The British start-up Schofield Watch Company has recently launched its new pair of Schofield Signalman GMT PR (Power Reserve) automatic watches. Both featuring the same dial layout, the watches differ only with the finish of their cases: one of them is in glossy, polished steel and the other features a matte black, scratch-resistant DLC coating. Of course, my heart is with the military-inspired version of the watch.
I am not really sure why I prefer the DLC-treated watch over the “naked” model.
Perhaps, the reason is that its restrained, very discreet dial immediately brings in associations with instrument gauges of war planes or, at least, those that one could see on good old battle ships.
The digital-style Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock not only look like harsh and precise: they are also very easy, even pleasant to read. As are the trapezoidal hour markers and nicely proportioned hour and minute hands, all of them covered with grey Superluminova substance.
Although the power reserve (that’s what the “PR” letters in the timekeeper’s name mean) indicator has a Panerai-style linear scale, the hand that shows you how much energy is still stored in its mainspring barrel, still (somewhat disappointingly) moves in an arc.
As to the GMT indicator, it is comfortably placed at 6 o’clock and features an easily readable 24-hour scale. Well, I don’t really like that the scale overlaps with the minute track, but I can certainly leave with that.
What’s really annoying here is the rather small date aperture, which is placed at 3 hours. If you, like yours truly, spend the whole day looking at a computer screen, by the end of the day checking the date window may put a very uncomfortable strain on your eyes.
The watch is animated by the new Soprod 9335/A10 automatic movement, which is actually the same Soprod Alternance 10 (A10) base caliber (if memory serves me well, it was first revealed in the beginning of the year either at Baselworld 2011 or during SIHH 2011) with the GMT and power reserve modules sitting atop of it.
According to the British brand, so far both watches will be issued only as limited edition models with the version in mirror-polished steel and the matte black DLC steel limited to 300 and 100 pieces respectively.
As for the pricing, the former will be offered at £2465 and the latter at £2785. Both prices do not include VAT and shipping cost: yes, you can order the one of your liking at their corporate web-site.
Schofield Signalman GMT PR (Power Reserve) automatic watch specification
Price: £2465 (mirror polished steel) / £2785 (matte black DLC steel)
Movement: Soprod 9335/A10, base Soprod Alternance 10 caliber, 25.60 mm x 3.60 mm, Swiss made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Geneva stripes, blued screws, circular graining, rhodium plating
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT, power reserve
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel (polished or black DLC)
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 15.02 mm
Lug width: 24.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 500 m
Strap: Special edition black shark skin, green calf skin lined with curved, polished stainless steel buckle, engraved, screw-in
Crystal: Sapphire, domed, antireflective on the inside, 2.20 mm
Case back: Solid