Whenever I get news of new releases from Projects Watches, I always make sure to pay attention. Sure, not every design is a solid win for me, but there is always at least one gem. That streak holds true with their upcoming (in May) re-release of the only dual-time Michael Graves-designed watch, the Projects Watches Grand Tour.
So, why did the Projects Watches Grand Tour grab my eye? Part of it must be sentimental, as the watch I got on my wedding day is of a similar sort of design. Yeah, that was back before I really knew what a GMT complication was, so it worked for me quite well as a dual timezone watch. Thinking about this release (it originally came out in 2009), I realized what really drew me in. It is the fact that this very analog display, through use of colors and shapes, looks almost like something that an LED screen would reproduce.
In other words, we are moving in the opposite direction from what a smart watch does (replicating a regular watch look) with the Projects Watches Grand Tour. Being as the design is over seven years old, I doubt that is what Graves had in mind creating this watch, but it’s still a neat little visual quirk for our current day.
Another interesting quirk about the shape of the Projects Watches Grand Tour – if you’re not used to rectangular cases – is that it wears quite small. While the lug-to-lug measurement comes in at 47.8mm, side to side it is only 25.5mm, which makes for a compact fit on the wrist. This also means that you have a narrower band (18mm, in this case) fitted to the steel case.
For the re-release, the blue dial variant of the Projects Watches Grand Tour is brand new, and will be available by the end of May. If you instead would go for the black or white dials, well, those you can get today, based on stock still around from that original introduction (hopefully with fresh batteries). Oh, and for those curious, the $150 Projects Watches Grand Tour is powered by two movements – the Seiko VX01B and VX00B (seconds hand being the difference), so you will have two batteries to deal with. In my book, this is a pretty dressy – and dare I say fun – way to get a second time zone on your wrist. projectswatches.com
- Brand & Model: Projects Watches Grand Tour
- Price: $149
- Who we think it might be for: You’re looking for an inexpensive watch that works as a traveler and a dress watch
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: No, but really just because I have something very similar in form already
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: After thinking about it, it’s just how “digital replica” the dial can look