While we here at WWR tend to focus very much on the affordable end of the spectrum, we – like anyone – enjoy the occasional foray into the world of luxury. With watches, that can mean a few different things. But, as it was the other month when I reviewed the Versace diver we’re going into the catalog of a luxury fashion brand. Today, that foray takes the form of the Salvatore Ferragamo 1898 Sport GMT.
The Salvatore Ferragamo 1898 Sport GMT is instantly recognizable as a sport watch with the profile it’s steel case cuts, the dial design (pips and bars for the indices) and the two-tone bezel insert on top. While you’ve got a handful of color options (five, actually), I requested the classic – and very popular as of late – red-and-blue “Pepsi” version.
In many ways, I’d say the Salvatore Ferragamo 1898 Sport GMT is a “safe” watch design. The 43mm case is a familiar shape and profile, albeit one interrupted by an odd bar that runs across the lower one. Not sure what that is all about, to be honest. The bracelet tucked into the lugs is a three-link with some engraving at the deployant clasp and near the top lug, and features polished center links This is a look I’ve come to rather like on a three-link bracelet. Polishing just the center links allows the watch to get just a bit of flash, but not so much it’s garish.
The dial of the Salvatore Ferragamo 1898 Sport GMT continues the theme of starting with the familiar, and then mixing it up. The dial relies on the bars-and-pips for most of the indices, and then has it mixed up with a large 12 set up at the top. The dial itself appears – at first – to be flat, but then you notice that the lower portion actually has a pattern embossed into it. This I’m sure presented some fun with the silk-screening process for that part of the dial, and shows that the brand wasn’t necessarily going to go the easy route with some of the design choices.
The handset of the Salvatore Ferragamo 1898 Sport GMT mixes things up a bit as well. To my eye, the handset feels like it might belong more on a dive watch (which, at a 200m WR you could do with this one) than something that’s more of a business traveller. In terms of the overall design, I felt it worked, and the broader hands allowed the GMT hand to disappear until you need it. Speaking of, there is a Swiss movement at the heart of this watch (as you might guess by the Swiss Made label on the chapter ring). In this case, it’s the Swiss Ronda 515-24H, a quartz movement. And there, friends, you have the details.
With a piece like the Salvatore Ferragamo 1898 Sport GMT, the question can be less about the details, and more about how it just looks on the wrist (I mean, SF /is/ a fashion house after all). For me, it was superb. Sure, 43mm is a bit larger than I normally go for, but there’s a lot here that just works for me. The (ok, I’ll name it as such) Oyster-style case and bracelet are timeless, and the sparkles of polish in there – along with the GMT complication – make for a watch that is checking off a lot of boxes for me. Once sized, it was quite comfortable on the wrist, and I didn’t really have any problems with the deployant clasp digging into my wrist.
At a price tag of $1,295, it does beg the question – who, exactly, is the Salvatore Ferragamo 1898 Sport GMT meant for? First and foremost, it’s going to be for people who recognize – and appreciate – what Salvatore Ferragamo produces. Past that, they appreciate quality, which is something that the Swiss-Made label brings to the table (and I didn’t note any issues with fit and finish in my time with the watch). Finally, it’s someone who wants no-fuss ease of use. By that mean the quartz movement will just keep on doing what it does, and the overall styling make for a watch that will blend into any number of scenarios, from poolside to penthouse. It won’t be for everyone, and many purists will no doubt turn their nose up at a fashion house creating a watch.
Me? I say, if you like the look and it fits your budget, you do you and get what you like, and I’ll be more than happy to talk all about it with you over coffee or a beer. Watches should be something that – due to realistically being a piece of functional jewelry – brings a spark of excitement to you. Some sparks are universal, and others are quite personal. And if you find your spark in the Salvatore Ferragamo 1898 Sport GMT, well, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Just head over to your local retailer (we’ve linked to NM) and check it out. neimanmarcus.com
- Brand & Model: Salvatore Ferragamo 1898 Sport GMT
- Price: $1,295
- Who’s it for? You appreciate SF as a brand, and you want a fuss-free watch to wear for everything
- Would I wear it? Yes – this is very much a classic sport watch look that can blend in like a chameleon
- What I’d change: I wasn’t particularly a fan of the large “bar” going across the lower lug. Presumably the designers had a reason for it, but it just threw things off for me
Tech Specs from Salvatore Ferragamo
- Round 43mm stainless steel case with tachymeter bezel.
- Three-link stainless steel bracelet with deployant clasp.
- Black dial with luminescent hands and markers.
- Square date marker at 3 o’clock.
- Sapphire crystal window.
- Ronda 515-24H Quartz analog movement.
- Made in Switzerland.
- 200m WR
- Aluminum bezel insert