It may not come as a surprise from my previous articles but I, like @Just2ticks also travel, a lot! Admittedly the places that I go to aren’t always destinations which you’ll find in a Virgin Holiday’s brochure, but when I travel I do, for most part, enjoy it. Before any trip I mentally go through the items which I always carry, similar to when you see the hordes of strangers at a departure gate patting down their pockets and mentally checking off each item. Passport, boarding pass, phone, wallet, hand luggage, watch….
In more relaxed situations I like to take a roll of watches, this would allow me to dress for each and every occasion I may or may not encounter whilst travelling. However when I travel with work this just isn’t possible. When I travel with work I will only take one watch. So it therefore needs to cover my needs for that trip away. My criteria for this never changes, durable, legible, date and the ability to track multiple time zones.
Enter Sangin Instruments. Sangin Instruments is a watch company that if you’ve been following my posts on @timely_moments needs no introduction. But for those not aware it is what I would describe as a veteran owned, military inspired, microbrand watch company. Jake, the founder served with the US Marine Corps and saw combat tours with the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC). During his time with MARSOC he and his fellow operators came unstuck whilst conducting operations in Afghanistan where standard “off the shelf” watches just weren’t cutting it. So Jake developed prototype watches which were then tested on the field of combat. The location where Jake’s idea was developed was Sangin.
Jake’s ethos is simple, “We needed a watch that would not attract any unwanted attention from locals or other travelers. We wanted a watch that could be worn with a suit while we briefed an ambassador or a commander, but one that could also be worn during kinetic situations on patrol or in the field”.
At the end of 2019 the Sangin Instruments Kinetic K2 was released, it was immediately sold out across it’s initial US and international releases. The model is still quite hard to get hold of but fret not, further releases will be announced across Sangin Instruments social media profiles and newsletters. The K2 has 8 different versions, a combination of different dials, bezels and case finishing which are all outlined on the Sangin Instruments website. The model we will deep dive into is the ‘K2 Pilot Matte Lumed Bezel’.
The watch itself is 42mm excluding crown, 11mm thick, with a screw down crown at 8, bi-directional bezel and sapphire double domed crystal. The watch boasts 200m water resistance and inside the movement is a Ronda 515 GMT. The movement has local time, an independent GMT hand and quickset date. It is accurate to minus 10 plus 20 seconds per month from the factory, and has a battery life of 3 years. All in all a rock solid quartz alternative compared to the more expensive mechanical ETA 2893. The fit and finish of the K2 is true to it’s specs and to Jake’s personal exacting and meticulous attention to detail. Pair it with a robust strap, I have gone for a 20mm black Zulu Alpha strap with glass blasted hardware. This combination not only matches the satin case finish of the K2 but also adds to the tactile and utilitarian feel of the watch. Even though I will only have the watch for a few short weeks (as it has been sent down from it’s owner on temporary loan) I can already tell no matter what I throw at it, the watch will come through the other side ticking and tracking not just one, but three (when using the bezel) time zones. All the while remaining what I would describe as “classy yet understated”.
When I go abroad one of the hardest (yet at the same time simplest) tasks that I often encounter is tracking the timezone of family and friends. In my experience I don’t have the luxury of pulling out my phone and checking an app for this. At least with a GMT watch I know that no matter where I am and what I am doing, I can glance down and immediately feel that little but closer to home. Sometimes that feeling is important. To me a watch with GMT complication gives me the ability to transcend time zones and continents. That is the real reason why I, as a frequent traveller, class a GMT complication to be my favourite. So whether you’re running operations in an austere environment or simply sipping cocktails in the pool, I’d say the K2 has got you covered.