While the Isotope Hydrium series has evolved into a fairly wide assortment of offerings that range from whimsical to utilitarian, the collection originally started firmly on the lighthearted side of the spectrum by re-imaging the iconic “Will Return” sign that can be found hanging inside store windows all around the globe. While the original Hydrium X “Will Return” watch was created as a 100-piece limited edition back in 2021, Isotope received countless requests to re-release this fan-favorite model, and in the true spirit of the “Will Return” sign, the UK-based brand is bringing back this concept. That said, rather than re-releasing the original limited-edition model, Isotope is taking things in a slightly different direction for the 2024 return of this concept, and alongside a wall clock that faithfully recreates the original Hydrium X “Will Return” watch, the brand has also announced the Isotope Hydrium X “Will Return” Red wristwatch, which offers a twist on the original “Will Return” sign model.

In terms of its overall design and construction, the new Isotope Hydrium X “Will Return” Red watch is identical to its Hydrium series siblings, which means that it features a micro-blasted stainless steel case that measures 40mm in diameter by 12.9mm thick (or 14.9mm including the double domed sapphire crystal), while the short rounded lugs are set 22mm apart and extend to create an overall lug-to-lug profile of 48mm. Just like other Hydrium watches, the new Hydrium X ‘Will Return’ Red has a 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel surrounding its crystal, although rather than being fitted with a light blue insert like the original “Will Return” watch from 2021, the new Hydrium X “Will Return” Red features a bright red sapphire bezel insert, which appears to have been carried over from the brand’s HydriumX “The Judge” that I previously reviewed back in 2022. Additionally, similar to other models from the brand’s Hydrium series, the new Isotope Hydrium X “Will Return” Red has a signed screw-down crown at the 3 o’clock location, a screw-down display caseback, and an ample 300-meter water resistance.

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Just like the original “Will Return” watch, the new Isotope Hydrium X “Will Return” Red has a fully luminous dial with bold black markings that are inspired by the famous “Will Return” window signs. However, the handset that is fitted to this new model has been slightly updated compared to what you will find on the original model, and rather than having white luminous borders, the hour and minute hands are now completely red to offer better contrast against the white luminous dial. That said, the tiny white luminous lacrima-shaped seconds hand has been carried over from the original ‘Will Return’ model, and while you won’t be doing any precise measurement of elapsed seconds with this tiny hand, it does serve as a way to let owners know that their watch is running (an important feature for a dive watch). Additionally, since the actual “Will Return” store sign does not have any type of seconds hand, the tiny rotating lacrima serves as a fun additional way to incorporate the brand’s logo into the design of the watch.

Visible through the display window in the caseback of the Isotope Hydrium X “Will Return” Red is the Swiss Landeron automatic movement, which is a no-date caliber that is based upon the core architecture of the familiar ETA 2824. As such, the Landeron movement runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 40 hours, although it is better decorated than what you get with base-level ETA movements, and it features perlage, blued screws, and Geneva stripes, plus it gets regulated to -12/+12 seconds per day. Additionally, since the sapphire bezel insert is now red on the Hydrium X “Will Return” Red, the signature light blue color of the “Will Return” window sign now appears on the strap of the watch and is fitted to its 22mm lugs is tropic-style FKM rubber strap that is completed by a chunky stainless steel pin buckle with a micro-blasted finish to match the case.

As for the Isotope “Wall Return” clock, it very much represents a wall clock version of the brand’s original ‘Will Return’ wristwatch, and since it is ultimately intended to be mounted to the wall, Isotope has rather appropriately named it the “Wall Return” clock. Measuring 35cm in diameter, the Isotope “Wall Return” has a case made from micro-blasted aluminum, and it has been given a plexiglass finish to prevent oxidation. The case of the clock has been shaped in such a manner to recreate the subtle serrations that can be found on the rotating bezel of the wristwatch that serves as its inspiration, and each example from the original batch of ‘Wall Return’ clocks will have its individual production number marked on its case. A domed mineral glass crystal protects the face of the Isotope “Wall Return” clock, and just like the original “Will Return” watch, the crystal is surrounded by a light blue bezel with a bright red lacrima at the 12 o’clock location.

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Just like the dial that can be found on its wristwatch counterpart, the face of the Isotope “Wall Return” clock is completely coated in Super-LumiNova, and its bold black printing offers a strong contrast against its entirely glowing surface. Additionally, while the handset appears to be identical to what can be found on the original “Will Return” watch, the white-finished borders are no longer luminous, and this approach ultimately offers better legibility against its fully glowing face. While Isotope’s watches are powered by Swiss mechanical calibers, the Isotope “Wall Return” clock runs on a Japanese Seiko quartz clock movement, which features a smooth sweeping seconds hand to emulate the appearance of the brand’s wristwatches. One additional nice feature about these Seiko clock movements is that since their seconds hands smoothly glide around the dial, the Isotope “Wall Return” clock will be incredibly quiet during operation and won’t have the audible once-per-second tick that often accompanies quartz clocks.

For those of us outside the UK who do not have to pay VAT, the Isotope Hydrium X “Will Return” Red watch will be priced at £840 GBP, while the “Wall Return” clock will have a price of £145 GBP, and the brand will also be selling both as a set for £940 GBP. Isotope’s website converts its prices to the currency of the buyer at the time of checkout, so for those of us here in the United States, these prices work out to $1,076 USD for the watch, $188 USD for the clock, and $1,214 USD for the package that includes both (at the time of writing). Additionally, unlike the original “Will Return” watch that was created as a 100-piece limited edition, production of both the new Isotope Hydrium X “Will Return” Red watch and the Isotope “Wall Return” clock will not be capped at a specific number of examples, and they will instead be offered for a short window of time. Starting on March 4, 2024, at 9:00 AM GMT and ending on March 10, 2024, at midnight GMT, buyers will be able to place their orders, and anyone who orders will be guaranteed to receive their purchase. However, once the order window closes, the Hydrium X “Will Return” Red watch will no loner be available, while the “Wall Return” clock will remain in Isotope’s catalog, although it will no longer be offered with an individually numbered case, and the non-numbered version will sell for a higher price. For more information on the Isotope Hydrium X “Will Return” Red watch and the Isotope “Wal” Return” clock, please visit the brand’s website

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