Tockr was one of the first watch brands in the world to embrace hydrographic printing technology on the cases and components of its original Hydro Dipped Air-Defender collection. Now with the launch of the new Air-Defender Lume Series, Tockr again leads the way as the first watch brand in the world to produce wristwatches with luminescent hydro dipped cases. The daring and radiant watches illuminate from every angle, from their cases to their hands, hour markers, components, and lume dipped strap stitching. The new Tockr Air-Defender Lume models come in a range of immersion printed designs that include black and white lume, green marble lume, and camouflage lume.
Powerful Luminescence Infused in a Hydro Dipped Watch Case
Tockr has consistently demonstrated a creative willingness to embrace alternative materials, designs, and methods to produce its mechanical wristwatches, from using salvaged pieces of historic aircraft and battleships in its dials to the brand’s early adoption of hydro dipped printing technology. Hydrographic printing offers virtually limitless design possibilities, and Tockr’s mastery of the process is evident in its previous models, which have included carbon print, tie-dye, magma, snakeskin, magma, camouflage, wood grain, marble, and other custom designs. Tockr watches are hydro dipped and assembled in Switzerland.
Tockr Founder Austin Ivey: “Having mastered the techniques of hydro dipping, we wanted to push the surface design possibilities further and integrate some creative functionality. Powerful ‘lume’ is highly prized by collectors and watch lovers, and our models have always featured strong luminescent elements. We wanted to take this a step further, taking lume beyond the traditional application in watch hands and dial features and inject luminous functionality directly into our hydro dipped cases. We are proud of the design breakthrough pioneered by our team of Swiss artisans and technicians, making Tockr the first watch brand in the world to develop a luminescent hydro dipping process for a wristwatch.”
Painstaking Process, Radiant Execution
The process is no quick and simple dip, however. From preparation and priming to final printing, Tockr’s hydro printing process can take up to 9 or 10 days per watch case. Many steps must be completed before the graphic, luminescent print is even applied to the watch. First, each stainless-steel case is fully disassembled, then it is carefully blasted to remove surface imperfections before being primed. The base primer coat must dry for 12 hours and then a matrix of 6-8 additional luminescent, pigmented coats are applied in hues of green or turquoise blue. Each individual coating requires an hour of drying time before the next layer can be applied. These pigmented primers enable the pattern to adhere to the surface of the watch, and they also impart a unique character to the final printed pattern. Only after both priming and successive layers of luminescent coating have been applied is a watch case ready for hydro-dipping.
A water-soluble patterned film measuring just 4 microns thick floats on the surface of a temperature-controlled water bath. First, the film is sprayed to activate a chemical reaction, causing it to dissolve, leaving only ink on the surface. The prepped and primed watch case is carefully dipped into the ink bath, causing the ink to chemically bond with the watch case. This immersion printing process requires the steady hand of a trained technician to ensure that the case is immersed precisely at a 45-degree angle, so the pattern is evenly applied to the case from all sides. Even removing the printed case from the bath requires great skill to separate from the excess ink without marring the final, fixed design. The seamless hydro dipped pattern entirely encloses the finished watch case. The hand-applied nature of these designs ensures that no two Air-Defender Lume models look quite the same.
Even now, the process is not yet complete. Powerful jets of water clean every trace of the application chemicals from the surface. Left to dry for 24 hours, two coats of highly durable, scratch-resistant sealant are then applied and cured for 48 hours. Finally, the hydro dipped case and components are ready to be assembled.
“Our goal with this new series was to create watches with 360-degree lume that’s as ambitious as the designs on our hydro dipped watch cases,” said Tockr Co-Founder Sophy Rindler. “The Tockr team is proud to introduce this new collection, illuminated from dial to case to strap. With the new Air-Defender Lume, we’re proud to reassert that Swiss-made mechanical watches can embrace bold new technology and ‘lighten up’ with creative, contemporary designs.”
360 Luminescence to Light Up Your World
Tockr’s chronograph watches epitomize the active-lifestyle and aviation inspiration that underline each of the American brand’s watch designs, taking cues from 1970s wristwatches designed specifically for military pilots and adhering to rigid NATO specifications. The Air-Defender Lume series maintains these design codes but infuses each model with powerful luminescence.
Each Air-Defender Lume chronograph features a 45 mm cushion-shaped stainless steel case, wrapped with an eye-catching, luminescent hydro dipped design in choice of black and white lume, green marble lume, and camouflage lume pattern. The striking exterior is matched by exceptional performance, offering water resistance up to 100 meters and a max 42-hour power reserve. Enclosed beneath a sapphire crystal, the chronograph dial is comprised of 60 second, 30-minute, and 12-hour counters, a day-date window at 3 o’clock, ultra-luminescent hour markers, reflector ring, and hours, minutes, and seconds hands. The rotating inner bezel is easily manipulated by pulling the screwed-down crown at the 10 o’clock position. On the reverse side, a sapphire crystal case back reveals a look at the Air-Defender Lume’s top-finished, Swiss-made automatic Valjoux 7750 movement and the custom Tockr skeletonized rotor.
The Air-Defender Lume comes with exclusive, American-made “Stealth” straps produced in partnership with Oklahoma-City based HIX Design studio. The hand-cut and lume-stitched custom “Stealth” straps are flared at the lugs, tapered at the buckle, and feature a raised and perforated section near the lugs with leather colours custom coordinated to each dial. For the first time, Tockr also integrates luminous thread into its HIX straps, hand-stitched with lume-dipped, pigmented thread.
As with all other Tockr models, the Air Defender Lume model comes with a 2-year international warranty. Air-Defender Lume models retail for $3250 and are now available at tockr.com.
Tockr™ is an American watch brand with a Swiss-made heart, founded in Austin, Texas in 2017 by Austin Ivey and co-founded by Sophy Rindler.
Inspired by his own experience as a pilot and the legacy of his grandfather, a U.S. Army pilot who flew C-47 aircraft during World War II, Founder Austin Ivey set out to combine his lifelong passions of watches and aviation in an accessible collection of aviation-inspired watches. In a short time, Tockr’s iconic C47 and Air Defender watch collections have already captured the imagination of watch enthusiasts around the world. Discover the universe of Tockr at tockr.com.