Just like the United States is recognized as the hub of the best burgers on the planet, the country of Switzerland is known for delivering the best quality wristwatches.
For an average person with at least a bit of interest in horology, the first brands originating from the country of Alps that spring to mind are the likes of Rolex, Omega, or Breitling. The truth is: there’s much more to Swiss watchmaking than the mentioned holy trio.
Particularly in the mid-budget or even the Entry-Level luxury spectrum, there’s a myriad of Swiss watchmakers that offer just as head-turning looks and an excellent level of craftsmanship. Judging by the number of positive reviews you can find online, one of the brands that seem to meet these criteria is Gevril.
Since the 1990s, the Swiss brand has been enjoying a period of a true renaissance resulting in year-on-year growth in terms of sales and global presence. In this Gevril watches review, we take a detailed look at the brand’s overall picture, starting from its history and continuing to the quality of these neat-looking timepieces.
Ready. Steady. Go.
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Gevril History & Background
If we were to go back to the very beginning of Gevril history, it would make it one of the oldest hands not only when it comes to the Swiss but global watchmaking industry.
The origins of the company date back to as early as the mid-18th century courtesy of Jacques Gevril who was a highly talented Swiss watchmaker and the founder of the brand. At that time, he was an up-and-coming apprentice specializing in pocket watches and clocks (wristwatches were still not available at that time).
In 1758, Gevril along with his colleague and close friend Pierre Jaquet-Droz traveled to Madrid for business talks. There, the two men met up with none other than King Ferdinand VI to whom they presented a selection of complex musical automata. So impressed was the king that he bought all of them.
Even though Jaquet-Droz went back home the following year, Gevril decided to remain in Spain and continue to grow his reputation as an excellent watchmaker. Shortly after, he was appointed Royal Watchmaker by the same king, the most prestigious title available at that time.
The death of Francis didn’t bring an end to Gevril’s rich traditions. His legacy was continued by future generations of watchmakers including Moyse Gevril and Daniel Gevril. Both made lasting contributions to the Swiss watchmaking industry and some of Gevril’s pocket watches are considered great collector items: one is even stored in the Museum Geneve and another is part of the collection of the Wilsdorf family – the founders of none other than Rolex.
For long decades, Gevril disappeared from the horological map and the lips of watch aficionados. That was until the 1990s when a Swiss watch distributor acquired rights to the Gevril name. The fresh start dates back to 1995 when Gevril timepieces were displayed at Basel Fair, a popular event in the industry.
But it wasn’t until 2001 when the true renaissance of the brand set off. That year, a Swiss businessman with a massive passion for watches purchased the Gevril brand. From day one, he set himself and the team one clear goal: to return the name to where it belongs in terms of the level of craftsmanship – near the very top.
After the takeover, Gevril headquarters were moved to New York – the new owner’s place of residence. However, Gevril Horlogerie, the brand’s factory, was kept in Switzerland. To this date, Switzerland is the place that gives birth to approximately 6,000 Gevril’s mechanical watches every year.
Are Gevril Watches Any Good? (Quality Review)
Now that we know every little detail about the history of the brand, it’s time to discuss the quality it provides in the present times.
Considering the fact that a lion’s share of Gevril watches oscillates in the mid-to-high price spectrum, the expectations are huge.
With watch experts and competitors ready to bash you at every opportunity in this dog-eat-dog environment, the mission to deliver satisfying quality is a challenge. That’s particularly true when we take into consideration Gevril’s relatively short presence on the market. After all, the true beginning of Gevril’s modern era took place in this century.
The fairest way to define the quality of any brand is to stack it against other watchmakers in the same price basket. By looking at essential features such as style, durability, and movement, we can get a clearer idea about the value Gevril provides.
So, is Gevril a good watch brand, and are Gevril watches good quality?
Let’s find out.
Even the most exquisite-looking watch will count for nothing if the durability standards are poor. Luckily, what’s on offer with Gevril in this aspect lives up to the price tag.
