Exploring the world of watches on a budget

NTH Tikuna

More Subs! Not a brand to sit still, NTH has released three more models in its popular Subs series. Regular readers know I have liked these retro-inspired divers from day one. The new models include the Vanguard, the Amphion Commando, and the Tikuna, which I sampled for this review. 

NTH Tikuna

Like every other NTH Sub, the Tikuna has a brushed and polished stainless steel case that is 40mm wide, 48mm long, and 11.5mm thick. It is perhaps the biggest reason for the Subs' success. It is neatly sized for most wrists, it will slip under a shirt cuff with ease, and it is wafer-thin for an automatic watch with a 300m water resistance rating. It has a double-domed, anti-reflective sapphire crystal and its broad, flat, screw-down crown maintains the watch's tidy proportions. I've wondered how long NTH can soldier on with this platform before tweaking it and the answer may well be "never." It works so well, there is little to be gained in messing with it.

NTH Tikuna

The Tikuna's dial is an exercise in retro-futurism, a tantalizing glimpse of tomorrow as envisioned in 1965. NTH looked to Longines and Sicura for inspiration (I think I see a bit of Enicar Sea Pearl in there too) but the end result stands alone. I love the exaggerated angles on its numbers, the wildly stylized arrowhead hands, and the red brackets on that black dial, but the cherry on top of this cake has got to be the second hand's hexagonal counterweight. After all, vintage sci-fi was all about the hexagons. It wouldn't be an NTH without crazy bright SuperLuminova on the hands, markers, every engraving on the bezel, and of course, the crown. 

NTH Tikuna lume

It is a striking watch, quite unlike anything else in the NTH line. My only criticism - and a minor one at that - is the bezel. I love the engraved and lumed stainless steel insert, and the 120-click action is spot-on, but I feel that radical dial would have been better suited to a less traditional index. Maybe something more sparse or without numbers. As it is, it looks perfectly fine, just a touch too conventional. 

NTH Tikuna

Subs keep their fancy stuff on the top side and the Tikuna follows suit. The case back is plain, decorated with only a few specifications a trio of small logos. Of greater import is the 28.8k bph, 24-jewel, Miyota automatic behind it. If you order the date version (black to match the dial), you will get a 9015; if not, then a 90S5 - the same movement but unburdened by that superfluous wheel, thus eliminating the phantom crown position and rollover click otherwise present with a hidden date. Both have a power reserve of over 42 hours.

NTH Tikuna

The 20mm bracelet is a quality piece with solid ends and screwed links tapering to an 18mm signed flip-lock clasp. Drilled lugs make for easy strap swaps. Personally, I think this one is begging for black tropic rubber.

I've said it before: you can't go wrong with the NTH Subs. They are the watches I recommend most. If you are shopping for a $650 watch that can handle just about anything you throw at it while still carrying off a dash of avant-garde flair, the Tikuna might be the watch for you. Order yours at NTHWatches.com, or at one of their authorized retailers

Also, if you want to see the Tikuna and more NTH watches, drop by District Time sponsored by NTH Watches, October 12-13, 2019 at the District Architecture Center, 421 7th Street, NW, Washington DC.  I have a crazy hunch you might find some Subs there... ⬩

NTH Tikuna wrist

NTH Tikuna

NTH Tikuna side

NTH Tikuna case back

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