Swiss Military Watch (SMW) takes a different approach to illumination. They use H3 technology in their watches. H3, or tritium, is the third isotope of hydrogen and when it radioactively disintegrates electrons are emitted (not as scary as it sounds). These electrons then react with the thin coating of lume in each tube, causing them to glow without the need of a battery or light.
But that’s not all that makes the SMW a noteworthy timepiece.
With our interest piqued, we contact SMW and managed to land their Analog Date Commando Diver for review. The Commando Diver is a 44mm stainless steel beauty with a Swiss quartz movement. The black dial is clean and easy to read under the sapphire crystal finished with an unidirectional bezel. Each dial is equipped with an orange trigalight at 12 and blue for the rest of the numbers and hour hands. In addition, the caseback is finished with a large SMW logo and is rated to 200m.
Editor’s Note: Although the H3 lights weren’t initially as bright as we first expected (we had secretly hoped it would glow like kryptonite), it would be nice to see some mixed applications with regular lume and H3, but the glow is certainly more than adequate. The SMW Analog Date Commando Diver is a clean, durable watch and is definitely a piece you don’t have to worry about if you accidentally banging it around. Even after a month of
abuse use, you only notice the scratches/rubs on the clasp you would get with any other watch.
More on H3 Technology
Radioactive? Relax, your hand won’t rot off from wearing this watch. The electrons in question have a range of 1-3mm in air, and can’t penetrate your skin or their sealed tube. Put it this way: you’re exposed to more radiation by just living in Denver. Replacement isn’t an issue, either. Each light is guaranteed to last a minimum of 10 years.