Starting with arguably the most damage-prone part of any watch, the dial, all Gevril watches come with the best possible protection in the form of sapphire crystal glass. Without a doubt, it’s the most impact-resistant material out there. It’s used by all top-end brands in the industry such as Rolex, Omega, or Breitling. Additionally, a lion’s share of Gevril models uses an anti-reflective coating which greatly boosts the readability and makes the crystal pretty much invisible.
There are three types of cases: stainless steel, titanium, and ceramic. Although all are pretty sturdy types, the first is by the most scratch-resistant and titanium is the lightest. If you’re prone to dropping your watch often, you might want to steer clear of ceramic cases which are a bit more brittle than the other two.
Since many Gevril models include functional bezels, it’s worth mentioning that they use exact same materials. What’s equally important is that all timepieces include screw-down casebacks and crowns which greatly improve protection against water damage.
And since we’ve touched on the subject of water, Gevril watches come with a water resistance rating of between 100m and 300m. The lower margin is a characteristic of dressy watches and the higher of the diving collections.
When it comes to straps, you can pick from three options:
- stainless steel – the most scratch-resistant
- titanium – the strongest in general and lightest
- leather – the most elegant but weakest
Some of the more pricey stainless steel and titanium watches use an 18k-gold coating.
The type of caliber a watch uses is oftentimes the biggest distinction between a low-budget timepiece and one that rightly belongs at the higher end of the pricing table. Because of the higher level of craftsmanship and attention to detail, mechanical watches are the more sought-after type amongst folks willing to spend four figures on a single model.
Whilst there are some collections focused on quartz watches, the vast majority of Gevril models are mechanical. But how does it relate to the actual quality of these movements?
As with all watchmakers, the standard of the movement will largely depend on the watch pricing. These will differ between certain collections and models.
To give you a clearer idea of what to expect from mechanical mechanisms, we will have a brief look at two calibers scoring contrasting reviews.
Let’s start with the one that gets nothing but praise – Sellita SW330. Mainly, the movement is used in the Gevril Wall Street collection. Since Sellita is one of the highest-respected Swiss movement manufacturers, it’s no surprise the caliber in question here is extremely robust, accurate, and long-lasting.
Diving into the specs, it’s a 25-jewel automatic movement with a 4-hand complication that’s able to track time in two different timezones. With a power reserve of 42 hours and an Incablock shock protection system, the movement is said to be extremely durable. However, the most impressive aspect of the SW330 caliber is its accuracy. The fact that it’s unlikely to gain more than 5 seconds daily makes it one of the most reliable Swiss calibers in the Entry Level luxury sector.
Although in general the mechanical movements used in Gebril timepieces provide solid value, not all score as glowing reviews as the one above. An example of a poorly rated caliber is MDD3G by Ruben & Sons used across all models in the Seacloud collection. Although Swiss-made, there are suggestions the movement is based on the Miyota 9215 caliber which is Japanese and used in much cheaper watch brands than Gevril. Particularly the poor accuracy (-20/+40 seconds daily) is a huge let-down.
If you value accuracy above all, you will also be spoiled for choice when crawling through quartz watches. A good example of a collection that focuses strongly on battery-powered timepieces is GV2. Equally rich in head-turning models for men and women, GV2 watches mainly use movements by another popular Swiss manufacturer, Ronda. An example of such caliber is Ronda 763 which delivers an accuracy of -10/+20 seconds monthly.
In general, Gevril watches oscillate in the dressy spectrum. Most collections boast elegant designs suitable for all sorts of occasions. However, there’s also something in store for those who opt for more sporty designs.
In a minute we will take a look at some of the most popular Gevril collections and the different design approaches.
All Gevril watches, as long as they’re purchased from authorized sellers, are covered by a 2-year guarantee period. It’s important to note that in order to be eligible for the warranty, you need to register your purchase here.
Gevril Watch Collections
The brand groups its watches into two main categories: Gevril and GV2. In total, there are 40 collections to pick from. Going through all would take a day or more so I picked the four best-selling lines in 2021.
This should give you enough clues about what to expect on the styling and functionality fronts.
Gevril Wall Street
At the time of writing, it’s arguably the most sought-after Gevril collection. If you’re a fan of homages to the iconic Rolex Submariner watch, you are likely to be spoilt for choice with this one.
