- Jul 17, 2014
Hyperion: A Perfect GMT Automatic Under $1000 & Best Lorier Watch Yet
Apr 5, 2021
The Urban Gentry
Today I review a GMT so good, it has me considering selling my Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi”!
In this video I go in-depth with a detailed analysis and comparison of the Lorier Hyperion, my own 39mm Lorier Neptune diver, and my Rolex GMT (Ref. 16710 ). What are the Hyperion’s strengths? Its drawbacks? And what makes it the ultimate automatic GMT under $1000?
THE HYPERIONThere’s something to be said about the jetsetting swagger of a GMT. It's got history behind it, an international mystique. It signals that its wearer has broad horizons and a global outlook.
Perhaps that’s why it’s been our most requested complication thus far, even in this year of grounded airplanes and quarantines.
THE INSPIRATIONNot only for pilots, the GMT proved to be a versatile complication adopted by all kinds of people who had one thing in common: they had places to go and things to do.
From left to right: Dizzy Gillespie, Chuck Yeager, Honor Blackman, all wearing Rolex ref. 6542
BACK TO BASICSIt’s nigh impossible to make a classically-styled GMT without a “Pepsi” bezel, because it’s such a sharp and useful way to juxtapose daylight and nighttime hours.
In designing the Hyperion, we weren’t looking to reinvent the wheel, or to make something different for its own sake. Rather, we sought to take what works, heighten the practicality and elegance, and in doing so make a well-executed version of the GMT archetype.
Left to right: https://shop.analogshift.com/products/rolex-gmt-master-as02675
Rolex GMT-Master ref. 6542
Zodiac Aerospace GMT
Heuer Autavia ref. 2446C GMT
THE DETAILSWhile we could have used a variety of colors to differentiate daylight from nighttime hours, it’s hard to find a sharper combination than red and blue. However, instead of the more common royal blue and cherry red, we opted for a darker Air Force Blue and Burgundy, giving the watch a more stately and refined appearance.
Vintage touches like the chapter ring circling the minute track, the gilt/silver print, and the roulette datewheel make it feel like the Hyperion came straight out of a time machine.
LUMINARYOne of the best features of the original GMT was its luminous bakelite bezel. It was eventually replaced by aluminum due to its brittleness (and its radioactive luminous material). Our plexi bezel replicates the feeling—without the cracking or the radioactivity!
Additionally, we made it even more practical by differentiating the luminous pigments between one timezone, which uses BGW9 (dial, hour, minute, seconds hands) and the other, which uses C3 (24-hour bezel, GMT hand).
REFINED CURVESThanks to its movement and water resistance specification, the Hyperion wears extremely slim. Measuring in at only 10.7mm overall (an 8.7mm case + a 2mm dome crystal). The sleek dimensions give it a more refined presence, and allow it to be dressed up or down more easily.
CRYSTAL CLEARThere’s a reason why vintage watch lovers swear by a plexi dome. It has an optical warmth and quality that other materials can’t match.
But it’s more than just aesthetics: it doesn’t suffer from glare or smudges to the same degree as sapphire. It’s better against impact. Its weakness— scratches—can easily be taken care of with a little Polywatch. For us, this reinforces the idea that a watch has a special connection to its owner, making it the better choice for a one watch collection, even today.
For more, see here.
THE MOVEMENTThe Hyperion is only possible because a few movement manufacturers have recently opened up their GMT offerings to independent brands. Of these, the Soprod C125 has the best value/performance ratio.
A few things to consider for those who will fuss over the lack of a quickset hour hand: first, we don’t have access to those movements, and even if we did, they would likely be prohibitively expensive.
Secondly, the original GMT-Master (ref. 6542) didn’t have this feature, or even an independent-setting GMT hand (it was permanently tied to the hour hand)—hence the need for a rotating bezel. Neither did its successor (ref. 1675), one of the longest-running Rolex references yet (from 1959 to 1980). Still, this didn’t hinder them from excelling at their duties and becoming icons.
"HE WHO WATCHES FROM ABOVE"We figured that Hyperion—the mythical titan who fathered the Sun, Moon, and Dawn—would be the perfect namesake for a globetrotter’s watch.
The magic of a GMT is that we can imagine ourselves, ever so briefly, to be in two places at once. It may be dark in one, but light in the other. And this may be strange to think about in this period of lockdowns, but perhaps that red-and-blue bezel can serve as a small reminder of our connections to the larger world.
Explore the collection
HYPERIONBLACK / GILT
NOTIFY ME WHEN AVAILABLE
RETURNING MAY 2021
- Soprod C125 automatic movement (independent GMT hand)
- Roulette datewheel (odd dates in black, even dates in red)
- 316L marine-grade stainless steel case
- Water resistant to 100 meters / 330 feet
- 48-click bidirectional bezel
- Screw-down crown
- Dome plexiglass crystal & bezel
- Swiss Superluminova BGW9 luminous on dial, hour, minute, and seconds hands, C3 on bezel and GMT hand
- 316L marine-grade stainless steel bracelet with solid endlinks
- Fully-articulating solid links secured by screw pins
- Push-button clasp with 3 microadjustment slots
- Included extras: microsuede travel pouch, screwdriver for resizing bracelet
- 39mm case width
- 8.7mm case thickness + 2mm dome crystal
- 47mm case length / lug-to-lug
- 20mm lug width tapers to 16mm at clasp
- Bracelet fits up to 8-inch wrists
International orders ship via FedEx International Priority for $20.This does not cover any taxes, duties, and fees that may be levied by your customs/border authority upon delivery.
Note to EU and UK customers: All prices are shown excl. VAT.
For more information, please consult our store policies page.
LORIER (pronounced lor-yé) is based in New York City, owned and operated by husband and wife Lorenzo & Lauren Ortega. Our aim is to democratize well-built, beautiful watches, reviving the classic designs and the intrepid spirit of vintage timepieces. Since entering the market in Spring 2018, Lorier has met critical acclaim in outlets such as Gear Patrol and Worn & Wound for producing handsome, rugged, and affordable timepieces that capture the romance of vintage watches while still asserting their own unique identity.