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Watch Reviewed: Gruppo Gamma Chrononaut

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Gruppo Gamma



Company Information:

Email: [email protected]
Website:http://www.gruppogammawatches.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GGstrumento?_rdr=p
Instagram:https://instagram.com/GruppoGamma/
Twitter:https://twitter.com/GGstrumento



About from Company Website:


Gruppo Gamma was founded in 2013, fuelled by a strong desire to design and build timepieces that can be appreciated by collectors and aficionados.

Within months of the company's formation, a group of watch owners started an online community now known as Club Gamma. Having been through ups and downs together, the Club now with over 1,500 members has become a close-knit community comprising customers and dealers from all over the world and all walks of life, engaging in all stages of our products' lifecycle.



Globalization and the Internet has seen an explosion of new brands. Over time some thrive and others fall. While we love brands with heritage, we’re not about to acquire defunct brands or write fanciful stories pretending to be what we aren't.


Our designs are retrospective and convey military and maritime undertones. After all we’re based in Singapore, a country surrounded by water and where fellow countrymen serve in the military. We're a microcosm of Singapore - small, with neither the tradition of old civilizations nor price-competitiveness of developing nations, but we're hardworking, passionate and have an eye for detail.



We produce between 1,000 and 2,000 pieces a year and don't enjoy scale efficiency like big companies do, but being small and independent we can focus on giving you the best ownership experience possible. We're here for the long haul and a significant portion of our earnings is re-invested into product development.



​​It's often said that when we buy a timepiece we buy into a story. With Gruppo Gamma, you get to write that story with us. ​




Gruppo Gamma Chrononaut


Stock Photo:






Description from the company website:


In 1956 Ervin Piquerez SA designed the "Super Compressor" watch case that, with its unique sealing method, set it apart from other dive watches. It's also said that Aquastar circa 1960 introduced watches with rotatable chapter rings to mark elapsed time. Twin-crown dive watches with rotatable chapter rings were the rage in the 1960s.


The Chrononaut collection seeks to revive the design of twin-crown watches while using modern materials and manufacturing techniques. Even as we maintain the signature styling cues of Gruppo Gamma, watch aficionados would immediately recognise the subtle tribute we pay to the classic watches of times past.


The name 'Chrononaut' came about because the watch keeps track of two time zones. The rotatable chapter ring marks a second time zone and is useful for overseas travellers, workers collaborating with team members from other countries, as well as folks with loved ones residing in different time zones. With intensely bright luminescent markers the Chrononaut ensures readability at all times.


While smaller and slimmer than our other collections to date, the Chrononaut is no less a capable tool watch. Powering the timepiece is a Swiss automatic movement. The surgical grade stainless steel case with box-shaped sapphire crystal is engineered to a depth rating of 300 m/ 1000 ft. Two screw-down crowns - one for winding and timesetting, and the other to turn the dial ring - make this timepiece stand out from the rest





Watch Specifications:

- Case: Stainless Steel, Brushed
- Crystal: Sapphire, double domed with underside anti-reflective coating
- Caseback: 316L stainless steel, screwed in
- Movement: STP1-11 by Swiss Technology Production SA, 28,800 bph
- Dial: Matte Black, Embossed C3 Superluminova markers
- Hands: Matte Silver Color, with C3 Luminescent Markers
- Diameter: 42 mm
- Length: 50 mm
- Thickness: 12.5 mm
- Weight: 110 g with strap
- Water resistance: 30ATM / 300 Meters


Price: $650

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Gruppo Gamma is a Singapore based watch company, which was founded in 2013. For this watch review, the company has provided one of its new Chrononaut models for review. This is a vintage inspired dive watch, with an automatic movement and sapphire crystal.




Case:

The Gruppo Gamma Chrononaut is designed with a “super compressor” style 316L satinless steel case. The majority of the case’s surface has brushed finishing, with only the side edge of the bezel being polished. Overall, the finishing on the watch is nicely done and evenly applied throughout the entire surface of the case. The attention to detail is very nice and great to see.





As I mentioned before, the design of the Chrononaut has a “compressor” style. This style pays homage to the dual crown super compressor cased watches from the early 1960’s and 1970’s such as the Hamilton 600, Enicar Sherpa Super-Dive, Wittnauer Super Compressor and the Benrus Ultra Deep. Some readers of this review may not be familiar with this genre of watch, so I will provide a little more information as well as a link below to help enhance your understanding of these great timepieces.



