At Baselworld 2011, among a number of other high-tech and classy timepieces, Perrelet has also presented its new collection of divers: a three-hander, a chronograph, and a GMT. Although they position the chrono as a flagship of the series, the Seacraft GMT (Refs. A1055/3 and A1055/A) is 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, underwater,) while the ability to know the current time in another city on the other side of the Atlantic (or the Pacific) is a nice thing to have.
Of course, you can always check the current time with your smartphone (or even with your dumb-phone,) but only an old-school wristwatch 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 like that of the Bulgari Professional Aria GMT, the new Seacraft GMT still sports at least one difference: a day/night indicator at 9 o’clock.
From where I sit, the indicator is not too functional in this particular case since the device 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 unusual 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 printed at 3 o’clock.
The second hour-hand displays the time in the second time zone. Very thin, it sports an arrow-shaped, red-tipped head with a tiny dot of Superluminova on it.
To set the secondary time-zone and the date indicator, you will have to use the pair of chronograph-style push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock.
The legibility of the Seacraft GMT is almost 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 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 Seacraft GMT Divers 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 nice “smart casual” gadget 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 dealer and see it for yourself.
Perrelet Seacraft GMT specification (Refs. A1055/3 and A1055/A)
Price: €3900 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber P-281 (based on ETA 2892,) 28,800 vph, 21 jewels, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, second time-zone (GMT)
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: Stainless steel, alternately brushed and polished
Size: 42.00 mm
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 gift box
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides
Back: Solid, stamped, screw-down