Off the Cuff: EMG Odyssey GMT

In 2016, a couple of WatchUSeek members–Eric Goodlock and Derek Love–formed a friendship that would eventually lead to the creation of EMG Watches. A year later, with the help of HKED’s Ed Tse, the fledgling brand launched their popular Seagull-powered DL63 Panda Chronograph. Since then, the three amigos have been hard at work tweaking and releasing two new updated versions of the DL63–a reverse panda and an all black reference–as well as an attractive, vintage-styled diver in the Nemo.

The logical next step? An automatic GMT, of course.

EMG Watches Odyssey GMT Microbrand Review
EMG Odyssey GMT, Midnight @calibre321

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The EMG Odyssey has been in development since 2018. This past summer, the brand released three early prototypes: the Midnight (featured here), the Sunrise (white dial with yellow accents), and the Pepsi. However, just recently, they floated new colourways through their social media platforms, and announced the possibility of more to come.

EMG Odyssey GMT Microbrand Watch Review
Comfortable on wrist @calibre321

Aesthetically, the Odyssey is a modern take on the classic 60s compressor, with its most defining features being the interior rotating bezel and the twin crown system. Indeed, this is a GMT with serious dive watch vibes and chops. Both crowns, and the caseback, are screwed down and the watch is rated for 200m of water resistance. This is perfect for a timepiece built with travel in mind.

EMG Watches Odyssey GMT Microbrand Review
24-hour interior rotating bezel @calibre321

The case of the Odyssey is 316L stainless steel and measures 40.5mm in diameter and 48mm lug to lug with a generous taper to 20mm at the bracelet. The lugs themselves are brushed with a polished chamfer on the exterior. Likewise, the rest of the case is a mix of finishes, including brushed sides and a highly polished bezel. Both crowns are pronounced and evenly machined for comfortable, easy manipulation. The caseback offers an engraving of the world map and, more practically, a catalogue of its times zones. The lugs are drilled for simple, easy strap changes.

In addition to 60-minute dive increments, the bezel is divided into a 24-hour scale, made more visible by the dual tone–in this case grey and white–which allows the wearer the added benefit of tracking up to three different time zones, when combined with the timepiece’s extra GMT hand. The current prototype uses the Swiss Sellita SW330 (a caller GMT movement); however, there is talk of switching this out for the Soprod C125–a movement used in the Oak & Oscar Sanford and the Hanger GMT Traveler. This change, should it occur, would involve a drop in price, but little difference in functionality.


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What I find most attractive in the Odyssey, other than its iconic compressor case and double crowns, is the dial layout and hand selection. There is a lot going on in a GMT dial, and yet the Odyssey seems to strike a fine balance, from its no-nonsense logo to its stark exclamation point hour indices. Even the date window, located at six, is unobtrusive–replacing the indicator as it does. The modified paddle-style hands also seem an ideal choice in this layout. The markers and hands have been treated with BGW9, which works quite well in the Midnight colour scheme.

EMG Watches Odyssey GMT Microbrand Review
BGW9 Super-LumiNova @calibre321

Finally, the Odyssey comes with both a bracelet and a NATO strap. The bracelet is fully articulating, solid stainless steel with a 4mm taper from lug to clasp. The clasp, itself, is milled with a beveled edge and signed. It uses pushers and a fold-over keeper. There are also six degrees of micro-adjust.

EMG Watches Odyssey GMT Microbrand Review
Signed, milled clasp with beveled edges and 6 degrees of micro-adjust @calibre321
Woven water-resistant NATO strap @calibre321

SPECS

Case316L Stainless Steel
40.5mm Diameter
48mm Lug to Lug
13mm Thick
20mm Lug Width
Screwed Down Crowns & Caseback
200m Water Resistance
Dial & CrystalDomed Sapphire
Interior 24-Hour Rotating GMT Bezel
Raised Printed Markers
Date Window @ 6
BGW9 Super-LumiNova
MovementSellita SW330/Soprod C125
StrapSolid Link Stainless Steel Bracelet /w
Signed Milled Clasp
Woven NATO Strap
EMG Odyssey GMT
EMG Watches Odyssey GMT Microbrand Review
Twin screwed-down crowns @calibre321

Of Interest

The brand has been particularly transparent, of late, addressing issues with slow presales openly in social media platforms. As they continue to tweak their design, looking for what enthusiasts want, they have reached out for feedback on everything from colourways, to movement choice, and endlink design. I hope their attentiveness to the market pays off, as the Odyssey is an adroit package.

EMG Watches Odyssey GMT Microbrand Review
Clean, well-balanced dial @calibre321

Quibbles

At this price point, I am hard-pressed to see any deal-breakers, though a little lume on the interior bezel would be nice.

Final Thoughts

The EMG Odyssey flies a little beneath the radar. It is not showy or ostentatious. Already not a big watch, the Odyssey looks and wears smaller than it is, even with its two crowns. The case design and its careful chamfering give it a svelte, aerodynamic appearance, and its downturned lugs hug the wrist for a comfortable fit. While some might find an internal bezel with a screwed-down crown onerous to use, I am quite happy with the extra security. I also think the fact that it is a GMT first, and a diver second, will translate into less frequent adjustment of the bezel. I love the subdued colours of the Midnight reference, and yet, at the same time, I appreciate the sportier look of the Sunrise, too. This speaks to the versatility in the Odyssey’s overall design. Just imagine it in Watermelon…

I digress.

Like the Nemo and the DL63 before it, the Odyssey pushes all the right buttons. It feels refined. Ready for launch. With luck, others will agree.

At the moment, the timepiece is priced at $750USD. For updates and more information about the ongoing presale, check out the brand website.

EMG Watches Odyssey GMT Microbrand Review
Tracks up to 3 different time zones @calibre321

Off The Cuff articles are full-length, hands-on reviews of the watch (or strap…) in question and represent the opinion of the author only. All photos are original, unless specified otherwise. If you would like to have your watch reviewed on this site, contact us here.

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