Olivers and Stevens families have worked together for more than a century in the shoe manufacturing industry since 1887. and it is now part of the world’s largest safety footwear company. Andrew Oliver, the fourth generation of the Oliver & Stevens is trudging into the watch industry. To pursue his passion, Andrew Oliver took a big step forward to create watches for the non-conventionals. Nitron watches is coming in bold and rambunctious. With a keen eye for details, he ventures into new materials, ostentatious designs and conspicuous display for his time-pieces. Unlike the notion behind Oliver & Steven’s safety boots, he does not create “safe” watches. Andrew Oliver do not follow herd instincts and flexes himself to expand his accumulated knowledge from the shoe-making manufacturing industry to the creation of watches.
“You only live once” -a statement celebrated and held firmly by Andrew Olivers. I’ll put a spin on this, you live every day and you only die once!
“Nitron challenges the untouched boundaries bringing forth designs that you probably have never set your eyes on before, using materials and details that you have never experienced. Be prepared that Nitron watches will be a bold and an adventurous manifestation of time because, “You Only Live Once”. “I will give Nitron that, their designs are definitely unique and definitely standout in this homage flooded market. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy Nitron watches because they are different and unconventional. The bronze Cali is a large, 49mm large bronze beast. It is large and I don’t want to downplay that, but it’s worth mentioning that the lugless design does keep the 49mm case more manageable. Then again, people who prefer 42mm and below cases aren’t going to consider this watch and the flip side to that is the people who prefer larger cases aren’t going to be concerned about it’s size. I understand that every one has their preferences and there certainly isn’t a wrong or right size out there. I personally think that too much emphasis is placed on the size of a watch case. The focus should be on quality and design but that is just my personal opinion on the subject.
I like the “puck” shape design of the Cali. As I mentioned before, the lugless design is also a nice design feature. The crown is located on the 3 o’clock side of the case. It’s a push/pull style crown. The crown functions as it should when manually winding and when setting the time/date. I like how Nitron integrated the crown guard on this watch. The crown guard is functional and but it also adds to the profile/style of the watch. I would have preferred a slightly larger crown that screwed down for greater ease of use. The crown is definitely well protected by the unique crown guard that is attached to the case by two flathead screws. The 9 o’clock side of the case features a small black plaque that reads “GMT Limited Edition” A small design detail that I could have done without but it’s certainly not a deal breaker by any means. The quick release strap clicks in underneath the case. The color stitching complements the colors that are found on the dial. The thick yet pliable strap has a bronze pin buckle that is signed with Nitron in raised lettering.
The bezel features the numerals for the GMT function of this watch. The large white numerals are coated with lume so it retains that optimal legibility in any lighting situation. Appearances are only one part of the equation though. I’m definitely nitpicky with the function of a rotating bezel. It not only has to be easy to grip but it has to be smooth without extra play. It also has to sit tightly against the case itself without any unnecessary gaps between the bezel and the case. In my opinion the bezel is one of the more important details on a watch which certainly can be a deal breaker. The bezel on Nitron’s Cali functions within my nit picking tolerances. It is smooth, rests evenly against the case and there isn’t any unnecessary extra play. The edges of the bezel allows for easy grip with gloves, wet hands and of course in normal conditions as well.
The large matte black dial is my personal favorite part of this watch. The first use of the California style dial date back to the 1930’s and while this design isn’t for everyone, it does offer the unique and different look that I personally appreciate. A multi color California style layout set against a matte black backdrop that allows for great legibility. This is a winning combination. The semi skeletonized minute and hour hands are ideally proportioned to the dial itself as are the second and GMT hands. It’s too bad that the second hand doesn’t have any lume. The dial itself is relatively clean with nothing added but the date window at 4 and the printed ‘Nitron/GMT Automatic’. The large lume coated numerals add to the both the great daytime and nighttime legibility of this watch.
There were some people that said the bronze case trend was something that wasn’t going to stick around for very long and yet here we are in 2021 and still are seeing a very steady flow of bronze watches that are being released. I have to be honest though, I wasn’t a bronze fan until 6 years ago, when I reviewed the Berkbinder and Brown T46. I like having more options in case material offerings. Each material used offers it’s own unique personality details. Bronze perhaps has the most unique of personalities because of it’s ever changing appearance. Whether you choose to let patina naturally form or if you force it, nevertheless the appearance of a bronze case is always changing. I also think that bronze cases show off scratches, dings and dents better than any other case material. The screw down case back is a nice combination of polished and brushed stainless steel. It is secured to the case itself via 4 flat head screws. There’s a nice little porthole that gives the best of both worlds, the feel of a solid case back but a peak of the movement through the small sapphire crystal window. Also featured back here are the specs about the Cali GMT that are in raised lettering that border around the center of the case back.
The Nitron Cali is a large and unique watch that would certainly hold it’s own in a well established bronze collection. It would also be a nice first bronze watch in a collection. This is one of Nitron’s nicest releases in my opinion, especially in terms of quality and overall execution. The watch is one of just 18 in a very limited release. It is available for $800 USD on Nitron’s website. The pro’s of this watch heavily outweigh the “cons”. The cons can actually be labeled as personal preferences more so than actual cons. The important details are this watch is made with good quality and with every functional component operating without fault/fail. The Cali GMT has strong wrist presence, a uniquely designed case & dial, and is executed with good quality. I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the watch was on my wrist during work(scrub attire/isolation gowns) and hiking in cold/snowy conditions. The movement inside is one that I’m not entirely familiar with. It’s the HZ 7500. Throughout my review of this watch, it was keeping +10 seconds a day time and the power reserve was lasting over 60 hours. I will definitely keep you all updated how this movement ages over time. Thank you all for reading and thank you Nitron.
HZ 7500 specifications:
Function :3 hands, skeleton
Running Time :~75hours
- – Bronze case 49mm width
- – No lugs
- – California dial
- – Superluminova on bezel, index and hands
- – Thickness at 10mm
- – Sapphire crystal watch glass
- – Calf leather with coloured stitching
5ATM, 50 meters
Exclusively Limited to 18 pieces worldwide
2 Years Warranty