Lorca Model 1 Review

The Lorca Model 1 is a romantic watch. It blends elements of several iconic watches that remind me of a time I never lived through. It’s a thoughtful combination of specs and details that make the watch charming and unique.

The dial is fantastic. The sword hands end in a fine point that gives the precise feeling to telling the time, which adds to the legibility. The GMT hand stands out nicely with its diamond head that matches the 12 o’clock marker on the bezel. The sector lines bisect the dial in a subtle way. The indices play a neat trick in the light where they appear darker than the hands and give off a slightly grayish-brown color that makes it match nicely with a leather band. The minute track markers add contrast to the indices, which further highlights the different color tones on the dial.

About the minute track—the longer I wear the watch, the more it’s clear to me that this is the most important element of the dial. In some lights, where you can’t see it as well, the dial looks plain, but in daylight, it pops out beautifully and brings the other elements together. The minute track is also why it’s impossible to place your finger on the exact combination of 1950s inspiration.

While some complain about the typeface chosen for the 24-hour fixed bezel, I think it suits the watch just fine. It appears like a superscript Garamond to my eyes, which I find pleasing and gives the watch a bookish vibe. The typeface and use of a diamond at the 12 o’clock and GMT hand also reminds me of a deck of cards.

The finishing is very good but not excellent. The applied index at 12 o’clock is ever so slightly off dead center with the vertical sector line. The date wheel comes across flat and paper-like (maybe the white needs some sort of texture to it?).

The lume needs some charging to be visible at night. This is probably a weird “me” thing, but I like to check the time when I wake up in the middle of the night. The Sinn U50 doesn’t need any special charging to last the entire night though there’s a lot more lume to work there.

Wearing the Lorca Model 1 fits almost any situation. The beads-of-rice bracelet dresses it up a bit (though not as much as the Cartier Tank), but putting it on a strap makes it look more casual. I prefer it on the bracelet, which also happens to be extremely comfortable.

Now that I’ve traveled with the watch, I can say that having a GMT complication is not that useful in practice. Converting 24-hour time to 12-hour time is still slow (for me). It’s easy to misread the hour when it’s late in the hour and there isn’t much space between ticks. The best way to read the GMT hand on the Lorca is to focus on the tip of the diamond shape, not the large plot of white lume.

The Lorca Model 1 deserves more attention. Of all the vintage-inspired modern watches, this one stands out to me. You can tell how agonizing the design process must have been when you inspect the tiny details all over the watch. By my favorite definition of good taste, the sum of all these details works beautifully together.