At Baselworld 2011, among a number of other high-tech and classy timepieces, the Swiss watchmaker has also presented its new collection of diving watches: a three-hander, a chronograph and a GMT. Although they position the chrono as a flagship of the series, the new Perrelet Seacraft GMT (Refs. A1055/3 and A1055/A) diving watch looks to be the most interesting (or, at least, the most useful) among them.
The reason is lying on the surface: the three-hander is banal and the chronograph is useless (at least, under water,) while the ability to know current time in another city on the other side of the Atlantic (or the Pacific) seems to be quite a nice thing to have.
Of course, you can always check current time with your smart phone (or even with your dumb-phone,) but only an old-school wrist watch lets you do it almost instantaneously, without reaching for the gadget into your pocket or (like it is almost always the case with yours truly) going for it into another room.
Although the layout of its dial looks very much alike that of the Bvlgari Professional Aria GMT model, the new watch still sports at least one difference: a day/night indicator at 9 o’clock.
From where I sit, the indicator is not very functional in this particular case since the watch shows the GMT time in a military-style 24-hour format and the day/night information looks somewhat redundant.
Simply painting the bezel or its flange in a pair of contrasting colors would do the job. Or, like Linde Werdelin with its 3-Timer GMT series, they could go without it altogether.
Well, at least the display breaks the monotony of the left part of the dial and visually balances the lengthy model name description, which is printed at 3 o’clock.
The second time zone is displayed by means of the second hour hand. Very thin, it sports an arrow-shaped red head with a tiny dot of Superluminova on it.
As you may have already guessed, the GMT time and the date indicator are set with a pair of push-pieces ergonomically placed at 2 and 4 o’clock.
As to the legibility of the Perrelet Seacraft GMT, it is close to perfect: the broad hour and minute hands, the applied hour markers and (to a lesser extent) the GMT hour hand is covered with natural-colored Superluminova (the artificially colored lume seems to lose its glowing qualities faster than the “organic” one.)
My only complaint here is the central seconds hand that comes without any lume whatsoever, so, in murky water, you can’t see immediately that the watch actually does its job counting the precious seconds. This shortcoming may be very depressing, even claustrophobic for some.
This is especially sad regarding the fact that the Seacraft GMT had a good potential to be a real diver, a tool watch.
Thanks to an automatic helium escape valve at 9 o’clock, a robust, 4.00 mm thick sapphire crystal and a stamped, screw-down case back, the watch is rated for the whole 777 meters (2550 ft) of depth and, at the same time, doesn’t look like a quarter-pound burger on your wrist!
Well, being as it is, the Perrelet Seacraft GMT is still a very nice casual watch that, especially the one with the white dial, will look great on just about any wrist.
If you can afford one, go to the nearest Perrelet’s dealer and see it for yourself.
See also: Nivrel Deep Ocean 500M Diver
Perrelet Seacraft GMT automatic wrist watch specification (Refs. A1055/3 and A1055/A)
Price: €3900 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, P-281, 28,800 vph, 21 jewels, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, second time zone (GMT)
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: Stainless steel, alternately brushed and polished
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Crown material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 14.90 mm
Dial: White or Blue
Water resistance: 777 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with stainless steel folding clasp; stainless steel bracelet; and an extra nylon strap offered in a special watch box
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides
Case back: Solid, stamped, screw-down