PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 31 Jul, 2014.
In case you haven’t heard of Nite watches before, they are a UK-based watch brand specialising in tritium tubes and military watches.
The MX10 is a key model in Nite’s lineup. It confirmed the brand’s ability of creating tough, practical watches when in 2005 it was issued a NATO codification reference and Nite were contracted to supply the British Special Forces. If the MX10’s good enough for them, surely it’s good enough for the rest of us?
The bracelet model will cost you £300, and if you go for the rubber strap equivalent it’ll cost you £250. This isn’t really a lot of money for a watch of this standard. Let’s see why.
The MX10 is a very comfortable and wrist-friendly size, measuring in at 39mm in diameter, and 10.75mm tall. It’s not too big, yet packs some impressive girth to provide a quality feel.
The entire watch is completely brushed, bar the polished caseback. This supports the purpose of the watch, bring a utility tool watch, which has been commissioned by the British Army. The brushed finish will last longest against any scratches or marks from wear.
Weighing in at 158g, the MX10 doesn’t mess about. Considering it houses a light quartz movement, it feels tough and heavy duty thanks to its weight.
On top of the case is a flat Sapphire crystal, with a triple anti-reflective coating on the underside. Whilst this AR coating does seem to remove a lot of the detailing on any reflections, it doesn’t remove them completely, so you do still get some reflections. This is most probably just due to the fact that the crystal is flat though. It’s good that Nite have fitted a sapphire crystal to the MX10, supporting it’s tough military/tool watch status.
The bezel is raised from the case and has a large chamfered edge, and is very thin – which allows the dial to be the most prominent element of the watch. The edging is accurately carved and the finishing is spot on.
The MX10 has a push-pull crown, which surprised me a little. I would have thought a screw-in crown would have been better, but then again this watch isn’t a dedicated divers watch. It is well-sized, The ratio to the case looks right. It’s quite thin, so it doesn’t jab you in the back of the hand thankfully. It features the Nite icon deeply etched on the end, and good quality, deep grip, all very well machined and finished.
The crown guards are rather rounded and protect most of the crown, so they’ll do their job of protecting it well.
The lugs are a unique shape, you won’t be able to retro fit another standard strap to the MX10. You probably won’t need to though, as bracelet is a beaut, and you also have the option of a rubber strap too. The lugs have a large sweeping top following the shape of the wrist, with a large semi circle cut out. These do stick out quite far, so if you have wrists any smaller than mine (7.5″), it may not follow the shape of your wrist so well and may have a bit of a gap between the lugs and wrist. The lug to lug length is 52mm, which is pretty long for a watch this size.
The lugs are drilled through, so the pins have easy access from the outside, resulting in quicker and simpler strap removal. It also means you are less likely to scratch the case when trying to remove the pins.
The screw-in caseback is the only part of the MX10 that is polished, and the finishing is excellent and mirror-like. All the details are in a circle, and in the centre is a large Nite logo, with the NATO stock number and details about the Tritium tubes above and below it. Surrounding this is a border, creating a channel for more watch specifics. This is split into quarters, with every quarter divided by means of a small Nite icon. In each quarter there is Swiss Movement, sapphire crystal, water resistant 100m, and stainless steel. It is a well designed caseback, offering lots of information in a compact and visually appealing way.
The MX10 has a water resistance of 100m or 10ATM, which means you can wear it swimming or snorkelling.
Despite it’s relatively small size of 39mm, the MX10’s case is hefty and rugged. It won’t let you down.
The main feature of all Nite watches is the Tritium tubes. GTLS (gaseous Tritium light source) is an external light source using tritium gas, which reacts with phosphors on the inside of the tube to create light. No charging is required, it’s a completely self-powered light source. They glow for about 25 years, slowly diminishing in brightness. Tritium light sources are regularly used in the military, one instance can be found on the sights of various rifles.
The MX10 features 15 tubes – one for each hand and hour marker. All of them are green, bar the 12 marker which is orange, so you can tell which way up you’re looking at the watch. Green tubes are the brightest and most visible you can get.
