I first learned about Greenwich Mean Time around the time I was in fourth grade, and the concept blew my mind. By this point in my life, I had entered into a long love affair with cartography and, by association, time zones. So when I found out that GMT was where all time started, I was intrigued. Okay, so the concept is a little more complicated than that, but this knowledge made a lasting impression on my young mind.
No surprise, then, that when British watchmakers announced the Isotope GMT 0°, an automatic watch with a slick GMT-inspired design at a sub-$1,000 price point, it made me very happy.
Going Big on Zero
The folks at Isotope went heavy on the concept of zero with the GMT 0°. The brushed 316L stainless steel case has an ever so slight oval shape measuring 41.5mm wide and 39.5mm high—giving the watch a very subtle resemblance to a zero. Fitting, since it’s right there in the name.
One of the main features of any GMT watch is a dial that keeps track of what time it is in Greenwich, and the GMT 0° manages this with a unique inner dial at the 12-o-clock position. The time in Greenwich Mean is indicated by a lacrima (a teardrop-shape design often seen in Isotope watches) pointer coated with green Super-LumiNova.
Unlike many watches that feature a date window (typically at the 3 o’clock position), the GMT 0° features 31 drilled holes on the outer ring with a bright red indicator to indicate the day of the month.
The Other Side of Zero
A hallmark of any interesting watch is a unique caseback, and Isotope delivers with a thoughtful, time-inspired design.
The GMT 0° caseback features another lacrimal window that shows off the watch’s rotor. Through the window you can see the inner workings of the watch’s movement—an automatic Swisstech S24-45, customized by Isotope, which boasts an accuracy +/-12 seconds a day and a 40-hour power reserve.
The teardrop window is surrounded by the names of major cities that correspond to 24 major time zones, each engraved into the caseback alongside their time difference relative to GMT.
The screw-down crown, used to set and wind the watch, is decorated with an Infinite Chain design. This, a design from the owner’s industrial designer uncle, is a hallmark of Isotope watches meant to signify eternal motion.
Nine Editions of Zero
The GMT 0° is available in nine different editions. There are five regular editions in white, black, blue, and olive green, all with a steel case. I’m fond of the blue face myself.
Additionally, the company offers three editions, limited to 49 numbered pieces each, in ruby (a tribute to port wine, produced in Portugal at 0° longitude), beluga gray, and olive green. The green features a black DLC (diamond-like-coating) case.
Lastly, Isotope has created two very limited editions—one in full white (Snow White) and the other in full black—each limited to 10 numbered pieces.
Each edition comes with a leather-and-cordura strap, complete with stitching that matches the color of the dial and a buckle machined to match the lugs—a nice, understated design touch that brings the whole package together.
The standard editions of the GMT 0° are priced just under $1,000, which is a nice price point for an automatic watch. The limited editions are a little pricier, cresting up towards $1,500. The Isotope GMT 0° is .