Hands-on Ultramarine Morse GMT (and the Brand’s Unique Take on Swiss Made)

This watch is I.O.E.S. - Continue reading to find out the meaning of the acronym

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Xavier Markl | ic_query_builder_black_24px 3 minute read |
Ultramarine Morse GMT

Lionel Bruneau (founder) has been passionate about watches for years. A few years ago, he discovered that some Swiss Made watches were using parts of foreign origin was a disappointment… Like many, he had naturally assumed that “Swiss Made” meant that the watch was 100% made in Switzerland. So when in 2018, after years in the film industry, he ended up launching its own brand, Ultramarine, he decided to LITERALLY make Swiss Made watches.

Ultramarine Morse GMT

A watch “Intégralement Ouvré En Suisse”

Ultramarine proud themselves on entirely manufacturing their watches in Switzerland. The brand’s watches caseback is proudly engraved with the sentence “Intégralement Ouvré En Suisse” (Fully Manufactured in Switzerland). And the dial, therefore, features the initials “I.O.E.S.” in place of the traditional Swiss Made caption. The Swiss Made label requires at least 60% of the value of the components within a “Swiss Made” watch will have to be of Swiss origin… Therefore, many manufacturers, particularly in the accessible luxury segment, take advantage of the somehow lenient Swiss Made legislation to source parts from other countries.

Ultramarine Morse GMT

In the instance of the Ultramarine Morse GMT – the watch we are reviewing here – the movement is made by Eterna in Grenchen, the case by Bouille & Cie. in Neuchatel, the hands by GMG in Le Locle, the leather strap by Créations Perrin Suisse, the buckle by Cornu and the dials by Fehr & Cie. in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The watch is assembled by MTK 2.0 in Bulle.

Ultramarine Morse GMT

The Ultramarine Morse GMT

The Ultramarine Morse GMT is the brand’s travellers watch. At 40mm in diameter, it will fit most wrists. It is available either with a fully polished or polished and brushed steel case. Two dial options are available, both being adorned with a sunray brushed pattern: blue and black (each in a limited edition of 300 pieces). The sunk subsidiary indication sub-dials are engraved with a concentric pattern. The seconds are indicated at 9 o’clock and the second time zone at 6 o’clock, on a 24-hour scale. The hands and Arabic numerals are treated with BGW9 Super-LumiNova, ensuring optimal legibility in any situation.

Inside is the automatic Eterna Calibre 3914A, one of the numerous versions of the Grenchen-based manufacturer Calibre 39. Displaying hours, minutes, seconds, GMT on 24h and the date indication, this 30mm movement operates at 28,800 vibrations per hour and boasts 65 hours of power reserve. All adjustments are performed via the crown; position 0 for winding, position 1 to set the date (counterclockwise) and the GMT (clockwise); position 2 to set the time. The movement is visible via the exhibition caseback. It is decorated with Geneva stripes. The rotor is openwork and personalized with the brand’s logo.

Ultramarine Morse GMT

A handsewn calf leather strap sets the final touch. The steel pin buckle is engraved with the Ultramarine flying albatross logo.

Price and availability

Ultramarine watches are guaranteed for 3 years. The brand states that it will donate 10% of its profit to NGOs working on the preservation of the oceans. The Ultramarine Morse GMT retails for EUR 1,650, which is less than we were expecting given the cost of Eterna movements and the 100% Swiss origin of the components. Purchase can only be made on the brand’s website with no retailers or other middlemen. For more information, please visit www.ultramarine-watches.com.

3 responses

  1. Fair enough. Everything here seems good and reasonably priced.

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