Lorier has been on a roll. They’ve released updated versions of most of their lineup and have been able to keep buyers happy with frequent restocks. Lorier is now at a place where their fans are loyal and are looking for the next best thing from the beloved microbrand.
The call has been answered with a highly anticipated GMT, the Lorier Hyperion. GMTs often seem to be a steppingstone for microbrands once they have established themselves with dive, field, and sport watches. A GMT often gives a brand the ability to innovate on a platform of one of their successful watches, as Lorier has done with the Hyperion. Let’s take a look at the Hyperion and why it was so hyped.
On the Wrist
When I received the Hyperion for review and sized the bracelet, it felt immediately familiar. The last watch I had from Lorier was the Neptune and it quickly became one of my favorite microbrand dive watches because of how comfortable it was. However, I found that the Hyperion was even more comfortable. This surprised me. Generally, GMTs tend to be thicker than their 3-hand counterparts because of the slightly thicker movements. Lorier has found a way to make the Hyperion almost 2mm thinner than the Neptune.
There’s more to the comfort the Hyperion offers than just how thin it is. Lorier’s formula for their case design revolves around creating cases that look boxy from certain angles but are more svelte than one would think. The lugs gently turn down as they leave the case and despite a middle-of-the-road 47mm lug-to-lug, it wears smaller.
The GMT complication is subtly executed on the Hyperion. There are some definite cues that can be identified from the Tudor Black Bay GMT. The arrow hour and seconds hands combined with the diamond-tipped GMT hand give the impression of various elements working in unison. The GMT hand can blend into the dial at times because of its small size. There’s no mistaking that this is a GMT because of the bezel, but the subtlety in which it is executed is well-done.
The Hyperion allows the wearer to track 2 time zones. There are plenty of GMTs with an additional 24-hour track on the chapter ring for tracking 3 time zones, but I find these impractical for everyday use. The 48-click bi-directional bezel is just what you would want from a usability perspective. It is fast and easy to spin the bezel to track the time zone you want.
Lorier Hyperion Video Review
Another part of Lorier’s design formula is integrating a vintage aesthetic into their watches while still creating something modern. This is evident with their dial design. The dial is completely printed with Lorier’s branding at 12 and 6 o’clock. I’m not sure if it is the font they use or we’re just used to their design language, but this feels like a new-old-stock vintage watch. Part of what aids in the vintage styling is the acrylic crystal. This is a hallmark of Lorier’s watches and it adds a warmth to the dial that sapphire can’t achieve.
If you’ve been keeping track of Lorier’s previous releases, the markers and handset won’t surprise you. They’ve used a similar handset on all their watches, and it fits the watch perfectly. While I mentioned above that the hands all work together well, I would like to see Lorier evolve this handset in their next release.
A roulette date wheel is present at 6 o’clock. This type of date wheel feels right at home on a bi-color-bezel GMT watch; it offers a complement to the bezel. The date window is bordered by a polished tapered rectangle that adds a nice touch of flash to the dial. It gives the wearer a quick reference when looking for the date.
The hands, markers, and bezel are coated in plenty of lume. I’m happy that Lorier chose to add lume to the bezel. Although some may consider it a break from the strict vintage aesthetic Lorier follows, it adds functionality to the watch; the second time zone can be quickly read at night. The bezel itself is easy enough to operate, but I wish it were a touch thicker. Because the edge is polished and thin, it can be difficult to grip sometimes.
Case, Bracelet, and Movement
I mentioned in the beginning of the review that the Hyperion is thinner than the Neptune. Looking at the profile of the case, it is stunning to see just how the thin case is. The midcase looks as though it is the same height as the crown. Although the crown is larger, it isn’t huge, so in context this speaks to how thin the case is.
The finishing on the case is just as good as other Lorier watches. The polished chamfer that runs the length of the case further breaks up the case height, assisting the thin look the case has. As we’ve come to expect from contemporary tool watches, drilled lug holes are present on the Hyperion (although I haven’t wanted to take it off the bracelet yet).
Lorier has created one of my favorite bracelets and I’m thrilled to see it return on the Hyperion. The flat 3-link bracelet is always fun to observe in nearly any lighting conditions. As you roll your wrist, the light bounces off each link in a slightly different way, creating a hypnotically beautiful effect. There is more to the bracelet than good looks. It is comfortable thanks to the 20mm-to-16mm taper. My favorite type of clasp (double push-button) is also present. The clasp is small and unobtrusive, aiding in overall comfort.
Movements aren’t something I harp on too much in my reviews. Most buyers are informed well enough about the movements most microbrands are using. However, that may not be the case with the Soprod C125 GMT movement inside the Hyperion. Soprod is a Swiss movement manufacturer and their GMT movements are starting to pop up in more watches.
The benefit of the C125 is its thickness, or lack thereof. This movement is part of the reason the Hyperion is so thin. Using the movement to set the time and date on the watch will be familiar to owners of the Hyperion. The crown positions are the same as other popular GMT movements. I found that setting the date has a satisfying punch to it and setting the GMT hand felt quick and snappy.
Baltic Aquascaphe GMT
I can’t finish this review without talking about the Baltic Aquascaphe GMT. The Aquascaphe GMT launched around the same time as the Hyperion and comparisons were quickly made on social media. Lorier and Baltic seem to share a similar space in terms of their popularity and watches they release. Both watches feature a vintage-inspired look and seem to be aiming for the same segment. When it comes to GMTs, they also share styling, specs and the same movement. The only differences between the Hyperion and Aquascaphe are the latter offers additional color options and a sapphire crystal, and costs about $320 more; in my view, though, the first two do not justify the third.
Travelling to places where I may find a use for a GMT may not be in my immediate future. However, there is something charming about GMT watches. I’m not sure if it’s the 4th hand or their link to different places and people, but I always get excited when I review a GMT. The Hyperion is a solid follow-up to their catalog of dive watches and it’s easy to see why the brand’s watches are so popular. They’re well-built and have looks to match.
When the Hyperion launched, there were quite a few voices claiming that all they did was add a GMT hand to the Neptune. It is a shortsighted approach to take. There are many brands (think Rolex) that do the same thing and get a pass for it. If we’re not going to give those brands grief for it, then we shouldn’t do it to Lorier. Not only that, but Lorier did more than just add a GMT hand to the Hyperion, much of which I have discussed in this review.
The Hyperion is the first GMT that has come across my desk that has truly made me think I need a GMT in my permanent collection. It is versatile and wearable enough for everyday use. Many GMTs launched in the past year or two are built like tanks and while there is nothing wrong with that, it reduces their versatility for everyday use. Lorier has managed to buck that trend and created one of the most compelling buys in the GMT market. If you’ve been looking to fill that void in your collection, the Hyperion may be the watch to complete it.
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Lorier Hyperion Specs