THE HYPERION

There’s something to be said about the jetsetting swagger of a GMT. It's got history behind it, an international mystique. It signals that its wearer has broad horizons and a global outlook.Perhaps that’s why it’s been our most requested complication thus far, even in this year of grounded airplanes and quarantines. 


LEGACY

Much of the allure of the GMT can be traced back to the Jet Age. During this period, Pan Am asked Rolex to develop a watch that could track a different time zone for its pilots. Before long, the GMT watch rose to prominence as a must-have companion for all those with global connections.


THE INSPIRATION

Not only for pilots, the GMT proved to be a versatile complication adopted by all kinds of people who had one thing in common: they had places to go and things to do.

From left to right: Dizzy Gillespie, Chuck Yeager, Honor Blackman, all wearing Rolex ref. 6542




BACK TO BASICS

It’s nigh impossible to make a classically-styled GMT without a “Pepsi” bezel, because it’s such a sharp and useful way to juxtapose daylight and nighttime hours.


In designing the Hyperion, we weren’t looking to reinvent the wheel, or to make something different for its own sake. Rather, we sought to take what works, heighten the practicality and elegance, and in doing so make a well-executed version of the GMT archetype.


Left to right: 


Rolex GMT-Master ref. 6542


Zodiac Aerospace GMT


Heuer Autavia ref. 2446C GMT


Photos: Analog/Shift


THE DETAILS

While we could have used a variety of colors to differentiate daylight from nighttime hours, it’s hard to find a sharper combination than red and blue. However, instead of the more common royal blue and cherry red, we opted for a darker Air Force Blue and Burgundy, giving the watch a more stately and refined appearance.


Vintage touches like the chapter ring circling the minute track, the gilt/silver print, and the roulette datewheel make it feel like the Hyperion came straight out of a time machine.


LUMINARY

One of the best features of the original GMT was its luminous bakelite bezel. It was eventually replaced by aluminum due to its brittleness (and its radioactive luminous material). Our plexi bezel replicates the feeling—without the cracking or the radioactivity!


Additionally, we made it even more practical by differentiating the luminous pigments between one timezone, which uses BGW9 (dial, hour, minute, seconds hands) and the other, which uses C3 (24-hour bezel, GMT hand).


REFINED CURVES

Thanks to its movement and water resistance specification, the Hyperion wears extremely slim. Measuring in at only 10.7mm overall (an 8.7mm case + a 2mm dome crystal). The sleek dimensions give it a more refined presence, and allow it to be dressed up or down more easily.  


CRYSTAL CLEAR

There’s a reason why vintage watch lovers swear by a plexi dome. It has an optical warmth and quality that other materials can’t match.


But it’s more than just aesthetics: it doesn’t suffer from glare or smudges to the same degree as sapphire. It’s better against impact. Its weakness— scratches—can easily be taken care of with a little Polywatch. For us, this reinforces the idea that a watch has a special connection to its owner, making it the better choice for a one watch collection, even today.


For more, see here.  



PURPOSE BUILT

There are several ways to track a second timezone with the Hyperion. The first and quickest is to use the rotating bezel to change timezones. The second is to set the GMT hand to local time (or use it to keep track of home time). 


PURE CLASS

The Hyperion's caseback features the Lorier logo engraved in a circular motif, reminiscent of a laurel crown. The center section is left blank, as a canvas for personal expression: the watch becoming a true companion and a unique piece of its wearer’s history.


THE MOVEMENT

The Hyperion is only possible because a few movement manufacturers have recently opened up their GMT offerings to independent brands. Of these, the Soprod C125 has the best value/performance ratio.


A few things to consider for those who will fuss over the lack of a quickset hour hand: first, we don’t have access to those movements, and even if we did, they would likely be prohibitively expensive.


Secondly, the original GMT-Master (ref. 6542) didn’t have this feature, or even an independent-setting GMT hand (it was permanently tied to the hour hand)—hence the need for a rotating bezel. Neither did its successor (ref. 1675), one of the longest-running Rolex references yet (from 1959 to 1980). Still, this didn’t hinder them from excelling at their duties and becoming icons.


ADAPTABLE

Versatility in design means that the Hyperion can take on a variety of looks. The caselines flow seamlessly with virtually any strap, whether nylon, perlon, or leather.


"HE WHO WATCHES FROM ABOVE"

We figured that Hyperion—the mythical titan who fathered the Sun, Moon, and Dawn—would be the perfect namesake for a globetrotter’s watch. 


The magic of a GMT is that we can imagine ourselves, ever so briefly, to be in two places at once. It may be dark in one, but light in the other. And this may be strange to think about in this period of lockdowns, but perhaps that red-and-blue bezel can serve as a small reminder of our connections to the larger world.