More frequently at social gatherings my friends are asking my advice on which watches to purchase. Normally their shortlist involves timepieces from well know brands like Omega, Breitling and Rolex. There is no disputing these watches are well made and look stylish. They also are great status symbols and signify a certain level of success. This luxury normally comes at a price in excess of $10,000, which is beyond most people’s budgets. Fortunately there are now many viable alternatives available from a range of independent watchmakers. German company Vintage VDB illustrate this point perfectly.
Back in October 2013, I wrote an article featuring their wonderful Chronograph. This phenomenal watch measures a massive 55 mm x 57 mm x 20 mm, which I love, but concede won’t appeal to everyone’s tastes. It definitely looks good on the wrist of brand ambassador and German-American actor Ralf Möller. It is great to see Vintage VDB increasing their exposure in the watch market and getting the recognition they deserve.
The company’s latest offering is the GMT Prototype, which is available in carbon, ceramic, titanium and steel. With dimensions of 49 x 56 x 20 mm the watch is slightly smaller than the Chronograph. These masculine proportions should entice admirers of the brand. Realistically the carbon, ceramic and titanium models will feel significantly lighter on the wrist than the steel. Nevertheless I feel all of the versions will be a practical option to wear on a daily basis.
Visually the GMT Prototype is easily identifiable as a Vintage VDB watch. The bespoke shape of the case gives the timepiece a unique appearance. I love the two-tone dial, which varies on each different model. The watch also features a chunky 12-sided (dodecagon) bezel similar to the one on Montres Millitaire’s Officier De Marine. Other striking details include the bold indexes and a distinctive orange second hand with Vintage VDB logo. Overall the composition has been well considered and executed.
Beneath the robust exterior the watch is powered by a reliable caliber 2893 sourced from Swiss company ETA (Swatch Group). This automatic movement comprises 21 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Functionally the GMT Prototype features hours, minutes, seconds, date and GMT (dual time) facility. The watch also has a power reserve of 42 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 500 metres (1,650 feet).
Due to the exclusive nature of Vintage VDB’s watches the GMT Prototype is limited to only 30 pieces of each model. Prices range from €1,190 – €3,790 (approximately $1,617 – $5,148).