E.C. Andersson got its start via Kickstarter back in 2016 with the North Sea, a compelling sports watch with a cushion case and Seiko automatic. The North Sea II followed a year later with a similar aesthetic and better-regulated movement, but the brand’s new GL Kontra-Gauss GMT adds both Swiss mechanics and dual time zones for a more refined, sophisticated package. An additional focus on anti-magnetic protection, accuracy and hand finishing highlights how the brand has matured in just a few short years. It’s more expensive than earlier collections, but prices are still accessible given the significant upgrades.
E.C. Andersson has a strong Scandinavian design and production philosophy. Most habillage parts are produced in-house (or in co-operation with local partners in Göteborg) with only locally sourced steel. High-tech 3D printing of stainless steel combines with traditional milling and handwork for a finished product that’s robust, reliable and luxurious. A minimum of nine stages of hand finishing includes grinding, sanding, bead-blasting and polishing, along with enamelling of the custom rotor. Over a year of research and development has resulted in the brand’s own Kontra-Gauss shielding system, an anti-magnetic enclosure that can redirect up to 3600 Gauss of magnetism from the movement. Both the movement and shield are surrounded by four layers of steel, providing additional magnetic resistance. All of this is housed in a case that’s just 10mm in height.
The stainless steel case of the E.C. Andersson GL Kontra-Gauss GMT is sourced entirely in Sweden (down to the mining of the iron ore) and measures 40mm in diameter and 10mm in height (46mm lug-to-lug). It hits that perfect middle ground for many – not too big and not too small. A bold, polished bezel surrounds the slightly domed sapphire crystal with a double-sided anti-reflective coating. Satin and polished elements are seen throughout the case. The bezel also has an unusual amount of depth, sloping into a thick 90-degree edge that adds to the robust aesthetic. A hexagonal screw-down crown has the brand’s logo embossed on a bead-blasted surface, while the outer edge is ground and polished – nice attention to detail. Polished, chamfered edges are seen on both sides of the lugs and outer edge of the exhibition case back. As mentioned earlier, the case has a magnetic-resistance of 3600 Gauss thanks to the company’s development of the Kontra-Gauss shielding system. All models are water-resistant to 100 meters.
Two sunburst dial options include blue and black with an outer 24-hour ring. Large indices mark the hours and all are coated with Super-LumiNova. A printed ring inside the main indices marks the remaining minutes in increments of five. The white 24-hour ring at the outermost perimeter has Arabic numerals every two hours and is also coated with Super-LumiNova. A gold GMT hand with a lume-filled triangular tip is featured on the blue dial, while the black dial’s GMT hand is heat-blued. Both dials are clean, modern and time-only (no date), and have an understated sophistication.
The heart of the E.C. Andersson GL Kontra-Gauss GMT is a significant upgrade from the previous Seiko automatics. The new models are powered by the Cal.ECA02GL1, based on the Sellita SW 330-1 automatic. It has 25 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 42-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes and seconds with a 24-hour GMT hand. The base SW 330-1 also has a date complication that’s not used here. The rotor is produced in-house and decorated with blue enamel with Precision Certified engraved at the end. This indicates the company’s own in-house regulation for an accuracy of +4/-1 seconds per day. Yeah, that’s chronometer territory. Seen from the exhibition caseback, the movement is also decorated with perlage.
Both models come with three 20mm straps – a waxed integrated Kudu leather with a deployment buckle, a micro-adjustable, integrated steel bracelet and Italian rubber with an embossed buckle.
The E.C. Andersson GL Kontra-Gauss GMT retails for USD 2,100 for both models with all three straps options included. That’s not cheap, but well priced for a refined GMT piece with an in-house developed anti-magnetic enclosure and movement accuracy in the chronometer range. Each watch is made per order, mostly by Erik C Andersson himself, and both dial colours are limited to 50 pieces each. For more information and to place an order, visit E.C. Andersson’s website.