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The new ZEPPELIN Atlantic Automatic GMT was for many visitors of this year’s Watchtime one of the highlights. The reason for this is the “real” GMT function, which was previously reserved for the luxury segment. Now it is also available at a price of 499.00 Euros RRP. What is so special about this watch?
One of the most exciting new products of the year?
ZEPPELIN itself speaks of a “sensation”. Accordingly, the fascination that the new Atlantic Automatic GMT exerted on the watch world at the last Watchtime in Düsseldorf was great. The real “sensation” here is what drives it inside: the movement. This comes from Miyota, part of the Citizen Group, which made its new automatic GMT movement available to ZEPPELIN as one of the first manufacturers worldwide.
A common caliber with GMT function? Not at all. The Miyota 9075 has a real GMT function. And that was previously unavailable in the entry-level and premium segments. Even more, a true GMT function has typically been reserved for established luxury models like the Rolex GMT Master II. With the introduction of the ZEPPELIN Atlantic Automatic GMT, customers can now enjoy a – mind you: genuine – GMT function for just a few hundred euros.
The advantages of a “real” GMT function
But what exactly is a “real” GMT function? This is when you can adjust the hour hand step by step, i.e. jumping by the hour. This is especially advantageous for travelers, which is why watches with this function are also called “flyer” GMT. While the main hour hand shows the local time of the current location, the GMT hand reads the time of the home location. To explain the exact procedure using the Atlantic Automatic GMT as an example: you set the crown to position 1, then you set the hour hand to the local time.
On the otherwise common “Caller” GMT version, it’s more or less the other way around. Here, the GMT hand is meant to display times from other time zones. The name is self-explanatory. Watches with this GMT movement are especially suitable for people who want to make phone calls abroad, for example.
This should quickly make it clear to everyone which GMT version is the most suitable for them. You like to travel yourself or for professional reasons? Then a “Flyer” GMT is the perfect choice. Five-digit prices are too high for you? Then you should read on to learn all about the advantages of the ZEPPELIN Atlantic Automatic GMT.
A ticket from Friedrichshafen to Cologne
ZEPPELIN sent me not one, but two versions of the new GMT watch for this watch review. These are the reference 84681 with silver dial and black strap and the 84683 with blue dial and brown strap. The team at ZEPPELIN did a creative job of giving customers (and me) a unique unboxing experience. An elongated cardboard box adorns the outlines of America and Europe next to the classically designed logo. The overly wide Atlantic makes it clear which collection the two GMT watches belong to.
Included in the box, the manufacturer sent me a booklet styled like a typical ZEPPELIN ticket from the 1930s. I’m not a historian and can’t check the ticket design for its correctness. Nevertheless, it appears that a great deal of attention to detail has been paid. My ticket is for a trip from Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance to Cologne. Fans of airships will definitely get their money’s worth here.
The ZEPPELIN Atlantic Automatic GMT on the wrist
In the first step, I take both references out of their boxes and put them on one after the other. No matter if it’s the reference 84681 with black or the blue 84683 with the brown: both have their own charm. With blue dial, the Atlantic looks a bit more classic and dignified. The silver version, on the other hand, is more technical, cool and functional. Thus, the ZEPPELIN designers have succeeded in capturing the zeitgeist of the early 20th century with both models. The blue one stands for the comfort that airships offered, the silver one for the technical progress that arrived with the voyage of the first airship in 1900. It is still difficult to say which variant I personally like better.
Apparently, the most prominent similarity between the two sister models is the globe emblazoned in the center of the dial. While I’ve seen a moon in a watch design before, the detailed imitation of the Earth and continents is still unused and THE distinguishing feature of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, there are manufacturers who use the design element now and then.
If you want to wear a ZEPPELIN Atlantic Automatic GMT, you have to allow for a case diameter of 42 millimeters. On my wrist, the two references appear visually somewhat larger, which is due to the extremely narrow bezel. The height of 14 millimeters harmoniously matches this. Concerns that this GMT watch might be too big or too small are something few need to have.
Classic: the case
The case of the ZEPPELIN Atlantic Automatic GMT shines with the polished surfaces of the stainless steel used. A brushed finish is rather the exception and can only be found on the caseback. On the one hand, this gives the Atlantic GMT a very classic appearance. On the other hand, you should be a bit careful not to scratch the stainless steel by careless touches with drawers, door handles and similar things. However, the workmanship level of the case finish is great and unparalleled in the mid three-digit price segment. This is quality as you would expect from the German manufacturer ZEPPELIN. The watch is assembled in Ruhla in Thuringia, Germany.
I find the classic curvature of the watch glass very successful, reminiscent of historical timepieces of the 20th century. A small downer: ZEPPELIN uses K1 safety glass. This is specially hardened mineral glass that does not scratch in everyday use, but unfortunately is never as scratch-resistant as sapphire glass.
ZEPPELIN states a water resistance of 5 bar. Thus, the new ZEPPELIN Atlantic tolerates water splashes. Of course, you should not go diving with this watch.
9075: the world novelty from Miyota
This is how you present an automatic movement! If you turn the ZEPPELIN Atlantic over, a glass case back is revealed on the back, through which you can marvel at the rotor of the movement and its fine mechanics. I already mentioned the innovative feature of the 9075 from Miyota. Despite the many GMT watches, it is the first affordable movement that allows you to adjust the main hour hand by quick correction. With the competition in this segment, this is only true for the GMT hand. Currently, the Atlantic Automatic is one of the first models to enjoy the new movement.
Everything you need to know about the dial and bracelet
Why people choose a GMT watch is obvious. The timepieces with the four hands are the ideal companions for business travelers, globetrotters and adventurers. The world time design was innovatively clarified for this purpose with a globe that sits in the center of the dial. However, the focus of the ZEPPELIN Atlantic Automatic GMT is not on pure functionality. Instead, you have to take a closer look more often to read off the world time from the GMT hand. This is green in both cases. However, it stands out even more against the dark blue dial. At 3 o’clock, a date window has been inset.
While the silver Atlantic Automatic GMT comes with a black leather strap, its blue sister model has a brown variant, also made of calfskin. Both stand out with their smooth leather look on the top but are very soft and comfortable to wear on the inside. On a positive note, we have to emphasize how high the level of detail is here as well. Leather engravings can be found on the upper and lower sides. I find the iconic ZEPPELIN logo on the top particularly successful. Like the case, the buckle is also made of stainless steel.
My conclusion about the ZEPPELIN Atlantic Automatic GMT
ZEPPELIN has sensibly supplemented its Atlantic collection and presented an attractive overall package with the ZEPPELIN Atlantic Automatic GMT, which stands out from the mass of GMT watches and puts the theme of ‘world time’ unagitatedly and lovingly at the center of the watch. Visually, the Atlantic GMT stands out. This applies not only to the globe embedded in the center of the dial, but also to the rest of the design, which, especially in the case of the 84681, is reminiscent of a historical measuring instrument, such as one might have found in the cockpit of a ZEPPELIN airship.
However, the strongest argument why you should reach for the Atlantic Automatic GMT is hidden inside the case. The brand new Miyota 9075 finally makes the “real” GMT function affordable. All, for whom the purchase of a “Flyer” GMT has failed so far because of the necessary small change, can now fulfill a wish.
Qualitatively, ZEPPELIN delivers the usual performance. Chic materials and a convincing workmanship: the price-performance ratio of the men’s watch is very good. Both references are just 499.00 euros RRP. The only thing that remains is the agony of choice for which color variant to opt for. But that is a matter of taste.
In the following you will find all further links to the two references as well as to the brand ZEPPELIN.