Archive for January, 2011

Dievas Voyageur GMT Watch: Complicated Simplicity

Saturday, January 29th, 2011



Timepieces with GMT functions are always nice to have, even if they’re as useful as the hair on your toes. But the romance of the great age of aviation lives on, even if the only thing most people ever fly anymore are their desks. Still, that hasn’t stopped young local start-up Dievas from producing their first two- time zone watch, the Voyageur GMT.

The Voyageur (I think its French) is an interesting watch, no doubt. We have a contrast between a very simple case design – standard round case with a crown at the three O’ clock position – and a black dial which is, shall we say, more complicated than a beaver’s secret relationship with a chipmunk. 24- hour GMT markers alternating in red and white form the outermost ring of the dial, followed inwards by a railway track of minute- markers and finally a snug inner circle of 12 Arabic hour- markers. On a side note, I wonder if there is an alternative word for ‘markers’ as there are a lot of markers both on the watch and in this article. A little date window is positioned even further inwards from the number 3, but the most eye- catching feature here is surely the blackened GMT hand, which is near- invisible against the jet- black dial, except for the very noticeable red GMT letters and arrowhead that form the tip (more on this later).

The hour- markers and all tips of all three hands are coated with C3 grade Superluminova, so that you can er, tell the time in another country when the lights go out. Like onboard an airplane. When they, you’d know, switch the lights off. As for the casing, its been treated to Dievas’ proprietary steel- hardening process that the Singapore- based firm calls 6Steel. As far as I can tell, the 6Steel treatment makes steel six times harder than normal and also resistant to scratches, water and corrosion, making it ideal for water activities or a wrestling matches. I like Dievas for being innovative and practical (you can read more about my writeup on the brand here) ; the brand has a kind of forward- thinking that really puts many more established brands to shame. Its always nice when you have the R&D to back- up the marketing talk at the end of the day. Movement comes in the form of a trusty ETA 2893-2 with a 42 hour power reserve.

Design- wise, I won’t be alone in saying that the Voyageur may not be to everyone’s taste. More is less and it’s true here with the dial, which looks cluttered despite being some 45mm in diameter. Other GMT watches have usually resolved this by moving the 24- hour markers to a rotating bezel, in order to make the dial less busy; another way to achieve this would be to partially conceal some or all of the GMT or hour marks. Here though the Voyageur doesn’t have a bezel and pretty much crams everything into the same space, which could lead to sensory overload. But if you’re one of those that happen to like the design of Breitling Navitimers and have an ability to processlotsofinformationataglance then this should be just your thing.

Expecting a photo of the GMT hand? Er...




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