Friday, November 20, 2015

GTG Watch - The Greenwich Time Gate Automatic Watch (Wrist Watch Version of the Iconic GMT Shepherd Gate Clock)

GTG Watch, a young micro watch brand founded by two engineers, presents a wrist watch version of the iconic GMT Shepherd Gate Clock (circa 1852) placed on the Observatory's Wall, Greenwich Prime Meridian, UK.

The idea to create a wrist watch version of the famous GMT Shepherd Gate Clock was born after a visit to the Royal Observatory of Greenwich in 2014 by the founders of the brand. Inspired from the fascinating stories of this horology monument, the brand owners have finally decided to create a wristwatch replica of this historical masterpiece.
Origins of the GMT Shepherd Gate Clock can be traced back to 1850s. In 1849, Charles Shepherd Junior (1830–1905), an engineer by profession, patented a system for controlling a network of master and slave clocks using an electric way, the galvanism. Shepherd installed the public clocks for the Great Exhibition in May 1851. By August 1852, he had built and installed the network of clocks and cables in the Royal Observatory, in Greenwich, London.
The Gate Clock originally indicated astronomical time, in which the counting of the 24 hours of each day starts at noon. The clock was changed in the 20th century to indicate Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), in which the counting of the 24 hours of each day starts at midnight. The clock dial was repainted to the current status in 1981 during restoration. Presently, the Gate Clock continues to show Greenwich Mean Time, and it does not show daylight saving time.
A few meters behind the clock, pass the Greenwich Prime Meridian Line, based at the Royal Observatory. This meridian was established in London by Sir George Airy in 1851. By 1884, over two-thirds of all ships and tonnage used it as the reference meridian on their charts and maps. In October of that year, during the International Meridian Conference, this meridian was selected as the Official Prime Meridian of the world. The Greenwich Prime Meridian is still now the worldwide Time zone reference.
Still date, no watchmaker or brand had ever created a wrist version of this iconic clock as several factors preventing an easy replica of it from being marketed. The first one is the particular dial and ring shape, both difficult to be properly executed in small dimensions. The second, but perhaps most important reason, is the movement: The clock has got a 24h movement with hours and minute in the main dial and seconds in the high positioned sub dial, a never tried layout in contemporary wrist watches. In addition to the exact 24h wrist watch version of the famous clock the brand has also designed a 12h movement version, to share with the twelve hours watch users the unique design of this famous clock.
The movements mounted on the GTG are of two types: 24h Movement & 12h Movement. The brand has chosen Sea-Gull automatic calibre ST2557 for 12 h version and Sea-Gull automatic calibre TY2557 for 24 h version.
The 24H automatic movement drives a 24 hours and minutes hands on the main dial, plus the small second hands on the high sub-dial. The automatic mechanism of the movement has the GTG logo engraved on it. The 12H movement is characterized by a 12 hours and minutes hands on the main dial, plus the small second hands on the high subdial. The overall dimensions are the same of the 24h version, as the fully-automatic self winding mechanism, with the GTG logo engraved on it. The two movements come with the same dimensions: 30.4 mm diameter and 7.4 mm thickness. These 30 jewels movements both beat at the rate of 21,600 bph, deliver power reserve of 42 hours.
To maintain the original shape of the Shepherd Clock, the case has been designed as linear, without shapes and with the crown in the bottom (at "6 hours" in the 12h model, at "12 hours" in the 24h model).
The ring is probably the most particular and distinctive part of this watch. It is colored in black for the standard GTG model, as the original Shepherd one. To preserve the original layout, 316L Stainless Steel with Black IP coating has been used. To create symmetry in the watch, same colour theme has been used for the exhibition case. There is also a more classical version available, with natural 316L Stainless Steel.
The watch will be available in three different dials versions, in glossy or galvanic surface finish: the modern clock version - 24h, the modern clock version - 12h and the 1910's clock version - 24h.

While the back glass of the watch is the same for all the combinations, there is option to choose between two types of frontal glasses: domed sapphire coated classic glass or high domed acrylic crystal vintage glass.
Regarding straps, the brand offers choice to select from 4 main categories: Vintage genuine Italian leather straps: light brown, dark brown, black; Bull genuine Italian leather straps: white, brown, black; Crocodile Print genuine Italian leather straps: light brown, dark brown, black and Real crocodile Italian leather strap, black.

The collection is divided into four main models: GTG 12h Glossy Dial, a variant of the classic 24h Shepherd Watch; GTG 24h Glossy Dial, the classic one inspired to the Shepherd Watch; GTG 12h Galvanic Dial, with variant of the luxury galvanic finish dial and GTG 24h Galvanic Dial, with variant of the luxury galvanic finish dial.
The packaging is composed by a luxury wood box, with a material inspired to the Greenwich park trees, in the typical English brown oak wood.

The brand has recently launched an online crowd funding project on Kickstarter to promote the watch collection. Backers of this project can pre-order the Greenwich Time Gate Automatic Watch whose price starts from £120 for 12h version and £130 for 12 h version.

Estimated delivery: May 2016

Link to GTG Watch Kickstarter Campaign:

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