BACKGROUND DELTAt is Hong Kong based watch brand with a passion for timekeeping instruments – the name DELTAt comes the equation for calculating Precise Time where Delta-T or ΔT represents the time difference obtained by subtracting Universal Time from Terrestrial Time i.e ΔT = TT – UT – capisce?!
The brand has an eclectic mix of different watch styles that dare to be different – saying that their watches could in fact be considered as obejet d’art. The NBS is their first tool-watch – not necessarily a dedicated diver but with a decent amount of water-resistance and an industrial style based on a nuclear fusion reactor.
DIAL While the case of the NBS is pretty hardcore, the dial while echoing design elements such as the 3 massive hexagonal bolts does kinda take things down a notch or two. There is still some pretty bold styling going on but just look at that stunning brushed blue finish playing against the bronze – if that isn’t beautiful, I don’t know what is.
Three large white hexagonal dial markers at 12, 4 and 8 are connected to each other by 3 slits that have been cut into the dial - which along with a cut-out logo, reveal the inner workings of the Miyota 8N24 with its balance wheel and escapement forks. The remaining hour markers are these circular white pearls with gold surrounds.
The hands are a set of polished arrow-heads with lume running down their centers. A central sweeping seconds hand is unlumed.
CASE The NBS’s case is constructed from Al Bronze – Marine Grade Bronze that is typically used in the shipping industry for ship’s propellers among other things. It was first adopted for watch making by the now defunct Italian Anonimo. The case is made up of three main components – a fixed bezel, the main case and a solid caseback.
BEZEL Because the NBS is not in fact a divers watch in the traditional sense i.e. designed with scuba diving in mind, it has a fixed bezel. This large circular piece of solid Al Bronze has three ears evenly positioned around it in order to accommodate three massive bolts.
The look is quite unlike anything I have ever seen before – and certainly not suited to everyone’s taste but nevertheless very much confidence inspiring – not necessarily for the wellbeing of your door frames, though – you’ll have to watch out for them when wearing an NBS.
The MID-CASE could be described as potential dive watch material – it’s a good-looking case of the type that one might expect to find a solid tool-diver. Nice (if not long – lug-lug is 66mm!) downwardly curving lugs and the all-important HEV in contrasting Stainless positioned at 9 o’clock - that you’ll definitely need if you are planning on descending to the 1000 meters that the NBS is rated for – which you will want to do if only to test the HEV for yourself.
BOLTS Three massive industrial (at least by watchmaking standards) solid Stainless steel bolts run through the entire case firmly holding together the bezel, case and caseback while giving the added benefit of compression. The bolts are again, an unusual sight on a wristwatch but give the NBS this unique steam-punk meets post-apocalyptic vibe that is not only intriguing but quite satisfying to gaze upon.
CASEBACK Like the HEV this is Stainless steel – this is primarily a good idea because Bronze and skin don’t go together very well. The salt in your sweat reacts with the metal turning it (and potentially your skin, too) green while giving your a skin a bit of an irritation. Secondly the Stainless caseback helps to further accentuate all the bronze components while becoming more of feature in itself.
The caseback is domed with three large engraved grooves to reflect those in the dial several millimeters above it. In its center is the DELTAt logo – around the outside, the usual lines of text to remind us of the NBS’s key features.
CROWN The crown has also been made from Bronze – some might say this is a bad idea because Bronze on Bronze action does tend to cause amalgamation. The crown has a cross-hatch finish and has been ever so slightly recessed into the case side. The crown operates very nicely – the crown stem is sufficiently sturdy but not rock solid.
CRYSTAL The NBS is fitted with a flat Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on its inside. I’m not too sure of its thickness – but I’d guesstimate a good 3+mm.
WATER-RESISTANCE The NBS is water-resistant to 1000 meters – it looks and feels like it could handle at least two or three times that amount of punishment.
MOVEMENT The NBS is powered by a Japanese made Miyota 8N24 automatic mechanical movement. The 8N24 is a pretty basic caliber – it is non-hacking i.e. the second hand continues to run even when the crown is extended making precise time setting impossible – this though is not exactly designed as precision instrument – in fact it’s more blunt instrument than anything.
LUME The NBS’s dial markers and hands have been lumed with greenish bluish lume – I’m not exactly sure on the type but suffice to say the lume is pretty reasonable – the three larger hexagonal dial markers (particularly) have taken on lots of lume. I would rate the lume at average.
STRAP / BUCKLE The NBS has been fitted with a tough grey canvas strap with a yellow core. The quality of the strap is excellent – around its edges is white stitching and at the end where the buckle is – is a solid Al Bronze keeper.
The buckle, also in AL Bronze is of a hefty 3-piece construction.
The strap is attached to the case by large hex-screws – as well as this, the NBS boasts a patent pending Lug Screw Locking Mechanism with small rubber O-Rings provided on the lug screw adding extra friction between the screw and the pin when fastened thus helping to prevent the screw from coming loose.
On the WRIST There’s no escaping the might and the NBS – it will impose its will upon you as well as its 49mm dimeter by 20.2mm thick case and 66mm lug-lug length. Luckily the lugs are downwardly curving so the over-hang is minimal. The three bolts on the caseback do protrude somewhat so if you wear your watches tight, there’s potential for them digging in.
PRICE The model supplied for this review is MKI-CNG which is limited to just 300 pieces. It is priced 1400USD – DEKTAt are offering OceanicTime readers a 20% discount. Please use the coupon code ‘’oceanictime’’ when ordering.
OVERALL It ain’t designed to be worn under a shirt cuff, it will look out of place in boardroom and will likely offend all those repressed types that bow down to the majesty of the over homogenized generic diver with its lack of industrial bolts. ;)
But if you don’t give a monkey’s what anyone else thinks and wanna rock something a little bit out of the ordinary – the NBS has a lot to offer. The actual build quality of the NBS and its components (if a little unrefined) is very good indeed. This is a very robust piece of kit, super solid, and no rattles or wobbles just all round sturdiness.
Yes, the movement is nothing to shout about and the lume could be brighter but how many other watches will you be able to use to smash your way out of a submerged vehicle with?! It’s a bit bonkers but in a good way – we need more out-of-the-box thinkers in this sector of the watch industry.