Greyhours Essential Black (Review)

Greyhours are a quite new brand that catched my eye couple of months ago. They have good design, good built quality, good specs – at a fairly decent price.

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There are two choices available on their site: Black and White. Both are the same, just in different colors. Today we’re gonna take a look at the Black version.

The Essential will cost you 175$. Everything about it, is very cool, including the packaging. I like that watch companies take attention to the packaging and not only the watch. The main part of opening and seeing the watch for the first time is the presentation, just like to any other consumers product out there. This is the case, great presentation, and a nice addition of a leather card case. The strange thing was that it had very thick instructions guide 😀 but then I realized it was in every possible language out there

The first things that are most noticeable are the DLC coating, and the perfectly round case – as there’s no lugs. The Greyhours Essential measures in with a diameter of 40mm, and because it’s a round case with no lugs, to lug to lug length is also 40mm. It is 9.1mm tall, so quite streamlined, offering a good fit under sleeves. The case shape is simple, with a bevelling around the bezel, and a indent about 2 mm down. The case is made of 316L brushed stainless steel, with a impressively hard wearing. DLC coating.

The sapphire crystal. It’s perfectly flat, and has a very impressive anti-reflective coating. When I compare it to a number of other much more expensive watches in my watch box, the Greyhours stands out. I personally feel that a quality AR coating really makes a difference with how a watch looks. The push-pull crown is very simple, mimicking the case. It’s unsigned, brushed, and features an indent about halfway down.

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The caseback is another aspect that’s well done. It’s almost a full circle, but with the top and bottom chopped off, so the strap can fit in on the underside of the case. It is secured by 4 screws, and the engraving is deep. The engraving has various pieces of information, such as the name, sapphire crystal, DLC coating, water rating and serial number.

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The whole watch weighs in at 65g, so it’s fairly lightweight. I find that this supports the easy, comfortable wearability of the watch. Finally, the water resistance of the Greyhours Essential is 50m. This is reasonable, as it’s suitable for shallow swimming if need be – but personally, I’d probably not bother. 

The simplicity continues to flow through to the dial. A matt black affair, the dial has a gentle texture to it. It is also a sandwich dial. In the case of the Essential, it is the hour markers and day subdial that are on a lower layer. The hands are also fairly simple – black batons with lume filled centres. They’re black – on a black dial. That doesn’t seem so clever but the fact that they’re polished on a matt surface mean that they actually stand out quite well, offering good legibility. The lume isn’t the strongest, but I’ve come to expect that from watches in this price range… apart from Seikos. A splash of colour is introduced to the entire watch by the second hand and day pointer hand. These are both a light electric blue – colorful enough to gibe it that small specific detail to stand out. The only printing on the dial bar the days of the day indicator is the logo. Located at 3 between the stem and the date window, it can actually be mistaken for the hour hand at a glance. But, the printing is fine and accurate when under the macro lens.

The main complaint I have with the Greyhours Essential is the date window. The problem is that it’s too deep, and the window is too small. They kind of tried to make this good by adding a magnification lens, but it doesn’t do enough, and in fact makes it harder to see at certain angles and light. If you’re not so fussed about telling the date easily, then this shouldn’t bother you.

The Italian calf leather strap measures 20mm in the whole length. It is soft and very comfortable on the wrist. It also continues the simple, minimal design of the watch itself. Really, there’s not much more to say about it. 😀 The buckle is DLC coated to match the case. It has small etched logo on the underside of the buckle.

The movement that’s powering the Greyhours Essential is the IsaSwiss Calibre 9232/1950. IsaSwiss are a Swiss movement maker with a factory in Switzerland and China. The movement in the Essential is a Chinese made movement, but it’s made to higher than normal standards due to it being governed by a Swiss manufacturer. The 9232/1950 is Quartz, and has a separate day and date indicator. It has 0 jewels, an accuracy of -15/+15 seconds a month, and a 3 year battery life.

In their product description, it says that the movement is “customised by Greyhours”. How is it customised?

“We applied a complete black plating on the top disc of the movement. It can be seen on this picture:

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The original movement from IsaSwiss comes in gold color but we re-open the movements in house and send it to IP Plating in black color to that the watch is as sleek and beautiful outside than on the inside, even if the customer can’t see it. Then we rebuild the movement and assemble the watch. We believe beauty is in the details, even those which only us can see, it makes us feel better about our work.”

It’s a nice touch, and interesting idea that it’s inside and no one except the watch repairer who will be replacing the battery will see it.

Overall it is a great piece to add to your collection. I am graphic designer and I really like minimal design, and this watch really is in that category. Not like those Daniel Wellington and any other bullshit that sells for too much money. It has great design, good build quality and reliable movement. It has some small minor cons, but you dont notice them in daily wear.

PRICE: 150$ @ http://www.greyhours.com/

The Specs:

  • Case: 316L brushed stainless steel
  • Coating: DLC (Diamond-like carbon)
  • Dimensions: Diameter 40 mm / Thickness 9,10mm
  • Movement: Isaswiss quartz caliber 9232/1950, personalized by GREYHOURS
  • Functions: Display of hours, minutes, seconds, days, and date
  • Lens: Sapphire crystal with antireflective treatment on both faces
  • Bracelet: Italian calf leather
  • Water resistance: 5 ATM / 50 meters
  • Weight: 65 grams

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