The Vicenterra GMT-3 Volume 2 is amazing in that it allows us to have a unique view on the planet that we live on, depicting this heart-warmingly beautiful celestial body as a tiny rotating globe. Its proprietary movement module couples this rather unusual display with a GMT subdial, a day-night indicator, and also a retrograde date – all the while remaining easily legible. And although it is certainly not cheap, when compared to other offerings with similar features, the Vicenterra GMT-3 Volume 2 retains a relatively moderate price point. Let’s discover the details of this quite unusual package.
Vicenterra is an independent Swiss brand that was started by Vincent Plomb a few years ago. The first watch Vicenterra offered was a slightly different version of the GMT-3 that we are looking at here, and at the time of its debut Ariel discussed the concept at length. The Vicenterra GMT-3 is available in limited runs of 100 pieces, and while the first edition sporting a white dial is sold out, the “Volume 2” is now available in a slightly different look thanks to its deep black dial. Other than the color scheme of the dial, the model’s looks have not changed much: its steel case remains 44.6 millimeters wide, 54.5 mm tall and an acceptable 13.65 mm thick. With all that said, the most peculiar feature of the Vicenterra GMT-3 Volume 2 undoubtedly remains its multiple displays of time, complete with a small rotating orb representing the Earth – and since this was our first hands-on time with the piece, we must of course discuss this quite unusual feature first.
I must say, I have grown absolutely fond of seeing a little maquette of the Earth on the face of a watch; and I will confess I prefer this rare treat to any and all moon phase indications out there. Let me explain. As much as we wear watches and rely on them to tell us the time in situations when we either have too much or too little of it, seeing this mesmerizing place that we live from a bird’s eye (or rather a satellite’s) view always elevates me from the heat of the moment. It makes me take a deep breath and relax.
As much of a cliché as it is, I will go out on a limb and speak for every one of us for a moment and point out that we all too often forget to step back, enjoy the moment, or just simply stop caring so much for a second. To me, there is something special to this 6.5 millimeter wide tiny orb that represents our enormous planet, the scene for all that is good and bad in our lives. In short, it is the way it shows this incomprehensibly large and complex place in such an abstract way that makes me willingly stop for a second and somehow reconsider the weight and importance of things. But maybe that is just me, and luckily there is a more functional aspect to this little globe as well.
As we mentioned above, the Vicenterra GMT-3 Volume 2 watch offers three different displays of time. First of all, there is the main dial in the center with indications for the hours, minutes, and seconds. Secondly, the GMT subdial between 6 and 8 o’clock allows the tracking of time in a second time zone – although to my eyes it is a bit weird to find noon at the top and midnight at the bottom of the subdial, but that may very well be up to personal preference. And third, there is the tiny orb in the lower right corner of the tonneau shaped case, making a full rotation in 24 hours, with the sun-lit side of the planet facing the dial side. Both the GMT and the orb can be adjusted individually with their separate pushers set into the left and the right sides of the case.
We must also mention the retrograde date in the top left, which has been spiced up with a small aperture on the dial, revealing some of the inner workings of the retrograde mechanism. Last but not least, there is a subtle day-night indicator in the form of a rotating disk placed just above the “XII” index on the dial. It is a neat addition that goes well with the orb and the overall theme of the watch.
This unusual array of functions is made possible by a special movement module developed by Vicenterra. The base movement it sits on is an ETA 2892A2, which runs at 4 Hertz and offers 42 hours of power reserve. The movement is partially visible from the curved case back, allowing for a restricted, albeit interesting view of the balance wheel, the base of the winding rotor and also the customized ring that holds the movement in place. I assume the main reason for having the tiny sapphire window is the shape of the case back, which is curved so that it follows the shape of the wrist.
At the other end of the case back is another, even smaller sapphire window that shows “a l’autre bout du monde,” i.e., the other side of the world. Another small window is set into the side of the case, providing a third look at the Earth. Every aspect which these openings reveal show incredible attention to detail, where nothing went unnoticed or was left out of consideration. It is right on par with what we have been seeing from other high-end independents, like Kari Voutilainen, MB&F or Bexei.
I purposely left the last and probably the neatest little detail as last. The tonneau shape of the case, coupled with the round-ish dial creates some excessive space due to the obvious difference between the barrel shape of the case and the circle inside of it. We already saw how the space above the dial is reserved for the day-night indicator, while the area below it is used to show the engraved text “Edition Limitée” and the unique number of the piece, as well as three diamonds set in engraved star-shaped triangles, serving as the sky behind the Earth.
Considering the wide array of functions, the complex and yet legible dial and the multiple layers of this special movement, it is safe to say that the Vicenterra GMT-3 Volume 2 watch offers many more interesting and unique views than its more ordinary counterparts out there. With that and all the magnificent details like the ever-rotating globe and the clever sapphire openings in mind this watch is certainly one that its owner will never get bored of. It just takes the work of an independent genius to take something as ubiquitous as an ETA 2892 to turn into such a complicated and yet wearable piece of watchmaking.
The Vicenterra GMT-3 Volume 2 is limited to 100 pieces and is priced at $10,800. vicenterra.ch