So, I basically dropped Chris an email, telling him how big of an influencer I am with 10 followers on my instagram and at least 7 of ’em will see my photos and like ’em. I also am an influencer in the watch review world because whatever I wrote, doesn’t turn into sales for the brands. I am also an influencer in the real world because whatever I wore on my wrist, nobody notices it ! So, I told Chris that we should collaborate and that he sends me a watch, and I will spend probably minutes per week to take some wrist shot on my beautiful asian brown skin with hairs not noticeable and post ’em on my famous 10 followers instagram as a thank you gesture for the free watch. Chris was impressed with my strong influence in the watch industry and he agreed with a collaboration by sending me a limited edition DEVILFOX…
If you do not know Chris by now, well, you should ! He is one of the very rare people I know that would actually take the time to reply such request from some so-called influencer or instagramer or blogger. He gets such email request regularly through his 2 brands (NTH & Lew and Huey) and he would often shares some of the interesting responses / replies from the sender. As a brand owner myself, I do occasionally receiving such emails but I would delete ’em immediately when I see any, and sometimes I would wonder what are the success rate for such sender getting a positive answer ? Anyway, if you are still wondering, Chris DID NOT send me any free watch to write up this article but I was lucky enough to purchase a couple months old DEVILFOX at a bargain from a local owner. After wearing it for a few weeks, it deserves my time to write up an article about it after a trip to Penang Malaysia and some of the days at my workplace.
A quick intro to the brand of NTH Watches – founded in 2012 and owned by Chris Vail through the parent company Janis Trading Company. NTH Watches was founded on a simple guiding principle – we sell a good product at a fair price and back it up with outstanding service. NTH is about taking vintage inspiration and infusing it with new ideas, so you can think of it as either “N-T-H” for “Nod to History”, or “enth” for taking things to the Nth degree.
Technical Specifications of DEVILFOX
- Movement: Automatic with Hacking and Hand-winding
- Caliber: Swiss STP 1-11
- Power Reserve: 44 hours
- Dial: Gunmetal sunburst dial with applied indicators, Freediving interval chapter ring and color-coded minute and second hands
- Lume: X1 Superluminova on dial, bezel and second timezone
- Crystal: Double-dome with anti-reflective coating
- Date: 6 o’clock position
- Case Material: Steel
- Bezel: 120-click unidirectional with second timezone on blue aluminium insert and dive timer on steel
- Caseback: Stainless steel with Watch Wonderland Fox Mascot engraving
- Water Resistance: 500 metres
- Crown: Screw-down Sawtooth with lumed NTH logo
- Case Size: 43mm
- Lug-to-Lug: 46mm
- Case Thickness: 14mm
- Strap: Stainless steel 5-link ‘Stingray’ bracelet + Blue Silicone Strap
- Buckle: Single-fold deployant clasp with ratcheting diver’s extension
- Strap width: 22mm
Here’s what I think about the DEVILFOX…
Case : I have owned a lot of divers watch of various brands and models, but this DEVILFOX is by far the only that fits nicely underneath my cuff. Most divers are chunky in thickness due to case design, but with DEVILFOX you are getting a combo of DOXA Sharkhunter and iconic Seiko Turtle case that resides on the wrist comfortably. The bezel may remind you of the DOXA Sharkhunter, but Chris designed the side of the turtle-shaped case higher that functions as a protector / shroud to the bezel to avoid accidental move to it, limiting the space on the top and bottom of the bezel. This may limit the move of the bezel due to the space available. I love the combination colour of the bezel with the upper half blue and bottom half grey to display hour and minute index between them. Overall, the case has the retro feel to it but with a modern touch to the design.
Caseback : A special mention of the caseback because this version of DEVILFOX is a collaboration between NTH Watches and Watch Wonderland. Hence you will notice a fox carrying the devilray on its’ back. The fox is Watch Wonderland‘s icon that will appear in all of their watch collaboration.
Dial : As you can see from the close up shot… I love how the sunray gunmetal finishing at the center of the dial with a dark blue angled minute ring to give it a 3d perspective finishing. I like how the hour marker penetrates out from the ring like a claw and the sizing of the date box balances well with the hour marker. The visual depth gauge is not a feature I would use, but the colours of it makes the dial overall interesting. I like how the minute and hour hands are designed especially the hour hand where the inner design is the same as the hour marker.
Lume : If there was a lume competition, I am sure this will be on the podium receiving a trophy, be it 1st, 2nd or 3rd placing. Definitely a serious challenger with other watch lumes in the market today. The Tritec X1 lume is crazily bright and exciting where it’s almost everywhere on the watch including on the crown.
Conclusion : I can say that this is the middle ground of what a modern diver and vintage-inspired diver combined into a single watch. Kudos to Chris to go bold with the common turtle case shape but yet successfully creating a NTH identity onto the watch without being alike to DOXA or Seiko or any other diver watches in the market. Simplifying my earlier sentence, it’s an improvement to style and concept on a traditional dive watch. I really enjoyed wearing it and eventhough it’s sold out, I feel that it’s still worth to get even if it’s a used / pre-owned watch because of quality and the design.
I felt that Chris and Arnold Schwarzenegger has something in common, which is Arnold’s 5 rules for success in life :
- Rule no – 1: Find your vision.
- Rule no – 2: Never ever think small.
- Rule no – 3: Ignore the naysayers.
- Rule no – 4: Work your as* off.
- Rule no – 5: Don’t just take, give something back.
I believe that Chris does check on all 5 rules above similarly to Arnold’s… especially #5, where Chris recently started giving back to the microbrand watch community, which is his time and experience through an initiative called “Microbrand University“. I salute Chris to share his secret recipe with the participants so that he or she can follow in the success and avoid the mistakes commonly faced by brand owners. I wish I could attend in future and learn from the best to widen my horizon in the watch industry. Click on the link to find out more… and why Chris is bothered in helping out competitors.