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Kobold SMG-1 GMT Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com Michael Kobold is an American. He designs luxury watches. And he builds them with the best parts available. No, this isn't your typical Swiss sports watch. This Kobold SMG-1 GMT is a Swiss-American-German hybrid, and it's anything but typical. As a manufacturer of luxury watches since 1998, Michael Kobold has of Pennsylvania has been on the vanguard of the incipient U.S. independent horology revival. His small factory focuses on the design, finishing, and final assembly of sports watches using the maximum of American content. At the outset of the engineering effort for the SMG-1 GMT, Kobold solicited the input of U.S. military special forces personnel to guide the design process. The result is what Kobold himself describes as a “tactical” watch for the most demanding clientele. Kobold chose a bombproof Swiss ETA 2836 automatic dual-time caliber for the SMG-1 GMT. The redoubtable case was precision-machined by Fricker GmbH & Co. KG of Pforzheim, Germany. With a screw-fixed bracelet end links, a 500-meter water resistance rating, a case like a Mosler safe, and a milled diving extension, the Kobold SMG-1 GMT is overqualified for boardroom bruising, but the watch easily complements a suit when formalities beckon. The Soarway case design, now in its second decade, is the time-tested foundation of this burly luxury diving machine. Designed in conjunction with professional adventurer Ran Fiennes and Chronoswiss founder Gerd-Rudiger Lang, the Soarway adopts canonical sports-watch design tenets; screw-down crown, unidirectional dive bezel, and screw-in case back. The lugs are short and ergonomically stellar; the crown guards offer outstanding coverage with minimal mass. As tough as the Kobold SMG-1 GMT is, its dial boasts elegance and subtlety to match. This example features a treatment that can only be described as “Rolex Explorer-plus.” The classic sports watch 3-6-9 “Explorer” treatment is present with a force and salience unheard of on vintages Rolex models, but the timeless simplicity and functional excellence of the layout endures. As a true tool watch, the SMG-1 GMT exhibits blinding (blue) nighttime luminescence, and the triangular index on the unidirectional bezel glows a contrasting green for ease of differentiation. The future of American watchmaking is guided by the best elements of U.S. and Swiss horological tradition. By embracing both, Michael Kobold and company have created a luxury dive watch that embodies the best of both the Old World and the New World. See this outstanding Kobold SMG-1 GMT in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com Video and content by Tim Mosso.