Today we are gonna take a look at a pretty cool watch from a company called Gruman. The company itself is owned by a Netherland based “Signs Time Movements” who are a one-stop manufacturing company. This means they can handle all operations of watch projects from the first drawing until the final production and after-sales services. They possess their own in-house engineering, design team, and an international supplier network focusing on the creation of medium-high to high-end components. They have 4 companies which they own: Gruman, Sorna, Bornova and Hauttman. And they all have a really great design and I heard that they are very well built too. They also have manufactured or designed watches for Stuckx, Tockr, MotoKoure and many others. So let’s talk about Gruman.
The model we have here is called Sputnik and it comes in two variations: 3 Hands and GMT version. Both are in a similar design, but with different dial colours, movements and straps. Gruman markets Sputnik as a retro timepiece with a modern touch. A tribute to the 1950s Soviet Space-Era. And I really can see that with the watch name Sputnik (In Russian: Спутник translates as Satellite) and the dial texture which has the riveted metal panel look like spaceships and rocket has. First I actually contacted them to review one of the Bornova watches, but they told me about other companies they have and offered me this Gruman Sputnik, but I hope they will send me the Bornova and maybe others too for a review. I also have to mention that the Gruman watches are fully made in Switzerland.
The Sputnik came in a very good looking dark brown wooden box which was very well made with red leather inside. Inside the box, you will, of course, get the watch, warranty and instructions. But what I wasn’t expecting is the pressure and accuracy tests for this exact watch. They actually included the original results from the machines that test them. And that is super cool as you can see that each watch is tested and works well how it should be. No other company except maybe Ginault doesn’t include these tests and you just need to rely on what the company says. The first impressions were good, I was really impressed by the details like the riveted panel details on the dial and the inner rotating bezel.
The case os the Sputnik is made of 316L Stainless steel. The case is very well manufactured and all the lines and angles are sharp. The case has various finishing like polished, brushed and PVD coated bezel. The finishing is super good! No mistakes or anything that popped out. The case has this cushion shape and looks really stunning and has that vintage vibe to it. I don’t know why, but every watch that has this case shape just looks like something out of the 70s. The case is 44mm wide (excluding the crowns), 49,4mm from lug to lug and 12,6mm in thickness. So the watch wears pretty big on the wrist, it maybe looks a bit smaller due to how short are the lug section and due to that case shape, but it has its presence on the wrist. At 2 o’clock we have a bidirectional crown for the inner rotating bezel which works really well and the crown is signed with Gruman logo. At 4 o’clock we have the same signed crown, but this time it is a screw in. Both crowns are super grippy and easy to change time, date or wind the movement. On top, we have a 120 click uni-directional bezel coated in black PVD. The black 12-hour bezel insert seems to be sapphire. The numbers in the bezel are marked in white colour and are nicely engraved. The bezel has a very smooth action and no back play, it is very sturdy! The screw in exhibition case back has a flat sapphire crystal. Around the edge of the bezel, we have some engravings of some specifications that have been filled with black colour. I think the font that they chose isn’t the best looking and in my opinion looks cheap, I would choose a font that more resembles the robustness and tough look of the watch. On top of the watch sits a flat AR-coated sapphire crystal. The water resistance is 20ATM (200M) so you can dive with this watch with no problems!
The dial has a ton of cool details like the inner rotating bezel around the edge of the dial which is concaved towards the dial. The bezel is black, light grey with orange markers that are lumed. Around the dial, we have a white minute track in black print. The main dial is in matte black with previously mention the look of those riveted panels. The polished hour markers are applied and lumed. The diamond cut hour and minute hands are partially skeletonized and also filled with lume. The red second’s hand is a nice addition. At 12 o’clock we have the Sputnik and Gruman logo which actually looks pretty good from a design standpoint. At 6 o’clock we have a square date window with a matching black date wheel. Under the date we have a Swiss Made printed in white. The dial is very legible and it is easy to tell time in daylight and also in the dark situations as the C3 super luminova is really good.
On their website, it says that the watch comes with ETA 2824-2, but at a closer investigation in the provided example, we have the Sellita SW200-1 which is basically the same movement. I don’t know why they say it’s ETA, maybe it comes with both movements and you can choose which one you want on request or maybe this is just for the sample watch that we have here. Anycase Sellita SW200-1 is a great Swiss made automatic 26 jewel movement. It is a pretty popular movement that is getting used more and more in microbrand watches as it is reliable and well made. I have it in a couple of my watches and it never lets me down and it has very great accuracy. Mine was running at -7 to -8 seconds a day which is right where it supposed to be. Also, it is very well finished with nice perlage work with a custom black rotor with gold coloured Gruman logo.
My Sputnik came with a black leather strap with white contrasting stitching. The strap where the lugs are comes over them giving it a wider look than it is. The watch has a 22mm lug width and where the strap comes over the lugs is 25,4mm wide and it tapers to 20mm at the buckle. The leather is very soft and supple so it wraps your wrist nicely right out of the box. The strap is done in this aviation style, at least for me it looks like it is from a pilots watch and as this is inspired by the Soviet space era it goes together with the watch design. The tang-style buckle is made of stainless steel and has a brushed and polished finishing. On top of the buckle, we have the Gruman logo engraved.
Overall I quite like the watch. I always was a fan of compressor watches and I like the Russian space era too as I’m living in the country that is neighbours to Russia so I can see the relics of that time on antique stores, markets and architecture. The watch is really well built, with a nice and reliable Swiss movement, sapphire crystal o the front and back, bright lume, great design for just €590, what else would you want?
Price: €590 @ gruman-watches.com
- CASE 316L Stainless steel case, scratch resistant sapphire front, sapphire case back, screw locked crown, water resistant 200M, ceramic bezel
- CASE WIDTH44 mm
- CASE THICKNESS12.50 mm
- DIAL Multilayered dial with C3 super lumino applied metal indexes, diamond cut Hands with C3 color luminescent.
- BRACELET Calfskin leather strap
- WATER RESISTANCE 200 Meters