Review of Momo Design Pilot GMT Automatic Limited Edition

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Model # MD095-DIVMB-01BK

Brand/Model:  Momo Design Pilot GMT Automatic Limited Edition
Movement:  Swiss automatic
Material:  titanium case and bracelet
Complications:  date display, independently adjustable GMT hand
Price:  MSRP:  about $3,495 USD; street price as low as $800 USD



Plenty of photos follow the review.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.

 

This is the third Momo Design watch I have purchased and I still own two of them.  I have found them to be well constructed, great looking designs with reliable Swiss engines and when purchased at a discount, to represent strong value.
This Momo Pilot GMT is about the largest size watch I can safely wear for my approximately 6-3/4 inch wrist without looking like a clown or street performer trying to get attention.  Even though this watch has a rotating bezel, it is an internal rotating bezel, so the watch does wear as large as it is, with a rather large expanse of sapphire crystal covering the dial. 
Luckily, the thickness of the watch and the thinness of the bracelet links help to minimize its bulk, which is also dimished because the entire watch is crafted of lightweight titanium. A black PVD fixed bezel adds a bit of contrast to the case.
The Momo Pilot GMT starts with a beautifully finished totally satinized titanium case that measures 46mm without the signed screwdown crown.  With the crown, the case is 50.2mm across.  Substantial to say the least.  Thickness is a rather trim 12.4mm, lugs are 24mm. 
From lug tip to lug tip vertically, this watch comes in at 57mm and while the lugs are not overly long, they don’t curve down too much, so keep this 57mm dimension in mind if you are considering this watch and have a smaller wrist like I do.
The display caseback is also satinized titanium and screws down, showing the ETA Swiss automatic movement.  The display back’s crystal is countersunk a bit from the rest of the caseback, perhaps for more comfort while wearing the watch.
The movement is largely unfinished except for a few blued screws and the striped and Momo-signed rotor.  A more highly finished movement would be nice, given the absurdly high retail price of this watch, but since they can be had at a discount, the movement is fine as-is.
The Momo Pilot GMT is rated for 10 atm of water resistance.
Where this watch really shines is in the dial department.  Given its large overall dimensions, the dial is relatively uncluttered and easy to read, combining good looks with functionality.  The dial is black, with an internal rotating timing bezel on the outer side of the dial, performing the function of a chapter ring.  The bezel is controlled by the black, unsigned and non-screwdown crown located at the 10 position on the case.
I was concerned about the dreaded ‘bezel creep’ that sometimes occurs with watches than have an internal rotating bezel and a non-locking crown that controls the bezel.  I had this problem with my Seiko 5 Sports, where there was no resistance on the bezel crown, so the bezel would creep slightly around the dial as the watch was worn.
I am happy to report that bezel creep is not a problem with the Momo Pilot GMT due to two factors, the location of the bezel crown and the internal resistance of the crown.  Having the bezel crown at 10 largely keeps it off the wrist, so arm movement cannot rotate the crown.  There is also sufficient resistance built into the crown, so the crown does not rotate freely.  There’s just enough resistance to keep the bezel from creeping.  The crown is easy to operate and moves the bezel in either direction with no detents.
Just inside the timing bezel is the 24-hour GMT chapter ring.  This ring is fixed, so this watch can track only one extra timezone.  The hands are satin silver with red tips and inset lume, the seconds hand is red and the GMT hand is silver with a red arrow tip with inset lume.  This design makes time reading and GMT functions easy to see and use.
The hour and minute hands and the GMT hand tip are luminous, along with the arabics on the timing bezel and the five minute markers on the dial.  Lume quality is good on the hands and average on the markers.
The dial has a fair amount of printing on it, but the font size is small, so it doesn’t intrude that much on the legibility of the dial.  Under the 12 position, ‘Momo Design’ and ‘Made in Italy’ are printed.  Above the six, ‘Swiss Automatic,’ ‘GMT’ and ‘Limited Edition,’ along with the limited edtion number are printed.  I don’t know how many watches comprise this ‘Limited Edition’ but it is probably less than 1000.
A quickset date is located at the 3 position, with a simple black on white date wheel.  Alignment within the window could be a tad better, but really is nothing to fret about.  The timesetting crown is black PVD and sets the time, date and moves the GMT hand in one-hour increments.
The dial is capped by a very slight domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.  The crystal exhibits no distortion, something to consider with a watch dial this large.
The Momo Pilot GMT is powered by the venerable and highly-regarded Swiss-Made ETA 2893-2 automatic movement, with 21-jewels and handwind and hacking capability.  Sporting a ball-bearing rotor and beating at 28,800 vph, this movement is a reliable and consistent time keeper.  During testing in my atelier, the Momo Pilot GMT has run at +2/24 hours and at least a 42 hour power reserve.
One quality control note, when I received this watch, I inspected it, ran the hands through a 24 hour cycle, wound it fully and set it to atomic time as I do all my new watch acquisitions.  About five minutes later, I looked at the watch only to see the seconds hand had fallen off!  I had the hand reset by one of my watchmakers and all has been fine since.  Not a serious problem, but again, at the MSRP of this watch, unacceptable.  For the price I paid, I could live with this QC glitch.  The other two Momos I have owned have been fine in the QC department.
The bracelet on the Momo Pilot GMT is all titanium, with the same satinized finish as the rest of the watch.  The bracelet has solid end links and a pushbutton butterfly clasp with machined deployant, with one link on the clasp signed ‘Momo Design.’  The bracelet links, as previously mentioned, as rather thin, so they don’t add extra bulk to this watch.  The bracelet is 24mm at the lugs and tapers about 20.8mm at the clasp. 
No half links are included, but the links themselves, in addition to being thin, are rather short, so it’s a bit easier to achieve an acceptable fit despite the lack of microadjustments on the clasp.  Standard split link pins secure the bracelet links and adjustment was quick and uneventful.
Presentation was the same as my other two Momo Design purchases, a black cardboard outer box and black plastic inner box.  It looks rather impressive, but the inner box is sort of cheap in its construction, so don’t get too excited.
Overall, the Momo Design Pilot GMT is a clean looking, modern design, that while being quite large, looks great on the wrist and is easy to use.  The titanium construction makes it light and gives it an understated look of both elegance and functionality.
Pros: reliable Swiss movement with true GMT capability, beautiful satinized titanium case and bracelet, clean, easy to read dial

Cons:  watch is too large for some, butterfly clasp with no microadjustments may make a good fit difficult, slight QC problem out of the box, crazy MSRP

Verdict:  buy this one at a discount and enjoy Italian design and Swiss accuracy rolled into one

Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures.

Excelsior!

-Marc


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