Manufacturer: NTH Watches | Price: $700 USD (£495 GBP)

If you take a look through my previous reviews, you might notice that the brand I’ve reviewed more than any other is NTH. From their 2K1 Thresher, the DevilRay, as well as a few of my favourites from the NTH Sub range. Today I’m taking a look at the NTH Barracuda, another one of their Sub’s, but this time in a new colourway of Polar White. To jazz things up a little, I also requested that the Barracuda be shipped on their BoR bracelet, that until now, I’ve not seen since its release. There aren’t a great deal of NTH Barracuda’s left, so I thought I’d better get my finger out and review it rather sharpish!

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Full Specification

  • Dimensions: Case – 39.8mm, Thickness – 11.1mm, Lug to Lug – 47.4mm, Lug Width – 20mm
  • Movement: Miyota 9015/90S5, 28,800vph, 4Hz, Hackable, Self Winding, 42hr Power Reserve
  • Case Material: Brushed & Polished 316L Stainless Steel
  • Bezel: 120 Click Unidirectional, Stainless Steel Insert, Lumed Pip
  • Dial: Applied Indicies, Date at 6, Snowflake Hands
  • Lume: RC Tritec Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9
  • Bracelet: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel (Optional Beads of Rice), Solid Links, Screw Pins, Milled Clasp
  • Crystal: Double Domed Sapphire, Inner Anti-Reflective Coatings
  • Water Resistance: 300m / 30 ATM / 1000ft      
  • Caseback: 316L Stainless Steel, Screw Down
  • Crown: 7mm, Screw Down, Signed, Lumed Logo
  • Weight: 141g (Sized up for my 6¾″ wrist)
  • Where to Buy: WatchGauge (NTH Authorised Dealer, United States)
  • Warranty: NTH 6 & 6 Guarantee (6 Years International, 6 Weeks Return)

NTH Watches

"The NTH Subs are our tribute to some revered icons, tracing their heritage back to timepieces issued to military divers in the post-war period. Those quintessential tool watches have only gotten better looking with age. We wanted to combine their classic, rugged style with modern capabilities. Each Sub model shares the same purpose oriented, big crown, no crown guard case, with a slightly raised, double domed anti reflective sapphire crystal, with a no nonsense case back with minimal decoration. Think of it as neo-classic. We increased the water resistance, yet we made the case thinner, more streamlined, with chamfered sides and downward-curved lugs for a fantastic wrist-hugging shape, and not forgetting our signature lumed crown. Each NTH Sub has its own personality, designed either to emulate the weathered good looks of a well-travelled vintage piece, or as a modern interpretation of what those vintage pieces might look like, if they were still being produced today."

Packaging

I don’t normally mention packaging in my reviews, however John does such a superb job over at WatchGauge, I thought it was worthy of a shout out. Everything is superbly wrapped, with a few extra bits thrown in for good measure. Nice one!

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Case & Crown

The case of the NTH Barracuda has a diameter of 39.8mm. The lug to lug is 47.4mm and the overall thickness I measured in at a very impressive 11.1mm. The case, caseback, bezel, crown and bracelet are all marine grade 316L stainless steel. The finish of the watch is mostly brushed, but with the addition of some rather nicely executed polished chamfered edges, that run along the top of the case and down over the edge of the downward facing lugs. Overall, it looks absolutely stunning and I can only describe the transition between both the brushed and polished finishing as utterly flawless!

The Barracuda has a total water resistance rating of 300m, which is bloody impressive considering the total thickness of the watch. The proportions of the Barracuda in my opinion are spot on, as the Barracuda wears so well on wrist and is very comfortable. The signed crown is also perfectly sized at 7mm, it looks fantastic and is simple to operate. There’s no wobble either when the crown is in use and you can also feel a nice wee pop as you unscrew it. The caseback is also nice, although some might say that it’s a little sterile. Personally I really like it, and would describe it as beautifully simplistic.

