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Help me decide on a tritium watch

Discussion in 'Watches' started by Evil D, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Evil D

    Evil D Loaded Pockets

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    Looking for minimalistic "military style" watches, prefer to have day/date but not absolutely necessary if the rest of the watch is up to par and for a good price, don't have a preference of black or satin but would prefer to not have a a polished case. Needs to display the hour numbers and not have just hour "notches" or whatever, and 24 hour secondary numbers are a must. I don't really go swimming/diving, but it needs to be reasonably waterproof (enough that if I DID go swimming and forgot to take it off, it would be ok).

    What I don't know much about are the brands and which are good/better/best, so I'd like some opinions there.

    As for style, here are a couple that I've had my eye on:

    Nite Watches ICON 209L T100...I especially like the double trit tubs at the 12/3/6/9 hours on this watch. The downer is that it only has the date and not the day of the week. I also kind of like the offset crown. The band is beautiful but would most likely be replaced by a nato.
    Luminox 1921, either in black or satin...This watch is basically perfect, except I very much envy the larger tritium tubes on the Icon. I love the face, love the numbering, it has day and date, it's water resistant to well below any depth that I'd take it. My only concern is the much smaller tritium tubes....is that going to be a problem in real world use? One thing I REALLY like is that the second hand extends nearly all the way out to the second marks, BUT the trit tube on the second hand is TINY. Anyone who has this watch and can give some feedback I'd really like to hear it, because it's also a good $100 cheaper than the Icon, and I basically like everything about it more than the Icon except the smaller tubes.

    I really prefer the brushed black but with the lighter colored numbers...can't seem to find this one for sale anywhere? There's the blackout version that has very dark numbers and a black case, but this is the black case with lighter numbers....?

    Now, here's an example of what I DO NOT want. I know some guys love this kind of watch, but the face is just waaaaaaay too busy for me...

    Just way too busy. I just need to look at my watch and instantly read the time, and there's just way too much going on for my liking.
     
    Last edited by Evil D, Aug 4, 2015
  2. Cprrckwlf

    Cprrckwlf Loaded Pockets

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    For a "military style" trit watch I continue to believe that no one is putting out a better watch than the Marathon GSAR/JSAR/TSAR/etc. series. I don't have direct experience with Nite, but build quality on the Marathons is far beyond Luminox. Like strapping a time telling tank to your wrist.

    If you do decide to go with Luminox be 100% sure to purchase from an authorized dealer, not grey market. There have been numerous reports of Luminox refusing to service watches they have deemed to be grey market. Not just refusing under warranty, but refusing to service them even if you pay. Since certain repairs (like unseated trit tubes, which happen periodically) need to be handled by them directly this can leave you in a spot.
     
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  3. Evil D

    Evil D Loaded Pockets

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    Awesome, this is the sort of thing I want to hear before I commit to a purchase. Thank you.
     
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  4. jfone

    jfone Loaded Pockets

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    I've read nothing but good things about Nite. Luminox is hit and miss based on reviews and feedbacks, I would stay away.

    I suggest looking a Victorinox Divemaster or Infantry. VSA makes some nice pieces that fit your needs. My Divemaster has awesome lume, although I don't think it's tritium.

    I also think Marathon JSAR or similar would fit your needs. Marathon is highly respected in the watch community.

    If lume-light is that important I would love at a Gshock. Nothing beats having light in a situation where you need it such as hunting or camping.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
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  5. jrad

    jrad Loaded Pockets

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    reactor titan with ND (never dark)

    they are the brightest watches And longest lasting

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
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  6. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    Generally, you'll find that most tritium watches have T25 tritium tubes for illumination. Some 'boost' that up by putting two or more T25's side by side or stacked to make it a sort of T50, T75, or T100 illumination system. The higher the number, the brighter the illumination; so a true T100 tritium tube is four times as bright as a T25 tube. Don't know if that matters to you or not.

    But, if you did want the brightest illumination then a T100 watch is the way to go. So far, the only ones I have any knowledge of are Ball (a buddy of mine has a Ball and swears by it) and ArmourLite. Ball is way expensive, but check out Armourlite. It is relatively unknown in the USA, but a top quality watch at a reasonable price, whether it's a T25 or a T100 tritium tube system. I have one and it is far better than the Luminox I used to wear and swear by.

    In a T25 ArmourLite take a look at the Professional Series, which hits pretty much all of your wants. In a T100 ArmourLite check out the Valor series: only downside is no day/date.

    The other thing I like about ArmourLite is that the watch face has a sapphire crystal instead of mineral glass or something else prone to chipping.

    Now, if illumination is not really a concern to you there are many, many watches that have phosphorescent lighting or are back lit.
     
    Last edited by Cobra 6 Actual, Aug 5, 2015
  7. Evil D

    Evil D Loaded Pockets

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    Well, I got this idea that I would like a tritium watch after wearing my Seiko 5 for a while. It has great lume if they've been "charged" under a light for a second, and it seems to last a good long while but the idea of lume that is constant and always at a particular brightness sounded appealing. There are definitely times when the lume on my Seiko is basically dead and I can't see anything at all, and that bothers me.

