Note: At post time, Lorier has a “notify me when available” list going. These sold out super fast. Not surprising, as many of their previous models did just as well.
In many ways, the year 2020 has been a match made in, well…not heaven? For watch aficionados, Lorier has been one very bright spot. 2020 has seen Lorier undertake a full-throttle makeover. The year started with the launch of their Gemini chronograph, which was followed by a refresh of their cornerstone Neptune diver, a remake of both the Falcon and Hydra, and the recent launch of their first GMT: the Hyperion. If Lorier feel like Rip Van Winkle-ing their way through 2021, it will be well-deserved!
Look Ma. Allllll the hands!
The defining feature of the Hyperion is that it’s a GMT watch. Whatever that is, why would I want that on my wrist, particularly in this age of cell phones, GPS, and the like? Let’s just answer by saying that you’re reading a blog about Men’s Style, right? That’s why! Style is subjective, and if you’re looking for something more in a watch, the Hyperion can provide that in spades. Now, what does GMT mean? GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time, a global timekeeping reference which is the mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in the Greenwich borough of London, England. The desire for a global timekeeping reference is understandable. For the history of how Greenwich Mean Time, specifically, came to be a global reference I’ll refer you to a great telling of that interesting story in Dava Sobel’s excellent and easily accessible book, ‘Longitude.’
The Royal Observatory at Greenwich is worth a visit, if you ever find yourself in or near London
Why would GMT be relevant to a watch? In the 1950s, airline pilots approached watchmakers with a request for watches which could display multiple time zones. Specifically, there was utility in knowing the local time, as well as GMT, since GMT is often used for scheduling, weather forecasts, and other necessities of aviation. (Other disciplines use this same convention, since it removes ambiguity. If everyone uses GMT, there’s no need to bother with time zones, daylight savings time, and the like.) And so, the GMT watch was born. While Glycine and Rolex were the first out of the gate, there are now numerous brands and watches which have GMT functionality, of some sort.
All of that history is relevant, because if you’ve been following Lorier watches, you know that they pull strongly from history as inspiration for their watch designs. The Hyperion is no exception, and it’s one of the ways in which this GMT watch stands out from the crowd. For example, the GMT-specific aspects of this watch are directly inspired by those early GMT watches: the red GMT hand which indicates the hour of GMT time on the deep red & blue (’Pepsi’) 24-hour bezel. The gilt chapter ring and handset, as well as the roulette date wheel (alternating between red & black numerals for even and odd dates, respectively) all harken back to watches from the 1950s and 60s.
Lots of history embedded in a brand new watch
Compared to other Lorier models, the Hyperion uses a more reserved set of hour indices, which make it easier to read the busy dial. The handset, though, is still trademark Lorier, complete with broad arrow hour hand. I should take a moment to acknowledge the precision with which the hand lengths were designed. The tip of the hour hand just touches the base of the second hand’s arrow, the end of the second hand’s arrow just touches the GMT hand’s diamond, which, in turn, rides along the very edge of the chapter ring. It’s really quite lovely.
Powering all of those hands is a Soprod C125 Swiss movement. This automatic movement allows the GMT hand to be set independently. In combination with the 48-click, bidirectional bezel with plexiglass insert (recalling bakelite bezels), the watch is capable of tracking three different time zones. To help make sense of all of this, Lorier has added a nice touch by using two different types of Superluminova (which my lume photo does not do justice): the bezel & GMT hand glow green, while the hour indices and normal handset glow blue. Such little touches are found throughout this watch, and the rest of the Lorier lineup, and it’s one of the reasons why I find Lorier to be so excellent.
Two different types of Superluminova in use
Much like Lorier’s other 2020 releases, the Hyperion sees a much slimmer case than past Lorier models. In fact, it’s the slimmest watch in the Lorier lineup at only 10.7mm thick, including 2mm for the domed plexiglass crystal. The 39mm diameter and 20mm lug width should sound familiar to fans of Lorier. In short, these case proportions are amazing. Having worn my much-thicker Neptune v2 a lot, the Hyperion is a great improvement. It’s SO nice. The bracelet is the same articulating bracelet found in Lorier’s models — it continues to be extremely solid, comfortable, and a looker. That said, as the owner of several Lorier watches, I would welcome an in-house bracelet alternative to mix things up a bit, even if it’s sold as an accessory option.
If I have any minor criticism, it’s the marker at the end of the GMT hand. The marker’s dimensions fit with the rest of the handset, but it’s very small. This is a GMT watch, after all, and I’d love to see that hand be more pronounced — perhaps echoing the broad arrow of the hour hand, or a play on the Lorier laurel logo. While some of the earliest GMT watches had very small GMT hand indicators, I feel that the Hyperion deserves something a bit more grand. This is really splitting hairs, though; I like this watch a ton.
39mm case diameter, with a thickness of just 8.7mm + the 2mm dome crystal
All told, the Hyperion is quite the watch, but how much will buying one set you back? $799. For many, this is an expensive watch, but compared to many GMT offerings, it’s quite reasonably priced. Announced the same week as the Lorier, for instance, was another independent brand’s GMT watch, using the same movement, which retails for some $300 more. The Hyperion is another example of Lorier providing excellent attention to detail, timeless design, high quality, and good value.
About the author: Aaron K. was first brought to Dappered by his love of watches, but has found it to be a great resource for so much more. When not reading Dappered, he’s usually relishing being a dad, spending time with his family & friends, learning about most anything that can fly, or taking photographs.