Those who are familiar with my taste in watches will know that when it comes to brands, I am slightly skeptical. So when asked to take a look at the Gane C1 Sandy Salmon, I followed my usual process. I always approach slowly, making no sudden moves. From a distance, the promise of refinement and quality is hard to pin down. Upon approach, it often fades like a mirage. However, on some occasions, the mirage doesn’t fade, and the quality turns out to be quite real. But not all microbrands are created equal. How did Gane’s very first offering fare under close inspection? Read on to find out.

Launched on the 20th of July 2021, Gane Watches was founded by Raymond Pee. A Malaysian native living in Singapore, he teamed up with a well-established Swiss company to make his designs a reality. Following a musical approach and starting at the bottom of the scale, the Gane Type C is the first model launched on that date. Three different dial variants debuted back in July — the C1 (salmon dial), the C2 (indigo dial), and the C3 (silver dial). Given the choice, I decided to skip the metallic, brushed dials and go with everyone’s favorite pink-fleshed fish.

The Gane C1 Sandy Salmon

Before we jump into that coppery orange/pink pool, let me tell you a little bit about the case. Well-machined with lovely finishing, the 38mm × 45mm 316L stainless steel case has a fantastic vintage-inspired tonneau shape. The angled lugs and beautifully polished chamfer add a lot of depth and character to the overall profile. Standing proud of the vertically brushed case, a box-domed sapphire crystal with lovely rounded edges protects the dial underneath. At 3 o’clock, a polished crown is nicely recessed into the case and decorated with the Gane “G” logo.

The screw-down case back features a hand-sketched design, which pays tribute to Raymond’s late mother. Coupled with the chunky steel bracelet, the C1 has a hefty, qualitative feel. It looks quite tall from the side but comes in at a reasonable 13mm including the domed sapphire, and 11.5mm without it.

Not only is the salmon color on the dial stunning, but the two-piece construction creates a good amount of depth. A ring is machined with deep grooves that serve as hour markers. This is then placed onto the base plate of the dial, where the brand name, the model, and “automatic” can be found. I’m not the biggest fan of the fonts used here. I feel that the Art Deco font of the brand name doesn’t quite work with the more swoopy traditional text found at 6 o’clock. But it’s the color of the dial that’s the main attraction. A little on the orange side, the color shifts from pale pink to a dark reddish-orange depending on the light and angle. To me, it’s more of a peachy tone rather than a salmon. Still, it’s an eye-catching color that you certainly don’t see every day.

Additional notes

I previously mentioned the bracelet on the Gane C1 Sandy Salmon. It’s a pleasantly solid, well-built bracelet with a 5-link design. With its fully brushed finish, it matches the case well. Though I’m not a fan of dual-deployant “butterfly” clasps, this one is rather comfortable. Now, I should mention that whereas the watch originally came with both the bracelet and a leather strap, the brand took customer feedback into account. Now both options are offered separately at an overall lower price point. This change was made on October 1st and meant that two new price points were available for the watch. It’s now $555 for the watch on the bracelet and $495 for it on the leather strap. Personally, though, I would always go for the watch on the bracelet, and then add my own straps to it later on.

One last detail I’d like to point out are the hands on the C1 Sandy Salmon. They have a pleasant rounded shape and are filled with C1 Super-LumiNova. Though there is no lume on the dial, this still makes it possible for you to tell the time in low-light conditions. The seconds hand is a simple, silver stick hand, with a rounded counterpoise that matches the shape of the minute and hour hands. These hands are kept turning by the Miyota 8215 inside. This serviceable movement provides a 42-hour power reserve and an approximate accuracy of -20/+40 seconds per day. Now, you might notice a distinct (and always welcome) lack of date. It’s a decision that I think elevates this watch and a brave step for a debut model.

Final thoughts

Finally, I wanted to give you my quick impression of the watch, having worn it now for a couple of weeks. I must admit, I didn’t use the leather strap. I’m quite picky when it comes to leather, and the thickness of the strap put me off. But both on a NATO and on the bracelet, the watch wears well. Honestly, it kept time better than I expected, and it greeted me with its warm dial every time I glanced at it. The splash of color was a welcome one that didn’t lose its novelty in the time I had it. My watch collection being rather monochromatic, the Gane C1 Sandy Salmon provided a breath of fresh air.

For more information, please visit the Gane watches website here.