In 2018, Matthew Cule founded a microbrand located in Valencia, Spain. This company is known as CuleM; it is the combination of his last name and initial of his first name. His first watch collection was released through the Kickstarter funding platform in May 2019. There were ten versions from three major models, all developed for world travellers, covering 24 time zones.
Matthew developed a passion for watches at an early age with a watch his father loves so much. His father was 18 years old when he registered to repaint an old church for months and got a gold-plated watch as a reward. The case-back is stamped with “Bene Merenti”, a Latin phrase which translates to “Well Deserved.” The enthusiasm he showed in the timepiece, coincides with the creator’s zeal for travelling, which in turn motivated his watchmaking journey. His debut collection displays a well-thought-out design and performance that lets travellers be in touch with local time in a fashionable manner.
The World GMT collection is the first luxury watch collection from the independent watchmaker, CuleM – this company integrates two passions; mind-expanding travel and watches designed by the savviest Swiss craftsmanship. Crafter for watch connoisseurs who appreciate exquisite skillfully engineered accuracy timepieces and travel.
As one of the leading luxury watch collections to properly showcase the 24 world time zones in both GMT and BST on an exhibition case back, it lets you set the local and destination time on your GMT timepiece correctly. The timepiece is a collection of memories in time, a capsule of your most cherished expeditions, and an entry into a world of exploration. CuleM’s first collection combines three exceptional and beautiful styles: The Portal, The Lights, and The Frame.
The Portal GMT displays a special dial presenting an impressive and modern 21st century map of the world in three-dimensions and an exhibition caseback displaying the world time zones in 24 destinations. The sunray moire dial has an uncommon 3D effect that correctly shows the continents growing above the sea via a multi-coated system of micro-printing. The dual-time performance of the Swiss-made movement shows the local time through the hour and minute hands. The GMT 24-hour hand can also be turned to your destination time.
The Lights GMT is a minimalist dual-time watch by day and ‘light-show’ by night. There are luminescent dots spread all over the world map on the watch, with prominent cities in the world illuminated for a unique effect. The 2D map is circled by modest stick markers at the twelve, three, six and nine o’clock. It has slim hands and a large amount of super-luminova that gleams like a candle in very occupied places on the world map.
The Frame GMT displays a beautiful guilloché dial with proportionally detailed edges encompassing various countries and continents of the world. The functional dual-time feature can be set to show both local and destination times. There is a 24-hour round track on the dial with the hands patterned like mountains. The round track shows the second-time zone and beautifully portrays the clouds floating above the earth. These features make for a very unique and illustrative timepiece that will please most wearers.
Every CuleM World GMT timepiece has a date aperture at six o’clock and the colour of the hands differ in line with the case or dial. The GMT hands also have a red trilateral point that looks just like the Welsh dragon’s tail, signifying balance in movement and regulating the course of travel. The dials are covered by sapphire crystal glass with an anti-reflective layer and open caseback.
All the CuleM watches have 316L stainless steel cases measured at 40mm in diameter and 10.15mm in height. The three models come in either three or four different colourways for a total of ten watches. Case colours include simple steel, black PVD or gold plating. The models are The Portal, The Frame, and The Lights.
The CuleM GMT’s world dial is contained in a circular 40mm case enclosed in sapphire glass. The case is water-resistant up to 50 metres and features a push-down crown with a knurled pattern inspired by the waves of the mediterranean sea.
Cule packed so much detail into this collection; observe the 3D radiations on the dial and the red tip of the Welsh dragon’s tail on the GMT hand, a clue to CuleM’s tradition. These hardly noticeable details are proof of the zeal and story that has been carefully crafted into all signed into all CuleM timepieces.
The collection has a revealing steel caseback that shows a high-quality ETA 2893-2 self-winding movement (modified in five places, an average rate of +/- 4 seconds per day – a difference of +/- 15 seconds per day). It is rounded off by an inscription of the six continents and 24 locations displaying the accurate world time zones in both GMT and BST. The watch possesses 21 jewels, a frequency rate runs at 28,800 vph (4 Hz) and a power reserve of 42-hours. The functions of the timepiece include such as central hours, minutes, hacking seconds, GMT and date.
Every watch comes with two straps with quick release pins, which means that you can replace the strap within just a few seconds to compliment your style. Each watch comes with an Italian leather strap as standard with the option of an extra Italian leather or Milanese strap for the stainless steel and black PVD watches. The gold plated timepiece is available with the option of two Italian straps.
All the watches come with two 21mm Italian leather straps with fast-release levers for quick substitution. The collection also comes with a two-year guarantee and travel trunk watch box with inner drawer for any straps or accessories.
There will only be a limited number of the made-in-Swiss watches, each produced to be purchased, with only 220 timepieces available. The brand was introduced on Kickstarter but is now available to purchase via CuleM’s site and other selected watch retailers. Prices have been reduced and start from £995 for all the current models. The limited-edition gold The Portal GMT however, is available from £1,195.
Review: CuleM World GMT
For a relatively new release, the CuleM collection has certainly caught the eye of many watch lovers across the world. Its bold and unique, yet simple dial hosts unique features, from the time-zone coverage, to the illuminating cities. This collection is certainly a casual luxury piece that will peak the interest of those around you.