Off the Cuff: Jack Mason Strat-o-timer

If Jack Mason was aiming for vintage vibes, the brand nailed it with the Strat-o-timer. Coming in on the tail end of a banner year for affordable GMTs, the Strat-o-timer looks and feels like a watch that has been around for a long time. Taking its cue from the seminal GMT Master 6542, with its iconic Pepsi bezel, red-tipped arrow GMT hand, and lollipop seconds, the Strat-o-timer manages, somehow, to be retro and fresh at the same time.

Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT @calibre321

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A large part of its success is, well, its lack of excess. The Strat-o-timer dial, for instance, is straightforward with chunky, applied block hour markers and a simple baton handset. Text is relegated to the bottom half of the watch, and the logo is pared down. It has the unpretentious charm of a department store skindiver from the 50s. And yet, each element is finely crafted, leaving subtle touches to speak volumes.

Those hour markers, for example, have a polished, beveled edge which slants toward the center of the dial and have been back-filled with U-shaped plots of BGW9 Super-LumiNova (the GMT hand is equipped with C3). The baton handset, too, has finely bevelled edges on either side of a flat, lumed-filled plane, and the opposite end of its lollipop seconds is coloured in red, white, and blue. I particularly like the nostalgic Strat-o-timer script.

Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
Subtle dial details speak volumes @calibre321
Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
Engraved, screw down crown @calibre321

The Start-o-timer is the sort of watch that reveals itself slowly over time with elusive details–like the engraving of the brand logo on its finely knurled, screw down crown. Or the double-edged bevelling of its polished bezel. Other details pop with much less subtlety, like the double-domed sapphire box crystal, through which many beautiful distortions can be gleaned at angles. Or the milkly sapphire bezel insert.

Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
Organic cushion case @calibre321

But what really differentiates the Strat-o-timer from other GMT Master-inspired watches is the cushion case. Made from 316L stainless steel and measuring 40mm in diameter, the Strat-timer case has a lovely, unified brushing along the top and through the lugs. This is offset by the mirror polish along the curvaceous mid-case. The overall impression is organic, like a sea-smooth pebble. The watch is also a conservative 47mm lug to lug and 13mm thick with its dome. Like a diver, it promises a considerable 200m of water resistance.

Originally, I was surprised with the caliper reading, as the watch wears smaller than its already prudent dimensions might suggest. I suspect this is due, in part, to the cushion case, but also to the broad bezel and large hour markers, which visually shrink the dial space.

Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
Straightforward charm of a 50s skin diver @calibre321

The back of the watch has a display window, also fashioned from sapphire and attached to the watch with four screws. Through it, you can see the Miyota 9075. Production models will also sport a customized rotor, engraved with the brand’s name and striping. This final touch is not visible on the prototype featured here.

Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
Display case back @calibre321

The movement, like Seiko’s NH34, is at the forefront of this latest wave of GMTs. However, unlike the NH34, the Miyota is a traveller GMT with a jumping hour. This means that the wearer can set the GMT hand to the time at the point of origin and then simply adjust the local hour hand while traveling. The 9075 is also a 24-jewel, 4Hz calibre with a smooth sweeping second hand. Under normal circumstances, the movement is accurate to within -10/+30 seconds a day. However, Jack Mason regulates the movement in house so that it will be accurate to +/- 5 seconds per day. It has a 42-hour power reserve.

Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
BGW9 Super-LumiNova with a C3 GMT hand @calibre321

The Strat-o-timer comes standard on a stainless steel, jubilee-style bracelet with screwed links, tapering nicely from 20mm down to 16mm. It has quick release lug pins and a signed, milled clasp. The prototype has four levels of micro-adjust; however, the production model should be capable of on-the-fly adjustment with a “glide-o-lock” system.

In addition to the Pepsi reference, Jack Mason will offer the Strat-o-timer in a Coke bezel with grey dial, as well as an orange and black bezel with a silver dial.


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Specs

Case316L Stainless Steel
40mm Diameter
47mm Lug to Lug
13mm Thick (/w Crystal)
20mm Lug Width
Bidirectional 24-Hour Bezel
Screw Down Crown & Display Case Back
200m Water Resistance
Dial & CrystalDouble-domed, Box Sapphire Crystal
Sunray Blue Dial
Applied Markers
Baton Handset
X1 C3 & BGW9 Super-LumiNova
MovementMiyota 9075 Traveller GMT
Regulated In-House (+/- 5 secs/day)
24 Jewels
28 800bph
42-Hour Power Reserve
StrapStainless Steel Bracelet
/w Screwed Links, Milled Clasp
& On-the-Fly Micro-adjust

Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT


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Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
Iconic Pepsi bezel @calibre321

Of Interest

The Strat-o-timer is currently available for preorder on the Jack Mason website, with deliveries beginning in March. The first 500 units reserved will be accompanied by an early bird bonus package that includes an exclusive two-strap set of FKM rubber and leather. Those who order now will also receive three leather bag tags, a digital print of the original design sketch, and first access to the brand’s next launch–the Seatrek 40.

For the first time, Jack Mason will be assembling and regulating the watch in the United States.

Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
40mm case with a lug to lug of 47mm @calibre321

Quibbles

Like the hour makers and handset, the numerals in the sapphire bezel insert are lumed with BGW9; however, in the prototype at least, there is a noticeable difference in the strength of this lume in comparison to that of the dial elements.

Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
Powered by the Miyota 9075 @calibre321

Final Thoughts

The Jack Mason Strat-o-timer is an attractive timepiece. It oozes retro charm. But more more than that, it exudes quality. There is a certain heft to it in hand or on wrist. The level of fit and finish instils confidence. Clearly, a great deal of thought has gone into the design of the various elements, as well. The crystal is gorgeous. The dial is effortlessly balanced, and the 7-link bracelet is robust and comfortable. Only a year ago, it would have been difficult to envision an automatic traveller GMT of this quality for under $1000. Now enthusiasts are being spoilt.

The Strat-o-timer is currently available for pre-order at $999USD. For more information, please visit the brand website.

Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT Watch Review
Jack Mason Strat-o-timer GMT @calibre321

About the author

Brent Robillard is a writer, educator, craftsman, and watch enthusiast. He is the author of four novels. You can follow him on Instagram.


Off The Cuff articles are full-length, hands-on reviews of the watch 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.

Please understand that using any links to products on this site might result in us making money.

3 thoughts on “Off the Cuff: Jack Mason Strat-o-timer

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