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Strap / Bracelet

The NTH Barracuda is available with a choice of two different bracelet options, the beads of rice (BoR) that I have here, or the oyster style bracelet that I’ve looked at in my other reviews of the NTH Sub’s. This new beads of rice bracelet from NTH is an absolute peach and is a great option if you’d prefer something just a wee bit more blingy than the oyster option. This BoR bracelet is brushed, but with polished centre links or “beads“. It’s of a 7-link design and each link is solid. There are female end links too, which I always prefer and everything is held together with really good quality screw pins.

Measurement wise, this beads of rice bracelet is pretty much what you’d expect… 20mm at the lugs, that tapers down to 17.5mm at the thinnest most part, then back up slightly, to 20.5mm at the clasp. Talking of clasps, this one is definately one of my favourite designs, it’s perfectly manufactured and has a total of six micro-adjustment holes for that perfect fit. The fitment of the bracelet to the watch is also fantastic, with absolutely zero movement between the lugs.

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Movement / Accuracy

The chosen movement for this version of the NTH Barracuda is the high beat, smooth sweep Miyota 9015 (90S5 for the no-date version). This Japanese movement is self-winding, has 24 jewels and the oscillating weight spins up giving you up to a very healthy 42 hour power reserve. The balance runs at 28,800vph (4Hz) and the movement is also hackable. Checking the accuracy on my timegrapher after running the NTH Barracuda for around a week, I was very impressed with the final results, with the NTH Barracuda coming in at an average of just +5 second per day. Very nice indeed!

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Dial, Bezel & Hands

The NTH Barracuda has a 120 click unidirectional bezel with a stainless steel insert and I will add, it is of outstanding quality. The printed text on this polar white dial is just the model name Barracuda finished in orange, along with the water resistance rating of 300m=1000ft just below, finished in black. The minute track is printed in black with even more subtle orange accents at every hour. The execution, printing and overall finish of the dial is on point, even under macro.

The hour markers are all applied, with batons at the 3 & 9 o’clock positions and a large triangle marker at 12. Sensibly, this polar white model has black surrounds on each and every hour marker that makes the dial very legible. NTH also opted for a date complication at my favourite position of 6 o’clock and it’s been executed perfectly. The snowflake hour and minute hands are finished to a very high standard in black, with a great deal of real estate for lume. The seconds hand is very nice, also finished in black, with a diamond shaped lume plot as well as a matching orange tip.

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Lume

The lume on the NTH Barracuda is nothing short of outstanding! There are very few watches with lume that’s been executed as well as this. The lume that has been applied to the Barracuda is RC Tritec Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9. The image below was taken after just a few minutes of being outside, that hasn’t been given burts of light from a UV torch like I usually do, it quite simply doesn’t need it. Granted, it’ll fade over time, but it’s still legible throughout the night. I’ve gotten up out of my wanking chariot in the wee small hours, yet I can still clearly see what the time is.

Conclusion

I’ll admit, I’ve had my eye on this version of the Barracuda ever since it was announced a while back. It has taken me quite a fair amount of time to finally get one of these in for review, but it’s certainly been worth the wait. Would I change anything? No, I wouldn’t, it really is a beautiful watch. I was asked the other day, “Is it my favourite NTH Sub?” And you know what, I’m pretty sure it is…

With regards to the price, these aren’t exactly what you’d call a bargain. However, I will add, you do actually get what you pay for, as this NTH Barracuda certainly is a gorgeous timepiece. The build quality, tolerances and attention to detail really are outstanding and as I mentioned earlier, I just could not find a single discrepancy anywhere, even when inspecting the watch under macro. If you’re still on the fence about pulling the trigger on a NTH Barracuda, especially this polar white version, just go for it, you definitely won’t be disappointed!

A massive thank you to Chris Vail at NTH and of course John Keil at WatchGauge, for arranging and sending out this gorgeous NTH Barracuda for me to review. Very much appreciated guys! To view the NTH or WatchGauge websites, or even to join their mailing lists to be informed of new model releases etc, visit nthwatches.com / watchgauge.com.
 
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NTH Barracuda 2

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