It’s been some time since we’ve featured Bernhardt on our pages but that’s not due to any fault of the brand. Today, we’ll correct that by focusing in on a rather nice example that’s been reintroduced to their lineup, the Bernhardt Binnacle GMT II.
Now, you know me, I’m all for a good GMT, and that is of course what we have here with the Bernhardt Binnacle GMT II. Powered by the ETA 2836, you’ve got the bold GMT hand swinging around the center pinion. To help with that time telling you’ve got a 24-hour bezel affixed to the case around the sapphire crystal (digging on that cyclops as well). While one of my favorite personal GMT watches has a rotating bezel, I’ve come to lean towards the fixed bezel, particularly on GMT watches. Sure, a rotating one will give you the capability to track 3 time zones, but with a fixed, you get a more compact (in terms of height) case, and I value that more than a third timezone.
Case height would be critical here on the Bernhardt Binnacle GMT II, as it’s only a 39mm diameter case, so proportions will be key here. On the dial, proportions look to be good as well, with the 12-6-9 (in what I think of as the Bell & Ross font) separated out by the shark tooth indices (my mental association here is with Omega and Benarus). Between those elements and the larger GMT hand, it could make those hour and minute hands feel a tad undersized. I’m guessing they’re not, as they’re edged in black paint, but the eye focuses in on the white, lumed, bits, and there’s that. Likely just a victim of how photos work, and when the light catches it in person, well, then it’s probably a different story. Worth noting that this isn’t as “problematic” on the white-dialed version.
If you couldn’t tell from that prior paragraph, I feel that the Bernhardt Binnacle GMT II pulls together a variety of references. The obvious one being the Rolex Explorer II models, but you’ve got other brands in play there as well. This could be messy, but it works here. For me, the big keys (aside from the GMT complication) is that fixed 24-hour bezel and the cyclops. Pair in the Swiss movement, and you’ve got – what looks to me to be – one great bargain at a price of $624. We’ve inquired about a review loaner, but they’re not in yet, and with production being limited to 200 pieces, that may not happen. If one of you picks one up, please hop on over to our Slack channel and tell us all about it! bernhardtwatch.com
- Brand & Model: Bernhardt Binnacle GMT II
- Price: $624
- Who we think it might be for: You like your watches with a bit of a vintage feel, and while you are price sensitive, you still want a Swiss engine
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? Indeed I would – this one looks great, and the prior Bernhardt I reviewed left a favorable impression.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: The bracelet could use some love. Folded end link, and a mix of three-part and one-part links gives it an inconsistent feel.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Fixed bezel, cyclops magnifier, GMT, and a compact case. AKA, all of it.
Tech Specs from Bernhardt
- 39 mm
- Swiss ETA 2836 automatic movement modified for GMT
- Black or white dial with fixed 24-Hour bezel
- Independent adjustment of 4th hand for second time zone
- Date window at 3 o’clock
- 316-L surgical stainless steel case
- Sapphire crystal with Date Magnifier
- Signed screw-down crown
- Signed stainless steel bracelet with screws
- Numbered case back
- 200 meters water resistance
- Super Luminova on hands and indices
- Limited edition of 200
- 2 year warranty