Isotope Introduces The Spectacular Hydrium NASA
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Isotope’s Hydrium series. So whenever the brand releases a new addition to it, I am all eyes and ears. For the new Hydrium, Isotope owner José Miranda has a special trick up his sleeve. He combines the futuristic aesthetic of the Hydrium series with a NASA look to result in a watch that looks like it could be on the wrist of astronauts. Somehow the combination of elements results in another standout release from the London-based brand. Time to find out more about the Hydrium NASA that has been officially approved by NASA.
It’s been a little over a year since I got to witness the magic of the Isotope Hydrium series with the HydriumX “Will Return.” The watch takes inspiration from the iconic “Will Return” clock door sign that tells when a shop will be open again, usually after lunch. It’s a genuinely fun play on this clock that we probably all know. Essentially, Isotope created a colorful red, white, black, and blue version of the iconic clock for the wrist that I loved. For this new Hydrium NASA, the brand has once again come up with something special that will have a lot of fans.
The idea behind the new Hydrium NASA
Once again, José Miranda has come up with an original idea to create this new Hydrium NASA. The concept for the watch is based on the re-entry capsule needed to come back to Earth after space travel. The capsule starts to experience drag as it moves through the air, which can heat the surface of the capsule to up to a scorching 1,480°C (2,700°F). To protect the astronauts, the capsule is equipped with a heat shield. As the module moves through the atmosphere, part of the heat shield cools the module by burning off. The distressed texture on the outside of the reentry module that this creates was the inspiration for this new Hydrium NASA.
To mimic that texture, Isotope equipped the stainless steel case with a polymer-ceramic coating called Cerakote. It gives each of the 200 micro-blasted cases that will be produced a unique look. From the images, I can see it gives the case a rougher, less polished presence. I have to say I love this look as it fits the case design very well. In terms of proportions, it is the case we know. It measures 40mm wide, 48mm long, and 12.9mm thick. If you take the domed sapphire into account, the watch is slightly thicker at 14.9mm. But I can say from experience that the case is an absolute joy to see and wear. It is modern in style and comfortable in its proportions.
The perfect canvas for a NASA design
As I explained in previous reviews of the different Hydrium models, Miranda created a modern case that is the perfect canvas for a lot of different concepts. For this NASA collab, he paired it with a spectacular dial. The white dial features a railroad track that incorporates hours and minutes. The track is placed on the periphery of the dial, leaving a large open space in the center.
The dark blue railroad track matches the blue box-shaped hands and the outline of the brand’s signature Lacrima logo. At first glance, I would have sworn the elements were black. But if you zoom in, you can see the dark blue color unveiling itself. Placed on the Lacrima is the NASA logo in red. The logo matches the red central seconds, and they provide a nice hint of color. The Isotope logo is neatly placed at 12 o’clock, creating a nicely balanced design that looks modern in its execution.
A fully lumed dial and bezel
In a surprising, colorful twist, the dial is completely lumed. We have seen it on the HydriumX “Will Return,” and it adds a great feature and party trick. The stainless steel bezel, which also has the Cerakote coating, features a translucent off-whitish bezel inlay. The 120-click bezel features a diving scale and is also fully lumed. As you can see in the pictures, the hands are also treated with Super-LumiNova. It results in a watch that fully lights up in the dark for a brilliant and spectacular effect.
It’s great to see how this Hydrium dive watch, which is still water resistant to 300 meters, morphs into a futuristic space watch. I have to hand it to José Miranda. The Hydrium design is a great versatile canvas for many crazy ideas. But to make that work, you have to have great concepts to back it up. And Miranda has a fantastic eye for creating something truly special. The HydriumX “Will Return” was great proof of that, as were the Hydrium X Blink and the HydriumX “The Judge.” This new Hydrium NASA is another crazy idea turned into a great reality, and I love that.
The decorated Landeron movement
If you turn the watch around, you are greeted by the Swiss-made Landeron movement. The automatic movement is visible through the sapphire case back and operates at 28,800vph with a power reserve of 40 hours. The movement has an accuracy of +/-12 seconds per day. On top of that, it features blued screws, perlage, Côtes de Genève, and the Isotope Lacrima on the oscillating weight.
The watch comes with a special strap designed by Nick Mankey Designs and featuring the NASA logo. It also comes with a second quick-release gray FKM strap so you can switch things up nicely.
Initial impressions of the Isotope Hydrium NASA
Judging by the photos, I have to say that José Miranda has done it again. He has created another great conceptual timepiece in the Hydrium series. This spectacular new watch immediately stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons. The case has a unique coating, the dial design is distinctive, and in addition to that, you get a fully luminescent dial and bezel. And the cherry on top is that the watch is approved by NASA. As a result, this new Isotope Hydrium NASA is another great release for both Isotope and NASA fans.
As mentioned, Isotope will produce only 200 pieces of this unique collaboration timepiece. The watches are on sale now and will be available for £825 (roughly €1,025) excluding VAT. What you get in return is a fun and unique piece that will also wear like a charm. From previous experiences, I can tell you that the Hydrium watches are a great joy both in comfort and in presence. It’s why I do not doubt that all 200 pieces will sell out in no time. With a fun piece like this, that will be a no-brainer.
For more information or to buy the Isotope Hydrium NASA, visit the official Isotope website.