The 21st century marked the beginning of a new era in watchmaking. More and more people are being drawn into the charms of smaller manufacturers. Of course, that is not to say that horology giants Rolex, Omega, or Audemars Piguet have no place in the industry anymore. It is, however, truly satisfying to see fresh names and even fresher designs emerge in the watch industry.
Making a mark in the industry are Gorilla watches, an up-and-coming microbrand. Gorilla watches are sensible, artful, and — most especially — modern. The hype around the Gorilla brand is truly fascinating. However, the question remains: are Gorilla watches worth it?
Get to Know Gorilla Watches
Gorilla is a relatively new brand, and by that we mean it is practically a toddler in the industry. But it is also more than just that. In the past few years since its foundation, many people have raved about Gorilla, largely due to its impressive performance and stylishly contemporary designs inspired by motorsports. Gorilla watches truly know what it is like to be a leader in modern watchmaking.
You will find Gorilla watches on the list of brands to look out for. They are solidly made and have a very innovative philosophy in technology and design. The brand uses automatic mechanical movements from Miyota to power its watches. It also employs the use of state-of-the-art, high-tech materials such as forged carbon and ceramic. All these, you can get for a price that is well worth the overall value of a Gorilla timepiece.
Gorilla Watch Collections: Top Picks
What makes Gorilla watches truly relevant to the market is that they cite its automobile inspirations even at first glance. For instance, the Gorilla Truffelhunter is the watch incarnate of the Porsche 917/20 Pink Livery, which raced in LeMans during 1971. On the other hand, the Gorilla Fastback GT Mirage will definitely remind you of the Ford GT 40 in Gulf livery. All Gorilla watches are distinct and innovative, and any piece can immediately be identified as being from the Gorilla brand.
To better understand what I’m saying, let us take a look at the top collections from Gorilla watches that you should check out.
Gorilla Complications Collection
The Gorilla Complications collection is exactly what you think it is. It comprises watches with numerous complications, and do more than just tell the hours, minutes, and seconds. That includes watches with chronographs and sweeping seconds.Gorilla Fastback Thunderbolt Chronograph
Made in collaboration with Vallée de Joux manufacture Dubois Dépraz, the Gorilla Fastback Thunderbolt Chronograph has, as its name suggests, a chronograph complication. It also features a grade 5 titanium case, which gives the watch a very lightweight build. This case comes with a brushed and bead-blasted finish with a sleek black DLC coating. It easily contrasts the bright orange aluminum part-line, while also complimenting the ceramic cushion-shaped bezel of the watch. It is a durable watch with wide crown guards also made from grade 5 titanium.
The Dubois Dépraz DD-268 skeletonized chronograph module sits at the base of the dial alongside the three-spoke claw design. It is powered by the ETA 2892-A2 automatic caliber, which works hand in hand with the chronograph module, thanks to the Stem Transmission System (STS) from Dubois Dépraz. This caliber has a bi-directional winding mechanism and 42 hours of power reserve.
This 44mm watch is 13.1mm thick and measures 57mm lug to lug. It has 100 meters of water resistance, so it easily withstand some contact with water. The strap of the watch is made from FKM rubber with Alcantara™ lining and is secured with a grade 5 titanium pin buckle. This Gorilla watch is limited to only 99 pieces and it is not even available in the market yet! The Gorilla Fastback Thunderbolt Chronograph costs around $8,500 USD in retail.Gorilla Outlaw Drift
The Gorilla Outlay Drift will take you back to the 1970s with its retro-inspired design. It features a dynamic aesthetic with a mirror-polished concave bezel. The case has a radial brush finish, and is made from grade 5 titanium. You can find a pacific-blue anodized aluminum flange on the watch for some color contrast. On the dial, you will appreciate the luminescent numerals and subdivision, all hand-laid by artisans. This watch also carries the classic tonneau shape of Gorilla watches.
This Gorilla watch has a sweeping seconds complication, thanks to its G-5238 module from VAUCHER Manufacture. It runs on a base caliber ETA 2824-2 movement, which has a PVD-coated oscillation weight. At the back of the watch, you will find the model’s specific reference number engraved. There are only 250 editions of this watch, each individually engraved with their appropriate numerals.
The strap is made from FKM rubber with a Cordura™ lining and a grade 5 titanium pin buckle. This watch measures 44mm in diameter and is 13.8mm thick. It also has a 100 meter water resistance rating, true to its sporty appeal. In retail, it costs around $3,950 USD.
Another sweeping seconds watch you may also opt for is the Drift Mirage. This Gorilla watch is reminiscent of the powder blue and orange racing livery that emerged victorious at LeMans in 1968. This piece is a bit bigger, weighing in at 44mm or 48.5mm in diameter with large crown guards. The case is made from forged carbon, anodized aluminum, titanium, and ceramic. You can cop this Gorilla piece for just $3,750 USD. Like the Gorilla Outlay Drift, the Drift Mirage is also limited to 250 editions.Gorilla Drift Elise
If you are more into British Racing liveries, the Gorilla Drift Elise is for you. It is a monochromatic gem with a wandering hours complication. Thanks to its G-5238 module from Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, this watch is as beautiful as it sounds. It is powered by an ETA 2824-2 base caliber with 38 hours of power reserve. This Gorilla watch’s case measures around 44mm, 48.5mm with a crown guard. It costs around $3,250 to $3,270 in retail. There are only 350 editions of this watch available.
