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Launched in 2015, Texas-based brand Jack Mason prides itself on providing in-house-designed watches for timepiece enthusiasts of all levels. Whether you’re new to watches or an avid collector, Jack Mason keeps the wearer in mind to offer a product that fits your needs. Last year, the brand introduced its Strat-O-Timer GMT, which gave enthusiasts an opportunity to own a handsome, capable GMT with a jumping hour hand and an automatic movement for just under $1,000. The Strat-O-Timer GMT sold out quickly upon launch, becoming one of the brand’s most sought after models. Watch enthusiasts will be happy to hear that Jack Mason recently restocked both the “Espresso” (Root Beer) and “Americana” (Pepsi) Strat-o-timer models. Moreover, there is now a new black and blue colorway, aptly named “Dark Night.”

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Part of what makes the Strat-O-Timer GMT so special is the fact that it features a versatile, iconic design language, yet, at the same time, it feels different enough to stand apart from other watches in this category. The piece boasts a black and blue 48-click GMT style bezel (also available in “Espresso” or “Root Beer” colorways) with a stark black dial and a vibrant pop of blue on the GMT hand. The black and blue colorway is a natural choice for this watch, as the black half of the 24-hour bezel corresponds with nighttime and the blue half corresponds with daytime. The dial of the Strat-O-Timer is clean, legible, and balanced. The branding is tastefully minimal, with Jack Mason’s “star” logo featured just below 12 o’clock, and the word “Strat-O-Timer” printed in vintage-inspired italic print above 6 o’clock. The wide, stark-white indices feature full Swiss Super-LumiNova luminescent material, making this piece a breeze to read in low-lit conditions.

The design of the Strat-O-Timer GMT tastefully straddles the line between vintage and modern. The 316L stainless steel case measures 40 mm in diameter and is compatible with an extremely wide range of wrist sizes, thanks to a short lug-to-lug distance of 47 mm. The case shape is reminiscent of the Seiko Turtle, with wide lugs that add to the vintage-inspired character of the timepiece. However, the large markers and thick bezel profile help the piece maintain its modern appeal. The piece measures 13 mm in thickness and has a good-looking profile on the wrist, thanks in part to a boxed sapphire that adds some more vintage flavor and warps the markers slightly when the watch is viewed at an angle.

The Strat-O-Timer GMT “Dark Knight” is sold on a black, tropical-style rubber strap, and collectors have the option to select one additional attachment from the following choices: 7-link bracelet, mesh bracelet, stitched black leather strap, or perforated black leather strap. Each attachment changes the overall appearance of the watch pretty drastically, and they all look great. It’s a treat to be able to choose among five different OEM options.

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Under the hood of the “Dark Knight” is the Miyota 9705 automatic movement, which has been regulated to an impressive +/-5 seconds per day — a huge improvement over its stock accuracy rating of +30/-10 seconds per day. The caliber has a power reserve of 42 hours and beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Maybe what’s most notable about the Miyota 9705 is the fact that it’s a “True GMT” rather than an “Office GMT.” Generally regarded by enthusiasts as the more sought-after option, a true GMT is a watch on which the half-pulled position adjusts the hour hand in one-hour increments, while the GMT remains stationary on the wearer’s home time. An Office GMT refers to a watch that often uses a generic movement where the hand-pulled position adjusts the GMT hand in one direction and the date wheel in the other direction. This means that every time one moves to a different time zone, one must pull the crown out (thus stopping the watch) and then adjust the main hour hand of the watch to the new time zone. Then one must reset the watch using a different reference time, as the piece is no longer accurate. When setting a true GMT, one simply pulls the crown to change the hour hand to the new local time, leaving the GMT on home or reference time. No other adjustments are necessary.

Long story short, a true GMT is more practical and functional than an officer’s GMT, and it’s rare to find one at the sub-$1,000 price point. This is an impressive feat in and of itself, but Jack Mason didn’t stop there. As the brand has a vision of becoming a legacy brand in its home state of Texas, the Strat-O-Timer will be the brand’s very first watch (of many to come) that will be fully assembled and regulated in the United States. Starting at $899 USD (depending on the strap attachment), the Strat-O-Timer GMT “Dark Knight” is now available for order on the Jack Mason website. 

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