The more futuristic elements are to be found in the contemporary font used on the dial, the unusual dots as indices rather than the more typical stripes, the lit inner circle with invisible crosshair and the both futuristic and classic hands. The generous use of Swiss Super-LumiNova BGW9 “grade A”, which is off-white in daylight hours and bright blue at night, further enhances the modern look at night and makes it very clear to read under any circumstances.
The Ace is a sturdy 42mm watch, entirely hand-made and milled from extremely light and strong grade 5 titanium and housing the best components available – many of which can also be found in some of the most iconic pilot watches from other established and well-known brands. To step things up even further, the Ace will use a re-engineered movement with an expensive and complex central seconds hand modification. The movement is now 4 times more expensive than the standard one with small seconds hand.
- Upgraded hand-wound movement: The Ace is equipped with a re-engineered Swiss Made UNITAS 6497 displaying a large central second hand with hacking feature (stop-seconds). The bridges have Côtes de Genève finishing with perlage on the baseplate. In addition to blued screws and a beautiful swan neck, this original pocket-watch movement sports a unique modification: a signature crooked bridge used to centralize the second hand. The movement will be hand-adjusted to 6 positions, 1 more than factory settings. A printout will prove this. The selection of this movement for its quality attests SUBDELTA’s unwavering commitment to remain true to its values.
- Case material and construction: All parts of the Ace’s case are hand-crafted from grade 5 titanium, being the highest grade of this exquisite material due to its lightness and hardness. All titanium used at SUBDELTA is milled, finished and decorated in the Netherlands.
- The combination of hand-polished bevels on all lugs the industrial-looking bead-blasted case finishing is a statement in itself of what’s being housed inside. The SUBDELTA case has the firm’s DNA etched in bold yet simple lines, its distinctive shape being an evolution of the P1lot One and Periscope case with additional refinement. Dimensions are about 42 x 54 x 13 mm (width x length x height), 22 mm lug width.
- Straps: The handmade olive leather straps by Dutch artisan 7T2Straps.com are attached to the case using solid stainless steel spring bars. There are many additional strap color options available to make the ACE your own even further. Finally, there’s a secret military-grade NATO or ZULU style strap as well. This will be unveiled during the unboxing by the new owners.
- Drilled lugholes: The case lugs have to be drilled with a very high degree of accuracy on an extremely hard material. A strap changing tool made by Swiss watch tool specialist company Bergeon is included to facilitate changing the straps at home easily.
- Crystal caseback: The matching grade 5 titanium screw down caseback is rated waterproof for 60 meters (6 ATM) when shut with strategically positioned rubber gaskets. The double-domed sapphire crystal has also been anti-glare treated on the inside, so the nicely decorated movement can be appreciated with minimized reflections. The watch is individually numbered and details are laser etched into case and case back.
- Personalization: Each SUBDELTA is a unique watch and owners can have a meaningful date engraved between the lower lugs (i.e. up to 6 numbers) as a free option. By default, the space between the upper lugs is laser-engraved with an Ace of Spades (like the one in the card game) as a reference to the name of the watch. The unique build number is laser-engraved in the outside of the crown as a constant reminder of the uniqueness of the particular timepiece.
- The crown: The bespoke 10 mm titanium classic “Flieger” crown has been sourced by the best Swiss crown maker and is positioned on the left side of the case for maximum comfort and freedom of wrist movement.
- Bespoke tang buckle: The handmade tang buckle is also made out of bead-blasted grade 5 titanium. Just like the case, it is slightly bevelled as well as polished on its outside bevels to resemble the finish of the case lugs. The profile of the buckle is hand-bent to follow the curve of one’s wrist perfectly. To round it off, the SUBDELTA logo is laser-engraved on top of the buckle. Please note the prototype is in the images and the production version is under construction. Changes: it will have a somewhat improved form / thickness / curvature and the letters will be etched through, just like on the upper sandwich dial.
- Twin anti-reflective sapphire crystals: SUBDELTA sources and fits its watches with the best available sapphire crystals on both sides. The choice of an anti-reflective coating on the inside only is deliberate as outside coating is more prone to scratching due to the coating being less hard than the sapphire it is applied to. This coating has a slight violet blue-purple hue, which can be seen when moved around in direct light conditions and gives the crystals a nice touch. The front crystal is made of thick, double-domed synthetic sapphire for aesthetic reasons and to make it withstand considerable pressure.
- Sandwiched dial setup: The ACE uses a sandwich dial, with the upper dial featuring intricate cutouts of the markings and the lower dial sporting the highest grade BGW9 Swiss made Super-Luminova to provide maximum legibility also in total darkness. The dial design has an inner circle as well as an invisible crosshair and artificial horizon to match the Pilot’s theme – clearly adding to the ACE’s visual impact in darkness.
- Triple hands: The three hands on the Ace indicate the hours, minutes and seconds. The hour hand is surrounded by a thin matte black rim and holds the same luminous paint as the lower dial. It has been designed in such a way that it merely touches the inside of the inner circle. The minute hand is essentially a longer, but slightly thinner version of the hours hand, transecting the dotted indices along the rim of the dial. The central second hand shows a luminous arrow at its tip only, while the rest of this hand is painted matte black to make it visually disappear, leaving the center of the dial uncluttered for easier recognition of hours and minutes.
- Nanuk 903 case: The Ace is being shipped an presented in the revered Nanuk 903 waterproof and shockproof case for maximum protection during its missions, where a tailor-made interior ensures all parts are kept well in place. For the Ace, the case comes in a dark olive green, while the 2016 Periscope was shipped in an all-black version. Please note the contents of the Nanuk in the picture do not belong to the Ace, they’re just to show the Nanuk.
Currently SUBDELTAs can only be purchased through pre-payment orders (orders are closed). Please note than once the production of a limited edition has been fully spoken for, no more re-issue or re-runs of this specific Ace will be available.
On August 16th 2016 the production starts by procuring all required materials and components from carefully selected Dutch and Swiss suppliers. During the entire production process, which typically takes about 6 months, all future owners (as well as the public to a lesser-detailed extent) will be updated on a regular basis with comments and photos pertaining to the current production stages. This further enhances the SUBDELTA experience of owning a purpose-built and limited timepiece and makes sure that witnessing the “birth” of ones personal watch becomes a more unique experience as opposed to entering a shop and walking out with a timepiece. No real fun in that, is it?
Download 3D PDF
Look at the SUBDELTA Ace prototype from any given angle by downloading the 3D PDF. Needs to be saved on a hard drive on a laptop or computer (doesn’t work on smart phones and tablets as far as we know).
- Fratelllo Watches (Netherlands)