Tin wind-up robots were a huge part of my childhood. I remember spending countless hours setting up my robots on my kitchen floor. Winding them up as their invasion marched on throughout my kitchen as the smell of my mom’s cooking lofted through the air. Those were simpler and cherished times. When I saw Nitron’s initial pictures of the Robotron II, I knew I needed to get one in ASAP. I missed out on their original Robotron watch so I was happy that I didn’t miss out the second time around. I was surprised by the size of this when I opened up the box for the first time. The RII case is an impressive 50mm robotic beast. We are talking some major wrist presence here. The stainless steel case is 13mm thick and features a lug space of 24mm. Obviously the unique and quirky dial is the star of the show but the case has some unique details that are definitely worth mentioning. For starters, the two toned case, a combination of brushed blue and high polished stainless. The contrast created by the blue and stainless steel is very appealing to me and this color combo is what drew me to this particular model.It’s worth noting that the RII comes in several different color combinations if the blue/SS doesn’t appeal to you. The lugs are relatively short and curved allowing the watch to wear slightly smaller than it’s measurements imply. I was surprised just how well and comfortable the Robotron wears on my wrist (7 1/4”)
The blue/SS contrast is consistently carried throughout the design of the case. The blue push/pull crown is nicely protected by a brushed stainless steel crown guard. The large design of the crown allows for easy grip and easy operation which is always a must in my opinion. No one likes a difficult to grip/undersized-poorly designed crown. A crown is one of those important details on a watch that is not only a major focal point but it’s the most important functional detail of the case because of it’s responsibilities as the watch winder, time setter and if applicable, it functions as the date setter. The large grooved crown functions without any difficulty whatsoever. I like the groove details that are cut into the crown guard. I respect the fact that the screw details on the crown guard are actually functional and that they are not just for decoration purposes. In my opinion, functional details will always win over decorative details. These screw details are consistently found throughout the case, are also located on the lugs and on the fixed bezel. A played out detail in the watch industry right now is the exhibition case back. I honestly don’t need to see another NH35 movement. I can say however that I was happy to see what Nitron did with the sapphire crystal case back on the RII. Printed on the inside of the crystal is the Robotron robot himself. I believe it’s the next best thing to having a solid case back with an engraved picture on it. Not only does the case back feature info/specs about the watch but it also allows a view into the NH35 movement for those of you who enjoy peaking at the movement in motion.
The dial of the RII is the star of this horological themed show. This dial is made up of multiple layers/sandwich style that make this robotic themed dial so much fun to look at! The dial is huge so legibility isn’t an issue even with how busy this dial is. There are several dial/color variations available of the Robotron II. You can see the other variations on Nitron’s website: https://www.nitronwatches.com. The dial and bezel work together in unison in terms of telling the time. The bezel functions as the seconds/minutes numerical display and the dial features a combination of numerals and applied markers for the hours. This unique dial features a traditional 3 hand and date window at the 6H layout. The semi-skeletonized hour and minute hands have lume coated sections, as does the arrow tip of the second hand. It’s worth noting that the applied markers are also coated with lume. The date window featured a white wheel with black printed numerals. It’s definitely one of those dials that you stare at and never even notice the time.
It’s obvious though what the “star of the show” is on the dial and that star is Robotron himself. The robot’s face is definitely the focal point of this watch and Nitron added some great details to Robotron’s face. First of all, the bottom layer of this dial is a beautiful sunburst orange. The blue layer/Robotron layer is sandwiched on top of the orange sunburst layer. This sandwiching allows the blue to really standout. I like how the orange looks like rust. The appearance of rust adds to the robo theme of this watch like it’s a battle damaged droid that’s seen it’s fair share of galactic battles. Also adding to the battle damaged effect is the distressing/scratched details on Robotron’s face. I love the textured details of his face. From his textured eyes to his “polished grill”, each detail just adds to the cool quirkiness of this dial. On the serious side of this watch, Nitron did a real nice job of matching the both orange strap and blue buckle to the blue/orange on the dial and the bezel. There’s a cohesive feel throughout the entire Robotron watch that I can truly appreciate. Speaking of the strap, the wide leather strap is actually well constructed throughout. The stitching is neat and uniform. Giving the strap that finished feel is the brushed pin style buckle that is signed with ‘Nitron’. The strap itself is attached to the case with spring style lug bars/pins.
Obviously this large novelty watch isn’t for everyone. Each color variation is limited to just 28 pieces. For those watch enthusiasts you who love classic robots then this is definitely a watch you need to experience. It’s unique, it’s quirky but it’s also well made. I have to say that the only disappointment for me personally is that Nitron missed an excellent lume opportunity here with the Robotron II. The eyes and electrical charged antenna should have been coated with lume in my opinion. These added lume applications would have taken this cool dial to the next level. There are so many little details on this watch that I kept discovering new ones every time I wore this watch. Two of the smallest details on the dial are probably my favorite of those details that I didn’t notice right away. I am referring to the “Frankenstein-esqe” bolts on Robotron’s neck. Not only are they cool throwback to Frankenstein but they also match the details found on the bezel, lugs and crown guard. This is probably my favorite of Nitron’s releases and it’s not just because of the robot theme. It’s my favorite because there are so many thought out details that give the Robotron a complete cohesive feel. Some examples of this is: the non crown side of the case features the same engraved design as the crown guards; all of the blue details on the watch had the same brushed finish and all of the silver details have the same polished finish.
Some novelty watches are just that, a novelty. Often they are poorly made and don’t hold up to every day wear and tear, but that is not the case with the Robotron II. Yes it’s a fun, tongue-in-cheek styled watch but it’s more than that. Thanks to Nitron’s attention to detail, the watch is designed well underneath it’s childhood memory-inducing fun. The Robotron II watch definitely deserves attention from those watch loving robot obsessed fans out there. Thank you all for reading. Thank you to Nitron.
NH35 Seiko Automatic Movement
316L Blue and Stainless Steel case
24mm lugs width
Superluminova decorated dial
Date window at 6 o’clock
Calf leather strap
Power reserve of up to 40 hours
Sapphire crystal watch glass
10ATM, 100 meter
Exclusively Limited to 28 pieces