Hands-on : Isotope GMT 0°

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British-based microbrand Isotope is back with the pretty cool GMT 0º watch. This piece is the brand’s third offering. I quite like the idea behind the brand and of course we have already presented the Rider Jumping Hour and the Goutte d’Eau.

I had the chance to put my hands-on this new piece and honestly it’s really nice.

The reason for the Isotope GMT 0º’s name is that Isotope is a brand based in Britain: on the same meridian as Greenwich, from which the term GMT is derived.

This is different

The really interesting thing about this watch is that it doesn’t use normal hand as many other GMT watches on the market, but it features a clever Lacrima shaped cut out center dial which is actualy where is display the second timezone. You can easily read it thanks to the center disc on which there’s a little Lacrima used as the hand.

Around this we have the date displayed by little dots. I like this idea but to be honest it’s not really easy to see on the version I have with me. The dot for the current date is in the same color than the dial and that makes it difficult to read.

But the whole dial is really well balanced as we have the local time showed by two skeletonized hands for the hours and minutes, then the circle for the 31 date dots and finally, the Lacrima shaped second timezone display.

Caseback

When turning the watch you’ll find an unusual half display screwed case back featuring the Lacrima shape, this time as a window, through which you can see the revolving rotor of the modified Swisstech automatic movement, signed by Isotope. The movement itself coming with an exclusive three-year warranty.

Around this window the case back is engraved with the hours of difference of the world’s major cities relative to GMT. With special evidence given to the Greenwich Meridian.

Design matters

This is a strong watch measuring 41.5mm x 39.5mm in diameter and 14,2 mm in thickness. The bespoke steel case is subtly different to the usual circular shape, it’s actually “0 – zero” shaped, a homage to the latitude at Greenwich. Well, even if it’s a quite « high » watch this one fits really well my small wrist. 

I think that the whole design helps to make it easily wearalable. The only issue I have is the weight because the watch is quite heavy. But to be honest it’s not a problem at all.

On the screw-down crown, there is an intriguing motif designed by the company owner’s Uncle, an industrial designer by training and spirit, with hundreds of unpublished designs. In the crown is engraved the symbol of the Infinite Chain, a sketch symbolic of union and eternal motion. Finaly, the lugs and strap buckle have also some nice finishes.

Movement & strap

At the heart of the GMT 0° you will find the Swisstech S24-45 movement which is an ETA 2824-2 clone. This one comes with a 40 hours power reserve. Now if you want to set the watch correctly, pull the crown out to the first position will give you the possibility to set the the date when rotated in one direction, and the 24 hour disc in the other direction. When pulling the crown out to the next position hacks the movement and allows for setting of local time.

Now about the Cordura strap… Thanks to the 24mm lug width the strap is really strong and adds presence on the wrist. I’m not a huge fan of this kind of strap as I really have a small wrist (17 mm) but i’m sure that if you like strong tool watches you will like it.

Finally

Well, this GMT 0° is honestly a great watch. It’s well finished and believe me, its presence is felt at every moment while on the wrist. The whole design is really well balanced and I like the way Isotope decided to present the GMT function. This is unique and I like when time display is different.

The GMT 0º will initially be available in one of six versions : White, Black, Blue and Olive Green Steel.

The Olive Green in Black DLC comes as a Limited Edition of 49 numbered watches and the case and buckle are treated with a Diamond-like Carbon Coating (DLC).

The Ruby comes as a Limited Edition of 49 numbered watches, a tribute to the Greenwich Meridian and Port Wine, produced in the North of Portugal in the Unesco World Heritage Douro Valley for more than 2,000 years. Both historic institutions share the same Meridian (0° longitude).

The price of this GMT 0° is about 825 € (around 1000 US$).

More info about it on their website.

Technical Specifications

  • Brushed case, 316L stainless steel/Black Diamond-like Carbon
  • Case diameter 41.5mm x 39.5mm (44.7mm with lugs)
  • Height 14.2mm
  • Exhibition screwed case back with the world’s major cities time-zone
  • Anti-reflective domed crystal sapphire
  • Single Screw-down crown at 3 o’clock
  • Hands applied with Super-LumiNova®
  • 24mm strap tapered to 22mm
  • Matching Buckle
  • Water-resistance 200m / 20 atm / 656 ft

Swiss made customised Swisstech S24-45 (3 years warranty):

  • Automatic, self-winding
  • Power reserve 40 hours
  • 28 Jewels, 28800A/h
  • Accuracy -12/+12 s/day
  • Customised finishing, date and rotor

You can follow Isotope on the social networks :

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Youtube

Jonathan Kopp

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Jonathan Kopp

Author’s Bio:

Founder of Watchisthis?! Magazine, Jonathan is a watch journalist but also a business consultant in the watch industry and other areas.

He works on marketing and all kind of communication (print, digital, webdesign, video…) for years.

Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.” (Denis Diderot)…That’s his motto.

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