In addition to some of the initial “teething pain” technical problems that sadly continue to dog the first edition Gen 1 X-33, a common refrain among detractors of the X-33 is that the polished bezel and pushers on the Gen 1 give it an aesthete that is far too “blingy.” In addition to aesthetic problems, the glare caused by the shiny polished surfaces can become a distraction on what was ostensibly supposed to be a focused and purpose-driven “instrument watch.”
An easy solution? Well, PVD it:
PVD refers to Physical Vapor Deposition, a process that applies a finish in such a way that it bonds with the surface at the molecular level, yielding a finish that is very hard and durable. The resulting finish is non-reflective and increases not only the tactical fitness of the watch but functionality as well as glare and reflections are minimized.
The PVD finish on this Gen 1 X-33 was performed under the oversight of Jack Alexyon of International Watch Works, who is of course well known in the military, dive, and sport watch communities for his exotic custom modifications and vintage-friendly “sympathetic” restorations of rare military watches.
Ordinarily I’m not a fan of “modding” of watches like this, but I have to admit that in this case the aesthete, functionality, and even durability of this X-33 have doubtlessly been increased. A lingering complaint is that the bezel markers are now more difficult to read especially in low-light situations, but at the same time the Gen 1’s lack of a luminous pearl on the bezel gave it minimal low-light functionality anyway.