The day after Thanksgiving, we brought you word of a brand new version of the Shinola Monster GMT (you can see that here), and before that, we talked about the original version of the Monster (seen here). Well, after that olive green version dropped, we got to spend some time with the watch (and even, surprisingly, travel with it).

When the Shinola Monster GMT was first released, I really liked the look of the blue dial and bezel, given that blue is my favorite color. However, after spending time with this olive variant, I think I actually prefer the plain steel bezel, as it comes across as a bit less flashy. For this dial, as well, they did a solid job with the orange accents on the GMT hand and text, making for a balanced look. It also opens the door for you to put an orange strap on here as well.

Speaking of straps, there’s a couple of items of note with the stock ones here. First up, the bracelet is pretty simple to adjust, and feels comfortable on the wrist. What you might not notice at first is that the clasp has a hidden extension in it. Ostensibly, this would be called a Diver’s Extension, but I find it helpful (as I tend to size my bracelets snug) to be able to get a little extra room throughout the day. To expand things, it’s just a push button on the underside of the clasp, and you’ve got extra room.

There are two other buttons on the bracelet of the Shinola Monster GMT, and you’ll find those up in between the lugs. That’s right, this bracelet has quick-release spring bars. This is a first for me. I’m sure there are other brands doing it, but it really was quite easy to pull the bracelet off. Reinstalling it as a cinch as well, as there’s a step on the bracelet endlink that makes sure you position things in exactly the right place.

The included #Tide woven strap also has quick-release spring bars, and these are sewn into place. What this accomplishes is a very snug fit of the strap, as well as a solid connection to the watch. So, you get that NATO look, with a single-pass strap that’s not sliding around in the lugs. While I stuck with the bracelet most of the time, I liked how easy switching back and for was.

With the steel bezel on this Shinola Monster GMT, it really felt more like a tool watch that was meant for banging around with you in day-to day life. While I didn’t bang it into anything, I did use it while we went on a quick trip at the end of the year to escape the cold in Chicago. As you can see in that photo at the top of the article, it worked just fine while we were at the beach.

Along with that trip, of course, the Shinola Monster GMT was keeping me on time as we went through the airports, and of course just in daily life back at home. The Sellita SW330 got the job done as you’d expect, driving things in the classic “Caller GMT” configuration. The 40mm case struck a good balance between compact wearability and ease of telling the time quickly. I’ll admit, the date window felt a little small to my eyes, so I wouldn’t mind that being deleted in a future version, or having some sort of cyclops fitted to it.

All in all, for the first time seeing the Shinola Monster GMT in the steel, I came away favorably impressed. When you start getting into this price range, your options for Swiss-powered GMTs really opens up. With this one, of course you’re getting a more utilitarian vibe, along with some of the design cues (such as the “ribbon” indice at 12 o’clock) that Shinola has become known for. Whether you go with the blue or the green we reviewed here, you’re looking at $1,995 to put one of these capable watches onto your wrist. shinola.com

Tech Specs from Shinola

  • Case: 40mm, stainless steel
  • Movement: Sellita SW330-2
  • Lug width: 20mm
  • Screw-down crown
  • 100m WR rating
  • Stainless steel bracelet with extension in clasp
  • Additional #tide woven strap included

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