At Kering, now without Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin, Gucci is the top watchmaker at the luxury group. While Gucci has been producing timepieces for a number of years now (at a variety of price levels), the company has seriously brought back high watchmaking with lavish designs that fit the fashion house’s bold and youthful personality quite well. This set of four different references focuses on a central tourbillon movement and playful animated display for a product Gucci calls its Gucci G-Timeless Planetarium.
Note that this is not a planetarium watch in any traditional sense. While the colors of the precious and semi-precious stones are inspired by the color spectrums of light that we observe from a variety of celestial nebulae, this watch does not display the position or movement of any planetary bodies in our solar system. Instead, the various hour markers on the Gucci G-Timeless Planetarium dial both spin on their own axis, and together around the periphery of the dial when a hidden pusher in the crown is activated. That puts the G-Timeless Planetarium watch in line with other complicated, jewelry watches that have added “emotional animation” features designed to titillate the eyes of the watch’s wearer and their audience.
The four versions of the Gucci G-Timeless Planetarium watch all have 40mm-wide cases, but they are either in 18k yellow, 18k white, or 18k pink gold depending on the version. The 18k yellow-gold version has star-style diamond-set hour markers, while the other models have more circular-cut stones as the hour markers. Hour and minute hands are connected to the central axis but are positioned on turning discs and hover over the large, animated hour marker structures. Given the level of dial depth and the glistening nature of the facet-cut stones, I think it is safe to say that the Gucci G-Timeless Planetarium watch is designed for maximum sparkle (and, psychologically speaking, that helps sell luxury timepieces much of the time).
Gucci has offered limited technical information about the watches and the manually wound tourbillon-based movement. My guess is that the movement operates at 3Hz with about two days of power reserve. Gucci did say that when the animation system is activated, the hour markers spend nine seconds spinning around their own axis, and a total of 90 seconds in order to fully spin around the entire dial. That means a lot of torque, and it isn’t clear if that is all delivered by pushing the activation button or if you need to first wind up a mainspring to power the action.
Funky, cool colors are still what Gucci is all about, and in that regard, these watches really do succeed. Given that Gucci is in the market of selling high-end toys and fashion trinkets, this set of watches fits right into that theme, especially with the target demographic that wants quality but also seems to want fun more than to feel serious. The watches are all paired with fitted alligator straps that come in a color that nicely matches the theme of the dial. The current versions of the Gucci G-Timeless Planetarium watch scheduled for release in 2023 include the reference YA161331 in 18k yellow gold with the star-style hour markers, the YA161333 in 18k white gold with the purple strap, the YA161334 in 18k white gold with the green strap, and the YA161332 in 18k pink gold on the brown alligator strap. Gucci was unable to provide pricing ahead of press time.