Who can resist a tempting Swiss-made timepiece? Especially when you balk at spending year-long savings on a single watch, yet you still can’t stop yourself from dwelling over a Rolex kind of model.
Being out of your reach, and at the same time, irresistible – relatable feelings, aren’t they? But who says that only a Rolex gives away a luxury vibe, and to obtain that, you have to go beyond your budget? That’s not necessarily the case!
A quality Swiss-made timepiece has been accessible for decades from a popular, yet forgotten by many, Mathey-Tissot. However, the price depends upon the choice of model one selects to buy. But relatively, it varies from the entry level of $100 to a budget range of $1000, which is a pretty doozy figure to put on a label.
In today’s article, we will have a closer look at the brand’s popular line of GMT watches. Capable of tracking time in two or even three time zones at once, this type of timepiece has been gaining in popularity over the last few years. The Mathey-Tissot GMT review should shed some light on whether it’s an investment you should make.
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Mathey-Tissot GMT (Collection Overview)
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|Mathy Vintage GMT||H903AR||Check Price|
|Mathy Vintage GMT||H903ANB||Check Price|
⚠️ PLEASE NOTE: The three models I selected are based on my own taste. The Mathey-Tissot GMT watch collection has some more timepieces available and you can explore them all by clicking here.
Mathey-Tissot GMT Vintage: Collection Breakdown
Among the entire GMT collection (which includes a variety of enticing specs and attractive color combinations), affordability is the key factor for admirers. However, to get a detailed idea, let’s look at one of the homages to the popular Rolex. And as for other specs – please read on.
Mathey-Tissot GMT H903RNM
The Mathey-Tissot GMT H903RNM is referred to by the monikers as the mini Root Beer or Clint Eastwood due to its resemblance to the Rolex GMT – Master ll. However, this watch is obtainable at approximately 1/7 the price of the real Rolex Root Beer. Don’t drop your jaw yet; wait for the price!
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It is available for $300 – $500 or so, which can make anyone feel what Clint Eastwood felt but without crossing their budgets.
Stainless Steel Case: The Tough Element
The weight of a timepiece often determines its quality. This particular trait makes the watch feel supreme and worthwhile since the 316L stainless steel case doesn’t give away any part of it being less expensive. However, the weight can be a bit of a load on the wrist.
The overall finish of the Rolex Root Beer’s homage case is magnificent. The mirror-like exterior is evenly polished to the sides as well, exhibiting smooth transitions. The screwed crown is of fair size and easy to work around the corner.
The H903RNM case is 42mm in diameter, and 20mm lug width while being only 10mm thick. It has an edgy sports side, with a big enough case to go with a dress style. However, you don’t need to be a pilot to wear this in a Clint Eastwood style.
Characteristically for a GMT watch, the case features a uni-directional bezel with the use of which you will be able to track time in a different time zone.
That Captivating Two-Tone Root Beer Dial
Mathey-Tissot has incredibly recreated a similar brown and gold version of the Rolex GMT-Master II.
The two-tone bezel dial has a cyclops crystal clear lens over the date, with the sapphire crystal glass coating the dial of the watch. Sapphire crystal is the most scratch-resistant type out there and is an ever-present element of all the top-end brands on the market, such as Rolex or Omega.
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However, as vibrant as it looks in the marketing photos with the buzzword surrounding it – in person, it’s not that radiant. The dial is more subtle, rather than dynamic in nature, as it seems to be exaggerated.
That being said, this minor concern gets replaced by infatuation when you notice the precise texture of the indices. The sapphire crystal covering is so breathtaking that it is difficult to focus on any other feature. The color contrast to the dial is attractive, while the chapter ring is silver. Only if the hands were a bit tad longer would it have made the monochromatic dial layout even better.
Since it’s a GMT model, the dial includes a 4-hand configuration. Apart from the three standard hands, there’s the 4th (the red one) responsible for tracking time in a different time zone. All 4 hands, as well as the 5-minute markings, are luminescent.
Following the silver steel theme, the stainless steel bracelet has a proper execution with precision. The strap offers a foldover safety release clasp with the same push departure as in other Mathey-Tissot watches. The flawlessly flushed center links of the bracelet are brushed, which adds to the bracelet’s visual desirability.
The scratch-resistant bracelet feature makes the watch easy to wear all day. However, the sizing of the bracelet can be a bit difficult, even though there are some half-links present near the clasp for additional or minimal size adjustments. Hence, keep this factor in mind while you ponder on buying the piece.
The Swiss-made timepiece runs quartz movement, the 24h GMT version of Ronda Calibre 515. The movement provides an accuracy of -10/+20 seconds/month which is a solid result as far as battery-powered watches are concerned.
The average battery life of the movement is 45 months. Further good news is, in case the movement needs replaced, substitutes can be found online even for as little as $8. You can find the GMT feature of the date tab at 3 ’o clock, with t unidirectional bezel.
One of the most reliable traits of this watch is the water resistance which is up to 100M, eliminating the fence of any accidental water contact to the valuable piece.
Other Popular Mathey-Tissot GMT Models
After getting a thorough insight into the GMT timepieces from the above-mentioned model, let’s take a peek at a few other famous options in their list, which are obtainable in the range of $300 – $500.
Rolly Vintage – Pepsi Bezel
The celebrated Pepsi color contrast (red and blue) of the dial gives the name to the popular piece in the Mathey-Tissot GMT collection.
Mathy Vintage – Batman Bezel
The well-known Batman nickname was given to this watch for its black and blue color combination, which matches the silver bracelet tone.
General Specs of Mathey-Tissot GMT Watches
The specs across the whole collection are very akin to the three GMT pieces discussed above, with minimal variations possible between models.
In general, expect:
- 42mm case diameter
- 316L stainless steel case
- Two-toned bracelet, screw-down crown
- Stamped deployant clasp
- Sapphire crystal dial coat (scratch-resistant)
- Swiss quartz movement
- Uni-directional bezel
- Luminous hands and hour markers
- GMT feature with date tab at 3 o’clock
- Water-resistant up to 100m
Mathey-Tissot GMT & The Celebrity Connection
To provide social proof of reliability, the brand has been associated with some of the most popular Hollywood sweethearts.
- Elvis Pressley
- Clint Eastwood
- The Irishman (movie)
After this, fans named the watches, either after the one who wore it (Clint Eastwood in many of his movies), or after the color contrast, which reminds us of beverages like Pepsi (Pepsi Bezel model), characters like Batman (Batman Bezel model), and a Rolex style of Root Beer outlook.
Mathey-Tissot GMT Review: Conclusion
Of course, I haven’t referred to all the available GMT models in this list. I have only compiled a quick overview of the ones which are high in demand amongst the Mathey-Tissot aficionados. Hopefully, it has portrayed a clear enough picture of how the affordable Swiss brand caters to low to high budgets.
The quality, durability, and Rolex-like structural design give a timepiece enthusiast the chance to live his desires and don’t compromise on excellence by delivering the intended outcome of the watch.
However, while browsing through customers’ reviews online, it’s possible to find some complaints regarding the much-loved GMT feature. Individual customers grumble that it tends to work perfectly fine for half a day, and then starts to lag a bit. It seems to be a problem with just some single copies rather than the whole collection, though, and any problem of magnitude allows you to return/replace the watch under Mathey-Tissot’s 3-year warranty policy.
Note: Many Swiss brands produce high-quality yet expensive timepieces, among which Tissot is also a renowned manufacturer. Here, it is important to know that Mathey-Tissot is neither the same nor in any way related to the Tissot brand. You can learn more about the differences between the two by reading my Mathey-Tissot vs Tissot brand comparison.