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Watch of the Week: Triton Subphotique Diver

Two French watch enthusiasts reboot the obscure ’70s dive-watch brand, and the result is impressive…

New release after new release in 2017 continues to prove that the trend of reissuing or drawing inspiration from vintage watches is anything but over. No matter whether a brand is deep-rooted in history of if they have only been around for the last decade (or less), it would seem that every company is jumping on the bandwagon. The interesting thing about Triton is the simple fact that a pair of Paris-based watch enthusiasts stumbled across a vintage example of the Triton dive watch from the 1960s or ’70s and bonded with its design to the point of wanting to revive the brand once killed off by the quartz crisis. After tracking down a number of Swiss manufacturers and parts suppliers that were up to the task, the Triton Subphotique was reborn. The dive watch is priced within spitting distance of the Rolex Submariner and Omega Planet Ocean, but the question remains: Would the low-production ’70s relic have what it takes to play with today’s big boys? We were certainly itching to find out.

How It Looks

When it comes to dive watches, it is quite easy for designs to come across as boring—sometimes even lazy. Large and heavily lumed indices and hands, a 60-minute timing bezel, and a black dial are often the name of the game. But there is much more going on in the instance of the Triton Subphotique, and all of the elements that help it stand out are design characteristics taken from the original vintage model. For instance, the inclusion of an articulating upper lug and top-mounted crown is about as far from the norm as one can get. This lug design not only helps the Subphotique stand out from conventionally designed dress watches, it also makes it much more comfortable for a wider range of wrist sizes. For those who prefer a fairly loose fit, the watch’s 12 o’clock crown position keeps its wearers from dealing with the annoying feeling of the crown digging into the back of their hand.

In addition to its case design, details like the unique font choice on its lumed ceramic bezel and its broad arrow minute hand are also rather charming, and capping things off, the use of red text against a matte black dial give a slight nod to a particularly collectible vintage Rolex diver from back in the day. When we first saw the Triton Subphotique in the fall of 2016, we tested the version with a rubber and crocodile strap. For the new year, the brand has added a sturdy tapered bracelet with shoulders that match the outer edge of its lugs. This simple adjustment helps the piece appear a fair bit heftier than its strapped sibling. Though we really enjoy the fit and finish of the new bracelet, we wouldn’t mind the addition of a micro-adjustment to its clasp.


How It Works

For its inner workings, Triton opted for a Soprod A10 automatic movement as its jumping-off point. From there, the brand performed a host of modifications to the base movement including the use of a different mainspring, a customized rotor, and most noticeably to its wearer, a customized date wheel with alternating black and red numerals. The Soprod runs at 28,800 bph and is good for a 42-hour power reserve. Of the many dive watches that we have gotten our hands on in recent years, the 60-click bezel on the Subphotique has a great stiff action to it—a crucial element in a dive watch that is going to be used for more than just a day of “desk diving” at the office. Its heavy application of Super-Luminova to its indices, hands, and ceramic bezel make it glow very brightly in low light conditions. Even when dropped down to its maximum 1,640-foot depth rating (not that that’s likely to happen), it will still be glowing bright until you need to come back to the surface.

How To Pair It

We find ourselves in another situation where our watch of the week is the casual dresser’s new best friend. We’d avoid sport coats and blazers with this one, but denim, sweaters, golf shirts, and streetwear will all make for a fine pairing. If you have an eye for detail, picking pieces with subtle red accents will complement the Triton’s dial script nicely. This timepiece will make a great “weekend warrior” watch, whether you’re spending the day around the house out being social.

How To Get It

Triton doesn’t have a whole lot of distribution at the moment, however the Subphotique can be purchased either online via its website or through select retailers globally. The new model retails for $5,750 on its steel bracelet, and $5,590 on a natural rubber strap. A special edition dressed in diamond-like carbon is available for $6,450 and will be limited to 63 pieces. (tritonwatch.ch)

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