FIRST IMPRESSION I couldn't help wondering if the Neutron was going to live up to the seductive image on the REACTOR website. I couldn’t have been happier when I opened the box. It was every bit as good looking and impressive in the steel.
The first thing that struck me with the Neutron was the bracelet. Including the hex-nut lug bars it's a whopping 32.5mm wide and tapers down at the clasp to respectable 22mm. Substantial to say the least.
If oversized industrial looking watches are your thing and you want to wear something that will set you apart from the crowd then the Neutron more than qualifies.
The dial if not a little busy for a true diver is nevertheless stunning and easily on par with any of the Swiss watches I own.
The way in which the red and copper tones of the dial fade into black are what first attracted me to this version of the Neutron, an unusual effect and one that is very pleasing to the eye.
The Neutron uses C3 Superluminova which has gone through a special application process to make it extremely visible when in low lit areas and will provide exceptional visibility for up to 8 hours.
As with all REACTOR watches the screwdown crown remains watertight even when open. I have no plans of putting this to the test though!
Solid Screwbar Case-to-Band Attachment. As an avid surfer this gives me an increased feeling of security, I have lost watches in the past, but would have no qualms about wiping out on in the gnarliest of barrels wearing my Neutron.
The Neutron uses K1-Hardened mineral crystal with anti-reflective coating on inside.
Japanese Quartz Chrono (Miyota). I still haven't fully familiarized myself with the Neutron's movement, but I LOVE the chronograph function, which I believe to be a split second type and have had great fun playing with it.
When in use the second hand on the 6 o'clock sub-dial sweeps from side to side like a windscreen wiper, a very cool effect.
Case (case / caseback / crown / bezel / crystal)
45.5mm X 15.5mm / 245grams / lug width 32.5mm / clasp 22mm / forged 316L marine grade stainless steel / unidirectional rotating bezel / solid forged case back / hardheaded mineral crystal. Screw down crown.
The case itself looks and feels very solid and is a very angular in its design. The grain of the metal can be seen quite clearly running down from the top of the case. There are no polished surfaces which add to its ruggedness.
A nuclear reactor type hatch design is on the caseback with the REACTOR logo.
Its K1-Hardened mineral crystal is huge and protrudes a good couple of millimeters from the dial adding to the watch's appeal.
The screw down crown is very solid with a knarled texture for easy grip. It was pleasure to use as are the chrongraph's pushers. There's REACTOR logo on the crown face.
The bezel like the crown and hex-nuts is knarled for extra grip when manipulating whilst wet. I would a have preferred the crown to protrude a little higher from the case, it's a little on the flat side, but has very nice movement and feels solid enough.
200m or 660ft meets industry standards for a divers watch.
BRACELET / strap
The bracelet on the Neutron is huge. As mentioned earlier it tapers from a gargantuan 32.5mm down to 22mm at the clasp. It's one of the most impressive bracelets I've worn and is incredibly comfortable.
The bracelet clasp is beautiful. It has trip lock system, a must for any serious dive watch.
As with my REACTOR Gamma the rubber strap wears beautifully and is incredibly comfortable and secure.
There's a steel REACTOR logo on the stopper which serves as a lock so that your strap will never come out of its stopper. It was polished, but I have since brushed it as I felt it would be more in keeping with the look of the Neutron.
The strap / bracelet quick change system with hex-nuts is child's play.
FUNCTIONALITY / Wearability
The Neutron's split second chrono is a great function, I'm not sure just how useful that would be in the real world of scuba diving, but as dive watch the Neutron is more than capable.
Even given its impressive stats the Neutron is still very wearable and extremely comfortable. It sits nicely on the wrist and owing to its 15mm thickness shouldn’t cause too many knocks when going through narrow doorways.
There's no doubt about it the Neutron was built to last. It comes very close to being the most durable dive watch that I own. It's the kind of watch that you can slap on your wrist and not give a second thought to, no matter what you might be doing. It's as hard as nails and could possibly withstand neutron bomb or two!
The bracelet version is 500USD and the rubber version 475USD. As with many REACTOR watches I haven't seen vendors offering much discount, but for what it is, it's already very reasonably priced. Great value for money in my opinion. Expect to pay 2 to 3 times as much for a Swiss of German made equivalent.
The lume is VERY impressive, it glows like a torch.
OVERALL IMPRESSION I've had the Neutron for 3 or 4 weeks now and it's barely left my wrist. There are so many interesting facets to this watch that you will never tire of wearing or looking at it.
When I go on my annual surfing trip to Indonesia this Summer the Neutron will be coming with me and will probably only ever leave my wrist for an occasional quick rinse to get the sea water off.
As a tool diver the Neutron with its protruding crowns and busy dial misses the mark, but as tool watch for extreme sportsmen REACTOR have hit the nail on the head, quite literally! This one is a keeper and will be hard to replace!