    Those Marathons are 1) a bit out of my price range and 2) look like they're an inch thick. I'd also like to have the thinnest case possible. One of the reasons I started wearing this Seiko was because I'm coming from a G Shock and wanted a slimmer profile watch to easily fit under dress shirt sleeves. Most "divers" watches are really bulky, and I'd like to have the lowest profile possible (at a reasonable price of course).
     
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  8. 4rmless
    • In Omnia Paratus

    4rmless Loaded Pockets

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    Take a look at the H3 GWS G10 Pro Black, it's on my maybe list, no date, but otherwise goo, only 12mm thick, not too busy.

    The Marathon Diver's Quartz Medium is both cheaper and smaller than the JSAR and similar, maybe look at that.
     
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  9. Cprrckwlf

    Cprrckwlf Loaded Pockets

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    Cobra 6 Actual your buddy is right about Ball, but they unfortunately don't put out anything with the field watch styling that the OP was looking for.
     
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  10. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks, sir: I wasn't actually recommending Ball to the OP; instead was just saying that the Ball and the ArmourLite were the only two T100s I had any knowledge of.
     
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  11. Cprrckwlf

    Cprrckwlf Loaded Pockets

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    Yup, but the brand is worth the endorsement for a future reader, even if it doesn't meet the OPs requirements in this case. Quality, and they've done some really cool things with their tubes like writing out 12-3-6-9 like an old digital clock. Not sure I've encountered ArmourLite before myself, so I'll be checking them out.

    Evil D Excepting my caution re:Luminox's repair policies I would encourage you to look at reputable grey dealers and also the large secondary watch market (by which I mean forums more so than eBay). Watches are one place where there are huge savings to be had with a little comparison shopping and/or haggling. Won't make a Marathon GSAR thinner, but at least it won't make your wallet too much thinner either.
     
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  12. jfone

    jfone Loaded Pockets

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    Great call on Armourlite! Lots of value in my opinion. There are some good deals to be had on these as well. Check the bay along with online retailers for periodic discounts.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
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  13. trickcarey

    trickcarey EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I've got the Luminox 3051 blackout, and I"ll just address one of your concerns: The trit tubes don't glow in the day, but in the dark you can read them just fine, and while the second hand trit is small, in the dark it serves its purpose without issue.
     
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  14. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, jfone, I've had my ArmourLite for a couple of years and am very pleased with it. The company is just starting to get more well known in the US, so it's still a 'best buy.'
     
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  15. thegamettt

    thegamettt Loaded Pockets

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    I was wary of the thickness on marathon watches too, but its really not that bad.

    [​IMG]

    check out deep blue too if you like tritium.
     
  16. nine204

    nine204 Loaded Pockets

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    I have an Isobrite from Armourlite. Best tritium watch I've owned. T-100 tubes is the only way to go, blows T25's out of the water.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    I'm with you 100%, nine204. A lot of people don't realize that the mechanism on most better watches is the same, a Swiss-made Ronda. But, just because ArmourLite isn't yet that common in the US they ignore it. Go figure.
     
  18. nine204

    nine204 Loaded Pockets

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    Rhonda 715Li. 10 year battery life. Mine is keeping about +.25 sec/day. Love it!
     
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  19. Evil D

    Evil D Loaded Pockets

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    Those of you who have Marathons, if you also happen to have a Seiko 5 and/or a G Shock 7900B that you could take a pic of side by side so I can see the difference in thickness, that would be awesome. I've read the thickness specks on some watches, but seeing them side by side is much easier to estimate.

    I wore my G Shock today, and unfortunately I have to say I'm pretty much over the G Shock thing despite how much I have loved this watch. The Seiko has ruined it for me. I've also fallen deep in the Nato strap hole, so much so that I don't think I could ever happily wear a resin band again. The thin case thing is pretty important though, I wear fitted dress shirts 5 days a week and the cuffs are quite snug, and having the shirt ride above my watch drives me crazy. The G Shock was far too thick for this which was what drove me to buy the Seiko. The Seiko is fine, but I keep wondering if thickness isn't the whole story...it may be the resin/rubbery texture and chunky "chunks" sticking out all over the G Shock that snag on my shirt cuff. I'm wondering if something like that Marathon wouldn't slip under my sleeve and be ok even if it was as thick as the G Shock.

    I REALLY hate that there isn't a watch dealer around here that carries a bunch of these watches so I could try them on.

    Oh, and the Armourlite Slimline Series is nearly perfect, if the dial was styled a bit differently...I want all the numbers shown, and I really like having the 24 hour secondary numbers. It also needs to read the day and not just the number. It wins in thinness though and I love how the 12 and 6 are made up of trit tubes.
     
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  20. Cprrckwlf

    Cprrckwlf Loaded Pockets

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    Seiko 5 actually covers an entire range, which do you have?
     
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