Model # CA301199
At a Glance:
Brand/Model: Croton GMT
Movement: Swiss quartz
Material: stainless steel case, Italian leather strap
Complications: date display, independently adjustable GMT hand
Price: MSRP (fantasy) $375 USD; street price $75 USD
Plenty of photos follow the review. Click on the pictures to enlarge.
I will admit I have a thing for GMT watches. No real reason, I really don’t use or need the third GMT hand for telling time in a different timezone. I just like the idea of a third hand on a watch that makes one rotation every 24-hours and if the need arises to know what time it is somewhere else, I am ready at the twist of the crown.
I had my eye on this Croton GMT for quite some time and when they suddenly appeared at one of the myriad ‘deal of the day’ watch sites for a very low price, I couldn’t resist. If you like big watches, this Croton fills the bill. If you like GMT watches, this Croton fills the bill. If you like bargains, this Croton fills the bill. I think you get the idea, this watch is quite nifty!
Croton is an old-line Swiss brand that has been around since 1878. They are a bit like Invicta in that they make a lot of different models (many are ‘homage’ types that copy a more expensive brand) with everything from Japanese quartz to Swiss automatics powering them. Usually, for the price, the quality and style are completely acceptable and this Croton GMT is no exception.
Croton also offers a ‘lifetime’ warranty on the movement, provided you send them $20 along with the watch if it ever needs attention. With this GMT movement, this warranty actually could prove valuable, since this movement costs a bit more than a standard quartz movement and would probably be worth repairing if the need ever arose.
The all stainless steel case is fully brushed, measuring in at a sizeable 45.6mm without the crown, 50.5mm with the crown. Yes, it’s big! The main time setting crown is signed and measures 8mm in diameter on its own. The crown @ 10 o’clock rotates the inner 24-hour bezel. This crown is unsigned but polished and is even larger, at 9mm across. Case lugs are 22mm, thickness is 12.8mm. The caseback is brushed stainless steel and screws down.
The watch features a flat mineral crystal and is factory rated for 10ATM of water resistance.
The dial is a great shade of ivory, with luminous printed hour and Arabic markers. A quickset date is located @ 4. The hands are a cinch to read, with black outlines and infilled lume. The second hand is long, straight and plain black. The GMT hand is red, with a large lume-filled arrow style tip. Lume quality is quite good on the hands, less so on the dial markers.
Minimal dial printing is another nice touch, with just the Croton name and logo near the 12, a water resistance rating above the 6 and ‘Swiss Movt’ below the 6.
The date window seems a bit small, but the date wheel aligns properly within the window. Overall fit and finish on this piece, especially given the low price of entry, is very good.
The inner rotating bezel/chapter ring rotates as previously mentioned with the large crown @ 10. This crown does not lock down, which would be a nice feature, but so far during wearing, the inner bezel tends to stay where put. The inner bezel is more of a plain white color, with the even hours printed in black, the odd hours indicated by a plain black line marker and the ‘24’ hour Arabic in red.
This Croton sports a Swiss quartz movement (presumably a Ronda Caliber 515, but I haven’t cracked the back to take a look). Timekeeping has been very fine, running within a couple seconds after about six weeks in my possession.
As a true GMT watch, the GMT hand is independently adjustable via the first crown position. Since this watch also has a rotating 24-hour bezel, it is possible to track three timezones should the need arise.
The strap is also another pleasant surprise with this Croton GMT. Crafted of Italian leather, the strap is a medium shade of brown and is quite suede-like in its look and feel. The strap has coordinating brown stitching and measures 22mm at the lug ends, tapering to 20mm at the brushed and signed stainless steel buckle. Two keepers are present, one fixed and one floating. The keepers could be a bit thicker, as they tend to twist or fold under a bit when securing the free end of the strap, but this is a very minor nit to pick.
Presentation is standard Croton, with a padded black box, hang tag and papers. Nothing over the top or too minimal, just about right for the pricepoint.
Overall, this Croton GMT would serve as a nice introduction to someone who wants to try out the brand or that needs a GMT watch for the occasional vacation or business trip. For the price, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
Pros: true GMT functionality with independently adjustable GMT hand and rotating 24-hour bezel, very nice quality Italian leather strap, clean dial layout, easy to read, Swiss movement
Cons: GMT bezel crown could screw down to lock, watch is quite large (too large for some), large protruding crowns can be a bit ungainly
Verdict: for the low entry price, this watch does what you need it to do and looks good doing so. Nice job, Croton!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics.