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For a brand that’s been in operation since 2015, how is Jack Mason only now entering into our collective horological consciousness? Jack Mason’s Strat-o-timer GMT — a classically styled GMT featuring Miyota’s new 9075 flyer GMT movement — certainly helped put the brand on the map, but to truly understand story behind the Texas-based brand, we need to dig into the brand’s history and learn just how Jack Mason came to be.

If the name Jack Mason sounds quintessentially American, there’s a good reason for that. Jack Mason was born deep in the heart of Texas when several co-founders, including Peter Cho, decided to launch the brand. Now, plenty of watch brands are established by watch enthusiasts looking to bring their passion project to life and market it to like-minded watch fans. That is not Cho’s story. Cho is happy to admit that after graduating from the New York-based Parsons School of Design and landing a job with the Movado Group, he certainly wasn’t in it because of a passion for watches. As Cho says, “I studied product design with aspirations of getting a job at a top industrial design firm designing the next MP3 player. I had no interest in or knowledge of watches, but getting any job was most important.”

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However, once Cho moved to Switzerland, his views on watches quickly changed — and how could it not? La Chaux de Fonds is home not only to Movado, but also giants of the watch industry like Omega, Girard-Perregaux, Arnold & Son, and many others. Steeped in horological history and training under Swiss watch designers, Cho quickly fell in love with the art and process of watch design and moved over to the Fossil Group where he was able to work on designs for Fossil and its fashion-licensed brands. And this is where Jack Mason’s story truly begins, not in appealing to a niche audience but taking the opposite approach. “Our angle of attack was to present a fresh new men’s fashion watch brand to the department store customer that was more original in design, better in quality, and independently owned.”

Jack Mason’s approach was incredibly successful, with distribution of its watches in hundreds of stores. However, there are limitations that come with that distribution model and Cho and the other owners of the brand decided to pivot to a direct-to-consumer model, allowing them to take full control of the brand storytelling, reduce overhead, and ultimately produce higher-quality watches. Though this process began in 2020, the key to completing the transition to a true enthusiast-driven brand was Miyota’s launch of its new 9075 caliber.

For years, an affordable and reliable flyer GMT movement with an independently adjustable hour hand remained a pipe dream. However, the Miyota 9075 made that dream a reality, and Jack Mason was quick to design a model around this game-changing movement. Its first model to feature the 9075 was the Strat-o-timer GMT. The Strat-o-timer is a classically styled GMT that measures in at a wrist-pleasing 40mm in diameter and 47mm lug-to-lug and had a timeless style with instant appeal. The initial launch sold out almost immediately, but Jack Mason is fully restocked with three colorways rounding out the lineup: Dark Night in black and blue, the gilt-accented Espress, and the blue-and red Americana. Jack Mason offers each model on your choice of a 7-link or 3-link bracelet or leather strap, and each comes with a color-matched Tropic strap.

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With Strat-o-timer prices starting at just $899 USD for a flyer GMT that’s assembled and regulated in the U.S., Jack Mason is offering outstanding value that has clearly resonated with the enthusiast community. As Cho explains, “We are going with the less-is-more approach moving forward. We started the brand with some awesome platforms to build upon. It was a lot of work, but the last couple of years were transitional. We are finally at a point that the community will start to see the change in products. We are focused on building icons. Icons that are here to stay for a very long time.”

In addition to the Strat-o-timer, another foundational piece in Jack Mason’s lineup is the Hydrotimer. The Hydrotimer is the brand’s cushion-cased diver that has a distinctive 70s aesthetic with all the modern touches, including a 120-click ceramic bezel, applied indices, and scratch-resistant coating that increases scratch resistance by roughly 500%. Powered by the ever-reliable Miyota 9039 automatic movement, the Hydrotimer combines style, quality, and value in a package that starts at only $729 USD.

Since its founding in 2015, Jack Mason has changed and evolved, but it’s fair to say that in the last two years, the brand has truly come into its own. Keep an eye on Jack Mason, as it has no plans to slow down in the coming years, and don’t be surprised to see Swiss movements enter the catalog and new icons arise in the brand’s curated lineup. For more information on Jack Mason, please visit the brand’s website.

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