Over the past few years, Swiss independent watchmaking company Horage has been working hard at producing high-quality watches with in-house designed and constructed movements at a more affordable price than direct competitors. One of the crowning achievements is the unprecedented Horage Tourbillon 1, costing below 10k for a Swiss in-house made tourbillon watch. If we look at the sports-oriented side of Horage, watches like the community-driven Supersede GMT are equally impressive. Here we have a genuine GMT sports watch with a micro-rotor movement for quite a bit less than comparable watches. Pretty much any micro-rotor movement on the same level cost quite a bit more and will most likely come without the GMT functionality. A year after the initial release, Horage has taken it upon itself to introduce some technical and aesthetic improvements. Here’s the “new and improved” Horage Supersede GMT.
When Horage first introduced the Supersede GMT, it was clear that it would take quite a while for the watch to actually be produced and delivered, and with very good reason. The idea was to involve the community through a series of pre-orders and design certain elements of the Supersede along the way. The payback to the ones signing up for a pre-order deal was a reduced price compared to the final retail price set by Horage. After four pre-order rounds, with the “Sleepy Bird” round three coming up very soon, people could vote for dial colours, bracelet finishes, strap colours and rotors. All in all, 100 different configurations can be selected, with deliveries commencing this coming December.
The upgrades made to the Supersede GMT need a little bit of explaining, so we’ll cover the unchanged basics first. The Horage Supersede Sleepy Bird GMT still relies on the compact 39.5mm by 9.85mm angular case machined from 904L stainless steel. The rotating bezel has square-pattern knurling to provide extra grip and comes with a quarter & three-quarter divided scale with a luminous triangle. The crown is protected with full guards and signed with the dotted H-shaped Horage logo. On the front, we have a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating, with another sapphire crystal covering the movement around the back.
Movement-wise, the Horage Supersede Sleepy Bird GMT still uses the K2 micro-rotor movement but with a new option (which we’ll get to in a bit). This in-house designed and produced movement runs at the unusual rate of 25,200vph (or 3.5Hz), which is primarily done to increase the power reserve (72 hours). The modular design of the movement allows for 38 different configurations built upon the K2 base, including this true GMT set-up. Being a genuine GMT movement, the GMT hand corresponds to the local hours and can be independently set via the crown. It also comes with a silicon escapement wheel and anchor and is driven by a gold-plated micro-rotor. The finishing is a mix of traditional elements like Côtes de Genève and contemporary styling cues like Horage’s signature grid pattern.
Now that’s out of the way, we’ll take you through all the updates, starting with the movement first. Initially, the K2 micro-rotor movement came with a gold-plated tungsten rotor. With this new version of the Supersede, Horage offers you the choice to upgrade it with a platinum rotor instead (as shown here). Platinum is heavier than tungsten and, as such, allows for an easier “swing” of the rotor, resulting in a more direct delivery of energy to the barrel. Normally such an upgrade will cost you quite a penny, but during the pre-order campaign, Horage will offer it at a premium of just CHF 390 over the gold-plated tungsten rotor.
When Horage initially presented the Supersede GMT collection last year, it came with a water-resistance rating of 100 meters. The brand already mentioned it intended to boost that to 200 meters upon final release, and we can now tell you they have succeeded in doing so. This fits with the all-terrain nature of the Supersede as intended by Horage. You can just as easily take this watch up into the mountains, across multiple timezones or for a plunge in the ocean and be comfortable knowing it can withstand it all.
Moving to the dial, the Supersede GMT we saw last year came with a red or orange tip for the central seconds hand, but it wasn’t going to be luminous. The challenge was the slender needle-like design of the hand, which is why Horage had decided not to make it light up at night. Now though, Horage has found a “Magic Orange” solution, allowing it to produce a central seconds hand with a luminous orange tip after all. But here’s the twist: similar to the CGI renderings released last year, Horage will produce a run of 250 pieces with a non-luminous red tip and 250 pieces with an orange non-luminous tip. For both, the hand for the day/night indication will be matching in colour. A nice gesture to people who opted for the initial designs for the Supersede GMT. Anyone looking to change to the luminous “Magic Orange” will be able to do so.
The final update, and one not to be overlooked, is the newly developed micro-adjustable folding clasp for the stainless steel bracelet. At 5.6mm in height, this new clasp is just marginally thicker than the overall bracelet itself. It can be adjusted in ten 1mm steps, which is more than enough to accommodate changes over a very hot or cold day. Additionally, an FKM rubber strap of your choice will be added to the package with the option of purchasing more during the campaign or afterwards. Five colours will be available, so plenty to choose from!
All in all, these make for some very nice upgrades to the already impressive Horage Supersede GMT watch. The “Sleepy Bird” upgrades also come at no premium, except for the platinum rotor, obviously. The campaign for the Horage Supersede Sleepy Bird GMT starts on August 16th at 2 PM CET and runs until August 19th at 2 PM CET. The pre-order price for the base model, with a gold-plated tungsten rotor, is CHF 5,500. Upgrade it to platinum, and it will cost you CHF 5,890. After the campaign, both prices jump to CHF 6,500 and CHF 7,700, respectively. First deliveries are set for December this year, as the patent for the silicon hairspring as used in the Calibre K2 expires in November.
For more information, please visit Horage.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.