Recently I have found the need for speed. Disclaimer kids don’t try this at home. Let’s just say I have been enjoying the triple digits during commuting back and forth. Really makes me miss my Roadrunner, but it’s probably a good thing that I don’t have it. I would probably have no watch fund thanks to speeding tickets. When I was a kid I had a Gulf racing jump suit. That thing was completely badass and I wish I had one as an adult. Sometimes driving I feel like Speed Racer in the Mach 5 and when the watch arrived for today’s review I knew exactly what I had to draw for the inspired art project. Especially after opening up the box and seeing the dial for the first time in person. It immediately brought back memories of me in my Gulf jumpsuit cruising on my Spiderman bicycle.
The Tsikolia GT-40 is the watch we are exploring together today and I must say that the dial is a real stunner from first sight. The colors straight out of the Gulf racing team and Ford GT-40 that won the LeMans in 1967. The winning car was the Ford GT-40 Mk IV with a 7 liter, 427 cubic inch engine. Pure badass, like me in my Gulf Jumpsuit. The GT-40 influences can be found throughout this watch. Gimmicky? Absolutely not. Personally I am not a chronograph fan, but this watch is definitely making me reconsider. The color combinations on this dial are classic and absolutely work in the dial’s overall aesthetics. Seriously, how can you not like this classic colors? Race/car fan or not, these colors are iconic.
I really appreciate the dial layout on the GT-40 and how balanced it remains dispite how busy it is. Tsikolia wanted all of the subdials to be visible and easily read so their obvious choice was to go with skeletonized hands. When using the chronograph function, the hands respond with crisp movements and return to exactly where they should, lined up perfectly. The colors that were chosen for the hands were also an obvious choice here, blue and orange, even down to the subdial hands. The subdials are responsible for seconds, 1/10 seconds and minutes when the chronograph function is initiated. I absolutely love the oversized 40 minutes marker which is functional of course but also aesthetically awesome. The other minutes are marked off by the same round style markers that are inspired by the style of numbers/display from the original GT-40 car.
The different layers of the dial creates a nice depth to the dial and gives me the feeling of gauges on the dashboard of the GT-40. The orange racing stripe at the 12 o’clock position and 6 o’clock position is tastefully down with sense of precision and elegance just as you would expect it to be on an actual car itself. There are tiny screws on the very edge of this dial that offer a slice of detail that wasn’t necessarily needed, but works brilliantly. The screws are perfectly aligned with the minute/hour markers. When I look at this dial, I can see the hard work that went into the design process and into the execution of the design in the finished product. The date window is one of my favorite parts of this dial because how it functions on two separate date wheels. As you rotate the date via the crown, the first number remains 1 for example until you get to 19, when if flips to 20 both numbers then flip. I love this.
The brushed stainless steel case is the result of a combination of automotive meets horology. Immediately noticible is the how the lugs are designed and how the strap is an undermount style connection. Tsikolia explains the design/shape of the case as “Overall shape of the case is same as car’s bonnet and fenders. If you look at top and side view you can find that. It was taken from the ford gt40 drawing.” It creates a very unique look and definitely gives this watch some interesting wrist presence. The influence from the GT-40 doesn’t stop there either, the chronograph pushers are the same shape as the headlights. I know that the pushers look nice, but how do they function? Crisp and without fail. The GT-40 wears very comfortable on the wrist and does wear slightly smaller that the 47mm suggests.
The case back has some nice detail to it and also a tie in to the GT-40. The center of the case back is exactly how the center of the GT-40’s steering wheel is set up, right down to the screw heads. Not only does this look nice but also adds a bit of added security in holding the polished stainless steel case back in place. Even the strap continues on with the GT-40 tie in detail, the holes on the strap aren’t just there by accident, the holes are identical to the same holes that are on the seats of the GT-40. The cool thing about all these details are they are done with class and elegance, without coming across as blatant car details. They are done with horological precision with the GT-40 as inspiration. The strap is padded and of course comfortable, not just a few hours comfort, but all day, 24 hour comfort. The blue stitching was a real nice touch of added detail and to carry the watch’s personality over to the strap itself.
After spending some great quality time with this watch I can honestly say that this watch is very tastefully done and does not come across gimmicky at all. The GT-40 details are done so cleverly that unless you are an expert on the details of the car itself, you wouldn’t notice that they were inspired by details from the Ford GT-40. I realize how much time Tsikolia put into designing this watch and you can see that hard work in the final production piece. This is one of the most well done car inspired watches that I have had the honor of experiencing. I easily rank it with the Jaguar inspired Bremont or the Spykar inspired Chronoswiss.
This watch is an absolute pleasure to wear on the wrist comfort wise and aesthetically, especially with this dial. All the colors and layers work so well together as this dial really reminds me of a painting from the mod era. This watch is a definite must have for fans of the Ford GT-40, racing fans, or someone looking for a different Chronograph experience. The only thing that I could find to nit pick about is that I think that the strap and lug space could have gone up a size. Not a big deal or a deal breaker, but I had to find something to nit pick about. This watch definitely deserves a test drive.
Thanks for reading and as always your comments and questions are welcome below.
Thank you Tsikolia Watches.
47mm SS case. Sapphire crystal with AR coating. WR 5ATM, Genuine leather strap. Movement ronda 5040B