Gorilla Fastback GT Collection
You can easily spot a Gorilla Fastback GT piece with its gorgeous openwork dial. There are a lot of watches in this collection and they are all incredibly stunning and sophisticated with their partially skeletonized dials. Gorilla watches from this series have very bold colors matched with atypical materials used in watchmaking. The dials of the watches from this collection also show off dimensions, as they are layered and three-dimensional. As usual, the Gorilla watches in this range all have exhibition casebacks. Here are some of our favorites from this collection.Gorilla Fastback GT Modena
Luxurious, sporty all at the same time, the Gorilla Fastback GT Modena is everything you need in a sports watch. It boasts a gleaming black ceramic exterior. The dial, on the other hand, comes in sporty yellow aluminum and is radially brushed for a more lustrous appeal. On the whole, this Gorilla watch is a homage to the rev counters of Italian sports cars.
Even the strap of this Gorilla piece feels luxurious, with an Alcantara™ insert of the hybrid FKM rubber strap often seen on other Gorilla watches. At the heart of the watch is the self-winding Miyota 90S5 caliber. You can see its exposed balance wheel through the aperture on the dial. Plus, Gorilla also offers buyers a personalized oscillation weight. This watch costs $1,350 USD in retail.Gorilla Fastback GT Truffelhunter
The Fastback GT Truffelhunter takes inspiration from the outlandish livery of the 917/20. This prototype was an aerodynamics test car at the 24 hours of LeMans in 1971. You can see a reflection of this car in the Fastback GT Truffelhunter’s wide width, butcher cuts graphics, and soft pink color. The car that inspired this Gorilla watch was nicknamed the Truffelhunter, or the Pink Pig, and Gorilla later adopted these names for this modern watch icon.
With only 500 pieces available, you can get this Gorilla watch for just $1,350 USD. It features a woven forged carbon case, a pink ceramic bezel, and anodized aluminum pinstripe. Thanks to the titanium crown of the watch, it also has an improved water resistance capacity.Gorilla Fastback GT Espionage
Just like the Fastback GT Truffelhunter, there are only 500 pieces of this watch available. The Gorilla Fastback GT Espionage brings the idea of restomod to watchmaking. A restomod refers to a vintage automobile that has been restored with modern technology and parts. It is one of the most popular customizations in automotive sports, as it requires attention to detail and the use of appropriate materials. The great thing about restomod is that at the heart of the car, it is still a vintage ride, but it has been revamped for improved performance.
The Gorilla Fastback GT Espionage got its name and colors from the 1965 Ford Mustang, which was customized by the Ring brothers. This Gorilla watch boasts sporty and cool hues of green, orange, and black, and would look perfect on the racetrack. It can be yours for $1,350 USD!
Gorilla Fastback Collection
Do not be confused. The Gorilla Fastback Collection is quite different from the Fastback GT, although the two collections do share some similarities. For instance, the Gorilla Fastback line lacks the open-work dial design, giving it a more casual, everyday look. These Gorilla watches boast polished ceramic bezels and anodized aluminum pinstripes. They also have a 44mm forged carbon case which measures only 13mm thick. All the watches in the Fastback range also have 100-meter water resistance ratings. Powering these Gorilla watches is the Miyota 8215 caliber, a self-winding movement that beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour.
The models Galaxy Blue, Hugger Orange, and Stinger Yellow all come from the limited production Fastback Titanium Collection, and each model boasts a colorway that perfectly fits its name. The brand also offers the Phantom Black model, which features a sleek, scratch-resistant bead-blasted ceramic bezel. This is paired with a hybrid strap, which gives it a very rugged look. Meanwhile, RS While features a semi-glossy white ceramic exterior for a more stunning everyday look. All these Gorilla watches cost around $880 USD in retail.
A Brief History of Gorilla Watches
The Gorilla brand was launched in 2016. Like many watch manufacturers such as TAG Heuer, Richard Mille, and Breitling, Gorilla created watches inspired by motorsports. Indeed, the link between horology and racing has resulted in some of the most iconic models that exist today. These include the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph and TAG Heuer Monaco. That said, although it is easy for a watch brand to identify itself with motorsports, but not every model that races this track succeeds. Lucky for Gorilla watches, they gained traction almost immediately, quickly becoming one of the next big things in the watchmaking industry.
Gorilla Watches is the brainchild of Octavio Garcia and Lukas Gopp. Garcia, a watchmaker, and Gopp, an industrial designer, have both had extensive careers in the horology industry, serving stints at big names such Omega, Audemars Piguet, and IWC Schaffhausen. It was through the expertise of these two designers that the brand and its innovative, ultra-modern designs were born.
Gorilla Watches: Made for the Modern Collector
As you might have noticed, nearly all Gorilla watches are limited edition. This can be a bit of a hassle for most consumers. That said, Gorilla’s focus on quality over quantity ensures that each and every one of its products is high-performing and very reliable.
There are only about 30 to 40 watch pieces made every month within their facility. This is in part because certain components of Gorilla watches are also painstakingly hand-made, making them practically modern works of art. With engraved Gorilla watches typically only running at 250 pieces per drop, this makes them great collectible pieces. Think of people lining up to get a watch that says “1/250”. That is quite some flex!
Ultimately, there are thousands of people waiting for Gorilla to drop new watches, and their pre-releases are always incredibly sought-after. Gorilla continues to develop truly inventive, sophisticated designs, and we look forward to seeing where they will be in a few years.
Young brands are beginning to dominate the market. Check out our review of the Baltic Aquascaphe and why it is one of the most underrated divers today.
All photos courtesy of Gorilla.