The Saint Honore Worldcode GMT (ref. 868507 76NIR) makes an impression of a well-designed watch with every bit of its surface carefully thought over by real professionals. Its shape is traditional, but not generic. Its textures are brutal, but not crude. It is functional, but won’t overwhelm you with unnecessary features. Its only drawback is the movement that powers it, but lots of people won’t even notice it.
It looks like despite all the economic and financial crises and even the new Cold War that is starting right now we are truly blessed to live in the first decades of the 21st century. Only about twenty or thirty years ago a relatively inexpensive watch (or car or TV set or guitar) would look dull and crude. There would be lots of imperfections clearly visible when it comes to the finish, assembly and overall design of the thing.
Now, you need to go low to find goods with so unimpressive perceived quality. Modern CNC machinery and CAD design systems allow manufacturers to make affordable goods that look better than a Rolex (or a Mercedes or a Sony or a Fender) of the past. Yes, sometimes parts are made of pot metal instead of good old cold steel or the precious wood is replaced with something less exciting and only covered with a lacquered sheet of vinyl. However, the perceived quality is high.
This new Saint Honore Worldcode GMT model is a perfect example of this trend. While the watch is not terribly expensive (far from it), it looks convincing with its brushed stainless steel body and a rose gold PVD-treated steel bezel with a sexy black aluminum insert. Sporting a 24-hour scale, the bezel may not be that impressive as Omega watches with their relatively new “liquid metal” bezels, but it still looks nice.
The black dial with its open-worked hands and a bright red extra hour hand that displays time in the second time zone is finely designed and flawlessly executed. It is perfectly readable in any condition and there is enough Superluminova to light a small room in the night. The font family for the “WORLDCODE” and “GMT” inscriptions is well-chosen (a thing that even major brands often overlook trying to make the design as bold as possible) and I like that combination of light and bold typefaces.
To be frank, as I am looking at the watch at the moment of typing these words, I struggle to find any noticeable flaw to it. Everything is perfectly balanced. Everything is just where it is supposed to be. Yes, the primary hour and minute hands could be a fraction longer, but their real size makes the thinner GMT hand look even easier to spot (something that may come handy when you are driving the car on the highway and don’t have much time taking your eyes off the road).
Well, perhaps the choice of movement is something that bothers me a little. Or, rather, the fact that Saint Honore decided not to state its name in the official specification list, which basically means that the mechanism that powers it belongs to that ultra-cheap, throw-away kind of quartz movement. If you live far away from SH’s local service center, that could be a deal-breaker for you. However, if you live in a developed country and can easily mail it for a replacement, then this should not be a problem.
Photos: Saint Honore
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Saint Honore Worldcode GMT Quartz (ref. 868507 76NIR) specification
Movement: Quartz, Swiss Made
Power reserve: A couple of years
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT (second time zone display)
Case and Crown: Stainless steel
Bezel: Steel, decorated with black aluminum insert and “Rose gold” PVD treatment
Size: 43.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous, gold-toned
Water resistance: 150 meters
Strap: Brushed and polished metal bracelet on deployant buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective