Although sharing its tonneau-style shape and proportions with their recent Grand Dome DT Vintage 1946 automatic chronograph, the new Dubey & Schaldenbrand Dome GMT (ref. 4350) self-winding timekeeper is considerably more compact, which makes it not only more elegant, but also a lot more wearable not only because of the smaller size that allows the gadget to fit nicely even a narrow wrist, but also thanks to less intimidating weight that doesn’t try to constantly remind you of a metal monster clinging to your arm.
Available soon both in high-grade stainless steel (as far as I know, the brand uses 316L steel for their timekeepers: the same steel that is often used to make scalpel and other surgical instruments) that will retail at approximately $5000 USD depending on your location as well as in a lot more expensive 18-carat white gold, the new watch measures only 35 millimeters in width and some 47 millimeters in length, while the aforementioned Grand Dome DT is sold in a lot more massive 37.00 mm x 52.00 mm body. While both models are at least wearable thanks to their ‘lugless’ design, the smaller version seems to be better suitable for the larger audience of potential buyers.
According to the brand’s press release, the watch is powered by the well-known ETA 2892/A2 automatic movement that has been equipped with an “exclusive” GMT module that Dubey & Schaldenbrand outsources from an unspecified supplier.
Aside from the traditional GMT sub-dial at 12 hours that features both hour and minute hands, there is also a somewhat quirky “Day/Night” display at 9 hours that displays time in 24-hour format.
What’s so strange about it? Well, as you can see on the images below, the usual “12” and “24” hour Arabic numerals are placed not at their usual places at, um, 6 and 12 o’clock, but somewhere at 5 and 11 hours. Not very common design, but still quite usable.
Finishing with the dial design, I must admit that I am not particularly happy about the “GMT” inscription at 3 o’clock. First, the typeface chosen for the abbreviation clashes with the italicized “Dubey & Schaldenbrand” in the upper half of the dial. Second, the choice of color doesn’t play well with the blued hands of the second time zone and “day/night” indicator. Third, it’s just plain bad taste.
The company also says that the watch will be available with three colors of its dial: black, blue (which I extremely hate from the very first sight, partly thanks to the set of red GMT hands and red alligator leather strap) and silver.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Dubey & Schaldenbrand
Dubey & Schaldenbrand Dome GMT Automatic (ref. 4350) watch specification
Price: Approx. $5000 USD for a version in stainless steel
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA 2892-A2, modified, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 23
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Rhodium-plated
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT (second time zone), 24-hour day/night indicator
Case material: Stainless steel / White gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Tonneau
Bezel shape: Tonneau
Case size: 35.00 mm x 47.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Black / Silver / Blue
Numerals: Roman / Arabic
Hour markers: Applied
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with steel or white gold tang buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: No data