Isotope Hydrium watch review

British brand Isotope has its own design language and produces wonderful watches. Their latest is the Isotope Hydrium.

Isotope Hydrium Burnt Tangerine Review

I’ve covered a couple of variants of the Hydrium, and finally, I have one of my own. This model is called “Burnt Tangerine” and is the latest in a long line of orange-faced dive watches.

At a glance

Isotope Hydrium

Case size
12.9mm (14.9mm including domed crystal)
Water Resistance
Swiss Landeron 24

The Isotope Hydrium box is made of fabric-covered card, and has a neat press-stud design that allows it to be completely flattened (for ease of storage?). It does a good job of showing off the watch within.

Case and Movement

The Isotope Hydrium uses a Landeron 24 movement – it’s a Swiss-made option that is, I believe, a clone of the reliable and accurate ETA 2824. It’s housed within a 40mm case that wears smaller than expected – I think Isotope could have gone even bigger without making the watch unwieldy.

The bead-blasted finishing on the case is absolutely stunning, and the whole package has a suitably premium feel – as you would expect for the asking price. Everything is bespoke and custom-designed, and the watch is all the better for it. I absolutely love the deeply engraved caseback, it is right up there with brands like Omega in its quality.

Dial and Hands

The burnt orange colour of the Isotope Hydrium dial is absolutely stunning to behold, especially in sunlight – I acquired this watch during the UK’s July heatwave, and it just soaks up the sunshine. The hands, in the shape of Isotope’s “i” are lined in thick black and are easy to read, and the dial has a wonderful sense of depth, featuring the isotope water drop logo prominently.

Forcing myself to find a negative, I’d like a date function (because I use it a lot) and I do think one could fit at 6 O’clock without ruining the design, but I am really clutching at straws here. I love the clean, simple look of this watch.

Strap and Buckle

The rubber strap supplied with the Isotope Hydrium is simply superb. It feels great to wear and has a water-wicking texture on the underside. I like how it works with the straight lug design to fit perfectly against the case with no gaps.

The buckle is just fine, except it has a rectangular pin, and the holes on the strap are round. It works just fine, as rubber is inherently elastic, of course, but it did strike me as an odd choice.

Isotope Hydrium – Video Review

What I Liked

What I Didn’t like

  • The finishing on the watch is superb
  • The rubber strap is excellent
  • As always, Isotope’s design is unique and great looking
  • Securing the strap literally involves forcing a square peg into a round hole
  • A date function would have been welcome
  • Isotope could have got away with a slightly bigger case

Isotope Hydrium – The WRUK Verdict

What can I say? Let’s be brief: The Isotope Hydrium is an excellent watch. It wears wonderfully, it’s brilliantly built and it looks lovely. A strong contender for WRUK’s Watch of the Year.

Buy an Isotope Hydrium

Isotope sells direct from their website. Click here to browse the Hydrium range.

By Mike Richmond

Mike spends what little spare time he has writing for WRUK; and what little money he makes building up his collection of timepieces.

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