Reviewer: Don aka Tattoo Chef
Watch donated for review
Watch Being Reviewed: Gruppo Gamma Genesis (G5) Auto with date
Company Website: http://www.gruppogammawatches.com/index.html
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GruppoGammaWatches
Contact: [email protected]
We're a boutique watchmaker specializing in the modernization and reincarnation of legendary tool watches issued to Italian Navy commandos circa WWII.
We want to build the ultimate affordable tool watch. In design, we differentiate through balancing aesthetics with ergonomics. In implementation, we differentiate through material selection and production control.
We source our parts carefully and work only with suppliers and dealers we trust, in the same way we'd like to earn your friendship and trust.
We're based in Singapore and we sell our collection via our website.
Our logo was aesthetically inspired by the emblem of the Decima Flottiglia MAS, home of the Gruppo Gamma naval commandos. However, the association ends here.
The rose symbolizes the sweetness and beauty of life, and the skull is a sober reminder that we only live once so we should live high, live mighty, live righteously and take it easy.
Weight 130 grams
Lug to Lug 54mm
Screw down crown
Water resistant 10atm
Domed Mineral Crystal on front, flat mineral crystal on back
Seagull Grade 1 TY255 movement
24mm leather strap
C3 green superluminova
I must say initial impressions were very good.
This particular example comes on a custom 74 watch strap, which is who Gruppo Gamma works with to offer custom leather straps at an additional cost.(more on that later).
I have never owned a Parnis or Marina Militare watch, so I can not compare to that, but I have to say I was impressed for the price point of $230.
The Gruppo Gamma watches all come in impact resistant zippered pouch, with a Gruppo Gamma G logo in green. The pouch is very nice, and the watch was secured in the elastic strap and also was bubble wrapped. The pouch can easily be used to carry the watch and extra straps in the top compartment, or, if you were to put a piece of foam on top of the first compartment, you could put a second watch up in the top part, making it a convenient 2 watch travel case. A very nice and useful presentation box.
The dial is a classic Pam style dial, with sandwich numbers and markers, thin sword hands, date at the 3 and small seconds at the 9oclock position. The dial is a nice deep black and the cut outs for the sandwich markers and lume application is done very well for a watch of this price point. I was honestly expecting it to be kind of sloppy.
I also like the fact that except for the brand name there is no other writing taking up space on the dial.
Case, Bezel and Crystal:
The case is a vintage Pam style case, very similar to watches made by Benarus or Magrette. Please note, I am not exactly comparing finish or quality to those brands, only design.
I must say though, the finish is pretty nice, all high polished case, bezel and crown. No rough edges, no sign of cutting corners.
The lugs utilize one sided screws, making strap changes a breeze.
The crown is a large screw down crown, that is very knurled for easy gripping and turning. It is signed Brevet , which is a military term and has what I believe to be a Swiss cross logo.
I will mention that the crown unscrews and screws very scratchy, almost like is not oiled enough. This to me would be one of those watches that if you have a watch winder, use it, as I don't think you want to be unscrewing the crown every few days to set the time. I have done so a few times without any issues, but just doesn't feel like its a normal thing when doing so.
The crystal is a domed mineral crystal. As you can see in some photos it creates a blur or distortion, especially for snapping pics. It has a greenish tint to the crystal as well. On the wrist its really no different than many other domed crystals I have had, does not create much distortion or detract from being able to tell the time.
The Gruppo Gamma G5 has an open or exhibition case back showing off the Seagull movement. As you can see the steel part of the case back is high polished as well, matching the rest of the watch. The Seagull movement is nicely decorated, which is something I always want to see when it has a glass case back.
Custom Strap(74 Watch Straps):
This example sent to me, comes on a 74 Watch Straps Stagionato strap. 74 Watch Straps is a custom strap maker that Gruppo Gamma works with for upgraded premium straps.
This was sent to me as such to show an option of what you can add to your Gruppo Gamma Watch.
The regular leather strap that comes with G5 or any of the Gruppo Gammas is soft but much less refined. I know this from the G3 model we gave away on the forum a few weeks back. A nice strap for the price of the watch, but no comparison to this strap below.
You can order these in standard size of 130/80 , which is what this is, or you can request a custom size shorter or longer.
This Stagionato strap is fantastic. Upon first putting it on, I was only able to get into the second hole from the bottom, but after wearing for a day or so, it "stretched" and now I fit in the 3rd hole very comfortably.
It has that aged appearance, light brown in some parts, dark brown in others, is 4.5mm thick an has unsealed edges. It comes with one fixed and one loose keeper. It comes on a signed, polished Pre-V spring bar buckle.
This strap is smooth ,soft and supple, it almost has a feeling of horween leather. This example costs $120 extra and they also have two other options to choose from for custom straps, the Classico at $100 and the Kampfschwimmer for $55.
Wrist shot on my 7 1/2" wrist:
I am the first to admit I am not very familiar with Seagull movements as I believe I have only owned one other watch with an actual branded Seagull(as opposed to a re-worked or re-branded Seagull movement)
I am not sure if the movement itself, or the construction of the watch, but as mentioned above the crown turns and winds very scratchy, and the rotor is noticeably loud.
So far after about 2 weeks of wearing it on and off, I have not noticed any issues with accuracy, it seems to be about 10 seconds slow on the average, which is not bad.
The lume is very nice, glows super bright for about 15 minutes or so, and then slightly fades, but I was able to see it in the dark many hours after having no light source. I was impressed with the lume on a homage watch of this price point.
Now as I said in the beginning of this review, I have not had any or have seen any of the other similar types of Pam homages in person. So I can not compare to those.
Being truthful, I always said I would never own one of these types of watches, as far as a Chinese Pam homage, because I didn't think the quality would be what I am used to.
With that said, for the price point of $230, I was surprised at how good it was. The finish is very nice, the dial work is spot on, and the movement is keeping good time. As I said earlier though, the crown is very scratchy and the rotor is extremely loud when it spins(though this could be due to a thin mineral crystal on the back, making it easier to hear).
I like that you can choose from 3 different standard straps(black, brown, and tan) and that they also offer premium custom strap options.
Overall, I think its a nice watch for the price, and I am considering picking up a California dial option, as they are good affordable strap watches, which don't come across as cheap looking.
One thing I would like to see them offer as an option would be a sapphire crystal upgrade. That is the one thing I am not in love with on this watch, as I am not a fan of mineral crystal, especially domed mineral. Maybe offer sapphire for an extra $30 or so. I also wouldn't mind if they offered some brushed case versions, as not everyone likes high polished cases, and it might open some people up to ordering one.
Thank you for reading, as always I look forward to your comments.