Very few aspects of watches as subjective as patina, which can range from a subtle and elegant fading of a dial to a gruesome textured and discolored gnarl that straddles the line between damage and aging. Either form is (in most cases) the result of decades of materials aging in a variety of environments, including but not limited to exposure to sunlight, changes in humidity, moisture intrusion, and even the radioactive luminous materials used in the watches themselves. However, not all collectors want to wait decades for their watches to develop patina, and many won’t own a watch long enough for this to happen. Additionally, there is no telling if the result will be genuinely attractive, or not. Out of Order watches stand to fill this gap and provide a uniquely accelerated aged look and the uncompromising satisfaction that no matter where you bring your watch, new scratches will only add to its appeal.
The New York Swiss GMT limited editions herein reviewed were devised by brand founders Claudio and Riccardo while waiting in a very long line in New York City and are part of a new quartz GMT collection inspired by and dedicated to cities around the globe. These two editions, dubbed Oxidized Green and Very Blu GMT New York, capture drastically different aspects of the Big Apple in a form that doesn’t feel regurgitated or repetitive. The overall look is unapologetically an Out of Order creation, for those familiar with the brand.
Starting with the similarities, each watch comes in a 42mm-wide (43.5mm at the bezel), 12.7mm-thick, and 50.4mm lug-to-lug (according to my measurements) 316L stainless steel case and is powered by the Swiss Ronda 515 24-hour quartz movement. The cases, while made of 316L stainless steel, do not exhibit the standard steel tone, as they have gone through Out of Order’s aging process. This aging process results in a copper tone with specks, swirls, and one-of-a-kind patterns featuring colors ranging from deep inky violets to golden brass with emerald green hues. Despite this aged look, the fine brushed finish of the case is present with crisp transitions between surfaces and no visible traces of tooling paths.
The robust signed 7.3mm coin-edge crown in flanked crown guards features a bevel underneath to minimize the risk of digging into the wrist. Opposite the crown on the somewhat slab-sided mid-case at 9 o’clock is the text “MADE IN ITALY,” small enough to be unobtrusive yet easily readable. The same light engraving is found between the lugs at 6 o’clock and reads “LIMITED EDITION XXX/100.” I find the placement of logos, engravings, and text in this position more obtrusive because it can almost always be seen by the wearer, provides no utility during regular use, and could easily be done at the 12 o’clock position. Both editions feature a familiar Mercedes-style handset and a 24-hour bezel insert with uniform scratches that pop in the sunlight but don’t detract from its legibility or function. The aged steel chapter ring that surrounds each dial is engraved with the brand name, and both watches are topped with a flat sapphire crystal with a cyclops over the date at 3 o’clock.
The Out of Order Oxidized Green GMT New York takes inspiration from the oxidized copper of the Statue of Liberty — which can be found on the caseback — with a vibrant emerald-green dial that vignettes into a deep black surround. The textured green patina of copper is executed perfectly on the applied indices, with layers of verdigris giving way to the shine of copper beneath. These same indices are found on the Very Blu GMT New York, and while they do not match the blue theme of this edition quite as well, the white luminous surrounds aid in legibility.
The Very Blu GMT New York takes inspiration from an equally iconic feature of New York City — the vibrant blue skies reflecting endlessly across the steel and glass skyscrapers. This view is often disregarded by New York City locals, but for visitors, it is a sight that few will forget quickly. This edition also features an engraving reminiscent of the manhole covers throughout the city, specifically the cast-iron ones in Times Square. The vibrant matte azure of the dial is complimented by alternative shades of blue on the bezel that matches the cool tone of the custom patina case. These features make this watch feel more like a cohesive package, and it received quite a bit more wrist time, though once the weather cools down, the green dial may end up on the wrist more often.
On my 6.5” wrist the 42mm-wide cases are large but not unwieldy. The slight downturn of the lugs along with a flat caseback provides a thinner wearing experience than the nearly 13mm thickness may suggest. I did find that on the few occasions I used the bi-directional bezel that it shifted slightly when bumped or grazed, and while many users may not use the bezel for its intended purpose, a slightly stiffer rotation would be an improvement for me. Despite the accidental adjustment, there is little-to-no play at each bezel position — the 60-click bezel mechanism provides an audible and fidget-worthy sound and feel.
The Out of Order GMT New York watches are powered by the Swiss Rhonda 515.24 quartz movement, which has a standard accuracy of -10 seconds to +20 seconds per month and a standard battery life of nearly 4 years. The words “Swiss Movement” are found on the dial at 6 o’clock. The dial also features the text “DAMAGED IN ITALY” above the depth rating.
Both Out of Order Swiss GMT New York Limited Editions are paired with a vegetable-tanned vintage leather strap that has color-matched stitching and a signed stainless steel aged buckle. The strap is quite supple out of the box and matches the aged nature of the watches well. For those who do not like leather straps, there are also (aged) steel oyster-style bracelets and a variety of other strap options available.
As a whole, Out of Order watches create a genuinely fun experience that is a significant departure from the sterile and sometimes stuck-up world of watches. The Swiss GMTs come in cheeky packaging that suggests the wearer treats the watches poorly, and even have a warranty card that is a usable metal “bOOOtle” opener. With playful designs across the entire catalog, Out of Order Watches provides a unique watch shopping, buying, and wearing adventure for its buyers.
The Oxidized Green GMT- and Very Blue GMT New York Limited Editions from Out of Order Watches are two designs in a constantly growing affordable quartz GMT collection that is bound to have a theme or connection for most. Priced at $324 USD, these are watches that bring a lot of personality for not a lot of money. Check out the Swiss GMT collection and other Out of Order Watches at the brand’s website.
>Brand: Out of Order
>Model: Oxidized Green Swiss GMT New York Limited Edition, Very Blu Swiss GMT New York Limited Edition
>Price: $324 USD, limited to 100 pieces each
>Size: 42mm-wide, 50.4mm lug-to-lug, 12.7mm-thick
>When reviewer would personally wear it: Hiking, biking, and skiing — no worries about damage to the case or movement
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: The collector who already has “everything” and wants something unique or is afraid to collect genuine vintage watches
>Best Characteristic of watches: Truly unique aging between models — no two watches look the same
>Worst Characteristic of watches: Case engraving between the lugs