Disclaimer: I bought an Ultramarine Morse, and the reviewed watch is the one I personal. I signed as much as purchase a Morse again in June 2018 when it was first provided on Kickstarter and was lined through a Sponsored Put up on aBlogtoWatch.com. When Kickstarter didn’t generate sufficient pre-sales, Lionel of Ultramarine determined to do his personal direct-order system, which labored out higher. I bought my watch final Fall on the pre-order value, not the present retail value.
Finding an reasonably priced twin time zone (GMT) Swiss watch that doesn’t use an ETA 2893 (which might solely be adjusted ahead in whole-hour increments) ends in fairly restricted decisions that usually find yourself trying like a poor rendition of a Rolex Explorer (orange or crimson triangle tipped 24 hour hand, and many others.). The Ultramarine Morse checked these containers, which I pre-ordered about six months in the past and acquired a few month in the past, so I’ve one of many first manufacturing watches (serial quantity 6), and I believe it was well worth the wait.
Ultramarine Morse in Black. Courtesy of Ultramarine Watches.
Dial and Fingers
Following the present international vogue/ardour for blue, the reviewed watch is the blue model, which has a beautiful sunray blue dial and matching blue leather-based strap. The opposite model has a traditional black dial (additionally with a sunray end) and strap. The Ultramarine Morse is out there in restricted editions of 300 in every colorway.
The fashionable font used for the hour numbers (9 of them — the three, 6 and 9 go lacking, because of the date and sub-dials) mixed with traditional railroad chapter ring yields an easy-to-read dial and a mode what gained’t appear dated within the years to come back. Above the mark “ULTRAMARINE” is the model’s brand, which represents a Nice Albatross (sure with two ‘s’ in English) — an imposing marine chicken with a greater than 11-foot wingspan! At Three o’clock is the date, whereas the unbiased 24 time indication (GMT, in case you like) is the register at 6 o’clock. Lastly, you’ve got the working seconds hand at 9 o’clock. The baton indices on the working seconds should not numbered, however actually most of us can determine the seconds with none numbers.
The 24 hour/GMT register additionally didn’t have any numbering within the unique design, which appeared very clear. Nevertheless, quite a lot of individuals gave Lionel Bruneau (the founding father of Ultramarine) suggestions that some numbering would assist. Since Bruneau listens to his clients, he determined so as to add numbers at six-hour intervals. I’ll admit to having posted a mock-up with numbers within the feedback part of the unique publish right here on aBlogtoWatch.com. Bruneau had already had accomplished the design work for the sub-dial numbers for one more watch design. So, whereas I’d like to assert I helped with the design, I actually I simply helped to verify that his alternate design was the favored alternative.
Photograph Credit score Ultramarine Watches
The hour and minute arms are very legible in all situations. They’re the correct size (yea!) and proportions. The BG W9 Tremendous-LumiNova glows brightly and is blue/inexperienced at nighttime. The 9 hour numerals are additionally lumed and are as shiny because the arms (which isn’t the case on many watches). A aspect observe: You possibly can any watch’s lume to look nice with an extended sufficient publicity. So, except you a number of watches collectively for comparability, you must rely by yourself eyes (or the phrase of a reviewer) on the power of any given watch’s luminant. The beneath lume photograph was accomplished at f25 with a five- second publicity and was not adjusted in any manner.
Then there are the register/sub-dial arms which can be silver, reflective and haven’t any luminant. They’re straightforward sufficient to view at some angles however invisible towards the darkish blue dial at others. However in case you simply rotate your wrist just a little, the working seconds and 24/GMT arms seem. So, whereas they might have been painted white (as a substitute of being plated a silver end) or lumed, I’d have made the identical alternative if I have been designing the watch, because the silver end enhances the remainder of the design. If the hour and minute arms had no lume, this is able to be a significant malfunction, however they do, so it really works out properly for telling the time of day at a look. Checking the working seconds or second time zone requires a more in-depth look, so generally needing to vary my viewing angle will not be an actual downside.
