Isotope is a brand I first wrote about last year (LINK) but that was from afar, based on what I could see from the photos and description in a campaign funding page. More recently, however, we were able to spend time with a couple of models from the brand. Today, we’ll tell you what we think about the Isotope Goutte d’Eau.
The Isotope Goutte d’Eau is very much a dive watch. Rather than being another Submariner-inspired dive watch (which can be done either very well or very, very poorly), they’ve gone to another icon, the Super Compressor style case with the dual crowns and internal dive timing bezel. The case shape is what I’d call a modified cushion case, which is Isotope making it their own. Further stamping the Isotope design in place is the large teardrop in the dial, which itself draws inspiration from the 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Coupé. I’ll give them this – that is a lovely car, and as far as a brand-identifying design cue, you could certainly do much, much worse.
Suffice to say, I am a fan of the dial design on the Isotope Goutte d’Eau. The teardrop motif is there, albeit subtly as the dial is a single tone, so you could miss it in the right lighting. If you can’t see the big teardrop, though, you can see it in the indices cutouts (it’s a sandwich dial) at 3, 6, and 9 (and on the crowns). With a sandwich dial, of course, you’ve got some very nice lume. On the dial, it’s a rich blue, while the hands have a contrasting green tone on them. Very visible, and I like seeing alternating lume colors on a dial. The hands themselves, as seen in daylight, are ok. They look nice, and they’re a recognizable shape. Some part of my wished that they had done something that make them a bit more rounded to match the rounded, swoopy shapes used and inspired by the aforementioned car.
For our review, we got to look at two different versions of the Isotope Goutte d’Eau. The one on the bracelet – which has a rather unique an interesting link pattern – is known as the Isotope Goutte d’Eau Orange, and then the one on the NATO is the Isotope Goutte d’Eau Nordblad. That one, in particular, is a limited edition done to honor Johanna Nordblad, a record-setting Finnish free- and ice-diver. That one features an engraved, solid caseback (more fitting for a diver), while the non-LE version has an exhibition caseback. That said, they both rate a 200m WR, so you should be fine whatever you’re doing (and if you’re free diving, you know what you’ll trust with you or not).
We’ve talked a good bit about the design, and there is a lot to like about the design of the Isotope Goutte d’Eau. That leaves us the materials. Here, again, they are top-notch. You’ve got 316L stainless steel in the 40mm case, as well as the 22mm bracelet. For movement, you’ve got your choice of a Miyota 9015 or Selitta SW200-1 /ETA 2824, and you’ve got sapphire crystals as well. All of this comes together in a package with some very good fit and finish.
Wearing the Isotope Goutte d’Eau was a rather enjoyable experience, and I think many who feel like maybe they missed out on the dual-crown Magrette watches will be very happy here. Particularly when you realize that pricing starts off at just $305 for the Miyota movement, and “top out” at just $411 for the Swiss movement. These are great prices, made available via the pre-order scenario (rather than crowd-funding) currently going on at the Isotope site. If you want one, move quickly, as production will be starting up soon. And if divers aren’t your thing, stay tuned, as we’ve got another Isotope review being worked up on something that is definitely not a diver. IsotopeWatches.com
- Brand & Model: Isotope Goutte d’Eau
- Price: $305 – $411
- Who’s it for? You like yourself the dual-crown Super Compressor look, and are also a fan of smooth curves
- Would I wear it? Indeed I would
- What I’d change: Figure out a way to get some curves – even subtly – into the hand shape
- The best thing about it: Overall design aside, two details stand out – the contrasting lume, and the bracelet design.
Tech Specs from Isotope
- Brushed case, 316L stainless steel
- Case diameter 40mm
- Height 11.80mm (Nordblad), 11.97mm (Orange)
- Exhibition screw-down case back (Orange)
- Stainless steel screw-down case back (Nordblad)
- Security inner bezel
- Anti-reflective crystal sapphire
- Two screw-down crowns: 2 o’clock for the inner bezel and 4 o’clock to adjust time
- Hands, bezel and sandwich dial with Super-LumiNova® BGW9
- 22 mm brushed bracelet and extension clasp in 316L stainless steel
- Water resistance 200 m / 20 atm / 656 ft
- Japan made:
- Automatic, self-winding Japanese caliber Miyota 9015
- Power reserve 42 hours
- Accuracy -10/+30 s/day
- Swiss made:
- Automatic, self-winding Swiss caliber ETA 2824 or Sellita SW200-1
- Power reserve 38 hours
- Accuracy -12/+30 s/day
- Japan made: