Iconic Nite a clear winner

To be more precise it is actually the Nite Icon 201L T100 and certainly lives up to it’s name as a watch you can definitely see in the dark!

Nite Icon 2011 T100 Tritium.

Nite Icon 201L T100 Tritium.

As many of you will know I love my Tritium watches, and have a good few of them today and none have ever let me down.  In fact I when I used to be on “nights” in military service for 6 months at a time my Tritium light source models were an absolute must.  In fact since those day Tritium models apart from some small cosmetic changes have hardly changed ever since GTS Light Source was first introduced, such as the colors available for example or in the basic watch model design.

I’ve always liked Nite watches but never actually owned one, mostly because I preferred other case/watch/dial designs from other Brands and also as price was an issue.  However the Nite 201L T100 has the advantage of an updated GTS capability with the altered light source construction feature – flattened Tritium tubes.  These spread the light more evenly than the more common round tube design and do away with any surrounding reflector ideas of older design watches.

Flat tube Tritium at it's very best.

Flat tube Tritium at it’s very best.

In fact the tubes look very like traditional dial markers but at night appear much brighter, yet at the same time much easier on the eye.  There are in fact the more traditional round Tubes on the Hour, Minute and center Seconds hands, where they are ideal with their narrow light line acting more as pointers.

This particular model is also very well specified and with some thought gone into regarding the choice of materials etc.  The case is a decent sized 44 mm diameter with a good dial diameter of 38 mm and overall though the case is a fairly substantial 12.1 mm depth.  It is constructed of 316 Stainless Steel in black PVD and uses K1 Mineral Crystal with enhanced scratch resistance and hardness plus the advantage of Triple Anti-reflection inner coatings, so clarity is very, very good indeed.  It is also fairly light weight at 80 g, has a decent sized Screw down Crown @4 and a Water Resistance of 30 ATM or 100 m.  Incidentally the screw back has Nitrile Gasket/seals which are manufactured to withstand -40ºC to +60ºC so should last a long time.

Night use perfection = the Nite Icon T100

Night use perfection = the Nite 201L T100 

Movement wise Nite have gone for a sensible choice in the Swiss Ronda Quartz 515, which has a Date window between 4 & 5 and a Battery life of between 3 and 4 years.

The price direct from Nite for this strapped model is £320 here in the UK, though as I often do I’d probably have an silicon/rubber deployment one as an alternative.  Easy to fit of course as this case has conventional spring bar fittings.   I tend to avoid steel bracelets these days as invariably they’re heavier than the watch and I don’t need that (and more expensive).

The higher price Point is maybe at the top end for a Tritium model, as personally I think high price & practicality could be viewed as a contradiction in terms – but the Icon 201L T100 with it’s considerable advantage of the flat/tube illumination, is definitely worth it and represents very good value.

I’d go further and say that if you’re considering a watch for night use and certainly if you are involved in night work, then in my opinion for what it’s worth, it’s probably one of the best options available today.

Addendum I note they now have a polycarbonate cased version of the Nite watch – the Hawk.  But unfortunately it has a much larger diameter case, which kills it for me personally.  Why the larger case I don’t know, but what a shame as it really competed so well against the Casio range of G-Shocks, which of course also tend to have in the main an over large case for me.   So the Nite 201L T100 model will still be the model I’ll probably end up with in my collection.