Presented in 2014, the Edox HydroSub North Pole (ref. 80201 3BUO BU) celebrates the 40th anniversary of the original Hydro Sub. With its total run limited to just 350 pieces, the model was chosen as an official timekeeper of an expedition to the geographic North Pole in February 2015. Not only at least two timepieces out of 350 will see one of the coldest places on Earth, but one of them will also be used by champion free diver Christian Redl of Germany during a world’s first attempt at a free dive under the ice cap.
Actually, this is not the first time that the famous German diver partners with Edox. Back in 2012, the brand has issued a sexy Edox Iceman II quartz diving watch that was rated for whole 1000 meters of water resistance. While this HydroSub North Pole is not as impressive with ahem just 500 meters of water resistance, it is however a lot more pleasant to look at thanks to its easily recognizable 1960s aura with lots of bold details and an overall I-don’t-give-an-F attitude of the glorious decade.
This is, however, NOT a re-issue of the vintage model.
While the new timekeeper surely keeps the family DNA including a massive tonneau-shaped body and a similarly styled dial, the Edox HydroSub North Pole is decisively modern thanks to its signature movable crown protector that the Swiss watchmaker painted (or probably anodized) bright orange.
Matching the color of hands and hour markers that, too, have nice orange accents around them, as well as nicely accenting the deep blue color of the dial and unidirectional rotating bezel, the “Master Lock” slider certainly looks attractive.
The bright orange stripe that encircles the huge stainless steel body (it measures impressive 46 mm in diameter thanks to that thick protecting half-ring on its right side), too, gives the timekeeper more refined feel.
On a normal hand, the watch looks predictably large taking a lot of wrist real estate. As often in such cases, wearing this piece you will have to be quite careful not to slam it against a wall or your car’s door shiny. However, I was surprised to see that it doesn’t look excessively large and actually doesn’t look ridiculous when paired with an expensive suit. Perhaps, the reason for this is a successful combination of colors and textures: the gadget actually feels as high-tech and cool as a Koenigsegg super-car.
As usual for this category, the dial of the timekeeper is easy to read: the hour markers, the hands, even the chapter ring are extremely simple and just bold enough to be read without straining your eyes, yet small enough not to make you cringe. There are no superlative numerals and the date window is large enough for a normal person. Of course, the inscriptions on the upper and lower halves of the dial look a bit like those on Rolex chronometers, but, well, let’s treat them like a nod of respect, okay?
Perhaps, the only thing that doesn’t look terribly convincing here is the movement. Although the Swiss brand boldly calls it Edox caliber 802, the usual 25 jewels and a power reserve of just 42 hours strongly hint at a mass-produced mechanism made either by ETA or Sellita*. Well, at least they are as reliable as they are mundane.
See also: Edox Geoscope GMT Automatic
* UPDATE ON MECHANISM: The movement it’s based on is, in fact, the well-known Sellita SW 200.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Edox HydroSub North Pole (ref. 80201 3BUO BU) specification
Price: $4100 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Edox caliber 802 (base Sellita SW 200,) COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: Stainless steel
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 46.00 mm
Dial: Dark blue
Hour markers: Orange, luminous
Hands: Orange, luminous
Water resistance: 500 meters
Strap: Solid stainless steel bracelet with an additional water-resistant orange leather strap and tool to change the bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Solid, engraved