The dial has “snailing” on the working seconds and 24 hour registers, a pleasant distinction to the general sunray dial end. The date window has rounded corners and is printed in white, whereas the date wheel has an identical blue background and white date numerals. These sorts of particulars are what set this watch aside within the sea of watches the place we watch geeks often gripe about date wheels with mismatched shade or fonts that clearly don’t match the hour numerals. Not the case right here the place all the textual content/numbers look cohesive (though the Ultramarine brand at 12 o’clock and the “Morse 3914A” markings at Three o’clock use totally different fonts, they work properly collectively).
Discover the “IOES” on the dial? As a substitute of the standard “Swiss-Made” marking (which this watch greater than qualifies for), it’s marked as being solely Swiss-Made, in distinction to simply assembly the minimal 60% Swiss content material wanted to make use of the internationally trademarked “Swiss-Made” moniker. IOES stands for “Intégralement ouvré en Suisse,” which interprets to “absolutely manufactured in Switzerland.” The ultimate meeting is in Neuchâtel, which has traditionally been a middle of Swiss horology.
The 316L (surgical) chrome steel case is out there in both full polish or a blended brushed/polished end. I really like the highlights of full polish mixed with the fashionable (and extra refined) look of brushed surfaces, so I ordered the blended end. Please excuse the fingerprints and dirt on the case within the images; I’ve been sporting this watch not less than half of the time this previous month as a result of it’s an important “on a regular basis” watch.
The Eterna Caliber 3914a is 5.60 mm-thick and has a hand becoming top of two.20 mm, all of which suggests it’s arduous to make a watch with 100 meters of water resistance a lot thinner utilizing this motion. Actually, 12.55 mm will not be that thick, nevertheless, the case appears to be all of that top. In different phrases, it appears taller than it’s. A part of that visible impact is that the watch is simply 40+ mm-wide (so the vertical/horizontal facet ratio comes into play). It appears just a little bit chunky from the aspect, nevertheless it actually isn’t that thick.
The case measures 43.5mm-wide with the crown, 12.55m-thick, and has a lug-to-lug of 47.9mm.
The crystals, high and backside, are sapphire. The highest crystal has anti-reflective coating on the within. The caseback exhibits the person serial quantity (I’m proud to have #6) circling the again sapphire crystal which exhibits off the Eterna Caliber 3914a motion. The custom-winding rotor is one other merchandise for which Bruneau solicited enter from his preliminary clients through the remaining growth of the Morse. The problem was having a extra skeletonized rotor (which was much more enticing) however which might have much less mass and would have decreased winding effectivity, successfully decreasing the 65-hour energy reserve from automated winding alone. The consensus was that appears are much less essential than sustaining winding effectivity, so the extremely skeletonized rotor was nixed.
The Eterna Caliber 3914a helps a “GMT” time show through an unbiased 24-hour hand on the register at 6 o’clock. What’s nice is you could regulate the 24-hour hand both manner and never simply in whole-hour increments. For many who trip in locations like Goa, India, however reside in entire hour time zones like Scotland, that is the new ticket. The bi-directional 24-hour hand adjustment makes for handy changes whereas traversing time zones. Not all GMT actions are that nice for vacationers, to be trustworthy (ETA 2893, I’m taking a look at you). The Eterna Caliber 3914a runs at Four Hz (28,800 vph) and hacks (I pulled the crown out to this stop-seconds place for lots of the images) and has it automated winding and date indication.
The register/sub-dial at 9 shows the working seconds. For me, the Eterna Caliber 39 was a significant factor in deciding to purchase this watch. In addition to the GMT perform, the motion has a 65-hour energy reserve, so it’s actually is a watch you may take off Friday night and nonetheless have working on Monday morning. However it’s a nice watch to put on over the weekend, as it’s basically a device watch however one which has refined appears appropriate for a night out. Whereas clearly not a gown watch (a bit too thick for that), it’s solely applicable for workplace put on, whether or not you’re employed in denims or a swimsuit.
