A group of Dutch watch enthusiasts under the name of SUBDELTA is now offering their 2nd timepiece. That’s not entirely true by the way, as (almost) the same group built the P1lot One watch already in 2014/2015. In 2016, they decided to move on to a different watch project and came up with the SUBDELTA name. Anyway, their first commercial watch was the SUBDELTA Periscope, that they introduced in 2016. You can find it here.
For 2017, they designed and developed a watch called SUBDELTA ACE. This is their 2017 project, and currently ready for order. Even better, you can get a nice discount after you finished reading this article.
Hans de Ree of SUBDELTA sent me the prototype of the 2017 ACE and that is what I am looking at right now, on my desk. So let’s have a closer look.
The aim of SUBDELTA was to create a rugged tool-watch, made of grade 5 titanium. Well, I can say that they succeeded in this. The SUBDELTA ACE is a 42mm tough looking titanium watch. Perhaps a bit raw-looking at first sight, but upon closer inspection, there are some nice details on there that shows a certain level of sophistication.
Despite the diameter of 42mm, the appearance of the watch is much bigger. Three reasons cause this basically, starting with the huge flieger-type of crown. The SUBDELTA ACE has its crown on the left side, to ensure problem (and pain) free movement of the wrist. Another reason is that the case is quite thick. Well, it only measures 14mm according to the specifications, but put one of the delivered NATO straps on it and add a few mm’s. If you don’t like this, use the nicely crafted leather strap that comes with the watch. Third and last reason why I think this watch appears to be larger than it actually is, is the shape of the lugs. Look closely, and you will see that the lugs are connected to each other by an extension of the case. It isn’t your typical round case.
The dial of the SUBDELTA ACE is a so-called sandwich dial, that we know best from Panerai watches. The upper dial has the cut-outs for the markers and other elements and the lower dial has been applied with Super-LumiNova. SUBDELTA choose to work with the BGW9 grade of Super-LumiNova, it is the highest grade that will get you the best results.
The applied SL on the hands is a bit sloppy on the version of the SUBDELTA ACE I have here, but that’s probably because it is a prototype of the watch. However, the design of the hands is well-done. The luminous arrow tip on the seconds hand is beautiful, and reminds me of some of the Lemania 5100 based chronographs of back in the day.
This is an interesting feature of the watch in my opinion. The movement is based on the often praised ETA/Unitas 6497 caliber. However, as you can see, the SUBDELTA ACE has a central second hand while this Unitas movement normally has a small seconds hand. This movement has been adjusted to 6 positions instead of 5 (default). As you can see below, it uses a Swan-neck regulator.
The SUBDELTA ACE comes as a very complete package. Delivered with a hand-made olive strap and bespoke tang buckle. Available in 3 different sizes. My prototype came with a couple of 5-ring ZULU straps and I decided to put on the green one. There’s also a Bergeon tool included in the package, so you can easily swap straps yourself. The watch will be delivered in an olive green NANUK 903 suitcase and an optional SUBDELTA watch roll is also available.
Optional engravings are also possible, up to 3 initials on the caseback and a date (up to 6 numbers) between the lugs. You can enter your wishes in the ordering form on the SUBDELTA website.
The price tag on the SUBDELTA ACE will be between 3000 and 3075 Euro, depending on the options you tick. But wait, there’s more! If you use the coupon ‘acefratello’ you will receive an early bird discount of 1000 Euro. This is valid until August 15th. So the watch will be 2000 Euro (or 2075 Euro, depending on the options) for you. Now that’s a good start of the weekend eh?
After you ordered, it will take 6 to 9 months before your bespoke and personal watch is ready.
Visit the SUBDELTA website for more information and ordering.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more