The number of watchmakers striving to deliver the best-crafted homage to the Rolex Submariner is on a never-ending rise.
Little wonder that. Despite being introduced as early as 1953, the Submariner is still one of Rolex’s and the world’s most iconic releases.
The brands that have taken up the challenge of recreating Rolex’s masterpiece range from bargain-basement Chinese manufacturers to established brands from well-respected markets such as Switzerland, Germany, or Japan.
The biggest challenge facing the potential buyer is the level of craftsmanship that’s not always visible at the first glance. Even some of the cheapest Submariner homages might initially look outstanding but oftentimes struggle to get past the first year of use due to the low quality of handiwork.
One brand that’s been constantly scoring positive reviews with its Submariner-like collection is Gevril. The Swiss watchmaker offers a lot of Rolex lookalikes in its Wall Street line. After reading this Gevril Wall Street review, you will have a better idea of whether the hype is warranted.
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In-depth Review of Gevril Wall Street
The Wall Street is one of Gevril’s most-shopped collections – inter alia because of the excellent approach to Submariner homages.
The collection is divided into two groups of watches – the standard 3-hand complication and the GMT that comes with an additional hand for tracking time in a different timezone. In terms of the quality of workmanship and the exterior, all Wall Street models are similar so reviewing each separately is not necessary.
Instead, I’ve picked one of the GMT models that I currently own and which should give you a clear idea of what the Wall Street line is all about (read also: What is a GMT watch?).
If you’re a fan of the original Submariner model, there’s no way you’re not going to appreciate the looks of the Wall Street collection.
The GMT model in question here is particularly unique due to the so-called Pepsi bezel. The general shape of the watch bears clear similarities to the Submariner although it’s a bit more massive. That’s down to a 2mm difference in the case diameter between the two watches. All Rolex Submariners measure 41mm whilst the Gevril Wall Street line comes in a unified 43mm size.
The watch certainly wears bigger than the Submariner, and even heavier than the 43mm case size would suggest. That’s because of the relatively huge lugs. Additionally, the case is slightly extended between 2 and 4 o’clock because of the nested crown.
Naturally, you can’t expect a homage watch to be made from oyster steel like the Submariner is. Instead, the Gevril Wall Street model comes with a stainless steel case with a satin finish. The 5-link bracelet – with 2 lug-integrated links on each side and 3 smaller in the middle – is also made from stainless steel. It uses a standard deployment closure.
The already-mentioned Pepsi bezel is made from ceramic. It’s set a tad higher than the glass to boost the protection against cracks.
The dial design is the epitome of a classic yet stylish approach. The black background is neatly complemented by the white/silver hour markers and hands. Just like in the original Submariner model by Rolex, between the dot-shaped hour markers and the unidirectional bezel, there are also minute indices.
Since it’s a GMT model, the watch uses a 4-hand complication. The three main hands for hours, minutes and seconds are silver with glowing white elements. The additional hand, responsible for tracking time in additional timezone, is red and also luminescent (see also: Top GMT Watches Under $1,000).
At three o’clock there’s a date window with a magnifying lens, at 6 o’clock the Swiss-made label and finally, at noon o’clock the Gevril logo.
Even the most amazing looks won’t matter a jot if the watch isn’t up to scratch in terms of durability standards. Fortunately, the Gevril Wall Street collection provides excellent value in this area.
Let’s start by having a look at the most fragile part of any watch, the dial window. Unsurprisingly for a timepiece oscillating in the medium-to-high price basket, the glass is made from sapphire crystal. Currently, it’s a material with the strongest impact-resistance properties and is used across all luxury watchmakers – Rolex included. Additionally, the glass comes with an anti-reflective coating which vastly improves readability in any light. At times, I forget the crystal is even there!
Other parts of Gevril Wall Street make sure the watch is here for the long run. Both the case and the bracelet are made from 316L stainless steel which is known for ultra scratch-resistant properties. Although not as bulletproof as stainless steel, the ceramic bezel should also be able to withstand a lot. Crucially, both the caseback and the crown are screw-down – making sure there’s no water getting inside the watch.
And since we’ve touched on the subject of water, the Gevril collection comes with an impressive 200m water-resistance rating. The watch boasts the “Professional” label visible at 6 o’clock, meaning it’s a full-on diver’s timepiece perfectly suitable for scuba diving.
When the watch looks as good as the Gevril Wall Street GMT, nowadays I try not to get overly excited before I dive into the specifics of the movement.
Before the Wall Street model, I had owned two GMT models and in both cases, the GMT hand started behaving erratically after around 1 year. In one case a visit to a local watchmaker solved the issue but in the other, the movement had to be replaced altogether. I didn’t want a repeat of that scenario.
I’m glad to say, the GMT models in the Wall Street collection use robust, accurate, and long-lasting caliber in the form of Sellita SW330. Next to ETA, Sellita is one of the high-respected Swiss movement manufacturers. 2 years forward, the movement is still working as smoothly as the first time I wore it.
SW330 is a 25-jewel automatic movement with a 4-hand complication. It includes a centrally-located GMT hand to track a second timezone. The movement has a power reserve of 42 hours and runs at the frequency of 28,800 bph. The caliber is equipped with an Incablock shock protection system which provides a great deal of shielding in case of a physical shock, such as if the watch is dropped.
The top-end quality of the movement is confirmed with highly impressive accuracy results. On average, the watch provides an average rate of +/-5 seconds/day.
All in all, it’s by far the best GMT movement I’ve had a hands-on experience with, and definitely a top 5 automatic movement I’ve had overall.
If you’re a fan of the Rolex Submariner line but can’t afford it yet (join the club), Gevril Wall Street watches are an excellent alternative that won’t break the bank as much.
That’s not to say they’re cheap – they’re not. But a well-respected Swiss watchmaker – which Gevril without a doubt is – will require to dig into our pockets. Nevertheless, if we want to compare the Wall Street collection with the Rolex Submariner line, the price difference is huge.
Depending on the model, a Rolex Submariner can set you back anywhere between $9,000 and $45,000. In contrast, a highly capable Gevril Wallstreet model can be snatched even at $1500 – like the GMT model described in the article. Some of the higher-priced models in the line are listed for around $4,000.
Rounding up the Gevril Wall Street review, it’s only fair to classify the collection as a mid-budget alternative to the iconic Submariner line. There’s no point suggesting Gevril Wall Street watches are on the same level as Rolex – which is quite frankly in a league of its own. However, taking into consideration brilliantly crafted design, high durability standards, and a top-end Swiss automatic movement, Gevril offers a very satisfying value.
P.S. Another popular dive collection by Gevril is Seacloud. You can read more about these watches here.