Friday, December 30, 2011

REACTOR Men's 59506 Trident Never Dark Review

NOTE: Click on the any of the photos for a larger view.

I bought my Reactor Trident 59506 (Hereafter referred to the Trident) around a month and a half ago and have worn it exclusively since, on and off duty.  I have not found many reviews for this watch on the net so I’ll try to touch on a few points here. Keep in mind when reading this review; I'm a watch user, not a collector.
I found the Trident while doing a search for a watch that uses Tritium tubes as its lume. Reactor watches had also caught my attention a while back while perusing watches on watchuseek. They have some very good looking watches and I almost purchased one several months ago but held off due to the asking price (then at around $400+).  The Trident 59506 comes with either a stainless band or a rubber band (59806). This review is for the model with the stainless band with the black nitride coating.


This model of the Trident has a solid black stainless steel case and band and a dial face with what Reactor calls a Khaki color (looks more dull yellow to me).  The dark case, band and watch dial look VERY good in my book. My wife’s first reaction when she saw it was, “It’s a little smaller than what you usually wear, but it looks good”.  The face while busy, looks very good in my opinion. The feel of this watch is VERY solid. Even the back of the watch has a unique look to it.
I would say even the mall ninja's and tactical computer warriors would be happy with the looks of this one.


The Bezel turns nice and turns smoothly counter clockwise for 120 clicks. The "clicks" as it turns are just the right tension; not too tight not too loose. The scallops, teeth or grooves, are a little small in comparison to my other dive style watches.  I use the bezel to time my runs and workout times. Simply turn the marked arrow with the dot of lume on the bezel to align with the minute hand and go...simple. The main arrow on the bezel lines up pretty good with the numbers.



The dial window is made of a mineral glass that is common on many mid to lower end watches. I’ve had mineral glass on other watches and have found it to perform very well.  I’ve accidentally banged this one a few times into objects and thus far, it shows no damage.


The case on the Trident is very tough black nitride Coated stainless steel and made to take some abuse. The screw out crown is placed at the three o’clock position. While I’ve found some dive watch crowns uncomfortable at that position, the Trident pulls it off nicely. The crown is stamped with the Reactor logo and isn’t rough enough to be uncomfortable against the back of the hand. The crown is protected by protruding stainless steel guards from the case. The Bezel sits on top of the case unprotected by any guards.  It is sufficiently small enough however that I don’t see the lack of protection being much of an issue. That small size however also isn’t as grippy as say the Seiko Monsters or a GSAR.  The teeth on the bezel are actually somewhat dull but are easy enough to grip and it turns nicely. The subdued numbers on the bezel, while they fit the “mall-ninja” bill, are difficult to see in all but the best light.


The dial is laid out nicely with large florescent Arabic numerals and Tritium tubes placed at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 positions.  The arrow shaped hands are also large and the tips are coated with florescent paint. The hands are also inlaid with tritium tubes.  The day and date are the biggest complaint on this watch. The day and date are so small that I often have trouble reading them in all but the best lighting. A Cyclops would be very helpful on this watch. 


Reactor came up with a brilliant idea on their watches and calls it “NeverDark” represented on the dial face with a big ND. Many of my friends however who have seen this watch have asked, “What’s the NO mean on the face?” It really does look like a, “No”.  If you like florescent paint as your lume, you’ll like this watch. It’s as bright as the brightest that I’ve owned (Seiko's Orange Monster ). Reactor calls the florescent paint concoction, Superluminova. I don't know how much different it is than the paint used by other manufacturers  but it works well; it's BRIGHT.  If you like Tritium as your lume, you’re also in luck. Reactor placed Tritium tubes at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 positions as well as on the hands.  Tritium glows continuously for up to 20 years. The lume from Tritium isn’t as bright as fully charged florescent paint but is easily bright enough to read your watch all night for many years to come. I really like the idea Reactor came up with here. Well done!


The band on the Reactor Trident is very well done. I have had no pinched hairs issues, it’s solid and very flexible. The clasp has three micro adjustments on it and the fold over is branded with the reactor logo. The band on this watch is very well done, I’d rate it a 9/10.


This watch is powered by a “10 year lithium” battery which means it will last a long time. Ten years? I doubt it but even at eight, I’d be happy with it. 


Movement on the Trident is a no frills Japanese Quartz movement. Nothing fancy just plain-Jane accurate movement. It’s proven much more accurate than any of my auto’s. It’s at least on par with my G-Shocks. While Quartz isn’t fancy, it’s accurate and can with stand some punishment.  One other thing that I wish this watch had (and should for the price in my opinion) is a perpetual calendar. It’s another watch with the 31 day month thing that you have to unscrew the crown and change every month that doesn’t have 31 days.  Given, it’s a minor complaint but I’m a set-it and forget-it kind of watch user. 


The Trident is advertised as a dive watch and is supposedly waterproof down to 200 meters. For my purposes, that’s well within my occasional snorkeling depths. 


Amongst the dive watches that I’ve owned, the Trident runs a bit small. The case measures 40mm wide. While this is by no means a small watch, amongst today’s mega sized divers, it’s on the small side.  I could have stood a couple of extra mm’s but that’s just personal preference.  Being solid Stainless Steel, this watch also has some heft. This heft to me speaks to its robustness. This watch feels SOLID. I like it. 


Price averages about $350 for the model with the rubber strap to about $400 to $450 with the full stainless band. The question of whether or not it’s worth this amount is difficult to answer. If you base price upon the sum of its parts, then I would say you could find several similar Quartz watches with similar parts for much cheaper. If you base your criteria on the sum of it’s parts, construction, looks and “cool factor”, I’d say I’d pay in the upper $200 range for one of these. At $350 to $400, I’d say it’s a bit of a stretch. Still, this does not detract from the quality of the watch; it’s a good one. 


The Reactor Trident seems to be a very solid watch. It’s one of the first things that hit me when I removed it from the case. It has proven to be a very accurate watch. The NeverDark idea by Reactor works very well in my book. I’ve actually used this in the field in total darkness in what some would call Tactical situations and I’m very satisfied. I’ve run through firearms qualifications with this watch on my wrist shooting over 200 rounds of 180 grain .40 through a H&K P2000, about 100 rounds of 12 Ga. Slug and 00 buck and the entire full auto M16 qual course. The reactor never missed a beat. My dings on this watch are the very small day/date, no bezel guard, the 31 day calendar and the nitride seems to be wearing pretty fast on the stainless case and band. The price seems a bit high for me as well for the parts you get. All this being said, I like the watch and will be keeping it.

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