Steinhart Ocean 1 GMT Review
Why I wear a homage watch and why I am perfectly OK with it.
noun: homage; plural noun: homages
special honor or respect shown publicly.
I’m going to tell you all a secret. Now, it is not really a secret. But I came to learn it, what seems, late in life. So, I’m assuming it was kept a secret. At least from me it was.
Here it is: I’m not running for public office. I don’t intend on running for public office. So, I don’t need to be concerned with what other people think of me.
This is especially true when it comes to my watches. Sure, I like fine things and I especially like things that work. But…
Is my 2003 Volkswagen Passat station wagon a homage to the 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 station wagon, with simulated wood grain paneling and roof rack? Seriously. Stop for a second here. No, no. Really stop. Did the super-duper, and I picture lab coat wearing, engineers at VW need to come up with their own station wagon idea(s)? Or, was the fact that other car manufactures and customizers had this idea of a car/truck/enclosure good enough to run with? Are the aforementioned VW and Olds homages of the old Woodies that would surround train stations and ship docks? Should I be aspiring to drive 1949 Packard Station Sedan to be woody-historically correct? Yes. I made up that term. But, that is my point here. Should the Packard or the Delta 88 be the standard? Does it make my Passat wagon less functional or less relevant?
This whole idea that one watch, and I’m going to pick the Rolex Submariner here, is the “standard” while any watch that looks like it or takes design, and I’m using this in the engineering context, ques from it is designated a homage or flat out copy.
Now before the proverbial internet flames fly here, a bit of my history. Until a few years ago, I owned a Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000. It was my grail. It was a fine watch and I wore it for years. Time went by, it went into my safe. It may, or may not, have come out for a wedding or a funeral. But, in the end it financed my divorce. When I prepped it for sale, it had not been out of my safe for a decade, at least. So, I’m saying here that I, at one time in my life, lusted after the Rolex brand, and (to be honest) still possess an Omega Planet Ocean Sea Master. So, I’m not immune nor do I not understand the lure of the big names in the horological game.
In the end, though, I use my stuff. I use my stuff until they break. That VW station wagon has about 140,000 miles on it, and it is my second vehicle. Third if you count the 2003 HD moto with 73,000 miles on it. So, I buy my stuff to use it. If I could afford a Ferrari, it too would be on its 60th set of tires and have a stupid amount of miles on it.
Now on to the watch.
As I type this, a Steinhart GMT-OCEAN 1 BLACK RED sits upon my wrist. This watch get a lot of inappropriate horological pressure as a Rolex GMT Master II homage. But, it also get a lot of wrist time on my person.
But, let us take a bit of a step back here. Remember, up above we stopped. So, a few steps back will not kill us.
Let’s look at the Steinhart in a bubble. Of course this bubble will be skewed to the light of functionality. Because, well, I’m a tool watch guy and functionality wins with me. But, the bubble will not have any other watches inside of it.
Movement: ETA 2893-2
Automatic, Swiss made, 21 jewel movement that is windable and hackable.
Screw down crown
Date at 3 o’clock
Second Time Zone hand and third using the bezel
Case and Crystal: Stainless Steel
Diameter 42 mm Diameter, 13.5 mm Height, 22 mm Lug Width
Sapphire glass with anti-reflecting coatings on the interior with a date magnifier
Bezel: Stainless Steel with black and red coloring
Back: Stainless Steel and screwed down
All the usual markings and no superfluous ones are in all the right spots with nothing extra or needed.
Lume in all the right spots and on the hour, minute, second, and GMT hand.
Strap & Buckle: 22mm screwed stainless steel with a 22mm stainless steel safety deployment clasp
Waterproof to 30 ATM
Who, after just looking at that list, would not consider the described watch as being a real life, serious watch? The only thing missing is the VW, Oldsmobile, or Packard symbol and marketing. Oh. Wait…