All models in this line are capable diving watches, boasting a 200m water-resistance rating and a “Professional” label, meaning they’re ISO-certified and thus are safe companions for scuba diving. Characteristically for Submariner homages, all models come with a uni-directional bezel that can be used to measure elapsed time underwater.
Currently, the collection consists of 17 models. All are automatic. The watches are available in two complication settings – the standard 3-hand complication and a 4-hand complication that includes a centrally-positioned GMT hand. The latter type is an excellent choice for frequent travelers who want to keep track of two separate timezones at once. All hands are highly luminescent. Additionally, the Wall Street timepieces come with a date window positioned at three o’clock.
Despite being a popular choice amongst those into diving sports, all models boast an elegant design thanks to the stainless steel cases and bracelets. Depending on the model, the bracelets are either 3, 4, or 5-link.
For more information about the collection, have a look at the Gevril Wall Street review.
Another popular line of Gevril watches is Seacloud. Similar to the Wall Street collection, it’s a popular choice amongst diving enthusiasts.
However, the difference in the looks is quite striking.
The above-mentioned Rolex Submariner is the role model for many watchmakers offering diving watch collections – including the Gevril Wall Street line we discussed above. Nevertheless, Seacloud watches are a clear departure from the Submariner influence. If you’re looking for a solid diving watch with a unique design, you might have found yourself a real gem.
What makes Seacloud a standout amongst most diving watch lines is the fairly large stainless steel case. Measuring 45m in diameter (without lugs), it’s considerably bigger than the Submariner (41mm) and the Wall Street (43mm). Such size means it’s probably a better pick for folks with larger wrists.
Another distinctive characteristic is the open heart caseback design, allowing you to peek at the intricate workings of the mechanical movement. The uni-directional bezels feature raised, cast steel numbers that can be read by touch as well and sight.
At present, the Seacloud collection consists of 8 watch models. All are automatic. All come with neat-looking, 3-link stainless steel bracelets. Some of the more pricey models use an 18k gold coating.
On the waterproofing front, Seacloud watches match what’s on offer with the Wall Street collection (WR up to 200m).
Read my Gevril Seacloud review for more detailed info about the collection.
In contrast to the two lines discussed above, it’s a collection designed exclusively with women in mind.
Gevril Astor watches boast an extremely feminine design. The first notable difference is the considerably smaller case size. Although it’s not a super petite size when compared to other women’s collections by Gevril, with a diameter of 40mm it can be small enough to look good on a slender wrist but also big enough to turn many heads along the way.
Currently, there are 19 watch models available in the line. A fair number of these include ion-plated rose gold cases. More often than not, a Gevril Astor watch is also decorated with diamonds. Some of the most decorated timepieces fit up to 50 diamonds, mostly set on the bezel.
GV2 Astor line offers many strap options. Amongst others, you can select from stainless steel or ion-plated yellow or rose gold bracelets, or vegan leather straps.
Because of the large Roman numerals, the Astor collection is one for the ladies who appreciate the vintage design approach. Additionally, all Astor models come with a continuous second’s sub-dial at 6 o’clock.
Since it’s the epitome of a dress watch, the water-resistance rating of these timepieces is minimal (30m).
Fun fact: On average, Gevril women’s watches prices are about 15% smaller than men’s.
Last but not least, a collection that definitely deserves some of your precious time is Gevril Vanderbilt.
If you’re a fan of vintage-styled timepieces, you are likely to fall in love with all 6 models available in the collection. On top of the stylish Roman numerals, Vanderbilt timepieces give you a great insight into how the Swiss mechanical movement is running. That’s down to the so-called skeletonized design of the dial, as well as the caseback.
The fairly large cases, measuring 47mm across all models, make Vanderbilt a man-only collection. Cases are either stainless steel or ion-plated gold.
When it comes to straps, you can select from two elegant options in the form of stainless steel and leather. Both look equally invitingly.
Similar to the Astor line for the ladies, Vanderbilt timepieces oscillate in the dressy spectrum. They are a great fit for formal or semi-formal occasions but won’t be much of a use in water. The water-resistance rating sits at 50m.
