Today, we come to the end of the review loaners that we had come in from the crew over at Hager Watches. We took a look at their new Interceptor, the U-2 Dragonlady, and then the 10th Anniversary Commando. The final watch of our batch of loaners is very closely related to that third watch, as today we’re covering the Hager Commando GMT.
This is not the first time I’ve gone hands-on with a GMT from Hager (previously, we looked at their Pheon GMT and GMT Traveller). For the Hager Commando GMT, this feels like the next iteration of that GMT Traveller. To put it simply, they took their base Commando, along with it’s more recent upgrades, and swapped in a different movement and an additional hand. Presto-chango, and now we’ve got a new watch.
And yes, to be totally fair, the Hager Commando GMT is very much the same watch as the non-GMT version. The case is identical, the dial is the same – it feels like much the same watch. The big visual difference other than the GMT hand is the new bezel that’s in place. Like the non-GMT version, you’ve got a polished ceramic insert. Instead of a 60-minute divers bezel, you’ve got a 24-hour scale, as well as a two-tone (yes, I really dug the blue-and-black) color scheme, to easily divide night and day. While I didn’t fiddle with the bezel, you can rotate it, such that you could conceivably track three times at once. By that, you’d have your main time, whatever you’ve set the GMT hand to (I set it to UTC because of my work), and then rotate the bezel for an additional offset. Voila, you’re now an international person of business and/or mystery, tracking time upon time for whatever your purposes may be.
For me, it’s a two-fold purpose. One, if I were to somehow have a watch like the Hager Commando GMT off of my wrist long enough for it to unwind the 40-hour power reserve, the GMT hand tells me where in the “day” it is when I’m winding it up and resetting it. Secondly, once it’s up and running, it can quickly help me do the mental math of what database logs are showing me at the day job, as those we store in UTC. And yes, if I were to travel, you could then easily rotate the bezel and get the home time zone in there.
Now, for the purists out there – the Hager Commando GMT is not a “true” GMT movement. By that, I mean that you’re quick-setting the GMT hand. Those who care about such things – and are likely traveling across timezones frequently – have a main hour hand that would be the quick set. Therefore, you can land in your new destination and quickly adjust the hour, leaving the minutes and GMT time untouched. With this, when you wind the hour hand to where it needs to be, you’ll then also need to go and adjust the GMT hand to where it needs to be. For me, it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s worth noting (and hey, maybe something to consider for the 20th anniversary edition down the line).
Though my tastes in watches have certainly changed and refined over the last decade, a watch like the Hager Commando GMT just speaks to me. The 40mm case hits the sweet spot in terms of sizing, and wrapping everything in brushed steel (on the case and bracelet) just gives things a solid practicality for daily wear. Toss in some polished edges on the case and the bezel, as well as the gleam from the ceramic bezel insert, and you’ve got a watch that can happily pull off dress watch duty.
But back to that practicality: the Hager Commando GMT offers everything I’d want from a watch – date and time, a second time zone, solid lume, and a beefy 300m WR rating. This means that this is a watch I can literally use for anything, and this is why I like to travel (when I do) with a steel tool watch like this one. Whether we’re headed to a hotel, cabin, or even some tent camping, it’ll hold up to whatever I’m going to be doing, and not care if things get a bit damp.
The other great thing about a 40mm tool watch like the Hager Commando GMT is that they tend to lend themselves to straps very easily. Now, it’s a thicker watch at 13mm, so you probably don’t want a wafer-thin nylon strap snugged in there. Still, with a 20mm lug width, the world is your oyster when it comes to checking out all manner of rubber, leather, and textile straps. Me, I’m good with steel, but pack in a couple of strap options and you’re quite well-sorted for a one-watch trip, in my book.
If you couldn’t tell, I am well-pleased with the Hager Commando GMT. Sure, at $1,165 it is a $500 premium over the non-GMT version, but to me, it’s worth it for the functionality that the extra hand (and two-tone bezel) bring to the party. For me, the Hager Commando GMT is definitely the king of the mountain in the Hager catalog, and definitely the one I’d be going for first if I had the funds poof into my account out of nowhere. And hey, on top of that, you’re supporting a small brand that’s building things up out there in Maryland, which is just icing on the cake. Check out the watch (and the others), directly over at hagerwatches.com
Tech Specs from Hager
- Case Height: 40mm
- Case Thickness: 13mm
- Case Length: 47mm
- AISI 316L polished steel
- SuperLuminova Ceramic Bezel Insert
- Scratch resistant domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating (AR)
- 3-6-9 Sandwich Dial.
- A sandwich dial includes two separate disks where the bottom layer holds the luminescent material in recessed indexes while the top layer has index cut-outs to allow the luminescence to shine through.
- Movement: Swiss Made Automatic GMT with 40 hour power reserve
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT
- Stainless steel with two-button clasp and two-button slidelock extension system.
- Band Width: 20mm
- Water Resistance: 30 ATM = 990ft