In contrast to the rest of the models in the collection, this “Carbon” model uses a monochrome color scheme that makes the watch much more legible than its counterparts. Though, I feel it’s where the watch still has some work to do. While the red-tipped Skeleton GMT hand fits the watch beautifully and doesn’t interrupt the design, the thick, bulky, baton hour and minute hands feel thrown on and ill-fitted, and bring a manufactured vibe to the otherwise organic-feeling dial.
I recognize that may sound harsh, and I understand where the hands needed to be contrasting to not get lost in the dial, but I think bright red or white, skeleton hands would have fit the watch far better and not covered what the watch is portraying. The hands as-is feel like an afterthought with a forced industrial spin, and I feel they detract from the intricacies of an otherwise natural-looking dial, without providing the legibility one would expect.
Revolution Fileteado GMT Dial Movement
Inside the Fileteado GMT is the ETA 2893-2 – a rather capable movement. I actually recognize the movement from my Glycine Airman which is still running strong many many years later. Would I have liked to see a more interesting movement? Probably. But I don’t foresee the purchaser of this watch being a stickler for something interesting being inside. Plus, they can’t see the movement anyway because the caseback is solid.
Because it’s solid, the caseback is also decorated with engravings, though I think I would have preferred a sapphire caseback with the effort spent on creating a badass Fileteado inspired rotor instead of the generic feeling solid disc. Because of the screw-down caseback, the watch carries a water resistance of 10-ATM. While the brand’s website doesn’t mention it, it’s probably safe to assume that the power reserve is around 38 hours.
Revolution Fileteado GMT Strap
My gripes about the rest of the watch aside, the strap became one of my favorites – like, that I’ve ever worn. Franck DuBarry uses what’s called “Elastogator” for the strap. Very Zenith/Hublot-esque (I’m reminded of the strap from the Zenith Defy El Primero 21), the strap utilizes a rubber underbelly with an alligator top inlay and an oversized titanium buckle. The difference I felt with the Franck DuBarry strap and other brands with similar offerings, was night-and-day.
The Elastogator strap has a light, hollow feeling to it that wasn’t sticky, annoying with sweat, arm-hair catching, or inflexible; and I think that’s largely due to the structure of the strap, the way it’s fastened to the case, and the textured material that’s used. Typically with rubber straps, there’s a grip to them that’s designed to keep the watch tight, and prevents it from sliding around even if the notch isn’t perfectly sized for your wrist.
The problem with that grippy and glossy material is that it can be irritating if something (like arm hair) gets stuck in the “grip.” With the Elastogator rubber, the material is much more of a matte finish instead of a glossy finish. Not to mention incredibly light. So the rubber carried the structural properties of a traditional rubber strap, without the hair-catching grip or weight that can be obnoxious with watches that are heavier in nature.
Another great feature of the strap is simply the way it’s designed. Instead of the rubber and leather meeting on the side of the watch and creating a seem, the rubber wraps all the way up to the top of the strap, and the leather sits inside of a thin edge. It acts as a bumper and provides an even lesser possible irritant. The bumper also prevents fray and protects the leather portion of the strap from getting damaged or scratched when the wearer slides their wrist against something sharp (as I’ve done on the edge of my desk countless times).
There are very few solid offerings that have the look and feel of the very obviously avant-garde Fileteado GMT, and for that, I commend Franck DuBarry on a job well done. The watch has an original look and there’s no denying the effort poured into the watch and the image it’s maintaining. With all the badass marketing imagery of tattoos, leather, and motorcycles, it certainly lives up to the look without cheapening it – but also says “We know who we are targeting here. This is a niche watch, for a niche clientele.” A friend of mine commented that they would expect this watch on the wrist of a cartel member from Sons of Anarchy.
That being said, I liked the watch but found it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t an issue with the quality, I simply couldn’t get past certain design choices I never would have caught without seeing the watch in person. I found myself getting hung up on elements that could have been more refined. I don’t see the hardcore watch enthusiast being turned on by this model, but I do see the hobbyist Fileteado artist, motorcycle enthusiast, or part-time accountant with an inheritance and a penchant for showing his office mates he’s more than spreadsheets and calculators (you know the type) giving into the emotional response the watch produces.
The Franck DuBarry Revolution Fileteado GMT will come with a price tag of $7,900. Learn more on their site at franckdubarry.com.
>Brand: Franck DuBarry
>Model: Revolution Fileteado GMT (REV0401)
>Size: 43mm width with 50mm lug to lug.
>When reviewer would personally wear it: No.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who can appreciate the artistic influence, but still wants to be the badass of his circle.
>Best characteristic of watch: Hands down, the stamped dial.
>Worst characteristic of watch: The hour and minute hands don’t match the overall theme of the watch.