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Watch Reviews

Gruppo Gamma ‘Chrononaut’ DW LE 300m Diver


Today I am reviewing the relatively well known in the divers watches circles, Gruppo Gamma Chrononaut Divers Watches Facebook Group Limited Edition 300m divers watch.

My method of review will be concentrating more on the intangible aspects of this tangible beauty than its actual specs. And that’s why I chose to leave the specs out of this review. They are quite deeply mentioned on the Gruppo Gamma website.

Knots of sea beauty:

Case: beautifully fine-brushed case with the outer bezel ring and case showing the brushing effect well; not raw nor subtle, it’s just there and amplifying the watch. The case dimension is just right with the lugs having these step cuts in them that streamline it on the wrist. Lines of the lugs are very well executed in design and in real on the wrist, creating a comforting fit, both to the eyes and the wrist.

Dial: simply legible and the symmetry is so well achieved with the GG branding in the upper hemisphere and the DW logo in the lower. No wasted spaces and no poetry [excessive writings] at the same time. Proportions of numeral sizes and markers is well achieved. Everything just seems a fine fit.

Crystal: clear and suiting to the vintage design and modern construction of this watch. There is no other way it could be done. The underside anti reflective does the job beautifully by showing the placid black in a vintage fashion.

Crowns: This watch is a tale of the Super Compressor case style so it has two crowns. One crown at 4h is for time setting and another at 2h for inner chapter ring/bezel adjustment. The lovely bit of pronounced knurling on the crowns is a sweet feel to the fingers with the reassurance of quality and the awesome checkered engraving on the head of both the crowns is that part of detailing that shows the keenness of the designer’s eye.

Strap, buckle and lugs: This tropic-style rubber strap is the best in the market in my humble opinion. It’s supple yet firm. It’s black yet has some vintage grey. It’s thick in an appropriate way and keeps the watch secure on the wrist. The design on the strap is something about which one could write a whole new review.
It’s exceptionally detailed. Diamond holes on both sides of the strap keep it original to the breathable tropic strap design and the self patterns on the whole of the strap in this diamond, checkered form are feel- able and in symmetry with the holes. It’s all so precise, that it makes one wonder how did they manage to achieve this. The sides of the strap have these stepped dashes that add to the character of the strap and actually make the whole strap a work of 3D art, while providing the functionality of grip to the excess part of the strap under the keeper, when on the wrist.
The buckle is something GG has taken all the way back to the drawing board and done it fresh. They already have a range of awesome and original buckles and they used none of those, but chose to make a new one for this watch. This solid and subtle buckle is so well fit to the watch that it manages to be unique without overpowering the watch itself. It’s there and it’s quiet at the same time. The lugs have a screw that attaches the strap and personally I love screwed lugs. Most of us do, due to the security it provides us and due to the ease of strap change it enables. Especially to maniacs like myself.

Point of Improvement:

Now let me share with you first a short background of myself: I used to hate GG, then I didn’t find them anything special, then I saw them closely, then I looked at them from a distance, then I read about them and observed them closely and then I fell in love with them.

I am now a Gruppo Gamma authorized dealer and I love them immensely so for me to find any points of improvement with this watch is very difficult but I shall try and do so in all honesty. Without trying to be biased and without trying to be forceful about finding improvements just for the sake of finding it. Please read all of everything I write as only my individual opinion. I am just one and I don’t have any consensus on this. So the bottom line is that this is all one persons opinion and nothing else.

1. The lume is greenish and I would think that with a blue seconds hand and blue really being the only other color on the face of the watch, I would have probably liked to see a BGW9 lume on this watch to stick to the same color theme of blue.

2. I know the dial and layout of the markers is kept in line with the historic layout inside a super Compressor case. Yet I feel if the dots between the major minute marker lines on the chapter ring, could have been short lines, maybe it would give the watch a slightly more angled take at the historic design. But am I design expert? No.

3. I am spoilt by GG so for this coming point it’s not really my fault. I am used to GG watch kits always having two straps. Even though I love the tropic and don’t see myself changing it for a long time, I still always love to have another awesome GG strap in the kit. And I can tell most of us would love that. Is it possible at the steal of a price of [$599] with a Swiss auto movement that GG are giving on this, I really doubt it. But then being a customer I have the right to have ridiculous demands always.

Now all the three points are based on a mindset of constructive criticism and not for the purpose of undermining the beauty of this watch.

My wrist feelings:

1. I love the mature and macho take this watch has on the Super Compressor case style. For me no other watch provides this much of tool-ish character in this case style. The thickness combined with the nice big round composure of the dial is the main reason for this.

2. Wrist presence without being overbearing. It’s there and it’s for those who notice it. It’s not in the eye at all.

3. All brushed and there some polish for you. The lovely all brushed look of the case and the hands from the top view adds to that feel mentioned in point 1 and then you get a dash a polish finely done on the side edge of the outer unmovable bezel. It’s like a glimmer only there when you want to see it. Execution of details should be done in only this way.

4. Strap is a work of art and nothing less. Every edge and every area of the strap has been worked on. This provides joy on the wrist. Remember in every watch the strap always covers more of the wrist than the watch so its more visible and should be really as enjoyable and full of texture and character as on this.

4. Buckle is understated but in a unique fashion. Gives it security in style.

5. Subtle can sometimes even go into the invisible. The caseback of this beautiful watch made me think that statement that I just wrote. We have all seen and owned solid caseback of exceptional quality and design. This is something else. In the center lies the reason this watch to come into existence.., Divers Watches FB Group. And surrounding it in pronounced sublimeness, a sea of scintillating steel. I choose my words very carefully, as really nothing else can describe the feeling of this finish and ‘work’ GG has achieved on the caseback.

My Verdict:

The intrigue of a Super Compressor case is well maintained, well built and stylishly delivered on the wrist in PURE Gruppo Gamma fashion. No one else can do what Gruppo Gamma does; it is resolved.

About Asrar Merchant

Asrar Merchant is your average neighborhood guy except for his keen sense of observation. He started his career in the mechanical tools trading industry and later found his passion in professional speaking. He cites public speaking and watches as the two loves of his life. He believes a watch is a living object with a beating heart and a purpose beyond its mere function.

Asrar is a member of Diver’s Watches Facebook Group  and, although he runs The Watch Boutique, a watch retail dealership in Bahrain for a few well-known watch brands, he openly writes and talks about multiple brands of watches.

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