The Franck Dubarry Crazy Wheel 2 Gravitational GMT Watch is one of those timepieces I needed to watch a video to fully understand. Franck Dubarry has designed this watch to be highly functional and robust — ready for any environment but also easy to read once you understand it. Most GMT watches simply add a hand that travels around the dial once in 24 hours. This watch, however, has a small face attached to the tip of the hour hand. This small sub-dial travels with the home time and can be adjusted in single-hour increments without hacking the watch. The wildest thing about this GMT function is the gear differential that allows the GMT disk to remain correctly oriented at all times. These flying-bridge movements have always interested me. Having the time-telling components mixed into the movement itself and all put on display on the dial seems like an intriguing, if distracting, idea. This concept is also highlighted by Ulysse Nardin in the latest entrant into their range of “Freak” watches. Franck DuBarry previously released a Crazy Wheel, but in this new version, the brand has engineered a new case design, blending titanium, vulcanized rubber, and colored-composite layered-carbon fiber into what you see here. The result of this construction is a lightweight case that can stand up to even the most extreme shocks. Another point to touch on is the strap: Franck DuBarry has opted to use a material called Nomex here. Primarily used in space/aeronautical industries, Nomex is highly resistant to heat, chemicals, and radiation. It also employs a quick-release mechanism so you can change the strap easily if you decide that radiation protection is overly cautious.
Brand: Franck DuBarry
Model: Crazy Wheel 2 Gravitational GMT Watch
Water Resistance: 10ATM
Case Material: Titanium and multilayered carbon fiber
Crystal/Lens: Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
Movement: Swiss-made automatic DF02 made in house by Franck DuBarry
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Power Reserve: TBA
Strap/Bracelet: Nomex strap with quick release
Price & Availability: TBA
These watches are wild. If what you want is an overbuilt sports watch of this caliber but you’d also like to avoid the usual suspects, this is likely a great fit for you. I actually think the second time zone mechanism on the flying bridge is quite clever and would make reading the watch very easy. One thing is apparent about the Franck DuBarry Crazy Wheel 2 Gravitational GMT: it is overbuilt for the sake of being overbuilt. The choice of strap material, alone, highlights that. Although one surprising aspect is the depth resistance, while 100 meters is more than enough for this piece, one would think that a super-sports piece like this would be at least 30 atm.
Again, I think the Franck DuBarry Crazy Wheel 2 Gravitational GMT Watch will be the right fit for someone who wants an arresting sports watch, but doesn’t want a Hublot. These are available in six different configurations, five of which feature titanium and multilayer carbon materials and one that has carbon fiber on the case/dial. While pricing and availability have yet to be announced, keep an eye on franckdubarry.com for further details.