What’s in a name? In the case of ProTek Watches…. everything. Pro (for professionals), Tek (for superlative self-powered illumination technology), and created for those that Protect us: ProTek watches were designed from the ground up specifically for the individuals who risk their lives to protect the rest of us. Military, law enforcement, first responders, search and rescue — the list goes on. These are the people who keep the rest of us safe. Given the situations they encounter on a daily basis, these individuals have specific needs for their watches, and the ProTek Series 1000 was created to meet those needs. Even if your day job doesn’t involve putting your life on the line, you can wear the Series 1000 confident that it will take any abuse you can dish out.
ProTek may be a new brand, but the mind behind the brand is certainly no stranger to making incredibly tough, tactical watches. ProTek is the brainchild of Barry Cohen, the founder and former owner of Luminox Watch. Launched in 1989, Luminox had an ambitious goal in mind: to create a watch with unparalleled illumination. In the process, he helped spur and grow a category of watches called Tactical Timepieces, and soon thereafter a plethora of other brands emerged following his lead. To do so, Cohen partnered with physicists to develop technology that would allow them to use tritium gas tubes to accomplish just that. Combined with rugged cases and a distinctive, tactical aesthetic, Luminox watches quickly became a go-to for professionals needing an indestructible, ever-luminous watch.
Speaking of professionals, ProTek was recently named an Official Watch of the USMC. ProTek watches were submitted to the USMC for review and analysis to determine if they could qualify to be accepted as an Official Watch of the United States Marine Corps. They have now been approved and accepted as an officially licensed watch of the USMC. The accuracy, durability and superior ProGlo™ illumination make these ideal timepieces to serve Marines in the line of duty, and in their daily lives.
While it was a difficult decision, after 27 years at Luminox, Cohen decided it was time to move on and focus on his Time Concepts watch business, making the official watches of the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, Szanto vintage design watches, Szanto ICONs, and a other “cause” brands (420Waldos, Bia) created for the purpose of giving back, with 20% of the sale proceeds donated to support those causes. Over time he yearned to get back to what he loved most and did best with his former brand. Hence, the advent of a new project: ProTek Watches. Though ProTek will be launched on Kickstarter, this is anything but your typical Kickstarter watch. With a combined 90 years of experience in the watch industry, and manufacturing firmly in place, the team behind ProTek opted for Kickstarter simply because it would allow them to grow the brand more quickly and manufacture the largest initial order possible. For ProTek’s first release, the brand is launching the Series 1000. Complete with a Carbon Composite Case, a tight 60-click uni-directional rotating bezel, ProGloTM illumination that allows for 25 years of non-stop illumination, and a Japanese Miyota (division of Citizen) quartz movement, the ProTek Series 1000 is about as field-ready as a watch can get.
If, at first glance, the ProTek Series 1000 has a familiar aesthetic, there’s good reason for it. When Cohen decided to start ProTek, he turned to Eddy Burgener, the designer he worked with for more than 25 years when running Luminox. Burngener has quite the resume, having worked with major Swiss brands including Gucci and Tag Heuer — the 2000 series and Formula One watches were both Burgener designs. As Cohen says, “I always loved the design work Eddy and I did together for Luminox, and he seemed able to easily understand the needs and desires of our core target market, so it made good sense to go back to him since he is no longer working with Luminox.”
The 42mm case and bezel on the Series 1000 are created from carbon composite — a combination of 30% carbon and 70% polycarbonate. The advantage to this material is its incredible strength-to-weight ratio, with the high carbon content boosting the strength over comparable composite materials. Paired with a screw-down stainless steel embossed caseback and a screw-in crown, the Series 1000 confers 300m of water resistance. Because these watches are designed to be used in the field, each watch is pressure-tested in both the air and water.
Beneath the antireflective sapphire crystal, you’ll find a dial that emphasizes legibility. Arabic numerals ring the dial from 1-12, complemented by smaller 13-24 numerals — exactly what you’d expect from a watch designed for use in the field, and/or by military personnel. But legibility isn’t only necessary during the day. To that end, the dial features ProGloTM Swiss tritium tubes that provide self-powered illumination that will glow for 25 years, reuniting with the same firm Cohen approached back in 1989 to use their trigalight lume technology.
Despite being purpose-built, ProTek doesn’t skimp on style, with a range of colorways offering strong contrasting accents of red, blue, orange, or green. Or you can opt for the more mil-spec look of a stealth blacked-out model. For the colored models, if you want to emphasize that color even more, you can choose a color-matched rubber strap that adds a fun vibe to the watches. Each Series 1000 watch comes mounted on a 22mm genuine rubber strap, allowing the watch to wear extremely light so you can focus on the task at hand. The rubber straps are secured with gunmetal-plated signature buckles and heavy-duty steel-tubed spring bars for extra strength and durability. Speaking of durability, to ensure that each ProTek Series 1000 can put up with years of heavy use and abuse, the watches utilize Miyota Japanese quartz movements that provide 10 years of battery life. And, to ensure years of worry-free use, all watches are manufactured in a clean-room environment that will ensure superlative quality.
The ProTek Series 1000 launches on Kickstarter May 10. The first 100 backers will receive their Series1000 for $350 USD (33% off the suggested retail price of $525 USD), along with a t-shirt, ball cap, watchbox and instruction manual. All other backers will receive a Series1000 for $395 (25% off) plus a cap, watch box, and manual. Shipping is free within the United States and $35 for international shipments. To learn more about ProTek watches and back this project, please visit the brand’s Kickstarter page and, for more information, the brand’s website. The campaign will run until June 10.
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