Where to Buy Gevril Watches?
The good news is: Gevril watches aren’t as popular amongst the replica manufacturers as the likes of Rolex. However, it would be a lie to say that it’s impossible to come across a counterfeit Gevril watch online. Considering the relatively high price of most models, you really want to avoid getting a Gevril replica.
There are a few places online that can be deemed safe for your first Gevril purchase.
The first obvious choice is Gevril’s official website. It offers by far the largest collection of Gevril timepieces online although the prices are probably the steepest there. Gevril.com offers free shipping both for the US and the rest of the world.
Another reliable source of Gevril timepieces is Amazon. In many cases, the marketplace offers free same-day shipping and a hassle-free 30 return policy. What’s also inviting about Amazon is the considerably lower pricing of many Gevril models. When shopping at Amazon, make sure only to pick sellers with good ratings. It wouldn’t go amiss to ask if the Gevril watch includes the 2-year warranty provided by the manufacturer.
A more than capable alternative to Amazon is Jomashop. Being one of the most reliable online watch and jewelry stores in the United States, Jomashop is an authorized retailer of Gevril timepieces. Some of the prices available there are just as tempting as Amazon’s. All models are guaranteed to come with the manufacturer’s warranty.
Where are Gevril Watches Made?
All Gevril timepieces are manufactured and assembled in the Swiss city of Tramelan where the Gevril Horlogerie is located.
To get the prestigious Swiss-made & Swiss quality label, the timepieces are handmade by the best craftsmen from around the country and go through rigorous performance tests.
Is Gevril a Luxury Brand?
Although it would be unrealistic to put Gevril on the same page as the very best of the horological industry, such as Rolex, Omega, or Patek Philippe, it’s hard to deny the luxury status of the revived Swiss brand.
Gevril timepieces are crafted with great care and are assembled from the very best materials available. Especially for ladies, the presence of genuine diamond-adorned bezels is another strong signal that we’re dealing with a luxury watch brand.
With small exceptions, the Swiss-made movements, whether quartz or automatic, are also top-notch. A lion’s share of watches uses top-end calibers from much-respected Swiss manufacturers such as Ronda (quartz), ETA, or Sellita (both mechanical).
Some of the lesser-priced collections oscillating in the ~$1000 region make Gevril an excellent Entry Level luxury option, too.
Gevril Watches Review: Conclusion
I hope that the Gevril review has shed enough light on the brand to help you decide whether it’s worth your time (pun intended) and money.
Summing up the Gevril watches review, it’s safe to say the Swiss watchmaker has done well to revive the long-standing tradition dating back to the 18th century.
It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the brand has been enjoying a true renaissance in the 21st century. Although not there quite yet, Gevril is making constant developments to edge closer to the crème de la crème of the luxury watch sector. With year-on-year growths in terms of sales and the brand’s popularity across the globe, we can safely assume they’re on the right track.
If you feel priced out of the purchase of some of the most recognized luxury watchmakers such as Rolex or Omega, giving Gevril a chance is far from the worst idea. The watchmaker is particularly popular amongst aficionados dipping their toes in the luxury watch industry. Some of its collections, like the Wall Street, provide excellent value at a much lesser cost. This makes Gevril a solid Entry-Level luxury brand.
Style-wise, the brand mainly oscillates in the elegant/dressy spectrum. However, there are some collections that will appease those who prefer a more sporty approach, like Gevril Corsaro. A detailed review of one of these models is available at another reliable watch review site, Ablogtowatch.
But are Gevril watches good quality? Absolutely. The standard of the material used with Gevril timepieces is really impressive. Whether we talk about the strongest protection against cracks in the form of sapphire crystal or the long-lasting cases, bezels, and bracelets, Gevril timepieces live up to their price tag.
Also on the movement front, the brand doesn’t disappoint. Naturally, not all collections provide jaw-dropping performance. However, more often than not, the Swiss-made complications deliver excellent performance for the price.
If you’ve found my review of Gevril watches helpful in any way, I’m glad. Whether you think that some points need further discussion or you want to share your own experience with the brand, feel free to use the comment section below to interact. Additionally, you can find more opinions on Gevril here.