Roamer innovates

November 2000

Roamer innovates by launching two exceptional watches:


Roamer, developing quality products accessible to the greatest number, introduces a world premiere: a watch equipped with a continuous battery life indicator, an easy-to-use alarm and a central display indicating a second time zone. The STINGRAY ALARM GMT has the looks of a chronograph without actually being one. Its designers wanted to give it useful functions, as opposed to simple time counters that are rarely used.

Roamer is the first watch manufacturer to equip one of its products with the movement developed, on its initiative, by ISA at Les Brenets, and fitted with a permanent battery service life indicator. The watch has two time zones (GMT) , and also an alarm. The STINGRAY ALARM GMT is manufactured from stainless steel and has a very robust steel bracelet and a scratchproof sapphire watch glass.

The main problem with quartz watches lies in the wearer's uncertainty regarding the service life of the battery that powers them. Generally, the battery runs down at the wrong time and in the wrong place, and is sure to be bothersome. Of course, EOL (end of life) systems already exist, which forewarn the end of the battery's life. However, since this warning is given one or two weeks at best before the battery becomes flat once and for all, the drawbacks of it stopping at the wrong time or in the wrong place are still a problem in most cases.

With the “Power Reserve Indicator”, the STINGRAY ALARM GMT from Roamer eliminates this drawback. The fruit of new technology found also in hand-held cameras and video recorders, this system indicates the battery's residual service life by means of an indicator on the dial. This type of analogue power reserve indicator can also be found, for example, on certain luxury mechanical watches. The person wearing the watch therefore knows at any time if he can make a journey with his existing battery, or whether, on the contrary, he would be better advised to replace it before setting off. And for travellers, this same movement provides an extremely easy to use alarm. Generally, setting the alarm on a watch, particularly a quartz model, involves a series of operations, repeatedly pressing buttons, etc. Once this has been done, a degree of uncertainty remains as to whether the alarm actually has been set for the right time.

No more worries with Roamer's STINGRAY ALARM GMT. All that's required is to set the alarm hand to the time you want it to go off, press the button, and a separate indicator moves to the “on” or “off” position. The person wearing the watch can always check visually whether or not the alarm is set. Even better, while setting the alarm the power reserve indicator is displayed. So setting the watch's alarm is not only an extremely simple procedure, but the user can also tell straight away whether the remaining battery life will enable the watch to do the work required of it.


Today's trend is steel. However, steel is white; with so many products on the market we have reached a kind of uniformity, and where there is uniformity the risk of boredom is never far behind. In fact, watches are becoming increasingly “white”. Anticipating the return to colour, Roamer urged their partners to develop a process whereby it is possible to “colour” steel. This innovation is behind the launch of the champagne PVD DREAMLINE II.

During his many travels, the group's chief executive Steve Kocher noted with some frustration two years ago that the trend in watches was towards steel, and therefore the “white” look. The dynamism of shop windows was giving way to a kind of uniformity and monotony. Yellow gold had lost a considerable amount of its value, and two-tone plating effects were losing their appeal. Steve Kocher wondered then what was required to add a little colour to collections, which seemed invariably to run the gamut of white, gray and black.

He therefore asked Roamer's industrial partners to set up a research programme with a view to finding a form of gold plating that was not yellow, and therefore reminiscent of both gold and steel. The idea was to find a softer and more feminine coloured steel, not aggressive, like the colour of a fine champagne.

After 18 months of research, the solution appeared in the form of a PVD. The main difficulty was to stabilise the colour in the production process. Indeed, it is imperative to provide durability over time as well as wear strength of the watch on the user's wrist, and this is why the PVD technique was chosen. It involves a form of ionic particulate bombardment, in a vacuum, adding to the base metal a number of molecules that then become integrated in it. It is not therefore a question of adding a layer over the metal, but of integrating the colour in the metal intself. It's a very sophisticated technology, widely used in particular in the aerospace industry. The DREAMLINE II is therefore manufactured from stainless steel of champagne PVD, with an ISA quartz movement and ascratchproof sapphire watch glass.

From Roamer's Press Release