The Hellion is Mk II’s newest iteration in their Cruxible line, a simple field watch inspired by World War II era Type A-11 issued watches. Where does the name come from? During the war, the Hellion was a weapons system designed to clear beaches ahead of amphibious landings. The weapons system never made it out of the test phase into wide use, but the name stuck, and became synonymous with the pilots who fought in the Pacific theater and the Navy seamen who were members of early Underwater Demolition Teams (which would later become the SEALs). If you know even a little bit about the war in the Pacific, you’ll understand how the word “Hellion” completely captures the bravery and spirit of the servicemen who took part in some of the war’s most dangerous fighting.
The Cruxible-Hellion, like all Mk II watches, is first and foremost a useful tool. The case lines and dial have a clear connection to classic military issued pieces, and the Hellion specifically draws inspiration from the iconic Elgin canteen watch, notable for its large crown attached to the case via a small chain. This was a primitive attempt at ensuring reliable water resistance, and Mk II has thankfully stopped short of a full-on homage by incorporating a no longer useful design element (the Hellion has a full 100 meters of water resistance, ten times more than the original Elgin, thanks, in part, to the now common innovation of a screw-down crown). At 39mm the Cruxible-Hellion is an easy to wear modern size, with short and slightly downturned lugs that should make it feel comfortable on a variety of wrists. My favorite small case detail is the little notch that can be seen at the lug tips when you check out the watch in profile, giving the watch a slightly more rugged, tool-like look. The black dial is spare, with the Mk II logo and water resistance rating printed in a gloss black, keeping the focus squarely on time-telling.