Watchcology: Lorier - Don’t Call it a Beater!

https://open.substack.com/pub/adamrlincoln/p/lorier-dont-call-it-a-beater?r=3emutq&utm_medium=ios

In this edition of Watchcology, we’ll dive into the Lorier brand but emphasize their stellar GMT offering in the form of the Hydra III.

It seems that to some, the term "microbrand" is one of disrespect. This piece isn't going to delve into the depths of the term. I'm not in a position to say when a brand is "independent" or a "microbrand" or both. I mean no disrespect in using the term. In fact, I don’t think it’s a negative term at all. So you're not Richemont or Swatch, that’s not a bad thing. Microbrands were likely born since 2000. They're likely selling a great deal of their product online, and they're likely fairly nimble. They're also likely (not a rule of microbrands) to be more affordable than their counterparts from the larger brands.

Microbrands seem to develop very strong followings as well. It’s really nice to see startups make it big and become more successful as a brand. As an enthusiast of watches, I think that more is better. Especially in cases where the market tends to support brands that actually make something desirable, and the brands that don’t tend to disappear. Markets do work at times.

The microbrand that I’ve been quite enamored with for some time now is Lorier. Lorier is a New York-based watch company, dare I say microbrand. They got their start in 2018, this wife and husband duo of Lauren and Lorenzo Ortega have been hitting home runs since their inception. You need look no further than their website to learn what their brand language truly is. And a heads up—it’s pretty inspiring. If you are a fence-sitter about getting into watches, then this may be the stuff that pushes you firmly into the team watch habit!

They build beautiful timepieces that are vintage-inspired, designed with a #GADA philosophy (go anywhere, do anything), are mechanical, and affordable. They are well-made and have a familiar look and feel, but they are not some homage piece that’s a copy and paste from AliExpress. These are unique watches that are gently inspired by pieces from the historical watch archives, but they are all Lorier originals.

In my case, I had a very hard time picking which one would be my first piece. I say first because I fully intend to own a second and third in the not-so-distant future. For me, it came down to two of their amazing pieces. The Neptune and the Hydra were the challengers. It was a tough decision and a photo finish, but for me, I had to start somewhere, and that place was with the stellar GMT that comes in the form of the Hydra.

Before I go into the Hydra and its features and functions, I want to spend a little time on the other current offerings. Though the Neptune is currently not available on the Lorier website, they come back in cycles and are modified ever so slightly between releases to make tweaks and soft improvements. The Neptune is on the 4th iteration, and the design has definitely gotten closer and closer to perfection as it’s gone through these iterations.

At $500 (Neptune pricing), I would have tried really hard to get the Hydra and Neptune in one fell swoop, but alas I wait for the right time to pick it up. There are vibes from the cool skin divers that we all know and love but done in a way that is solely Lorier. You’ll not find a more lovely dive watch with the vintage look and modern touches than this Lorier Neptune.

On to the Hydra SIII, which is my newest addition and an incredible GMT piece. Again, if you like microbrands, then this GMT is one that is completely worth your serious look. It’s got the vintage look, extremely legible, a lovely domed crystal (Hesalite - just like the classic Speedys!), 24 hours on the dial, and a dive bezel. Whew! A lot going on with this cool watch! In addition, to all of this fun and amazing tool watch inclusions, it also has the famed flyer movement courtesy of Miyota and their 9075.

The Stats:

Retails at $600 USD (not bad considering…)

41mm case width (wears like a 37 because that’s the bezel width)

12.2mm case thickness + 2.4mm dome crystal

46mm case length / lug-to-lug

20mm lug width tapers to 16mm at the clasp

Miyota 9075 automatic movement (independent 12-hour hand)

316L marine-grade stainless steel case

Water-resistant to 200 meters / 660 feet

120-click unidirectional bezel

Screw-down crown

Domed Hesalite crystal

Superluminova BGW9 luminous on bezel, inner dial, hour, minute, and seconds

hands, C1 on outer dial and GMT hand (The whole dial basically glows)

Fully-articulating solid links secured by screw pins

Push-button clasp with 3 micro-adjustment slots (requires tool to adjust)

Included extras: microsuede travel pouch, screwdriver for resizing bracelet, Polywatch tube & polishing cloth

This watch wears small—like really more like you’re wearing a 37 mm case because visually that’s what the bezel measures in at. Phenomenally comfortable on most wrists. The Admiralty Grey color is really something and does look black at times but it’s a shade of grey that really pops on this watch dial and bezel.

The taper in the bracelet also adds to the pure comfort of this watch. That, and the fully articulating links go a long way. Yes, you need a tool to adjust the micro-adjustments, but it’s not really a big deal. The drilled lugs are a nice touch for other adjustments if you’re changing it up to go to a strap—which is really a good look for this watch as well!

I’m pretty pleased with this purchase. There’s something special feeling about this watch. I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet. I think it’s the feeling that you’re wearing a historic watch without it being historic. You have the confidence in how well made it is, and you know that the movement is a flyer, so you also feel that much cooler knowing you can skip that hour hand whenever you damn well feel like it. Going one time zone over…click…flying to Europe? A few more solid-feeling clicks. Hesalite crystal just adds to the feeling that it’s something of a throwback. And since they include the tool to adjust the watch along with the Polywatch to remove the scratches, you really have no excuse but to use it as it was intended. It’s a fun tool watch that you can wear, enjoy, connect with, and not feel like you’ve broken the bank while still getting a quality-feeling piece.

I’ll just add as a closing statement, that since James Stacey has signed off on the coolness of this tool/dive watch, then it must be a pretty good watch. After all, he’s definitely got street cred (diving cred) when it comes to reviewing dive watches. The Grey Nato knows! Feel confident about going out and picking up one of these watches, or any of the selection from Lorier. They are great watches, and you’ll feel like you’re part of something every time you look down at that piece on your wrist.

Hope you enjoyed this edition of #Watchcology!

Thanks for reading,

Adam

https://open.substack.com/pub/adamrlincoln/p/lorier-dont-call-it-a-beater?r=3emutq&utm_medium=ios

Reply
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Right on. You captured my feelings of the Hydra SIII spot on. Great shots! Wearing it, on the plane, right now!

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(Photo taken earlier 😅)

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WilliamsWatches

Right on. You captured my feelings of the Hydra SIII spot on. Great shots! Wearing it, on the plane, right now!

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(Photo taken earlier 😅)

How awesome is that! Glad you enjoyed it!! Safe travels! Did you have to change timezones??

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Twice! Haha. GRU->ATL->SEA. Pleasure to operate

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One of my favorite brands hands down.

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WilliamsWatches

Twice! Haha. GRU->ATL->SEA. Pleasure to operate

Change the jumping hour when you sat down or when you arrived home?

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Watchcology

Change the jumping hour when you sat down or when you arrived home?

For me, 20mins to landing! That’s my special little time to adjust hour. Then I double-check the time is correct when we touch down and they announce local time.

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WilliamsWatches

For me, 20mins to landing! That’s my special little time to adjust hour. Then I double-check the time is correct when we touch down and they announce local time.

Nice to have a routine!

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That lume!

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One of the nicest watches I own....

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Perfect #lorier 👌🏻