Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Lorca Model No.1 GMT, a Compact GMT Watch with Retro Flair

The first watch from a New York-based microbrand has retro European styling and practical functionality for travellers.

| By Erik Slaven | 3 min read |
Lorca Model No.1 GMT

Lorca is a new microbrand with an inaugural piece offering GMT functionality, which is always nice to welcome to the market. Its Canadian founder (with both Swiss and Canadian roots) now resides in New York, but the watch has a positively European style and Swiss-made designation. The movement is also a step above your typical Sellita offering. There’s a retro vibe with two dial colours available and casual onlookers might think the Model No. 1 GMT is a vintage 1960s piece. In fact, its compact dimensions for a GMT watch are rare today and could be a great match for frequent travellers and jetsetters.  

Lorca Model No.1 GMT

Founder Jesse Marchant is a recording artist in Brooklyn, New York who simply wanted the perfect GMT watch for tours in Europe and North America. Most contemporary GMT watches are 40mm and above, but Marchant wanted a more sensible diameter from a bygone era. The resulting piece is a blend of many styles with a truly unique personality. Aptly named Model No. 1 GMT, it’s an example of what’s to come from this new brand and the mind of an enthusiast looking for something different. He’s not following trends or trying to interpret industry winds, and I’m sure others will be drawn to this ethos.

Ad – Scroll to continue with article

Lorca Model No.1 GMT

The stainless steel case is small by today’s standards at 36mm in diameter and 11.2mm in height (37mm in diameter with the bezel). The lug-to-lug measurement is 44mm. This isn’t that small as we’ve recently seen it with the Seiko 5 Sports Mid-Size Collection and Blancpain Air Command, not to mention the Rolex Explorer and so on, but it’s rare for a GMT watch. Most GMT watches at this size are from smaller, independent brands. For those like Marchant who aren’t fans of 40mm and above, this is a perfect throwback to the past. The case is mostly brushed with polished accents and features a fixed steel bezel and black 24-hour scale. The caseback is solid and completely blank, save for a couple of engraved circles at the perimeter. This is by design for personalized engravings. Given the movement, however, I would’ve liked to see an exhibition caseback option. The crown screws down and water resistance is rated at an impressive 200 metres. The (sort of) beads of rice bracelet complements the retro vibe and comes with a double push-button deployant clasp with micro-adjustments.

Lorca Model No.1 GMT

The dial comes in two colours, Silver Sunburst or Gloss Black, and really nails the vintage aesthetic. Long, applied steel indices with slightly shorter minute/seconds markers remind me a bit of the Longines Legend Diver, but that’s just me as these are very different dials. An independently adjustable gloss/painted GMT hand allows easy tracking of a second time zone, while it and the Dauphine hour and minute hands have BGW9 Super LumiNova inserts. Small dots of lume also surround the perimeter outside the main indices. An asymmetrical date window sits at 3 o’clock and the dial is protected by a domed sapphire crystal with an internal anti-reflective coating.

Lorca Model No.1 GMT

Powering the Lorca Model No. 1 GMT is a Soprod C125 R4 Top Grade automatic. It has 25 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) and features a 42-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds, GMT and date. Accuracy is rated at +/-4 seconds per day, which is within the COSC chronometer standard. The movement is equivalent to ETA’s 2893-2, although it’s not a copy. Decorations include an engraved rotor with Côtes de Genève.

Lorca Model No.1 GMT

The Lorca Model No.1 GMT is available to preorder now, with deliveries expected in February/March 2024. The price is CHF 1,532 or USD 1,750, which isn’t unreasonable, but there are more affordable alternatives. However, the Model No.1 GMT certainly stands out from the crowd in a good way, both in terms of design and quality.

For more information, please visit

Sponsored post: This article is sponsored by Lorca Watches. However, it reflects the writer’s opinion and has been written according to MONOCHROME’s editorial policy.

Leave a Reply