So, what is a Super Compressor dive watch? A “super compressor” is a design that was patented by case manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. (EPSA). The name refers to this case’s feature where, because of the spring-loaded caseback, the case actually becomes sealed tighter as water pressure increases. While that design trait isn’t immediately perceptible, the trademark dual crowns at 2 and 4 with inner rotating bezel is the identifier for most watch enthusiasts. Typical examples of super compressor watches typically have a depth rating of 200m/600ft.






Here is a great write-up that will help explain more details: http://wornandwound.com/guide-super-compressors/





Similar to the vintage super compressor model’s mentioned earlier, the Chrononaut features a fixed external bezel, with an internal bezel around the outside of the dial which can be used for timing a dive or tracking time in a second time zone.









Another feature on the case, which I am a big fan of, is the inclusion of drilled lug holes. I always like to see these on a watch as they come in very handy for quick strap changes as well as help to avoid scratches from having to change straps from the back side of the watch.







As one would expect, the watch comes equipped with screw-down two crowns, which are located on the right side of the case, at the 2 o'clock and the 4 o'clock positions of the case. The lower of the two crowns is used for adjusting the time and winding the watch, where the top crown is solely used for adjusting the position of the watch's internal bezel. Both crowns screw down with a few turns, which helps keep the watch water tight.





The internal bezel includes a 60 minute register, with a triangle indicating the zero minutes or 12 o’clock position. As you can see in the photo below as well as photos throughout this review, the triangle just needs to be rotated (in either direction) to the desired second time zone and locked into place by screwing down the crown. The photo below shows no difference in the two time zones.



The watch has a 316L stainless steel display case back. The sapphire crystal shows off the nicely decorated movement, including the branded rotor. This is great to see from a boutique brand and definitely gives the watch a more refined appearance as well as a nice attention to detail.





In addition to the display back, the watch’s technical information as well as the brand name along the perimeter of the caseback.


In keeping with its super compressor design, the Chrononaut has two nicely sized, 6.0mm crowns. The crowns are decorated with the traditional cross-hatching on their ends, much like a vintage Hamilton 600. The saw tooth grips engraved into the crowns’ sides provide an excellent surface for manipulating them while making adjustments.

Unlike its predecessors, both of the crowns have screw-down functionality, which helps to keep the internal bezel secure as well as add an additional layer of protection for water resistance.







Dial and Hands:



The dial design itself is very clean looking and relatively uncluttered. I would say that it is reminiscent of a Luminor dial, with embossed numeric markers at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock positions on the dial and hash markings at the remaining hour markers. The design incorporates C3 Superluminova painted indices, which have a very slight green tinted appearance as well as the company name and model name painted in white, at the 12 o'clock and 6 o’clock positions of the dial, respectively.


The hands are hour and minute hands baton style, with a brushed stainless steel finish. The second hand has a nice glossy red finish, which provides a great contrast to the black dial and adds a bit of color to watch.







The dial and internal bezel are matte black, which provides the watch with a nice, casual appearance and is consistent with the vintage vibe of the watch. In the photo below, you can see that the internal bezel has been adjusted to the two o'clock position.







As you can see from the photos, the C3 Superluminova has a nice green glow when fully charged. The lume is very strong and fades slowly over time. As you can see from the photos below, when it is fully charged the dial and bezel light up like a torch.









Straps:



The Chrononaut comes packaged with two straps – a black rubber dive strap and a “OD” green canvas strap. Both straps are 22mm in width and non-tapered. The combination of the two styles of straps create a good variety for the watch and provide the owner with the option to wear it in a many different situations.



The watch arrived with the “tropical style” rubber dive strap installed. The strap has a woven texture throughout its length, which reproduces the tropic straps produced for vintage divers during the 1960’s. The strap itself is, frankly, awesome. It is super pliable and extremely comfortable on the wrist!






The canvas strap included in the package is designed much like a traditional rolled-edge strap. Accordingly, it is fairly stiff out of the box. To me this is to be expected and the strap does form to the wrist after wearing for a little while and is very comfortable once it does.











