[Photo Credit: Oris]
This arrived a couple of days ago. Have had my eye on it for some time as I love the design, the connection to Oris' history (they pioneered this type of GMT movement with push button hour advance and date correct back in 1997), and the reference to an important period in timekeeping history (establishment of international GMT time standard back in 1884.) This is a truly fine timepiece with superb detail and finishing, and at 42mm it wears superbly. Not overly thick, not too big as to be overbearing nor too small that the dial becomes cramped and it loses presence. Like other Oris designs the case is bowl shaped and tapers in towards the top; as such this renders a 42mm watch that wears more compact than the spec suggests.
The case is adorned with multiple lines and curves and facets and finishes, while the back features a crisply engraved portrait of Sir Sanford Fleming, a Canadian engineer credited with developing the GMT standard
Lug width is 22mm which I think is an ideal proportion to the case and makes strap pairing easy. The included strap is brown leather with matching stitch and an alligator stamp; it's a nice enough strap but given the status of this watch I would suggest true alligator/croc would have been more appropriate. The clasp, however, is pure Oris beauty - a fold-over style with push button release that neatly tucks the tail underneath and out of the way. It is cleanly engraved with the Oris logo.
The dial is treat to look at. Silvery white it has a wave guilloche pattern that is razor sharp and catches light similar to a sunray. It is separated by a secondary snailed 24 hour track. This adds visual interest, reinforces the 24 hour GMT motif, and contains the small seconds and home timezone subdials. The latter sits larger as it should: it creates a hierarchy of importance over the running seconds, and is necessary to ensure legibility of the second zone. Oris has other Worldtimer GMT models but it is this subdial that distinguishes the LE with a relief of the globe marked with the timezones of the word. It's a really nice detail, and has some dimension to it from both the 3D etching to the channel that surrounds it.
This configuration is what initially drew me to the watch. While I love the utility of a GMT watch reading 24 hour time does not come naturally to me. I prefer a more intuitive glance at a conventional 12-hour clock. Arguably the only benefit to a true 24 hour GMT register is the ability to distinguish AM from PM. The Artelier GMT addresses this with the simple implementation of a day/night window within the home time register. This way you can have your cake and eat it too.
The Artelier Worldtimer's main party trick involves the pushers at 4 and 8 o'clock. These advance the main/local hour hand forwards and backwards, respectively, in one hour increments while the watch continues to run uninterrupted. If you cross midnight the date will self-adjust to the local time. It's a handy alternative to the more conventional use of a dedicated crown position. I imagine enthusiasts will be of two minds with this design. I like the ingenuity and convenience of it, something that is not very common with other GMT watches. Others may feel it adds unnecessary protuberances and breaks to the flow of the case. But it is a hallmark of Oris' complication.
Closing off on the dial the applied markers are beautifully faceted and dimensional; they sit slightly proud of the dial. A double marker is used at 12 o'clock. The main hands are clean lancet-style with a wedge of lume in the center. I believe it's C3, it glows green. A date wheel is tucked discretely at 6 o'clock and color matched so as not to disturb the balance of the dial. The date typeface is very clean and a nice style.
Packaging is outstanding for the limited edition status. The owner is greeted with a black and red cardboard box in which sits the wooden watch case, along with a tray for the documentation package. This folio contains the operating instructions, warranty card, and a terrific booklet describing the origins of the watch and GMT time (it is also the certificate of authenticity.) The case is hinged and watch sits pride of place. A medallion is fixed to the underside of the case top that matches the engraved case back. I believe this is the same treatment applied to most LE watches in Oris' collection including the recent and incredible Brashear Diver's Sixty-Five. Packaging and presentation are most certainly on par with the status of the watch.
[Photo Credit: Oris]
The Oris Artelier Greenwich Mean Time is limited to 1000 pieces.