Today we are gonna talk about a very cool brand names Gorilla watches. While the name sounds a bit childish, they make some really impressive watches! The watch company known as Gorilla watches is a pretty new player in the watch game, founded in 2016 with a series of watches that put design and high-quality case materials at the forefront – and offered things like ceramic and forged carbon construction at a fraction of the prices usually charged for cutting edge, high tech components. The watches are powered by Miyota 90S5 automatic movements – reliable and inexpensive, they allow Gorilla to maintain highly competitive pricing (around $1,000, more or less, depending on the model) while still offering a mechanically driven timepiece with an exotic appeal. The company is headed by Octavio Garcia, who worked as a star designer at Audemars Piguet from 2003 to 2015; he’s joined by industrial designer Lukas Gopp, whose work’s been seen at such varied firms as IWC, Ralph Lauren Watches & Jewelry Co., and Audemars Piguet.
The watch that Gorilla watches sent me today is their Fastback Titanium Stinger Yellow. Which is basically the same Fastback, but with Titanium instead of the carbon or stainless steel. In the same Fastback Titanium line, we also have an orange and blue variant. As I learned from their website this line is inspired by old American muscle cars. And I actually can see some resemblance in the colours and lines. Basically when it comes to design Gorilla keeps with the square-ish case design just changing the dial, case materials and colour, and the strap style. Otherwise, it is the same platform. It is nice to see that a company keep to the same design language. It makes their watches more distinguishable from others, just like the Audemars Piguet did with the Royal Oak or Patek with Nautilus, you just can’t look at those watches and not know immediately what they are!
The example that Gorilla watches sent me came in a very simple black box, signed with Gorilla logo, nothing special. Inside you will find a watch and a warranty card. I actually like that companies try to make the packaging simple, so the watch gets all attention, also for storage it is good as there are some brands that make the box super big, and 50% of the watch value usually is how much the box is worth. Anycase, let’s get to the watch! The first impressions were good, it actually looks bigger than I thought, I usually saw it on Salomondrin’s wrist (yes, I watch all the big automotive YouTubers, although Salomondrin isn’t that big now after the whole Mclaren Senna fire) and it didn’t look so big. But I kind of like it, I recently started to like smaller watches, but also appreciate a well designed and comfortable big watch and this is most definitely one of those cases. I really like how the titanium case looks with the ceramic top and the yellow accents. I really love yellow on watches.
The Stinger has a squarish style case. The case is super well machines and has a ton of materials present in the case like titanium, aluminium and ceramic. The case from top to bottom has this almost a sandwich-like case starting from a ceramic top plate that’s black and held on with four screws, it also is kind of like a bezel too. Then we have a yellow anodized aluminium plate and the main case is titanium with this matte dark grey finish. The case is 44mm wide (48,5mm with crown guards), from top to bottom the watch measures at 57mm and the thickness is 14mm. On the paper, it sounds big, but in reality, it is a bit smaller due to that integrated strap system in the watch, it wears like a 44mm watch. Yes it is still big, but actually, it is one of the most comfortable watches I have ever worn, it is light, and due to that strap system, you don’t feel like you have a “wall clock” on your wrist. At 3 o’clock we have big and beefy crown guards with screw-in titanium crown which is really nicely done! The crown action is really nice and it is very easy to grip it! The solid case back has some specifications engraved on it and it is held on with four small screws. The water resistance is 100m (10ATM) which usually isn’t good for swimming, but this watch has a screw-in crown so I would go swimming with it without any problems. I have tested its swimming pool and it held up great! On top of the watch sits a flat round sapphire crystal with a great AR coating.
The dial is really interesting on this one, it shows only time and date, but the dial gives the impression that it is more complicated than it is. The dial itself is black with white and yellow accents. The hour hand is actually a disk that rotates. The minute hand is partially skeletonized in yellow colour with white lume portion at the end. The second’s hand is a black stick-shaped hand with white tip. Around the dial we have a yellow chapter ring with Gorilla logo at 12 which is very subtle and I like that. The hour markers are made like a speedo from the dash of the car. The dial is very easy to read in my opinion, some of the people wouldn’t agree with me, but in my opinion, it is very legible. The hands and hour markers are lumed. The lume is pretty bright and lasts about 3-4h which is ok-ish.
After this, you would think that these watches would have Swiss movements, but they chose the same way that Seven Friday did. Make amazing quality dials, cases and everything and use cheaper, but not worse movements from Seiko or Miyota. The one that is powering this watch is the Miyota 8215 automatic movement. It isn’t bad or anything, just collectors and microbrand fans would love to see these with Swiss Movements. We Gorilla has made a high-end watch with a Swiss movement that has wandering hours and the watch has won a ton of awards, it is called Drift Elise, you can check it out!
The Miyota 8215 has a 40-hour power reserve and 21 jewels, that ticks along at 21,600bph. Miyota has been making its way into more and more watches, and for good reason. These movements are reliable, easily serviceable, and keep a great time. I have this in one of my watches, and it is going like a champ for years now without any service. But I heard that many people don’t like these movements and it is a big turn off for many due to the lack of hacking feature. The lack of the hacking feature means little to my day-to-day, but I know it is the norm. Also, I heard that these movements have a very noisy rotor, but this example has almost no sound from the rotor. Mine example is running at +6 seconds a day which is really good for these movements. I don’t know if they regulate theirs, but I don’t see these movements coming in regulated that good!
The integrated rubber strap we have is a really nice one. It is black on top with the yellow underside, and with perforated holes for your wrist to breath in hot days. The strap is really soft and wraps your wrist nicely. It has a nice taper from 33mm to 24mm. The buckle is very simple, but it is made from titanium and it is signed. The one thing that I wish they would make is a cloth strap that somehow looks like racing harness, it would just go with the watch and all of that car theme they have going on really well!
Overall I really like the watch. It was one of the most worn watches I think in the last summer. The only thing that some people won’t like is maybe the price which is 710€, for the one we have here and for the monochrome strap 680€. The price isn’t bad in my opinion, because the watch is built to the highest standard and I haven’t heard anybody say bad things about these watches. I know people who own Rolexes, Richard Milles, Pateks and they have one of these in their collection. Also, a lot of high-end luxury watch retailers have these ones in stock. I know some aficionados will say that it isn’t an entry-level luxury, but I think it is worth it. It is really hard to break into this market with a new company, but there are some success stories like Seven Friday, Bell & Ross or Dietrich. Any case if you looking for a fun, interesting looking and well-built watch, this is the one to get!
Miyota 8215, Self-winding
Hour, minute, seconds hands
44 mm case diameter
48.5 mm with crown guard
CNC milled titanium, anodised aluminium,
Scratch resistant sapphire,
anti-reflective coating, both sides
Screw-down for improved water resistance
100 meters / 330 feet / 10 ATM
Monochrome or bi-color Viton rubber strap,
titanium pin buckle
140 grams with strap and buckle