Even if you’re not a massive fashion dork, there’s every chance that the name of one of the most recognizable fashion brands in the world, Gucci, rings a bell.
With its roots dating back to as early as 1921, Gucci is one of the oldest hands in the fashion industry.
By many, it’s seen as the epitome of modern luxury style. It’s especially loved by high-profile personas, such as Hollywood stars or the most recognized faces of sports. At present, it’s a real struggle to find a major fashion show without the inclusion of the newest Gucci collections.
With a such rich history and enormous reputation across the globe, we’re in no position to question the quality of Gucci clothing. However, is the quality provided by Gucci watches just as good?
In 1997 the brand entered the horological industry and continues to offer head-turning watch designs to this date. With that said, some people have reservations about the quality-price ratio offered by Gucci timepieces.
In this Gucci watches review, we will have a closer look at all the factors contributing to the overall quality of the Gucci watch line. Before we do that, though, let’s learn more about the brand’s background.
Without further ado, let’s go.
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Gucci watches have been around for a relatively short period. That can’t be said about Gucci as a fashion brand. The beginnings of the now-famous global fashion mogul date back to the 1920s.
In 1921, Guccio Gucci founded the company in Florence, Italy. Apparently, the love for luxury fashion goods came from the time he served as a bellboy at a high-end Savoy Hotel in London, England. Seeing all the luxurious suitcases and trunks carried by various aristocrats staying at the hotel, Gucci decided that he would offer similar quality products under his own label.
The decision to embark on this now century-long journey proved to be an excellent one. From the moment he started selling leather goods in his first shop in Florence, the brand became a massive hit amongst folks in Italy. It was until 1953, however, that Gucci entered the US market.
The move to expand overseas came after the death of Guccio. The reigns of the company were taken over by his three sons who saw the US market as their no #1 priority.
The first Gucci store in the US was opened in New York and was an instant success. Soon after, the first Gucci boutiques saw daylight in other fashion-loving cities around the globe, including Tokyo, Paris, and London. With such successful expansion came the growing endorsement from celebrities, helping Gucci become the symbol of international luxury.
Despite decades of success and growth, Gucci found itself on the brink of bankruptcy at the beginning of the 1990s. The millions of profits Guccio Gucci’s sons were racking up every year didn’t appease their appetite, leading to tax evasion on a massive scale. After a series of frauds came to light, Guccis had to give up their positions as leaders of the brand.
Following years of changing hands, Gucci was finally acquired by a large investment group from Bahrain, Investcorp. One of the first major decisions of the new regime saw Gucci’s lawyer, Domenico De Sole, promoted to the position of President of Gucci America.
In an effort to redo the damaged image of the brand, De Sole hired a premium fashion designer in the person of Tom Ford. Dawn Mello, a successful editor, was another of the major additions. After tireless few months together, the pair decided to vastly shrink Gucci’s fashion line. From over 20,000 products, left were only 5,000.
Birth of Gucci Watches
The big changes led by Ford and Mello weren’t only limited to reducing the number of items. In fact, the creation of the Gucci watch line is mainly down to them as well.
76 years after the brand’s creation, in the summer of 1997, Gucci obtained a watch license from Severin-Montres. Soon after, the brand started producing and selling newly designed designer timepieces to emphasize its devotion to fashion products. In the first years of the collection’s existence, Gucci also bought other fashion labels, including Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, and Sergio Rossi, to name a few.
In the subsequent years, another notable Gucci purchase was the Boucheron International group, a Paris-based luxury watch and jewelry firm. Gucci didn’t stop there. It went on to obtain Yves Saint Laurent watch licenses as well. This daring gesture, combined with the debut of Gucci’s first-ever timepiece, provided the ideal entry point into the industry of premium designer watches.
These days, next to other world-renowned fashion brands such as Versace, Gucci watch models are some of the most desired designer watches on the market.
So, considering the not-so-low price margins, is it worth buying a Gucci watch? To find out, continue reading. In the next section of this Gucci watches review, we will have a closer look at the level of workmanship offered by the brand.
Are Gucci Watches Any Good? Quality Review
There’s no denying that, more often than not, Gucci watches do look top-shelf. Because of the world-renowned luxury status, the famous double G logo alone is for many good enough a reason to purchase the timepiece.
However, even the best-looking watches will turn out a major disappointment if the durability and the craftsmanship levels aren’t up to the required standards. So does the head-turning and well-made exterior transfer to other, less visible elements? And, considering the relatively high pricing, do Gucci watches hold their value?
Let’s take a look at some of the essential elements that contribute to the overall Gucci watch quality.
