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Protek, the American watch brand that makes tactical timepieces for first responders, is expanding its popular Official United States Marine Corp (USMC) watch collection with automatic models. With carbon composite cases, ProGlo self-powered illumination that will continue to shine for 25 years, Seiko automatic movements, and a choice of dials in USMC’s Pantone palette of black, red, green, and desert, the new Protek Series 1210 USMC Automatic models are currently being offered at discounted pre-launch prices on Kickstarter.

Like their quartz counterparts that debuted about a year ago, the automatic USMC watches sport 42mm carbon composite cases (16mm thick and 50.5mm lug-to-lug) and matching carbon composite bezels. The watch weighs only 84.5 grams thanks to its lightweight material, comprised of 30% carbon and 70% polycarbonate, resulting in a lightweight yet highly durable composite in a textured charcoal color. The ratcheted unidirectional bezels are easy to grip and include a 60-minute scale to track immersion times. The action on all ProTek bezels is incredibly tight with zero play as they should function, and this series is no exception. The watches, which feature screw-down crowns, multiple O-rings, and a screw-down steel caseback, are rated to 300 meters of water resistance; all ProTek watches are tested in both air and water to ensure this rating. Standard water resistance testing is typically done with air, and batch testing in water. ProTek goes a step further by testing every watch head in water (in addition to air), ensuring each watch is well-suited to serve the wearer in water environments.

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Inside the cases are the Seiko 24-jewel NH35 automatic movement, the tried and true self-winding caliber that countless dive watches rely on. This is a significant move on the part of ProTek as the brand has always depended on Miyota quartz movements to power its line of watches. ProTek opted to include automatic movements in the catalog due to requests from consumers and retailers. The Marines, the elite fighting force the watch is designed for, confirmed that automatic USMC models would be a welcomed addition to the lineup. Supplying about 41 hours of power reserve and operating at 21,600 beats per hour, the NH35 movement drives the trio of hands at the center and the date window at 3 o’clock. The 316L stainless steel caseback that serves to shield the movement is intricately embossed with the famed U.S. Marine Corps eagle, globe, and anchor emblem.

Aside from the new movement, another update offered by the new ProTek Series 1210 USMC models is the dial, now available in specific USMC Pantone colors. Whether in black, green, red, or desert, the dials are all decorated with ProTek’s signature diamond plate motif, emphasizing the rugged nature of the watches. The tactical dive watches also include both 12-hour and 24-hour scales on the dial. The dials are protected by scratch-resistant sapphire crystals with antireflective coating.

As is customary for ProTek watches, the automatic Series 1210 USMC watches glow intensely in the dark thanks to the tritium-based ProGlo self-powered illumination developed in Switzerland. This is the same superior illumination technology that ProTek’s founder pioneered and brought to the consumer world with Luminox, his former brand, in 1989. Not only does this luminous substance glow 100 times brighter than conventional lume but it will also continuously emit light for 25 years without the need for an external light source. The hands, hour markers, and bezel pip glow green while the 12-hour marker emits an orange light to allow the wearer to easily spot the top of the dial.

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The automatic USMC watches come paired with charcoal-colored genuine rubber straps. However, ProTek sells straps in the same shades as the dials for those interested in a color-coordinated look. In addition to selecting genuine rubber for its sturdy properties, the straps are molded around a steel tube insert where the spring pins are for added strength and durability. There’s one fixed keeper loop to avoid sliding, along with a second adjustable loop. The straps are fitted with a charcoal-colored steel pin signature buckle to match the case.

Commenting on the new release, Barry Cohen, Managing Partner of Time Concepts, the parent company of the ProTek brand, said: “Our watches were conceived and created for those that protek(t) us, and our name defines the brand, with ‘Pro’ meaning made for professionals, and ‘Tek’ signifying our superior self-powered illumination technology. Naturally, we’re very proud that our brand has been designated an Official Watch of the U.S. Marine Corps, and our newest collection was created to allow the brand to move more upstream in the jewelry store arena while still offering outstanding value for modest prices.  This collection expands on the brand’s mission to create and offer exceptional watches, ideal for anyone that leads an adventurous active lifestyle and are terrific daily-wear knock-around timepieces.”

The Protek Automatic Series 1210 USMC watches will eventually retail for 695 USD, however, they’re currently available to purchase at lower prices (starting at 395 USD, and up from there depending on the tier and package) via the brand’s Kickstarter campaign. Pre-orders are available immediately until the campaign closes at the end of the month. The watches will begin shipping out in July. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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