Voyager GMT… and its voyage

Voyager GMT… and its voyage
20 June 2024 George
When the NH34 was released in late 2022 my first GMT build was with a 36mm case. It had a floating dial and a rotating GMT disc on the same plane. I called it the Voyager and it was a neat design but not fully fleshed out. I moved on to other personal projects and shelved the design. This render was the initial idea. It featured a darker slit between the dial and GMT disc for night, and a lighter one for day. This idea was abandoned but perhaps I’ll revisit it at some point.

The first builds were in black with a silver base and  a black with gold base.

Recently I wanted to add a GMT to my collection so I updated the design to suit my taste. It’s interesting to note that two years later I still gravitate towards the same style. The Voyager was undoubtedly the seed which has shaped my design language. It’s simple, legible, and practical. I recall wondering if people would find the simplicity bland, or just plain lazy, but I’m now convinced there’s nothing lazy about simple design. On the contrary, it’s more difficult to balance all of the elements when there are so few and each one has more weight.

This revision has consumed my thoughts for the past week and I know I’m not done with it. After wearing the prototype for a few days I realised that the 24 hour GMT scale didn’t really add a lot to my user experience. Why does it have to be in a 24 hour format when the scale is not part of a rotating bezel? I know which side is am and which is pm. So, in the interest of balance and simplicity I’ve done away with the 24 hour scale for the watch I will build for myself. I know the numbers and orientation will trigger many of you but thankfully it’s just on my wrist.

Good design is simple and functional – it’s problem solving your way to something practical with the least amount of complication and distraction. I always try to keep that in the back of my mind and it applies here in this latest revision. The numbers may confuse you at first, but only once… and then you may find them elegant, as much an index as it is a number. For those that still can’t handle the rotated number orientation, here’s one more revision.


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