Tested For You: The MEERSON D15 GMT

Tested For You: The MEERSON D15 GMT

This made-to-measure, motorsports-themed timepiece is more at home at 30,000 feet than inside a racing cockpit.

By Josh Shanks

I first experienced the MEERSON D15 GMT at Watches of Switzerland. At first glance, I thought that designer Alexandre Meerson had developed a chronograph, which, as Watchonista’s resident motorsports junkie, got my heart pumping. However, after a simple push of what I thought was a chronograph pusher, I found myself adjusting the dual-time complication.

This curious discovery led me to question everything I thought I knew about horological complications. As an owner of multiple GMT watches, like many, I’ve always been in the habit of adjusting my GMT functions via a watch’s crown. But in typical MEERSON fashion, for the D15 GMT, the brand has re-thought the very concept of the GMT watch.

About the MEERSON D15 GMT

Beyond my initial shock of its operation, the MEERSON D15 GMT is a very functional GMT timepiece with a range of color and strap options. Sized at 44mm and available in Grade-5 titanium or a combination of gold and titanium, the D15 GMT represents a “mid-range” offering in MEERSON’s collections.

This five-figure timepiece (it starts at $18,000) boasts a variety of flourishes that lend to its attractive wrist appeal. For starters, its 10.05mm high case curves to fit wrists of all sizes. And the case’s sharp angles with alternating brushed and polished finishes provide an atypical look for this luxury sports watch.

Powered by the AM-4705 automatic calibre made by VMF in Fleurier, Switzerland, the D15 GMT boasts a 50-hour power reserve provided by twin-barrel mainsprings. The GMT Dual-time module was developed by Dubois Dépraz, a well-known movement supplier based in the Vallée de Joux. This function allows the wearer to adjust the dual-time complication without removing the watch from their wrists.

One of MEERSON’s central talking points for the D15 GMT is its ability to display dual time zones in any condition, day or night. The brand accomplishes this by placing a skeletonized GMT hand tipped with MEERSON’s signature Oxblood color. The GMT hand is activated forward and backward via the two pushers on the right side of the case, positioned in the same way that you’d find them on a chronograph timepiece, except there is no chronograph complication to be found on the D15 GMT.

A Collector’s Take

How many times have you seen a watch on the pages of Watchonista and thought, “I’d like to meet an actual buyer of this watch,” i.e., someone who puts their money where their passions lie. For a watch such as the D15 GMT, which is limited to just 50 pieces per year, you’d think it would be comparatively rare to find a collector who has chosen to add this watch to their collection.

However, thanks to Alexandre Meerson and his team, we were able to link-up with a lovely gentleman named Jeremy on New York City’s Upper East Side, who recently purchased the D15 GMT featured in this article. We sat down for a coffee on a beautiful spring day, and I picked his mind about his purchasing decision.

How did you come to discover MEERSON? 

“April [the brand’s PR representative] introduced me to Alexandre Meerson on one of his [frequent] New York trips. His passion and expertise are infectious – I never previously thought I would be interested in the thought and precision behind designing and engineering a watch.”

Why did you pick the D15 GMT? 

“I already have a couple of classic dress watches for work and a dive watch. So I was interested in something that fitted in between elegance and sport and could be worn on all occasions.” 

What strikes you most about the D15 GMT? 

“It sits beautifully on the wrist, and the dial is a wonderful combination of precision and elegance. The craftsmanship and love that has gone into the [dual-time] system, the date window, and the ease of changing time zones is a remarkable combination.”

Are you a traveler or a racer? How does the watch fit into your daily life? 

“I usually travel every week, although not during COVID. I especially love the idea that this watch can work for all trips, business or pleasure, rather than having to take more than one watch. It has been the perfect watch during COVID with casual wear for home or a visit to the office. It is very versatile.”

Final Thoughts

Of course, the MEERSON D15 GMT might not be for everyone. It’s a nearly $20,000 bespoke timepiece (depending on configuration) that is only available at a handful of retailers and from the brand directly. In all, MEERSON only produces a few hundred timepieces a year, so it is by no means a mass-market brand. But as we found, there is a target audience for this watch: Someone who wants a unique product designed with their tastes in mind.

Available in titanium, black titanium ADLC, or grey gold and black titanium ADLC, the MEERSON D15 GMT offers several hand and dial options along with your choice of canvas or leather straps and even a titanium bracelet. The watches start at $18,000 and available on the brand’s official website and partner retailer, Watches of Switzerland.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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