By Meor Amri Meor Ayob
The Malaysia Watch Forum or MWF has completed the second watch project. Made by Gruppo Gamma*, a limited run of just 50 watches was delivered to proud owners last Saturday, 11 January 2014, in conjunction to the 5th Anniversary GTG/annual dinner held in the Angus House restaurant in Starhill Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. I was lucky enough to be one of them.
*Gruppo Gamma is a boutique watchmaker based in Singapore. They a dedicated to modernizing the design of tool watches issued to Italian Navy commandos in the middle of the 20th century.
When I got the watch, I received this very functional watch box or travel pouch. The skull and rose is the logo of Gruppo Gamma (the red hat is only incorporated during the Christmas season).
Apart from the nice watch pouch, you get a guarantee card and the watch. Some basic specifications on the watch are given in the following paragraphs.
The watch case is based on the design of the famous G Series by Panerai which was issued in 1940. Made out of 316L stainless steel, it comes with a screw down solid case back. It is 44 mm diameter wide with a 24 mm lug width. The crown in situated at the 3 o’clock position as is a screw down. The body of the watch case in polished and the lugs uses screws.
The movement is is the well tested Miyota 8215 automatic movement with hand wind capability.
The Miyota 8215 beats at 21,600 beats per pour or 6 beats per second (3 Hz). It has 21 jewels and a 45 hour power reserve. It employs a unidirectional winding rotor. To protect it from shocks, it has its own proprietary shock resistance called Parashock.
The dial is black and sterile from any words or symbols. The dial is sandwich between two. Arabic numbering “3”, “6”, “9” and 12″ are used at the four corners while the rest of the hours uses small line markers. These are cut from the first layer. C3 SuperLuminova paint is then used on the markers and numberings to give the 3D effect.
This watch comes only with 2 hands (hour- & minutes-) and lumed with the same paint as before. When the project was started, MWF members wanted to have a watch that is very minimalist. There should not be any additional function such as a day or date window. Even the second-hand is deemed disruptive to the zen of the watch.
Mineral glass crystal is deemed sufficient for this project. Personally, I would like to see more ‘class’ for the watch and sapphire crystal would have been a better choice.
The strap that comes standard is genuine leather. Dual layered, with white stitching at the corners which complements the black leather. The strap ends with a big signed buckle.
Water resistant rating is 10 ATM.
The case back has the maker and the MWF event etched on it. As highlighted earlier, this watch is 1 of only 50 watches that was specifically ordered for the event and all taken up.
The guarantee card where the date for which this watch was delivered in printed on.
The following shots shows how thick the leather strap is. Loads of empty spaces for you to etch any messages or logos.
The watch on my wrist. Very imposing and refined.
The thick white thread used is a nice contrast. Coupled with the huge buckle with the manufacturer brand etched on it, the watch has wrist presence.
It is comfortable to wear and the straps held on to your arm like a second skin.
I wore it to office a few days ago and it was a natural with formal clothing. The smooth shape of the watch casing makes it less susceptible to snagging on cloths. The sandwich dial was striking especially in the sunlight. The size itself generates a lot of interest. However, the shape is so similar to a PAM that practically everyone that enquired asked whether it was a Panerai. This is the only problem wearing a hommage.
Meor Amri Meor Ayob – Contributing Editor
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!) on his own free time.