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Introducing: Ralf Tech WRX Electric ‘Original Tundra’

Ralf tech WRX Electric Original Tundra

‘Electric’ can be a bit of a dirty word amongst watch lovers, with echoes of battery-powered quartz movements and cheap digital numbers. But when you’re planning to put your watch through hell and back – like, for example, the French Special Forces – the delicacy of a mechanical movement just isn’t acceptable. The same goes for when you’re hundreds of metres underwater.

In both situations, you need something that won’t let you down at a critical moment, where timekeeping is a matter of life-and-death – which is precisely what Ralf Tech has built in the latest generation of their uber-rugged WRX.

Ralf tech WRX Electric Original Tundra

The original WRX has been equipping professional divers and special forces units across Ralf Tech’s home country of France for years now, the oversized proportions and hard-wearing cases as valuable as any instrument in their arsenal. Now, in this latest generation, they’ve taken things one step further.

At the core of the new WRX is Ralf Tech’s proprietary ‘Electric’ movement, which works to a system of micro-hybridisation. It’s essentially an incredibly advanced quartz movement that can last without any deviations for 100,000 hours. That’s a bit longer than your usual 40-odd. It’s almost 12 years, in fact.

Ralf tech WRX Electric Original Tundra

The movement is surrounded by an incredibly rugged case water resistant to 500m that takes plenty of design cues from more extreme Panerais in its chunky, cushion case and 47.5mm diameter. That said, it doesn’t feel nearly as big on the wrist as it looks. You won’t exactly forget it’s there, but even on me and my notoriously slim wrists it doesn’t look too ridiculous.

It’s a seriously solid case construction, complete with a satisfying unidirectional rotating diving bezel and screw-down crown, both designed for easy grip in diving gear.

Ralf tech WRX Electric Original Tundra Ralf tech WRX Electric Original Tundra

Colourwise, we have here the ‘Tundra’, which is closer to olive drab than anything, really amping up the military feel of the watch. The black offers a touch more contrast but don’t worry about legibility; the sandwich construction ensures that the vast quantities of lume shine very, very brightly. Given the space it has to work with, too, you can read this watch in the dark from 30 paces.

Equipped on a substantial rubber strap, this isn’t a watch for everyone, nor is it designed as such. It’s a timepiece for the extreme, for anyone that has to battle against harsh environments and can’t afford to risk being a few minutes or even seconds out. If that’s the kind of machismo you live for then the Ralf Tech WRX Electric may well be the mission-critical timepiece for you.

Price & Specs:

Model: Ralf Tech WRX Electric ‘Original Tundra’
Ref: WRX 5003
Case/Dial: 47.5mm diameter, stainless steel
Water Resistance: 500m (50 bar)
Movement: Micro hybrid electric movement RTE001
Power reserve: 100000h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Black silicone
Price/availability: €1,900 EUR, limited to 100 per year

More details at Ralf Tech.

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.