I’ve just finished reviewing the Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge Meteorite, seen above. It came with a $5,100 premium over its standard version and was just $100 short of a black DLC version with gold components and onyx inlays. We also recently covered the Bulova Lunar Pilot Meteorite, offered at a $500 premium over the standard version (but without a bracelet). Cool, pretty things cost more money, and I’m not arguing they shouldn’t; nor am I arguing what that extra charge should be. And I think we can all agree that meteorite as a material — space rock! — is cool and pretty, even if we disagree about whether it belongs on a watch dial or not. But as a material used in watches, calling it rare has become a stretch.

Consider the meteorite used for the Lunar Pilot, the Muonionalusta meteorite. This octahedrite meteorite (that’s the kind with that nice Widmanstätten pattern you want for a dial) was found in northern Scandinavia in 1906. The entire thing weighed around 230kg and is one of the oldest known meteorites at 4.5 billion years. That means there wasn’t much of it, right? Well, not exactly: the Muonionalusta has been used in models by Formex, Zelos, Bangalore Watch Company, Awake, Zodiac, and David Rutten (who used it for the entire case), among many others. And Omega just used it for the new Constellation Meteorite — with no mention that the models would be limited! Or look at the Gibeon meteorite, which was used in the Girard-Perregaux mentioned above and weighs in at 26,000kg: It was also used by J.N. Shapiro, Rolex, Omega, and Bovet, to name a few.

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The marketing copy from brands wants you to think that not only is meteorite ultra-rare but it’s also unique in watches and that its use is a master stroke by the brand’s design team. That’s simply not true. The influx of meteorite watches has turned the rare into the common. While there is undoubtedly variation in how brands use meteorite, from full dial applications to small elements, doing so no longer requires ingenuity, and buying one no longer requires hunting or saving. While Chanel’s (stunning) take might have cost over $120,000, the Zelos I referenced was priced at $499.

I like meteorite dials. I think it’s awesome to have something from space in a watch, and I think the material can add a ton of character. I hope brands keep using it, but I also hope they stop pretending that using it is special. It’s not anymore, and if/when brands realize that, maybe we’ll start seeing it used more judiciously and to better effect.

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