Introducing The WatchGecko x NTH Vintage Subs

Introducing The WatchGecko x NTH Vintage Subs

Richard Brown

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Articles Brands Watch News

Categories

Articles Brands Watch News

What is your grail watch?

When we ran a series of features entitled “15 Questions” this was always one of the favourites, whomever we were interviewing. No surprise that vintage Rolexes featured regularly in the answers; a particularly common dream being a 1960s Submariner, akin to the big crown Ref: 6538 worn by Sean Connery as James Bond.

These vintage watches are available on the specialist collector market but if you can find a half-decent model you will pay a substantial amount of money for the privilege of ownership. Hence the vintage Submariner’s inclusion in “grail” watches which are, by definition, difficult to acquire.

However, hope is not lost; there is a new, exciting and cost-effective solution. Vintage style Submariner homages offering true 300m water resistance, with aged patina hands, a cyclops lens, and a distinctive 1960s box crystal. Presenting the NTH Vintage Sub range – the latest design collaboration between NTH and WatchGecko.

NTH Vintage Sub Collection

Regular price
£680.00
Regular price
Sale price
£680.00
NTH Näcken Dive Watch - Reef Green - WatchGecko Exclusive
Back in stock
Regular price
£680.00
Regular price
Sale price
£680.00
NTH Amphion Dive Watch - Anchor Grey - WatchGecko Exclusive
Back in stock
Regular price
£680.00
Regular price
Sale price
£680.00
NTH Näcken Dive Watch - Admiral Blue - WatchGecko Exclusive
Back in stock
Regular price
£680.00
Regular price
Sale price
£680.00
NTH Amphion Dive Watch - Onyx Black - WatchGecko Exclusive
Back in stock

Essential Background:

NTH from Philadelphia, USA and WatchGecko have a long and strong relationship. WatchGecko is the only source for NTH watches in the UK and we always admire the no-nonsense tool watch design which defines the brand. Many models have a “nod” to a classic here and there, whilst others are wholly original creations. Whatever the design philosophy the technical characteristics place these models alongside some of the most serious tool watches available today. Last year we were excited to offer the first NTH/WatchGecko collaboration range which was part of the 1970s-inspired cushion case Devil Ray collection.

The Vintage Subs

This year we have pooled creativity deploying an existing NTH Näcken base and a completely new design Submariner base with WatchGecko’s project focus to add a distinctive vintage finish to the final products. After months of inventive rendering and prototypes, we are proud to jointly present the 2022 NTH Vintage Subs, Näcken and Amphion variants.

The stainless steel NTH Sub range is well established and we have a full review of the latest Modern Blue Näcken coming soon, but this new Vintage design collection adds a wholly new dimension. In essence, you still get all the technical capability you demand from a quality 300m steel tool/dive watch but with an exterior which makes the watch look like it’s over 50 years old. To achieve this illusion various elements of the Subs were systematically and carefully aged. It was a multi-pronged method which involved finding the correct patina colour for the hands and indices, choosing revised, age-appropriate, fonts and designing a crystal inspired by watches from a bygone era.

There are four variants, two based on the existing Näcken case and two on the new Amphion.

The Vintage Näckens pay homage to the original Tudor Subs from the 1970s and are available in Admiral Blue or Reef Green. As the names suggest there is a strong sub-aquatic theme to both the watches with colours carefully chosen to mirror the hues and tones of an ocean. The obvious changes from the standard Näcken are the patina indices and hands and the box crystal with a cyclops lens. The goal was to create something akin to a circa 1975 Snowflake ref: 9411 which looked like it had experienced the darkest parts of the sea and is now a treasured heirloom. Quite a challenge with a brand new watch.

Alternatively, the style of the Amphions leans more toward the aforementioned Ref: 6538. The Onyx Black model is the quintessential Submariner; the “grail watch” that so many of us aspire to own, but then reality kicks. 

The Amphion is in every way a thoroughly capable 300m dive watch but when you look down at it on the Oyster bracelet and glance at the dial you are transported back in time. Like its sibling Näcken, the Amphion feels like it has been handed down through generations yet is still totally functional – a watch that has explored the depths and ends of the Earth and (depending on your imagination) survived a Fleming adventure.

And finally, we have the Anchor Grey Amphion. Conversely, a totally new take on the Vintage theme this watch is in subtle yet striking battleship grey on both dial and bezel which looks every part the colour you always wanted to see in the original watch, but it was never produced. This model is very much a passionate reimagining of the classic design in a contemporary timeless colour which really suits the aged patina and crystal.

Technically the new watches of course meet all the requirements for a modern 300m water-resistant tool watch. The build quality is what we have come to expect from NTH who know their target audiences and the demands that come as a result.

All four watches are powered by the Miyota automatic cal. 9015. A workhorse 24 jewel Citizen unit with Parashock and 42 hours of power reserve. This is a relatively new movement being introduced in 2009 and is a development of the 8215. The 9015 benefits from a ball bearing rotor and beats at 28,800 vph. Parameters for deviation are -10 to +30 seconds per day which certainly meets most requirements.

Rather than BGW9 lume, as found in the standard Sub range, the Vintage collection uses X1 GL 7500 C Super Luminova. The use of X1 increases performance up to 60% after two hours compared to the standard lume. The manufacturer claims that legibility, measured against ISO 3157, will be extended by at least a factor of 1.6 over long periods.

All models come on a robust Oyster bracelet with flip-lock although they do look equally good on additional NATOs or leather (we’ve tried them all).

The Sub Reimagined

Technical elements aside perhaps imagination is the key point of this new collection. As a group of watches, they are designed to fire your imagination with the aim of providing what never existed or was simply unattainable.

They are not a design collection we have entered into hastily. Much thought and analysis have gone into the creation of the NTH/WatchGecko Vintage Subs and their creation proved to be a perfect meeting ground for designers and enthusiasts within both companies.

These watches have initially been produced in an initial batch of only 25 of each variant. Perhaps they won’t become quite as unattainable as the original inspirations but in their own way, they will one day soon be very collectable. Access the full range here and begin your Vintage Sub story. 

Regular price
£680.00
Regular price
Sale price
£680.00
NTH Näcken Dive Watch - Reef Green - WatchGecko Exclusive
Back in stock
Regular price
£680.00
Regular price
Sale price
£680.00
NTH Amphion Dive Watch - Anchor Grey - WatchGecko Exclusive
Back in stock
Regular price
£680.00
Regular price
Sale price
£680.00
NTH Näcken Dive Watch - Admiral Blue - WatchGecko Exclusive
Back in stock
Regular price
£680.00
Regular price
Sale price
£680.00
NTH Amphion Dive Watch - Onyx Black - WatchGecko Exclusive
Back in stock
Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

I truly believe one of the best partners in exploration and adventure is a fine watch. Over 30 years of collecting, my fascination with the technical capabilities of both vintage and modern timepieces has never abated and it is a privilege to be able to share this passion through writing.

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