San Martin "original design?" review after 6 months

Im bored and i thought id share my thoughts on this San Martin gmt SN012-G, the experience i had with it for the past 6 months and how the San martin support on ali express was.

dis gon be a long one! Like probably many of you I've seen all these youtubers rave about the quality and finishing of san martin watches but was hesitant to buy a homage, so when they released this GMT that seems like an original design (sort of) I had to get it. It's just too much of a good deal. I ordered it on Aliexpress for 260โ‚ฌ which I think is a steal for a 20 ATM watch with a saphaire crystal with AR coating, a solid Seiko GMT movement and ohhhh that on the fly adjustable clasp.

First thing to know: there are currently three versions available: one is the "old" model, which has very quickly been updated with the next two after everyone noticed its fatal flaw: the full aluminum timing bezel model, that features a classic timing bezel but with a 24 click biderctional insert. That doesn't make much sense, so SM came up with the next two: a GMT with a split bezel with numbers and a Worldtimer with the 24 city names on the half of the Ceramic insert.

About the support:

I wanted the world timer because I think the numbering just looks odd and too crowded, maybe if they hat a dot in-between numbers it would look better.

Nevertheless, I mistakenly ordered the GMT and was pretty disappointed but wasn't going to return it so I wore it with the GMT bezel for a couple of weeks and then asked the SM support trough the ali app, if they could sell me a world time bezel for the watch. Communication was a bit tricky due to the language barrier and the translating software probably struggling with trchnical terms like "bezel" but they were very patient. They sold me the "bezel" for 25 shmeckels but they just sent me the ceramic insert, I was hoping for the whole thing...anyway it also had a misprint so I chatted them up again and the sent me a new one and a link to a YouTube video on how to remove the insert and replace it.

So I did. That's why this watch has the world time bezel but the GMT script on the dial.

Now about the watch:

Well, im impressed.

The construction is solid, the finishing ist very nice for the price, the design works very well for me, the sizing is just perfect and the movement ist INSANELY WELL REGULATED!

The design seems to be somewhat original, the dial looks splendid on this watch, its an inky, reflective, wet like paint looking enamel black dial and the simple elegant sword style handset matches the whole vibe really well. It looks a bit more sophisticated than your regular dive watch id say. The polishing on the applied indices and everything printed on the dial is done to a very high level and looks high quality. The Lume is blue BGW9 Superluminova and is applied in abudnance. Giving it a quick charge at around 11 PM it still glows visible enough in complete darkness to read the time at 9 AM.

The applied san martin logo does not bother me, I've seen people complain about it.

The split bezel is something I haven't seen done like this before and does look good with the watch (the wolrd time bezel). I would have liked a different version with a 120 click unidirectional bezel.

Case & bracelet:

The case does look like your standard SM homage case at 38 mm and 39 with the bezel respectively, it wears like a dream on my 6.5 inch wrist. It is mostly brushed with only one fine polished beveling along the side of the lugs. The gip edges of the bezel are also polished but the watch is mostly burshed giving it a tooly look which i think works quite well with the enamel dial and polished hands and indeces. The bracelet is also lifted from their other watches. That being said, the bracelet is fantastic, solid links secured by screws, solid endlinks and a fantastic on the fly adjustable clasp that feels solid and adds to the wearability a lot.

Mine does have a little issue where one end of one springbar just pops out, still stays fixed in place, haven't lost the watch yet, just have to click it back into place every now and then. I also wish it had drilled lugs .... but with a bracelet and clasp this good, I can forgive it.

My only minor issue with the finishing is that It does feel a little sharp around the edges, the case and the bracelet too. Nothing too major, not noticeable at all when wearing, just when putting it on and taking it off.

The split bezel has a ceramic insert and clicks bi directionally 24 times with a solid and satisfying click. The world time bezel is a joy to use and just glance at the time all around the globe at once.


the movement is the good old NH35 by seiko but they (seiko) removed the day compication and added a collar/office GMT hand an called it NH34. Works great, keeps the nh35s robustness and this particular one ist runing well within COSC standard at 0 to +2 sec a day. I put this watch trough 7 days of non stop wear at sandy beaches and in water and it was still running within a couple of seconds of reference time.

Insane how seiko themselves don't offer anywhere near this accuracy with the same movement and rates it at -20 to +40 sec/day.

Fantastic watch for the price.

Its a proper tool watch for me, it's got the specs the size and comfort and the price to be used and abused.

If you're considering it, just go for it!

Thanks for reading my very first review :)

San Martin "original design?" review after 6 months

Yes No
  • Value
  • 200m WR
  • Domed Saphire with AR
  • Wearability
  • Clasp
  • Movement
  • Sharp edges
  • One endlink is not super safely secured

Great review, very detailed and gotta love the personal touch! Interesting when these brands try to go original with their design, and SM can really bank on their quality when they up the design game.