Isotope Celebrates their Seventh Anniversary with a New Logo and a Limited Edition Collaboration with Seconde/Seconde/

Isotope has unveiled a new limited edition, made in collaboration with Seconde/Seconde/ to celebrate the former’s seventh anniversary. I’ve become a pretty big fan of the Isotope design language over the years – brand founder José Miranda has a good eye for color, and is one of only a handful in the industry who dares to inject a bit of humor into his watch designs. Seconde/Seconde/, of course, is all about the jokes, so when I heard there was a collaboration in the works, I was pretty excited to see what would come of it. The end result, the Hydrium Seconde/Seconde/, is surprisingly subtle, but better for it. 


The high level brief here is “a Memento Mori watch, without a skull.” That, in and of itself, is kind of funny, at least if you’ve been tracking recent watches that take the Memento Mori as design inspiration. Why a death obsessed watch for a seven year anniversary? Isotope has retired their old logo, and just like life itself, the end of a logo is inevitable. The new logo takes the focus from Isotope’s “i” hand and shifts it toward the lacrima, the tear shape that has become a defining characteristic of the design of every watch they’ve made. The new logo is bolder and more sophisticated to my eye, so yeah, good riddance to the old. A fresh start never hurt anyone. 

The design itself makes a few small changes to the familiar Hydrium dive watch platform. The (new) logo now reads “OTOPSIE” (autopsy) rather than “ISOTOPE,” with arrows showing the old “i” from the prior logo being removed in a very Seconde/Seconde/ way. The key visual pun here though is the use of a “failing heartbeat” seconds hand, which is filled with bright green SuperLuminova and looks like a flatlining EKG monitor. Even more than a skull, a flatlining EKG is a true symbol of death, at least for anyone who has watched even a few minutes of a network television medical drama over the last 30+ years. 

As with other Hydrium dive watches, the new Seconde/Seconde/ variant has a micro-blasted stainless steel case measuring 40mm in diameter and 14.9mm tall (including the sapphire crystal). The watch runs on an automatic Landeron movement with 40 hours of power reserve, and the water resistance is rated to 300 meters. The dive bezel here is sterile, with the exception of a bright green lacrima that can be used as a starting point for timing an event, or an ending point for a countdown. The minimal approach works well here considering the theme of the watch, and it allows the Seconde/Seconde/ contributions to really stand on their own. 

One of the things I like about this watch is that, for a Memento Mori watch, it’s very straightforward, and can truly be enjoyed outside of its own thematic intent. While most people, I think, will see a flatlining EKG when they look at the seconds hand, there will be plenty who just see a fun, big, bold, and bright green dial accent, and the watch can easily be enjoyed on that level. I’ll admit that I like a good skull watch too, but this Hydrium drives a similar point home (with humor, no less) and perhaps doesn’t require as much of an explanation. 

The Hydrium Seconde/Seconde/ is a limited edition of just 50 pieces, and has a retail price of £900. Isotope

Images from this post:
Related Posts
Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.