P.S. The style offered by the brand will be discussed further down the article in a section dedicated to Gucci watch collections.
Gucci is a fashion watch brand and that’s easily visible across all watch collections.
Unlike many watchmakers who have one or two styles, they focus on, the selection of designs is bigger with Gucci. Just like different clothing lines, watch collections also contrast in style. At the very least, that’s what we should expect from a world-renowned Italian fashion company.
Although watches boast different looks, one common characteristic is the Gucci logo that’s pretty much impossible to miss across all watch lines.
Whilst there are some watch models that can be described as “minimalistic”, most of them are designed to turn heads and get people talking. We will have a closer look at some of the most popular designs in the Gucci Watch Collections section later.
Considering the fact that Gucci is a mid-to-high budget brand (some models can set you back 4 figures), we have every right to expect a high standard of material that will ensure satisfying longevity.
Since the dial window is the part that is most prone to damage, it’s only fair to have a look at the type of glass used in Gucci watches. Having in mind that a cracked window can not only be tough on the eye but also lead to unrepairable movement damage, it’s essential there’s solid enough protection. Fortunately, all Gucci collections – whether talking about Entry-Level or high-end models – use the best protection in the form of sapphire crystal glass.
The material is an ever-present element of all top-end watchmakers. However, it’s not uncommon for brands oscillating in the same price basket as Gucci. Hence, anything other than sapphire would be highly disappointing. Moreover, Gucci timepieces use an anti-reflective coating which at times makes you forget the crystal is even there.
Moving on to other elements, all models come with stainless steel cases (and bezels). The exact type of stainless steel used across Gucci collections is 316 which has the strongest anti-corrosion properties. Again, this is quite a standard choice amongst watch brands in this price sector. What’s worth noting, Gucci makes sure the casebacks and crowns are screw-down. This approach goes a long way in aiding the water-resistance capabilities – however modest.
Here we have to remember that a lion’s share of Gucci timepieces are fashion watches and we shouldn’t expect them to be great companions in water. Hence, in most cases, the water-resistance rating is 5ATM (50m). With that said, there’s a Gucci diving line that offers much more impressive parameters. We will give it a closer look later.
How about bracelets? In this aspect, the choice is vast and caters to many tastes. Considering Gucci’s bold approach across the clothing line, that’s hardly a surprise. You can pick from:
- stainless steel bracelets (by far the most durable)
- genuine leather bands (most elegant but delicate)
- canvas straps
- nylon straps
- rubber bands
All Gucci timepieces arrive with a 2-year warranty period. The Gucci watch warranty covers all defects related to the workmanship, including the movement and the battery. For a designer’s watch, that’s a pretty solid cover.
That’s not to say the calibers in Gucci watches aren’t of good quality – they are. After all, the timepieces run on Swiss-made movements, known for their impressive performance and longevity. However, at these price points, some people expect a bigger selection of Swiss automatic movements whilst Gucci focuses strongly on quartz mechanisms.
Is that the wrong approach? It depends strictly on what you’re looking for in a timepiece.
We can’t forget that Gucci is first and foremost a world-renowned fashion mogul and not a watch brand. Like most manufacturers of designer fashion watches, Gucci focuses mostly on head-turning design – something it has specialized in for a century now.
The Swiss movements used by Gucci are highly reliable but the truth is, other watchmakers in this price sector offer more complex mechanisms. On the other hand, they don’t offer the prestige that many associate with wearing a Gucci product. It’s all about your priorities. If you’re a fan of Gucci as a fashion brand, the purchase of a watch is a no-brainer really.
Like the vast majority of fashion watch brands (and in fact, many watchmakers), Gucci doesn’t produce the movements in-house. Most models use calibers produced by one of the two well-known Swiss manufacturers – ETA or Sellita. This ensures satisfying longevity and performance. Speaking of the performance, the accuracy in battery-powered models is roughly +/- 15 seconds/month. Depending on the automatic caliber, you can expect an accuracy of +/- 15-20 seconds/day.
Gucci Watch Collections
Gucci is nearly a synonym for the highest level of luxury – an approach that can easily be felt across all watch collections. After entering the watchmaking industry, Gucci has created some classic and gorgeous timepieces over the years. The upscale label expertly blends Swiss watchmaking with Italian design.
At the time of writing, there are 8 watch collections to pick from – each offering its own tweaks and style. To give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of design and functionalities, we’ve picked the 5 best-selling lines for a quick review. Find them below.
Probably the most distinctive Gucci watch line to date.
