We felt as though it was time to cover an interesting model and brand not yet discussed on aBlogtoWatch. Mostly known as a sunglasses maker, Oakley also has a rather interesting line of high-end as well as affordable watches. They are also one of the first big-name US brands to enter the “not cheap crap” watch market. I believe it was about 1999 when the brand’s now famous “Time Bomb” watch was released. In 2009 they debuted the Time Bomb II watch as a follow-up to the original.
Mixing a Swiss-made automatic movement and a uniquely designed case, the point of the Time Bomb II was to be original as well as useful enough for daily wear. The Time Bomb II exists in Oakley’s “Elite” collection of products which are its highest-end items which tend to be pretty cool. Good materials and a lot of engineering seems to connect all the Elite products together.
The design of the watch is quite unique and reminds me of something an American who grew up watching Japanese cartoons would design. That might not be so far from the truth. In my opinion, the design of the Time Bomb II’s case and strap look like something “The Guyver” (a Japanese cartoon) would wear. It has plates of titanium over a soft rubber strap. I’ve seen this done before on watches like the Suunto Observer (with bracelet).
Oakley calls the rubber they use “Unobtainium Rubber.” They’ve been using this name for a few years, likely starting around this time. I am not totally sure what makes gathering it worth destroying Pandora. I am of course referring to the movie Avatar which made the term Unobtainium popular as it was the name of the resource the humans were after. I don’t think it is a coincidence that both the film and this watch were released in 2009.
You can tell how the rubber is really the strap while titanium plates are attached to it using many little screws. Why? Well this gives you the flexibility of a bending strap with the look of a bracelet. The red color under the titanium pieces looks pretty cool as well. The entire design is very “bio-mechanical.” Something that H.R. Giger would likely be proud of.
The watch case itself is also in titanium and is 41.6mm wide. With the wide integrated lugs, it probably wears a bit larger than it is. The case is also water resistant to 100 meters and has a sapphire crystal. The Time Bomb II was designed around the time when using carbon fiber on a watch was still the essence of cool. In addition to having a carbon fiber dial, the watch has a carbon fiber bezel which was rather rare for the time (and still is today for that matter).
I have to say that the dial while being minimalistic, is very legible and attractive. Oakley got the size of the hands right and the overall proportions are good. They even made the round dial look oblong thanks to how the bezel integrates with the dial. The hands are lume-coated and I appreciate the red font color on the date disc that is a bit distinctive.
Unlike the original Time Bomb, the Time Bomb II is an automatic with a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. There is a display caseback to see the movement on the rear of the watch. The overall design of the Time Bomb II is refined but of course not for everyone. The look of the watch has lasted though, and I think it was a very successful effort on behalf of Oakley’s design staff. I’d love to wear one for an extended period of time someday. In the “terrorism age” using a name like “Time Bomb” for a product is sort of considered distasteful. In 1999 that wasn’t an issue, and the name of this product is a vestige of a more peaceful-feeling time in our history.
Among all of Oakley’s watches, the Time Bomb II is the only current one in their Elite collection. It is a high-end designer watch that isn’t quite a fashion timepiece (which is a good thing). It is incredibly niche from a well-respected, non-watch brand that did their best to make an interesting watch to appeal to both their core client base and a lot of traditional watch lovers. Not an easy task but I think they were able to do that quite well back in 2009. Price for the Oakley Time Bomb II watch is $2,750.