We get many interesting questions from the fine people that make up the Rotate North community… So we thought we’d gather up some more information on the queries that come up often. This is the result - dive in!
Where are the watches manufactured?
We source our watch movements exclusively from Seiko who build these for us in Japan. This includes the NH35a automatic movement which is the beating heart of many Rotate North models. We’re not alone in our belief that this is one of the finest, most reliable automatic movements in the world. The case, crystal and all other components are manufactured and the watches fully assembled by our watchmakers in Zurich, Switzerland and in Germany. The watches are then checked, fitted with straps, and packed for shipping in the UK.
How about the watch straps?
The straps that accompany Rotate North watches are made from sustainably sourced rubber and are 100% vegan. They are made in Veneto, Northern Italy, in partnership with a small family business that prides itself on a long-standing tradition of making accessories for the Swiss watchmaking industry.
Our watches are designed to be fitted with straps based on common width standards as follows:
Terrain (All models)
Atlantic (Including ‘Deep Night’)
- Turbulence (All models)
Typically, larger watch strap widths are suited better for larger wrists. However, it all comes down to a preference of style. Many watch enthusiasts prefer larger, thicker watch straps, such as the 24mm size used by the Arctic, because they have a distinct and durable look.
What kind of luminous printing do you use?
Our watches have their hands and dials set in LumiNovaⓇ. In fact, two layers of this lume are used, maximising their luminosity. This means your watch will be glowing with a green hue in even the darkest conditions. This lume is well-known for its reliability and its resistance to environmental factors such as temperature and pressure. Completely non-radioactive and non-toxic, it contains neither radium or tritium or any other radioactive product.
How are the watches sealed?
Many of our watches, such as the Arctic and Atlantic, are equipped with a pressurised screw-down case back, and guarded screw-down crown. Sounds great, but what does it actually mean?
Let’s start with the pressurised screw-down case back. The purpose of this type of case back is to maximise water resistance. Being tightly screwed down, it prevents any form of dust and water from getting in.
The guarded screw-down crown works in a similar way. It is designed to protect the stem of the watch, the weakest part of any watch case. It also aids in water resistance; screwed down tightly and helped by gaskets, it creates an airtight seal, fully protecting the watch’s internal components.
What is a helium escape valve?
The helium escape valve is both more complicated and more impressive than these previous features. Let’s first explain why they are needed in these watches. Diving watches like the Arctic are designed to withstand extreme external pressures, so when divers are at great depths the watch has no problem keeping water out.
However, small atomic gases such as helium and hydrogen (predominantly helium as it is in higher abundance) can seep through the seals of the watch, as their atoms are much smaller than water molecules. This can cause problems in a watch when surfacing from a deep dive and returning to atmospheric pressure, such as the crystal popping off. In order to combat this issue, the Arctic, for example, is fitted with a helium escape valve to allow those trapped gases to escape from the watch without compromising water resistance.
Why a sapphire crystal?
Many of our watches, such as the Terrain and Atlantic models, are equipped with a sapphire crystal. But what advantage do they have over standard mineral crystals? To start with, synthetic sapphire is incredibly strong, even stronger than the hardened mineral crystals used in many watches today. It is also shatter and scratch resistant, meaning the watch will have increased durability. Once manufactured, they are heat-treated to remove any internal stresses, greatly improving their strength.