Both straps come with custom 316L stainless steel buckles installed. Both buckles are nicely crafted and have the Gruppo Gamma name engraved into their face. The dimensions of the buckles are proportionate to the strap widths and complement them nicely.


The rubber strap came with a nice quality, custom made thumbnail style buckle. As you can see, they did a very good job with the design of the buckle and it goes very well with the strap design.





The canvas strap came with a great Pre-V style buckle. This was my favorite of the two and it is very well made. With the combination of the included canvas strap, this custom buckle really finished off the watch design very nicely.







Movement:



The Gruppo Gamma Chrononaut utilizes a STP1-11 automatic watch movement. Swiss Technology Production started producing movements in 2006 and now serves as an alternative movement for brands who would have traditionally selected to use ETA 2824. The movement is beginning to be used in a wide variety of watches and, so far, had positive feedback regarding reliability and performance.




Swiss Technology Production - Caliber STP1-11




(Stock photo)



Technical Specifications:

· Height 4.60 mm
· Diameter 25.60 mm
· Hours, minutes, sweep second
· Date, rapid corrector
· Stop second device
· Self-winding mechanism with ball bearing
· 28'800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hz.
· 26 jewels
· Power reserve 44 hours



Below is a close-up shot of the Chrononaut's STP1-11 through its sapphire caseback. As you can see, the finishing is very nicely done, including the inclusion of the engraved rotor.







For more information on the movement, please refer to the following link: http://www.swisstp.com/cfc/Products.cfc?method=showProduct&id=STP1-11


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Wrist Shots:


For reference purposes, my wrist is 7.25 inches.


The Chrononaut measures 42.0mm in diameter and 50.0mm in length. With these dimensions, the watch is the perfect size for MANY and is certainly a popular size in the WIS community. It wears very very comfortably on the wrist and is sure to fit well on many different wrist sizes.










Overall, I have to say, this watch is outstanding on the wrist. It has great balance, fantastic proportions and its overall appearance in person is excellent.


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Overall impression and final thoughts:



The Chrononaut has a vintage super compressor inspired vibe. During my review, I was impressed with the quality of the watch as well as the design elements that Gruppo Gamma incorporated into its design. The finishing throughout the watch and the components utilized are very nice, especially the addition of the new STP1-11 that is incorporated into the design. I have to hand it to Gruppo Gamma, they did a great job with this new offering! With this being said, I feel that the watch is a fairly good value at its $650 price point, given the components used and other comparable models in the market.


During my evaluation of the watch, I found it refreshing that the watch kept its homage to the great divers of the past, but made slight updates to its dimensions and materials used to provide an updated product. It is clear that Gruppo Gamma has been listening to the marketplace/WIS communities and has delivered with this model -- a great new movement, sapphire crystal,s screw-down crowns...etc.

The only thing that some folks may complain about is the price point, but I think this watch is priced right for the quality that you get and the entire package...but, folks are always welcome to their own opinion and welcome to spend their hard earned money as they wish. But, I feel this watch is worth the sticker price.


Overall, I feel that the Gruppo Gamma Chrononaut is an excellent casual/sport watch. I was thoroughly pleased with the finishing on the watch and very impressed with the company’s well thought out design. In my opinion, it is an excellent option if you are looking for a vintage inspired sport watch, with dual time zone functionality. With all this being said, I think that this is a great value and would suggest it for somebody looking for a nicely priced casual watch!


Well, that concludes my review …Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments ~ Mark


 

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I like it. In short, its alot of watch for the money. I liken this watch to the Gavox Avidiver. Glad to see the STP1-11 going into another watch. Never thought I'd see a watch with such quality coming out of Singapore. Its an Asian watch that wants to be Swiss. A thorough review with nice pictures. Thanks for the share. :smile-thumb:
 

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chop off 2mm and you have a keeper
Good bump boy! Take two off the strap. It appears to wear large so 40 would be be nice but 42s my sweet spot.
What a solid and professional review! Thanks Mark, no doubt it took much precious time. i always appreciate Your reviews and posts; not to mention Your collection, super taste brother.
This watch has a great tool feel, that second crown feature's practical and looks the tool part. Beautiful mvmnt, we all love to see a mvmnt, if it can be serviced right. It'd wear very nice on the right strap, and several for that matter.
Thank You again Andrema, and bat.
 
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