Evolving the Skipjack: A History & Introduction to Towson's GMT

The Skipjack GMT speaks to the timeless versatility of functional aesthetic. Shining light on the everlasting utility of designs from our past.

Named after the Chesapeake Bay’s distinctive sailing vessels that evolved in the late 1800’s as a result of increased demand for oysters. Today, they are used to dredge blue crabs into shallow grassy reaches of the bay’s tributaries. 

Between the two-time-zone GMT complication and the “then-and-now” principle of design, the Skipjack materializes various moments in time. Like the vessels in the Chesapeake Bay, the symbolic value and utility of Towson’s distinctive GMT will forever be called for. An instrument specifically designed for timeless appeal and use. 

The Skipjack GMT was created for those with a sports-oriented lifestyle, wishing to keep time in multiple parts of the world. Providing the ability to operate in two time zones, with an additional hour wheel, hour hand and a separate 24-hour scale. Each hourly correction of the 24-hour hand indicates the next time zone going east. 

The Skipjack line was first made available to the public in select retailers in 2011. The release of the Skipjack I, available in silver or black, was Towson’s first GMT. Limited to 250 total timepieces. Featuring a stamped guilloche dial with contrasting printed numerals. 

The traditional design language was taken from the Mission I with its simple two-tone palette, classic Roman numerals, and high-polish stainless steel case. Having a 39mm diameter with a 10mm thickness. Powered by the Swiss Made Caliber 2893 automatic movement, assembled, decorated and calibrated in-house by Towson watchmakers. Revealed by a sapphire crystal exhibition case-back. Providing measurements for seconds, date, minute and hours in two separate time-zones.

In 2018, the Skipjack line was revamped with the Skipjack GMT SKJ100, also available in a silver or black dial. A reference model limited in production to 250 total timepieces like the first collection. Now embellished with elegance and intricacies. Removing the stamped guilloche and printed numerals, replacing them with features that can only be achieved by master watchmakers. 

The enlarged 40mm stainless steel case of the SKJ100 has a layered high-polish bezel with coined mirror-finish midsections. Equipped with a push-pull crown with a quickset function for the date and GMT. Having water resistance to 50 meters. The luxurious aesthetic produces a unique clash of classic and contemporary. Elevated by the rhodium numerals, hands and indices that rest on the glossy silver or black non-textured dial. The simple palette is saturated in the light with domed sapphire crystal covering the dial. A decorated 2893-2 automatic movement is observed through the anti-reflex scratch resistant sapphire crystal exhibition case-back. Functions include: sweep-second, minute, hour, central 24-hour indicator, date window at 3-o'clock. 

The evolution of the Skipjack line maintains the same principles as the original Skipjack I. The GMT timepiece is a daily wearer designed for world travelers with sophisticated taste. The SKJ100 was modernized and styled according to trends we see today, yet the traditional identity still speaks loudly. While the printed Roman numerals were replaced with rhodium numerals and indices filled with lume, the coined case and hand-machined bezel speaks to the everlasting appreciation we have for pastime design. 

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