I reviewed a couple on Nite watches a few years ago – the MX10 and the Icon. Both showed signs of something super cool, and whilst the build quality was great, I found they didn’t quite impress as much as I’d hoped as the total Tritium was rated at T25. However, this model – the Alpha – sports mighty Tritium tubes rated at a total of T100 (the number refers to the total amount of millicuries of Tritium is found on the watch, and this how bright they glow).
If you’ve not heard of Nite before, they’re a British brand specialising in watches that utilise Tritium tubes for luminosity. These bad boys are very cool, as they’re mini radioactive gas chambers on your wrist that glow constantly without the need to charge them.
At a glance I really like the look of the Alpha – visually it’s striking, and even though it’s quartz all the specs are impressive. Let’s check it out to see how it stacks up.
- Dimensions: 42mm diameter x 14.8mm height x 49.5mm lug to lug
- Weight: 175g (sized to 7.25” wrist)
- Water resistance rating: 30ATM / 300m
- Movement: Ronda 715Li
- Battery life: 10 years
- Lug width: 22mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: £480 / ~$615
- Buy here: https://www.nitewatches.com/store/gb/alpha/alpha-208s-t100/
The Alpha sits rather large, with an impressive size of 42mm. I also think the lug to lug length seems a bit on the long side visually – when you really look at it I feel the end links of the bracelet jut out a little too much.
The case is characterised by angular edges and lugs which exemplifies the tool-like approach of the Alpha; a watch that will endure anything you throw at it. The fact that it’s fully brushed makes it more resilient to scratches too.
Sitting on top of the case is a flat sapphire crystal with triple anti-reflective coating on the underside. Whilst I’ve seen better anti-reflective coating, it’s still pretty good at keeping the reflections at bay.
The bezel features a very smart and neat ceramic insert. There’s a cool mini Tritium tube (more on that later) within the pip at 12 which is pretty awesome, allowing for constant glow in the dark and a point of reference. All markings are engraved, which are clean and crisply done. I love the blue colour of the insert and the orange accents, bringing in a splash of colour. The grip is very well machined and the action is silky smooth, making it a joy to use.
The screw-in crown has great grip just like the bezel, plus a smart orange ring in the middle to match the accent on the bezel and dial. There’s a slightly bulbous tip to it with the Nite logo engraved on the end.
The screw-in caseback features the Nite logo engraved in the centre, with other specifics surrounding it. As is the norm here, it’s very neat and accurate.
Without a doubt, one of the key selling points of the Nite Alpha is the T100 (referring to the tritium and how many millicuries is in each tube) Swiss Made GTLS illumination tubes used as hour markers. The previous two Nites I reviewed (the Icon and MX10) had T25 – and let me tell you, it’s incredibly obvious that the Alpha has tubes that are four times brighter. At night, as I’m lovingly gazing at my watch box in the dark (I assume I’m not the only one?!) the Alpha is the one that glows the brightest – without fail, and without the need for any charge.
The base of the dial has a sunburst effect emanating from the central pinion. The blue is beautifully deep and dark, keeping legibility to a maximum but providing colour.
The date window is cut out of the dial at 4:30. The white date wheel may put some off, but no doubt the primary goal is that it’s legible – which it certainly is.
The printwork is kept to a minimum: the logo is within the top half, with some text in the centre of the bottom and also a minute track. There’s also some small text right at the foot of the dial informing of the T100 Tritium used and Swiss Movement.
The hands have Tritium tubes applied on top; the main hour and minute hands have an interesting syringe style shape with a white background. The orange second hand brings in another splash of the accent colour, and also has a mini Tritium tube situated near the top. The white base of the hands provides very good legibility against the dark blue dial.
I really love the angled top of the links – another element that exemplifies the tool-like approach of the Alpha. It also provides a wide range of reflections due to the various angles, even though none of it is polished.
Each link is beautifully manufactured and engineered, it’s a joy to behold and supremely comfortable to wear. I usually struggle to wear a watch with a bracelet all day, but this is easy to do so.
From a visual perspective, the only thing that I’ve noticed is that the central column of the end links stick out a bit too much, so I don’t think it’ll be too good for those with smaller wrists.
The buckle is double-locking, so it’ll prove to be secure. The buckle is operated via the two side buttons, and then the top flap locks down. Again, it’s fully brushed and features the Nite logo engraved on the top of the main buckle body. It’s very easy to use.
If Nite decides to do a mechanical Alpha, then let me tell you – it would be pretty awesome. All of their watches are quartz bar one series (the Icon), which I know is a markdown for many. However, when you think about the movements they use, which are some of the best quartz movements available – and the fact that these watches are designed to last, it’s as good as they come for the price.
The movement used is the Ronda 715Li. It’s Swiss Made, has 5 jewels, and rather impressively – a 10-year battery life.
Everything about this watch oozes quality – the entire fit and finish is sensational. There’s only really one negative I can think, which is the long perceived lug to lug length, but that’s not an issue if you have a large enough wrist (over 7”). I love the bezel, the case, the bracelet, and of course – the Tritium.
Truthfully, it stands out in my watch box – not only because it’s always glowing the brightest out of all of them, but also due to the design – this model, in particular, uses the blue and orange really well, creating a bold, modern diver that looks epic.