-link bracelet.
Nite Watches Icon Automatic Specifications:
- 44mm Stainless Steel Case
- 51mm Lug to Lug
- 12.1mm Thick
- 22mm Lug Width
- 6.9 Ounces
- Sapphire Crystal
- Sellita SW-200 Automatic Movement
- T-100 Tritium Tubes
- Solid Link Bracelet
- 100 Meters Water Resistant
Price $1050 USD
Right out of the gate, I do have to discuss the price. This is a determining factor for many when discussing watches, especially in the microbrand world. Yes, you can find cheaper tritium tube watches out on the market, even ones with T100 tubes. At $1050, the Nite Watches Icon Automatic is definitely at the higher end of things, and creeping into Ball Watches pricing. Now, many things are subjective and some Luminox Watches are $700 and are quartz, so it really comes down to what you are looking for in a watch. I personally would not say that the Icon is overpriced, but I do realize there are many options out there these days.
Design-wise, the Nite Watches Icon Automatic is a beautiful watch. It is a classic field-style watch and has an all brushed finish that gives it a rugged appearance and also easy upkeep. When a watch is all brushed, scratches and marks are hidden more than polished or a blasted finish and easy to remove with a 3M pad. The star of the Icon for me is the gorgeous blue dial. While I like tritium tubes, I also love a watch that has great depth to it, and the sunburst dial used here is a perfect example. It has a wonderful blue tone that slightly changes depending on the lighting.
Unforutuanly, the Nite Watches Icon Automatic has a date wheel at one of the worst locations on the dial, at least for me. This is something that is absolutely subjective and I am fully aware I am biased when it comes to the date location. I prefer it to be at the 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock position or none at all, as I feel, as shown below, this placement starts to creep into the middle of the dial and the 24 hour time and dial text start to get muddled and it looks too busy for my tastes. The reason date wheels are usually placed here is because of movement and case size and it ends up that you really can not put the date anywhere else unless you want to pay for custom date wheels. This, of course, adds extra cost. The other option is no date, though I understand wanting it on tool style watch such as this.
I found crown operation to be flawless and the SW-200 automatic movement has been keeping fantastic time at -3 seconds a day over a 4 day period, which is crazy good and within COSC standards. Of course, things such as hard vibrations or drops could impact this, but as it is now, the example I have in hand is keeping excellent time for a non-certified automatic. Obviously one of the best functions of this watch are the large flat tritium tubes which need no light source to charge and glow very bright in the dark. If you do not like the green tritium tubes, this model is also offered with the blue tubes, and I particularly like the look of the blue tubes against the white dial versions.
While there are leather strap versions for the Nite Watches Icon Automatic I find the stainless steel bracelet to be the way to go. The H-link bracelet is one of my favorites and is used by many brands, but it just works and gives watches a different look than the standard multi-link or Oyster-link offerings. Yes, it does use friction pins instead of screws, which would be my preference, but sizing was easy enough and I had to remove 3 links to fit my 7 1/2 inch wrist, as they are quite large links. A standard deployant clasp with safety lock is used to keep the bracelet secure on the wrist.
The Nite Watches Icon Automatic does have a lot to offer, but that comes at a price. The price, of course, being just ever so slightly over $1000. The brand states on their website that there is a 28-day return policy, a 2-year warranty and shipping is free as well. Something that I found interesting is that Nite only recently started using sapphire crystal on all their watches, as recent as 2017. The bottom line is the same as usual, if you like the design, it would be a good purchase. The Icon is very solidly built and has a lot of great features, so it will just come down to if you think it is worth the price. Since Deep Blue really doesn’t have a model that looks like this, I would say it is probably worth the coin. Of course, that’s just one person’s opinion. What do you think? Leave your comments below the gallery.