Guy David – A Review Of A Low Cost Mechanical Watch
Instead of discussing another Omega, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe or whatever, we have picked a Guy David watch to review. A watch of the price that some of us normally would spend on a leather strap for one of the watches just mentioned. Guy David is one of Gassan’s own label watches and we have briefly mentioned it before here on Fratellowatches.
At first sight, this diver holds somewhere in between fashion and real horology. The first thing noticed is the finish of the impressive 47mm watch case. The sides are nicely satin-brushed and the top of the lugs have this Omega Seamaster 300M polish on them. I am not sure whether the designer’s were inspired by watches like the Seamaster or Submariner, but these watches represent the classic design of a diver’s watch.
The bezel clicks twice per minute and feels more solid than on some of the more expensive ‘low cost’ divers I’ve handled before. The numerals on the uni-directional bezel are large, perhaps even loud, but at least very readable.
Guy David’s diver watch also has this cyclops for the date window, which of course reminds us of the Rolex sports models such as the Submariner. The magnification is a bit too little, certainly not the 2.5x we are used from the Submariner. Design wise, it fits the watch though.
The picture above shows the watch from the side, giving you a pretty good idea about the finish on the case. A large (unsigned) crown and big octagonal bolts emphasizes the size and ‘tool’-aspect of the watch. Attached is a comfortable rubber strap which feels soft as silicone and locks with a tang buckle engraved with Guy David logo. The stainless steel buckle also has this neat satin-brushed finish.
This photo from the side shows the domed crystal, which is a mineral crystal. A sapphire crystal alone would probably cost 200 euro for any other brand, so it would definitely increase the price of the watch a lot. You can also see that the bezel is fairly high which makes it easy to grab for operation.
On the back side, the polished case back shows all information necessary. Guy David guarantees a water resistance of 200 meters (20ATM) and notes that there is a Japanese movement ticking inside. I would have loved a satin-brushed case back, as the polished surface is quite large and contrasts to a certain extend with the rest of the watch case. Just like the winding crown and helium escape valve, the case back is screw-down as well, securing the watch for its 200 meter of water resistance.
I took the liberty of opening the case and found this Japanese mechanical automatic Miyota movement inside. A pretty straight-forward automatic movement mounted unpretentious inside the Guy David watch case. The movement is held in place by a nylon spacer, making it unattractive for a transparent case back but probably keeps the selling price interesting.
For 199 Euro, you get a mechanical diving watch with 2 years of warranty. A watch that can’t be compared to some of the watches that have been used for inspiration of the design, but doesn’t pretend it could either. You can ask yourself who’s nuts, people spending over 200 euro for a leather strap or people who buy themselves a fashionable working mechanical diver’s watch for 199 euro. Watches like these put this crazy hobby or passion all into perspective. You don’t have to spend thousands of euros/dollars to buy yourself a nice mechanical (first) watch if you don’t want to, or simply can’t.
I see this watch as an interesting acquaintance with the world of mechanical timepieces and hope that it makes the owner enthusiastic enough to keep studying watches and eventually step into the world of haute horlogerie. If not, that’s fine too, at least you have a timepiece that carries a bit of that mechanical ‘soul’ inside.
More information at ACWatch.co, selling the Guy David Diver on-line for 199 Euro.