Gucci Grip timepieces are unique in their form and function. The world of skateboarding has a big influence on this collection. When worn, the watch simulates the way a skater’s sneakers stick to the skateboard. Furthermore, the watch face has three displays: one for the hour, one for the minute, and one for the date.
Gucci Grip watches are also water-resistant to 100 meters.
The collection is one we have hands-on experience with. Feel free to read the Gucci Grip watch review here.
Gucci offers a wide choice of timepieces for both men and women as part of this collection.
Gucci’s “G” logo was debossed on the dial of the original models released at the beginning of the century. However, in order to promote the brand’s fashion sense and originality, G-Timeless watches now come with a variety of patterns and styles to pick from. The present design is considerably more adventurous. Nowadays, the double G insignia is placed at noon o’clock.
The face motifs are inspired by the brand’s aesthetics and reflect the fashion house’s trends: bees, mystic cats, stars, hearts, snakes, and so on.
Women’s watches are available in 27mm, 29mm, 36mm, and 38mm encasing, while men’s watches are available in 36mm, 38mm, 40mm, and 42mm sizes. On the strap front, stainless steel, leather, or rubber straps are the possible choices.
All G-Timeless models offer 5ATM (50m) water resistance.
A hands-on Gucci G-Timeless watch review is available on Youtube.
The Diamantissima line is ladies-only!
The name “Diamantissima” is a testament to the Diamante pattern etched into the dials of these watches. Unfortunately, no real diamonds are involved here! With that said, it’s still one of the most elegant collections with the strongest luxury vibe.
Gucci Diamantissima timepieces come with round cases of small-to-medium diameters, suiting all types of female wrists. Despite the comment-worthy design, the models have a minimalistic feel to them as well. This is especially noticeable with the 2-hand configuration and minimal (or complete lack of) number of hour markers.
The collection comes in two types of bands: mesh bracelets or leather straps. On the waterproofing front, a Gucci Diamantissima timepiece offers 5 ATM (50m) protection.
The Gucci G-Frame collection is another dedicated exclusively to ladies.
Its biggest characteristic is a departure from the round case design, instead opting for a rectangular, perhaps more feminine look. In addition to the different shapes, the case of a Gucci G-Frame watch is also considerably smaller.
The collection boasts a pretty minimalistic design. All models use a simple, 2-hand complication. Some models are devoid of any hour markers whilst others have 4 – at 3, 6, 9 and noon o’clock.
These watches are a great fashion accessory with elegant style that won’t look out of place either in a casual or a more formal outfit. The collection offers three strap types: mesh bracelet, polyester strap, or genuine leather band.
When it comes to water resistance, all models come with a modest (but standard for a dress watch) 30 ATM (30m) rating.
Gucci is one of the very few fashion companies that offer a collection of diving watches. If you’re a diving enthusiast that stays up to date with the latest vogue trends, the Gucci Dive line is definitely worth a look.
As things stand, the collection consists of 10 watch models. Although the watches boast a rather masculine design (mainly due to the larger cases), these models are also a popular choice amongst ladies.
As already mentioned, Gucci divers come with considerably bigger cases. If you’ve come across a diving watch before, you will be aware that it’s because of the uni-directional bezel. Used to measure elapsed time underwater, it’s an ever-present element of all dive collections across different watchmakers.
Naturally, much-improved water resistance is another distinction of a Gucci dive watch. These timepieces boast a WR rating of 20 ATM (200m) which is a significant betterment on the 30-50 ATM rating offered by a lion’s share of Gucci watch models.
Another characteristic is the strong luminescence offered both by the hour and minute hands, as well as dotted hour markers. This is a must-have feature to allow for easy time-telling underwater.
When it comes to the selection of straps, the Dive line offers stainless steel bracelets, and polyester straps. or rubber bands.
If you’d like to explore more about the collection, a popular Youtube channel, A Wrist of Time has prepared a hands-on Gucci dive watch review.
Where to Buy Gucci Watches?
Because of the luxury brand status and its worldwide popularity, Gucci watches are one of the favorite choices amongst replica manufacturers. Hence, it’s important to know where to do your shopping.
Naturally, the safest place is Gucci’s official website. In the watch section, you will find tens of watch models to pick from. The website is also the first place to visit for the newest releases. The biggest (and possibly only) drawback of shopping on Gucci.com is the prices. Comparing the cost of timepieces from the official site with some retailers, the difference is quite stark. At the very least, prepare to shell out $900.
