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Hands On: CuleM Portal GMT Watch Review

CuleM Portal GMT watch

CuleM Portal GMT watch

Not too long ago, we wrote about the new CuleM watch brand and its GMT timepieces. Founded in 2018, CuleM has a sustainable and humanitarian side to it – as the company has partnered with several different organizations to give back to the environment and people. I have to say this watch is a real eye-catcher and has a lot to offer.

The watch I wore is the CuleM Portal GMT watch. Crafted in stainless steel, it measures 40mm in diameter – making it the perfect size for any wrist. It features a Mediterranean Sea Blue dial with a world map on it that has a layered look with the continents in bright and medium blue against the sea blue background. The look is mesmerizing, and the color catches the eye from across the room. The layering effect of the seas and continents gives the dial nice depth and dimension.


The dial of the CuleM Portal GMT watch inspires a bit of wanderlust.

Powered by a Swiss ETA GMT automatic movement, the  watch is  crafted in stainless steel with tilted bezel to allow for  a larger dial opening. The outer track of the dial features the 24-hour indication on a blue or white scale to also showcase day and night. A small dater aperture is at 6:00. The GMT hand with the arrow tip is bright red, which is not only easy to spot, but also recalls the Welsh Dragon’s tail (the founder of the company is Welsh, so there is a bit of personal meaning there). Another important factor with this timepiece is that it displays the correct time in Sydney, Australia, year round – something not all GMT watches can do.

While I love wearing the watch, which is very comfortable, I did have an issue with the crown. The crown pulls out all the way to set the time. To set the GMT and date, it pushes one step in. Turn it one way to set the date, and the other way to set the GMT hand. Whenever I had to turn the GMT hand more than several clicks, I would accidentally press too hard and the crown would click down. It took some getting used to in order to find the exact feel of the crown. Once I did, though, I didn’t have issues any longer.

 CuleM Portal GMT

The size of the CuleM Portal GMT fits men’s and women’s wrists nicely.

Finishing Of and Musings About CuleM Portal GMT

The caseback of the watch boast an outer steel ring with the names of the world’s 24 cities and TMT times as well as British Standard Time engraved on it. The center of the dial is transparent sapphire for viewing of the nicely finished movement and its rotor with C logo. The watch is sold with a bright blue Italian leather strap and with a second strap that  is stored in the drawer at the base of the travel-luggage style packaging. I tried both straps, but I personally love the bright  blue leather. It is super soft and comfortable and just makes the watch dial pop.

CuleM offers a five-year warranty on its watches.  The CuleM Portal GMT in steel retails for $1,000 – not a bad price for form, function and a good-looking eye-catcher. Another great thing about this watch  … when you look at it you kind of feel a little wanderlust. This is especially true if you are a traveler like me and have been in lock down. So, then I stare at the different continents and stir up some of my favorite memories. It’s a great way to connect travel and important moments.

 CuleM Portal GMT

The CuleM Portal GMT watch retails for$1,100.

CuleM Partnerships

Another nice thing about CuleM is that the brand has pledged that at least three percent of its sales will be donated to important causes. Among them: a relationship with Rainforest Trust and Ecologi to 10,000 plant trees and to protect 65 acres of tropical rainforest. Additionally, for every watch sold, CuleM plants another 100 trees and preserves more than six more acres of the Brazilian rainforest. CuleM also supports a host of other conservation and other efforts, and for the month of March, with  International Women’s Day, it is doubling its normal charitable contribution to Action Aid, which works with women and girls living in poverty.

While CuleM watches are not made from upcycled materials, they all house automatic movements instead of quartz to help keep the environment cleaner. Mechanical watches can last forever if properly cared for, but quartz watches need battery replacements. Additionally, CuleM, which has a Chief Sustainability Officer in the company,  uses plastic-free packaging for the boxes and is working to reduce its carbon footprint.

 CuleM Portal GMT

The case back shows the world’s 24 cities and showcases the movement.

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