Looking at the Apogaum is kind of like watching the Japanese do comedy – the cues are alien, the laughs are strange and manic, and the effort seems over the top but fascinating. No slight against the Japanese – their shows kick ass – but to see a Swiss via Hong Kong Panerai knock-off with a GMT hand and enough odd design cues is enough to spin your aesthetics like a top and is definitely disorienting.

Apogaum, which seems to have something to do with the word “apogee,” is based on the same body as the familiar Marina Miltaire pieces available on the eBay. Sold by Eddie Kong, this line of watches is not so much an homage to the Panerai is it is to the snap down crown style of diver that Panerai pioneered. But this is not a Panerai. It’s as light as a feather, first off, and the unadorned, yet surprisingly beefy, movement has no draw.

The face is a bit busy, with a fat logo above the 6 and the standard MILITAIRE logo below the 12. A 24-hour clock surrounds the edge of the face which the hands, two half swords and one white GMT time indicator, are shiny and slightly distracting. The date cyclops is sub-par and distorts the date with a vengeance.

The movement, while ostensibly Swiss, is quite loose and the watch unwound overnight. The face, while occasionally luminous, is definitely also sub-par.

What’s good about this piece? Well, it’s inexpensive. My goal in this series was to find the GMT complication at a sub-$1000 price point and I wasn’t disappointed. Now that I know more about the watch industry, I understand the draw of Panerai and this would never fool a real connoisseur – and the average Joe doesn’t know their Panerai from a dinner plate anyway, so that’s not an issue. At about $100, this is a bright, huge watch that will make the average bear a blinging hustler in no time.

Quality: 2/5
Style: 3/5
Overall: 2.5/5

— John

Looking for a GMT…

Also Consider:

Trias Automatic Dual Time Black Watch
Dual Automatic Self Winding Movements in a 50mm Stainless Steel Case, Exhibition Back – $199

ByJohn Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

19 thoughts on “Review – Apogaum Militaire GMT”
  1. Hi
    Do you have a contact address for the Hong Kong supplier of these watches. Bought one for Xmas, arrived with no paperwork, has now stopped. Think it might be the battery?

  2. I bought an Apogaum GMT and it is FIRST CLASS rubbish. Not water resistant – glass is not sapphire – GMT function doesn’t work – movement made in China – basically total crap. Similar watch sell at the market in HK for €15. I think you have been too kind!

  3. I’ve purchased one of the newer versions of the watches, and it works beautifully. It looks brilliant, all its functions are good and the glass is good enough to be sapphire – I love these watches and you wait, they will become better, and stand the test of time.

  4. I purchased a Apogaum Speedmaster Chrono. No they are not real chrono’s but a calender chrono. It will show date, 24hr period, day 1-7, month 1-12. It is not swiss. My watch has not stopped since I have had it, and keeps good time. The case & strap are stainless and very well finished for the price. The face and glass(thick) very clear, no dust or mist even in bright sunlight. The hands are on the thin side, well made though. I have had mine for 4 months, no problems as yet. Will let you know more later on in its life!

  5. Hi, I got my Apogaum for Xmas, and its still going very strong, there isn’t even a scratch on the glass, and that’s saying something considering I work in forestry. These watches are superb and they even have a site now:
    You see, they may have used to be crap, but recently, they have bettered their quality by miles!

  6. I have had an Apogaum for over a year, it came with a hallow bracelet, and the chron is ay and date. The watch looked over the top bright gold when i got it. I put on a nice leather strap the watch looks great, and keeps good time. I am happy with this watch

  7. I bought an Apogaum Automatic about a year ago.
    The moment i began to wind it I realized it was garbage. Sadly, I was right! It never began to keep decent time, losing as much as 10 minutes per 24 hours.
    I threw it in a drawer, and haven’t any interest in it whatsoever!

  8. I bought my apogaum (automatic US Aircraft Lockheed) before 3 days and many of my friends told its very nice watch… And in this 3 days, it doesnt lost any minute, so by far its precise…. and “Grant” who said that it is loosing 10 minutes in 24hrs is full of crap, and lying son of a bitch… sorry for my language

  9. I see that the responses have varied from “Great” to “Terrible”. I would like to know if for those of you who have had bad experiences, whether or not you tried to get a refund or exchange? Even top brands are defective from time to time. Also, the claim is that these are “Swiss” watches but no one really knows unless you open it up and even then you don’t really know. Who is telling the truth here? I just bought one to see if these are good or not on EBAY. Feedback indicates a very high approval rating and high satisfaction. What is the truth here?

  10. Wow there are some varied comments.
    Based on prior experience with Alpha watches.I would also be interested in seeing if Apogaum live up to their claims. I have had my Alpha for over three years only leaves my wrist at night ..I never wind it It has been in water almost every day and has not lost time can’t say that for more expensive time pieces I have owned like my Sector.
    So I might take the plunge and buy one.

  11. I have owned a apogaum for over a year now. It is the navigator with the heli-coptor on it. It keeps time like no other watch ive owned. I won the bid on ebay for 35 dollars and shipping was 25 dollars. For 60 dollars it rocks. All dates work and buttons. I just wonder why yhe date goes to 39 days- not just 31.

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