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Momentum Vortech GMT Review - 04:31, 2/4/2013

This is the Vortech GMT from Momentum, an outdoor-focussed brand from Vancouver, BC that we quite like. Let¡¯s start with some specifications: Titanium case, 44.0mm by 11.9mm, 53.1mm lug to lug. 7mm screw-down crown, 22mm lugs, total width 48.0mm including crown. 66g on the strap. Available with mineral or sapphire crystal Swiss quartz movement with GMT and extra-loud alarm and snooze and low-battery indicator SuperLuminova lume on hands and dial Subseconds at two o¡¯clock Water resistant to 100m (330ft) 2 year warrant with 4/6 year extension Perhaps the first thing you notice on the Vortech is the big red button at four o¡¯clock. References to the ZF-1 aside, this is the alarm toggle, and the red color serves to distinguish it from the GMT setting button. A nice use of color and also serves to remind you that the alarm hand is the red one. There are many ways to implement a GMT function; this movement has an added central hand in yellow that goes around once per day, with the 24h scale in the edge of the chapter ring. To set it, you pull the crown out, and then push and hold the GMT button while the hand moves. It¡¯s continuous, so you can use this for 15 or 30 minute timezone offsets, a boon to world travelers. Also of note is the ¡®true GMT¡¯ functionality, in that when you set the main hands the GMT does not change. The use for travel is ¡®set GMT hand to home time and main hands to local time,¡¯ and the Vortech is excellent for that. The Vortech is quite a bit larger than the last watch I reviewed at 44mm. At 66g on the strap, it¡¯s super light, but it¡¯s definitely a full sized watch. The titanium case is matte-finished via bead blasting, with a sloped bezel and flowing lugs. The dark grey color is muted and makes for a very versatile watch. This does just fine with business attire or your hiking gear. The dial is inspired by aviation, with aircraft-style hands and plenty of unclothered dial. The sub seconds dial is tricky to read due to size, and there¡¯s no stopwatch or timing bezel; for timing needs this watch does not suit. The dial is nicely laid out. The 24h is moved out of the way, and the date tucked in just past four. You have to be careful with four central hands, and I think they did a good job here of keeping the most important hour and minute hands prominent and legible. One of the unusual innovations in this watch, and probably a reason for its size, it their use of a ¡®ceramic resonator¡¯ to increase the alarm volume. With the notable (and expensive) exception of the Omega X-33, wristwatch alarms are often quite muffled. If it¡¯s loud enough to penetrate a water-resistant case, then the battery life suffers. For the Vortech, Momentum added a resonator that, like the sounding board of a stringed instrument, serves to increase the volume. It works, too ¨C the alarm is more than loud enough to wake me up. Nighttime visibility is excellent due to the use of ¡®A-grade¡¯ superluminova. As you can see, visually distinguishing GMT and alarm hands is nearly impossible, but the time is very legible. I¡¯m OK with that. On the wrist, it¡¯s comfortable and very lightweight. At 44 by 11mm, it¡¯s sport-watch-sized. Since the bezel is smooth and tapered, it¡¯s reasonably shirt-friendly too, and the matte finish keeps the presentation restrained. Not a watch that draws attention to itself. List price on the Vortech is $285, mineral crystal version. For titanium/quartz that¡¯s quite good. This is a versatile, durable and functional watch in a modern size. The combination of GMT and alarm is perfect for the frequent traveler who doesn¡¯t want to worry about his watch if they decide to go kayaking or even diving. Unfussy and

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