From a design standpoint, the MX10 is definitely focused on practicality and cause over beautiful design. But if you were to buy this watch, you probably wouldn’t care much about elegance and beauty anyway. It is quite simple, ensuring the watch offers great visibility and completes it’s purpose.
It is a matte black, which when coupled with the white hands provides superb legibility.
I really love the rehaut, it gives a great amount of depth to the dial. This is thanks to how deep it is and how it rises right up to the crystal.
It features a precisely printed minute track, with each white line extending as long as the tritium tubes marking the hours do, which are all perfectly glued and positioned in place.
The logo in the top half is printed in 3 colours. In the lower half of the dial we have MX10 and 100m, then right at the bottom is T25 and Swiss Movement. T25 refers to the Tritium and the amount of millicuries is in each tube.
The hour numbers of 1-12 are larger and near the outer edge of the dial, with the smaller hour numbers of 13-24 positioned just inside. Having both sets of numbers can sometimes clog up the dial, but the sizing and positioning is just right on the MX10.
The hands all have tritium tubes applied subtly. The hour and minute hands are white batons with pointed ends. This offers great visibility against the black dial. The tritium tubes are quite long, almost taking up the whole length of the hands.
The second hand is teal/turquoise blue, which matches the logo and is a very appealing colour. It has a thin point with a larger section near the end to house the tritium tube, and a rectangle the other end acting as a counterweight. All the hands are flawless, and as is the way of the MX10 – serve their purpose with minimal fuss.
The date window is simply cut out of the dial. I think it would have looked a bit nicer if it had some sort of border or frame. Still, the cut out is clean and accurate with no bad edging.
The date wheel is white with black text, which of course means good visibility. Some may complain about this though, as some prefer to have the date wheel colour matching the dial colour. But, this would result in it being quite camouflaged, especially in amongst all of the hour numbers on the dial – which would not make it easy to check the date at a glance. So I strongly believe a white date wheel is the correct choice.
The MX10 doesn’t portray itself to be a watch all about the looks. In every aspect it’s focus is purpose, and in this regard it holds up superbly well. The dial is functional, well executed and still looks pretty good.
As was the case with the Nite Icon, the bracelet on the MX10 is excellent quality – it’s thick, comfortable and well built.
It’s quite a unique style, with all the links connected below the main section. This creates an almost seamless appearance, with just thin gaps separating the links. This is not only visually pleasing, but also means the bracelet has a very smooth top and underside which adds to the comfort of wearing it.
Because of the way they’re joined the shape is quite rigid. If you close the clasp and place the watch on it facing up, instead of collapsing flat, the bracelet keeps itself upright and maintains a wrist shape. This means it’s a very comfortable wear, as the bracelet supports itself and actually makes the watch feel lighter on the wrist.
The finishing of the bracelet is all brushed as per the case, matching well. The only detailing is two thin channels running the whole length towards the outside of every link, which keeps things a bit interesting.
The end links are obviously very unique, as they have to fit the unusual shaped lugs with a semi circle ingress. They fit together perfectly, displaying the accurate machining of the MX10.
The double locking deployant buckle is sturdy and solid. All parts click together securely and accurately. It gives you the sense that it is very well built, and that it won’t break open at all. The Nite logo is deeply etched on the top edge.
The bracelet definitely supports the ethos of Nite and the MX10, being a rugged, active/military type watch you can depend on.
The movement powering the MX10 is a Ronda 505. It’s quartz, Swiss Made, and has a date complication. Nothing particularly exciting to report on it, apart from the fact that it has 45 months battery life, and accuracy of -10/+20 seconds a month. It also has a battery saving mode when you pull the stem out which saves 70% battery life.
Ronda are well renowned for their excellent Swiss Made quartz movements, so you can be confident that the MX10 will hold up well in tough circumstances.
As I mentioned in the introduction, if the MX10 is good enough to be issued to the British Special Forces, it’ll most definitely do the job for the rest of us. Because of this, the watch is extremely well put together, and is likely to last you a very long time. The bracelet is fantastic, all the machining and finishing is spot on, and it just feels solid and dependable. Considering this is from a British brand, plus the added bonus of tritium tubes, £300 is a great price in my eyes.