This specific NIVO (Night Invisible Varnish, Orfordness) colour-way was uncovered whilst researching the use of specific military colours beyond the usual olive drab, black, and desert shades.
Originally made from a combination of yellow ochre, pigment white 5, and ultramarine blue, NIVO was originally developed at Orfordness experimental station as a paint for British bombers that matched both the colour and gloss level of open water at night.
Discovering a 98 year old military paint colour was the easy part; recreating it in a modern colourspace like the ones we design with was the hard part as it doesn't feature in any Pantone or RAL reference charts. It was worth the effort though, becoming an instant favourite.
If you'd like to read a little more about NIVO, Jason Heaton wrote a brilliant article about it (and his thoughts on his NIVO Holton) here.
The NIVO has a paler grey case than our other Holtons to bring the dial colour up, and has pink/sand luminous fill in the hands and pale green/sand luminous dial graphics in place of the usual Holton pale green.
The Holton Professional was developed in response to a request from a specialist branch of the military who demanded a fit-for-purpose professional watch capable of shrugging off life in the field.
It’s the first military issued watch from a British company in over ten years and prior to being approved, was the subject of intense testing, surviving some of the most hostile conditions imaginable.
The Brief: a watch capable of prolonged exposure to water and dust, durable, shock resistant, clear visibility day or night, unidirectional timing bezel operable with a gloved hand, easy strap changes and comfortable strapping options that don't break. So if you happen to be flying in darkness over the sea/ocean towards an enemy foe, they might see you but they won't see your watch!
The specification of the bezel gives a perfect insight into the level of detail we impart on every watch we put our names to. A precise 120 click high grip bezel houses a stainless steel insert hardened to 1200HV (Vickers hardness scale) precisely embossed with hours and minutes indentations then flooded with high grade C3 SuperLuminova.
The hobnail outer knurling is slightly higher than the insert to form a high grip surface for confident operation even when using the palm of a wet gloved hand. Both components are beadblasted and a 0.8 micron PVD coating is then applied whose hardness matches that of the stainless steel components.
N.B. this bezel is unapologetically fit for purpose. Please be aware it is likely to catch or wear shirt cuffs etc.
Straps are easily changed and secured via solid steel screw in bars operated with a five lobe tool (supplied) and matching socket in the strap bar ends.
The recessed crown sits neatly out of harms way at 4H whilst retaining the immense water protection afforded by our proprietary triple seals. An additional screw down mechanism locks the crown into the case.
The last two photos are stills taken from a video of a Holton and a Kimmeridge strapped to an ROV in the Gulf of Mexico in March 2020, still working at 3900ft - almost 3/4 mile underwater.
The soft woven NATO style webbing strap is custom dyed and made especially for us on a Victorian Shuttle loom in Ashbourne. It's a technical slice of fabric fitted with our patented clamp buckle. Super low profile, lightweight, breathable, low moisture retentive, anti-bacterial and so comfy.