Since I rotate sporting this watch with my different watches, I’m pleasantly stunned to search out this magnificence nonetheless working even after a day or two within the watch field. I’m so used to selecting up a watch in my modest assortment and instantly winding and setting it earlier than strapping it on. No want to do this with this Ultramarine Morse, because it ticks alongside for slightly below three days, and I put on it usually sufficient that I virtually by no means must set the time. I do wind it once I put it on, however that’s extra of a behavior than anything. Interacting with a mechanical watch is extra interesting to me than the couple of quartz watches I nonetheless put on.
Your mileage might range, however listed here are my timing outcomes for my Morse:
Timing Outcomes – Eterna Caliber 3914a
Strap and Buckle
Since I ordered the blue dial reference, my Morse got here with a blue leather-based strap (the black dialed ones include a black strap). And there are different strap shade decisions out there as properly. The strap on mine is navy blue on high and an brownish orange shade on the within. The white-contrast stitching works properly with the white chapter ring on the dial, to my thoughts. The pin buckle has the Ultramarine Albatros brand as an indicator. As a rule, I put deployment buckles on the watches I put on lots, as this reduces put on on the strap on the buckle.
So I used to be half anticipating the floor of the strap on this Morse to point out indicators of damage, cracking, and many others. To this point, I’m happy to report that the strap is breaking in properly and has softened up a bit on the buckle however has not cracked in any respect. Down the highway, I’ll put a third-party deployment buckle on this watch, however then I’d must take away the albatross brand’ed buckle (sigh… all the time a commerce off). In brief, the strap is larger high quality than is usually discovered at this value level and likewise options quick-release pins for tool-free removing. Once more, consideration to particulars like the fast launch pins make this a satisfying watch to personal and put on.
Lionel Bruneau designed the Morse and the Albatross watches as a ardour undertaking (one thing I clearly establish with). Whereas Bruneau relies in France, he maintains a detailed working relationship with the manufacture in Neuchâtel. Ultramarine additionally provides its “Albatros” (three-hand) watches for pre-sale through its web site. Anticipated supply of Albatros watches is Summer season 2019. Ultramarine will donate 10% of earnings to Non-Governmental Organizations dedicated to marine safety and conservation. Ultramarine watches are assured for 3 years, components and labor.
The Backside Line
Is that this watch price shopping for and sporting? Effectively, it’s for me. If you happen to fancy a GMT watch that eschews a central hand, this is perhaps the look ahead to you. The long-running Caliber 39, general design, and nice consideration to many particulars sealed the deal for me. Is that this watch good? No, however my gripes are restricted to the next (and none are deal breakers for me): 1) The chrome arms on the 24-hour and working seconds could be even higher even when painted white (or lumed), though it will look just a little bit much less elegant that manner; 2) the crown is regular sized at 7 mm in diameter however nonetheless feels a bit small when winding the watch. Both a bit bigger diameter or longer size would possibly enhance the texture when winding and setting; Three) the within higher edges of the lugs are quite sharp — no, you gained’t reduce your self or something, however they don’t seem to be smoothed off just like the outer edges of the lugs arehis. This not a wearing-comfort situation in any respect; I simply occur to run my fingers over watches once I’m sporting them.
A branded deployment buckle could be good, however that might drive up the worth (as Lionel has excessive requirements and a $15 deployment buckle gained’t do for his watches). As for the worth proposition, this watch is competitively priced, given the motion and high quality of supplies used. To be trustworthy, I not often purchase watches (often I spend my cash on creating my very own), so a watch has to have lots going for it to get me to purchase it. Help your microbrands of alternative in case you respect fascinating designs and honest costs.
The Ultramarine Morse GMT is priced at €1,650.00 (roughly $1,860 USD) and is restricted to 300 items in blue and 300 items in black. You possibly can study extra over at ultramarine-watches.com.