A microbrand with a relatively young history (founded 2016), UK-based Isotope Watches defines itself as “an independent, enthusiastic and driven brand (…) that combines original designs with traditional solutions and a boutique approach“. Something that could be said about countless young watchmaking companies, but looking at the offering of Isotope, you can see that the designs are truly original (in a good way). It’s not only about shapes and colours, but also some nice tricks for the display. One of the brand’s most standout models is, without a doubt, its traveller’s watch. And today, the Isotope GMT 0º becomes the “Terra Maris” Limited Edition, a watch with truly captivating colours, resulting from a collaboration with one of our good friends, the only journalist that talks both watches and tennis… Miguel Seabra, of course.
It’s easy to claim that your company is making unique and original watches; it’s much harder to make this a reality when delivering the products. With Isotope Watches, which is a discovery for me (I must be honest), there’s an undeniable sense of design and a singularity in the shapes and colours. In addition, as I said in the introduction, the displays and movements might be classic and nothing unique to the brand, yet there are clever tricks in the construction to make these watches different. And to add to this distinctiveness, the latest model to surface is the result of a collaboration with Miguel Seabra, a veteran of the watch industry and an international tennis commentator (try to make it more original than that…) Having known him for many years, these vivid colours and a certain sense of casualness were to be expected.
José Mendes Miranda, founder of Isotope Watches, challenged Miguel Seabra to take the classic traveller’s watch of the brand, the Isotope GMT 0º, and create something different with an original colour combination… And it had to be cool and relaxed. Seabra’s idea was to take inspiration from what he knows best, his place of birth and home, Portugal and the beautiful region of Cascais, at the most western point of Europe. Combining the colours of the seaside with a relaxed vibe, Seabra explains the concept: “Hence the Latin name, Terra Maris. The land and the sea, the brown and the blue, suede shoes and denim!”
The base for this limited edition model is an original GMT model. A sporty steel watch, the Terra Maris Limited Edition has a 41.5mm case that is entirely brushed. The lugs have a pretty cool recessed profile and are thin and short – at 44.7mm lug-to-lug, it certainly is a compact case. Yet, it’s also a watch with some resistance. Thanks to its 3mm crystal and screwed crown and caseback, it is water-resistant to 200m.
The dial is pretty polarising, as Miguel Seabra wanted something bold for this Isotope GMT 0º Terra Maris Limited Edition. The base is gradient brown, reflecting the land, while the central part of the dial is light blue, a reference to the sea and sky of Portugal. The display of this GMT watch is also original, combining a central GMT disc pointing to a 24h scale printed on the dial and 31 holes to indicate the date with a black dot printed on a disc underneath. Mechanically speaking, it remains a pretty simple solution, but the effort to elevate a standard complication to a different level is noticeable. The whole dial has a sandwich construction, with the date disc and the luminescent plate sitting on a lower level and visible through cutouts.
Powering the Isotope GMT 0º Terra Maris Limited Edition is a Landeron movement, a Swiss manufacturer with a historical name that is now building alternatives to ETA and Sellita. The movement here is comparable to a 2893, with a 4Hz frequency and a 40h power reserve. It is partially visible through the caseback, the latter being engraved with the time zones of the world’s major cities – and you’ll see that the GMT time zone isn’t London, but Lisbon, of course.
The watch has been conceived by Seabra and Isotope to be an all-rounder and comes standard with a leather strap matching the colours of the dial, but also a stainless steel bracelet and a clasp featuring three adjustment positions. Both are equipped with quick-release spring bars so that switching won’t be a problem.
Availability & Price
The Isotope GMT 0º Terra Maris Limited Edition is now available for orders. It is limited to 49 watches and is priced at GBP 1,030, including taxes (about EUR 1,220 or USD 1,320 at publishing time). For more details, please visit isotopewatches.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.