A True GMT with Character
As watch enthusiasts, we often ask ourselves the following existential question: how much watch can I get for my money? How much originality in design? How good of a movement? How refined of a finish? We can easily obsess over these questions which often throw us into a catatonic state. We can’t decide which watch to get. We can’t move the cursor over to the “Add to cart” button and later, we regret our lack of decision power. Things get more difficult when we are faced with the reality of having to decide between one good GMT and another great GMT. Travel watches are trendy and brands have been hard at work to offer the best value possible. Today, I’m offering you yet another option: the Marloe GMT Day.
Marloe is a brand that came into my purview just a few months ago. Whether by way of a YouTube review, an Instagram post, or a thoughtfully written article published on one of my favorite online magazines. I don’t remember how, but here it is. What I love about my job is that everyday I hear of a new brand that offers incredible designs and value for the money and which rivals what I have encountered thus far in horology. I thought I had seen the best GMTs (a topic I’ve written extensively about) until that the GMT Day landed at my doorstep. As we will see, this watch has a lot to offer—both in terms of looks and specs—for the asking $755.
What defines the “good” or “right” specifications for any type of watch is subjective. We all value different things. I like high water resistance, robust builds, and legible dials. I care less for what movement is inside the watch as long as it ticks more or less accurately. (Ok, that was a lie. I do like accurate movements within reason.) However, I’m starting to see what we could agree are good specifications as they relate to how much you pay for the watch. There is a commonplace, perfect equilibrium which I see become more and more reality within the micro and independent watch world. The Marloe GMT Day is no different. It has, according to yours truly, the right balance between originality of design, hardcore specifications, and price.
First and foremost, it’s a watch that is easy to wear on my 6.25”/16cm wrist. The case measures 42mm in diameter, 47mm lug-to-lug, and 13.01mm thick including the crystal. It comes with 20mm lug width which aids in keeping the watch visually mid-sized on the wrist. (A 22mm lug width would have made the watch appear too wide.) The bi-directional 48-click bezel does not protrude out from the case which doesn’t mean, however, that the bezel is hard to operate. Quite the contrary. The coined-edge finish on the bezel is slanted which guarantees a firm grip. And the clicks are sharp and precise, making this one of the best bidirectional bezels I’ve ever encountered.
Powering the Marloe GMT Day is the Miyota 9075 “true” GMT caliber. You might be familiar with it today but that wasn’t probably the case a year ago. This awesome movement has become the best GMT caliber any brand can get its hands on, whilst keeping the price tag of their watches under the $1,000 mark. The 9075, as you might be aware of, beats at 28,800 BPH (4Hz) and comes with 40 hours of power reserve. If you care to know how it looks, well you can admire it thanks to a sapphire case-back. To keep the cost of the watch as low as possible, Marloe did not customize the rotor. However, there is a slanted rehaut around the movement which displays key information about this model. (I’ve never seen this type of case-back construction before so another bonus point in my book.)
Being a traveler’s watch with a strong everyday watch vibe, the GMT Day comes with only 50 meters of water resistance and an engraved push/pull crown. The modest water resistance is balanced by excellent finish, showcasing a satin-brushed case side and stainless steel bezel insert, and polished surfaces everywhere else. The polishing is refined and does a great job accentuating the gentle curves of the case and making the watch look thin on the wrist. I particularly appreciate the beautiful polished chamfer that runs from one lug to the other, as well as the polished top part of the lugs.
The GMT collection from Marloe actually comes in two variants: the Night and the Day. Given the pastel blue color of the Day, you wouldn’t be surprised if I were to tell you that the Night comes with a black dial. Regardless of which color you prefer, you and I may be the same: smitten with the fine sandy texture of the dials, as if tiny particles of the finest sand had been delicately deposited by a human hand. The texture looks fantastic in person and at any viewing angles, and contrasts well with the matte—and slightly shiny— finish of the raised minute track. The latter indicates each minute with hash marks and each hour is represented by an applied marker that comes with a high-polish surround. The effect in person is striking.
The hour and minute hands are what the brand calls “Jet Stream” which, indeed, symbolizes the fast and narrow meandering air currents of our atmosphere. And honestly, whatever the brand calls them, I find this original handset handsome. They showcase a certain assertiveness which balances out the timid character of the hour markers. With this combination, reading the time is easy. The pointy ends of the hour and minute hands reach the markers and minute track just like they should, while the hairline seconds hand could easily disappear in the background if it were not for its arrow-shaped counter-balance. The GMT hand, for its part, seems to be floating on the dial thanks to its pastel blue stem. However, it is easy to spot given the red arrow tip.
Probably my favorite visual aspect of the GMT Day are the hour markers. I know, it's probably odd that ,amongst all things this Marloe offers, it is the hour makers that grab my attention the most. I just like how small and elegant they are, having elongated markers at the 12, 6, and 9 positions and a dot at the three, matching the circular markers everywhere else. Keeping most of the hour markers small means Marloe was able to create continuity all around the dial, and especially around the date aperture. The dot hour marker at the three is legible and makes way for a framed date window. Observing this visual harmony reminds me that it’s better to leave design to the professionals.
The Heart of the Matter
At the heart of the matter is the fact that I’m happy. I’m happy because I feel that we are finally living in a time when micro and independent brands go over and beyond to design watches that look different. Whether it has to do with the dial design or the ways in which the case sits on the wrist, dial colors or textures, I see more variety and more authenticity in the way watches look. The GMT Day is the perfect example of this given its elegant and novel dial layout, as well as its impeccable finish and construction. While the myth about good horology—that we need to pay a lot of money to get good stuff—perdures even in 2023, brands like Marloe defy it and shove it to the side. The GMT Day retails for $755 which is reasonable given the specifications and the originality of the design.
More than reasonable, I’d say it’s cheap.
However, more than its price and how much you get for your hard-earned cash, I am amazed by the attention to the details that went into making the GMT Day. Tiny details such as the slanted coined-edge finish on the bezel and the small hour markers to the delicate dial texture, all of which make for an incredible wearing experience. The fact that this watch is a GMT means—according to watch enthusiasts like myself—that it should come with a date complication. And while dates upset some, I feel that we could all agree—and come together on this point as a merry horological family—that it is best when the date aperture is well-integrated within the dial design. Like it is on this GMT.
Lastly, I would say that Marloe got corones releasing a GMT equipped with the Miyota 9075 within a market that is now bursting with GMTs. Retailing below $1,000, the Marloe is a compelling offer for anyone looking for an elegant, original looking, and well-spec’d travelers’ watch. And when I imply that the market is indeed tough, I refer to the fact that as of today, I know of three other models that come with the same caliber under the $1,000 price mark. What Marloe had to do, therefore, was to offer a design that is like no other and I would say they have outdone themselves. Not only does the GMT Day look different, it also feels different on the wrist.
If you are into GMTs, new designs, and good specs for your money, I highly suggest you look into the Marloe GMT Day and Night. Just so you know, Marloe offers anyone 10% off on their first purchase, meaning that you could get a proper GMT for the modest sum of $684—excluding taxes and shipping that is. For this price, you only have two to three options from other brands to choose from, should you be looking to spend not more than $1,000 on your next proper GMT timepiece. Lastly, you should know that the GMT Day can be had with one of 16 options of straps and one bracelet. The straps range from something called Nytech that is textured rubber, single-pass fabric straps, more rubber options, leather, and a stainless steel bracelet that comes with straight end links.
You can learn more about the Marloe GMT Day here.
Thanks for reading.