August 23, 2020
Tritium, as a luminous substance, has been around in watchmaking for many decades. While the days of tritium as a traditional painted lume are long gone thanks to the development of reliable synthetic non-radioactive alternatives like Super-LumiNova, tubes of contained tritium gas are still prized for their constant glow that does not fade over the course of a night. Because of this, tritium tubes are a mainstay for some of the most purpose-built, rugged tool watches in the industry today. Traser is one of the brands most closely associated with these unorthodox elements, and for its latest release, the brand has doubled down on tritium for a new series of capable quartz divers. The Traser P67 SuperSub series offers a solid selection of dial and strap options, alongside a super-bright tritium option that packs far more of a luminous punch than most watches of this type.
The stainless case of the Traser P67 SuperSub takes the classic diver form, with broad tapering lugs and prominent crown guards, but upsizes this formulaic design to an oversized 46mm diameter. Most of Traser’s own touches to the basic design are made with an eye towards maximizing utility, like the slightly oversized main crown with its aggressive coarse-toothed edge for easy gripping. The P67 SuperSub also equips an Omega style screw-down helium release valve at 10 o’clock for some added saturation diving functionality. Impressively, the insert in the unidirectional dive bezel is engraved ceramic, still a rarity in this price range. These tough and functional elements combine to provide the P67 SuperSub with a robust 500-meter water resistance rating. While much of the overall case is dictated by function, there are a handful of unique touches of personality. One of the most eye-catching of these comes in an unusual place, as the gasket surrounding the sapphire crystal gets its own luminous treatment. Traser finishes off this case with a detailed caseback engraving of the silver lightfish, a deep-sea fish equipped with rows of bioluminescent spots. It’s a fitting match for a design deeply focused on luminescence.
Traser equips the P67 SuperSub with four distinctive dial options. For the standard T25 models, the brand offers a matte dial surface in classic black, navy blue, and a high-impact orange. The overall dial design is clean and utilitarian, with narrow sword hands coupled to a mix of printed Arabic numerals and tritium tubes as hour indices. Each dial color takes the design in a slightly different direction, however. The gray numerals give the black variant a stealthy low-contrast look, while the navy blue feels a touch more playful and nautical with white numerals, and the orange dial feels aggressive and utilitarian thanks to its all-black dial hardware. Beyond simply using tritium tubes, Traser adds an extra visual touch to the T25 models, with contrasting orange tritium tubes for the minute hand and 12 o’clock index that make low light legibility simple.
For those looking for a bit more luminous power, Traser also offers the P67 SuperSub in the more capable T100 style. The T100 follows much of the same basic dial format, with a handful of lume-centric tweaks. The dial surface here is a deep matte navy blue but is elevated above its stablemates by a nicely executed etched wave pattern. While the handset follows the same sword shape as the T25 models, the T100 adds a rugged brushed finish and a high-contrast yellow tip for the minutes hand to aid visibility at a glance. The inner 24-hour track and dial text also pick up this yellow tone, offering a vibrant complement to the more reserved blue of the dial. The biggest change, however, is the hour indices. Gone are the large Arabic numerals at the hours and the small, contained tritium tubes, replaced by what at first glance look like standard applied rectangular indices. Each of these wide applied rectangles, however, is a massively oversized tritium tube, containing far more lume material than any of its competitors. The result is both blazingly bright and potentially problematic. Because of the sheer amount of tritium contained here, the P67 SuperSub T100 runs into import restrictions on radioactive materials in several countries. While the radiation from tritium is low-level and mostly harmless, with the beta rays emitted from tritium tubes being unable to pass through human skin, if nothing else it’s a fascinatingly odd conversation piece for the watch.
Traser powers the P67 SuperSub series with an unspecified Swiss Made quartz movement. Likely a Ronda variant, the use of quartz here helps to keep things affordable while providing benefits in both accuracy and durability, both ideal qualities for a dedicated tool watch. In terms of strap choice, Traser offers the same two options to all variants in the line. The first is an oyster-style three-link bracelet with polished center links. While the overall design is inoffensive and solid, the finishing on the end links, in particular, seems to be bit fuzzy with an unclear delineation between brushed and polished surfaces. The second option is a curved-end rubber strap in black, with a dimpled pattern around the outer edges imitating a stitched finish. Of the two, the rubber feels like a sportier and more dynamic option.
With the P67 SuperSub series, Traser has renewed its commitment to tritium lume with a solid line of affordable tool divers. All models in the Traser P67 SuperSub series are available now through the brand, with the Traser P67 SuperSub T100 only available through the brand’s online sales platform due to import restrictions on tritium. MSRP for the Traser P67 SuperSub series starts at $595. For more information, visit the brand’s website.