Another reliable source is the popular marketplace, Amazon. There, the prices are much more competitive. The number of models available is also impressive, as is the same-day shipping policy. The cheapest models start at just $500. There are many Gucci watches on sale, especially during popular shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
When talking about designer watches, Jomashop is another online destination that deserves a mention. It’s one of the most trusted and popular online jewelry and watch stores in the United States. It’s also an authorized retailer of Gucci. The prices start at ~$600.
Finally, you might want to check out eBay. The marketplace is especially popular amongst folks who don’t mind a pre-owned timepiece. Some second-hand Gucci models can be snatched at $300.
Are Gucci Watches Luxury?
It depends on how you look at it.
Definitely, Gucci as a fashion brand is the epitome of luxury. The fact that some of the richest people on the globe constantly wear the brand’s products speaks volumes. If we look at the overall picture, we could easily say that Gucci offers luxury-only products – watches included.
However, if we focus solely on the specifications of timepieces offered by Gucci, classifying them as a luxury would probably be a bit of a stretch.
Despite offering head-turning designs and quality materials frequently present in proper luxury watchmakers (ie. sapphire crystal glass or 18k gold cases), any person with some clue about the horological industry will agree that the movements offered by Gucci are way off the luxury standard. Certainly, the Swiss-made calibers are absolutely reliable but they can be also found in watches at half the price of Gucci.
The fairest statement would be that Gucci offers luxury designer timepieces.
Where Are Gucci Watches Made?
Gucci is an Italian brand and many mistakenly think that it means all the timepieces are manufactured in Italy. That’s not the case.
Since the launch of the company, Gucci has always been striving to be the quintessence of luxury across all product categories. Although Italy is the known Fashion Capital of the World, it’s not really popular for top-shelf watchmaking. Hence, watches are the sole product line that is produced outside of Italy.
Paying homage to the illustrious horological history, all Gucci watches are produced in Switzerland and go through rigorous quality tests necessary for flashing the Swiss-made label. The exact place where the magic happens is the brand’s atelier in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Example of popular watchmakers residing in the same city is Gevril and Bell and Ross.
Who Makes Gucci Watches?
Unlike some other fashion brands, Gucci doesn’t outsource the production of their watches. Instead, they do the job themselves.
According to the brand’s official site, all watches are manufactured by Gucci Group Watches in the headquarters mentioned above. Other names produced under the label include Yves Saint-Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen.
How Much Are Gucci Watches?
Because of the brand’s luxury status and worldwide reputability, Gucci watches aren’t the cheapest.
So, how much does a Gucci watch cost? Depending on the collection and where you do your shopping, a Gucci watch can set you back anywhere between $500 and $2,000. The Gucci watch price is probably the steepest on the brand’s official website.
Is Gucci a Good Watch Brand? Conclusion
If you’ve been mulling over the purchase of your first Gucci watch model, we hope that the article has helped you make a decision – one way or another.
To sum up today’s review of Gucci watches, let us again stress that these are some of the best designer timepieces you can find online. The prestige associated with wearing the Italian fashion mogul’s logo is alone a huge incentive for many enthusiasts – especially those who already know the brand well. Gucci was the first renowned fashion label to branch into watchmaking and to this date is one of the most desired options on the table.
In terms of craftsmanship, Gucci watches definitely offer head-turning designs and solid enough materials to make sure the product sticks with you for a good few years.
All watch models come with a Swiss-made label and use movements from popular Swiss manufacturers, such as ETA or Sellita. With that said, these aren’t movements that will make your jaw drop – but neither should you expect them to. Biggest Gucci watches critics bemoan at the small selection of automatic models and the fact that the quartz calibers can be found in brands available at considerably lower price points. However, what they seem to forget they are dealing with what is first and foremost a fashion brand. Watches are just one of its branches.
Some watch collectors point out that anyone who buys a Gucci watch does so solely for the brand name, not for the watch’s genuine functionality. In a sense, it’s hard to disagree with that statement. Bulova, Tissot, Seiko, or Glycine are just a few brands many aficionados recommend going for instead of Gucci.
Many customers who have purchased Gucci watches adore the beauty and design but have mixed feelings on the subject of functionality and general complexity of these watches. Another popular brand with a similar reputation is Versace (read also: Versace watches review).
If you are a fan of designer accessories, admire luxury companies, and enjoy the bragging rights of wearing their emblem on your wrist, there’s no way you should resign from buying a Gucci timepiece just because it’s not a time-telling powerhouse. For fashion geeks, watches don’t have to be all about “horology” — selecting a style you enjoy might just suffice.
Final Say: if today’s Gucci watches review has in any way influenced your decision, we’d love to hear about it – or your own experience with the brand. Let’s interact in the comment section below!