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 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. Shouldn’t the name of this watch be the Gucci “G-Time” versus “G-Timeless?” I mean of course I get what “timeless” means, but is that really a term you want as the name of a product that should not be “less time?” Perhaps I am thinking about it too much, but I really do feel that this little “minor” detail does matter when it comes to subconscious consumer perceptions about products. It isn’t even timeless either. This dive-style watch looks to be squarely set in circa 1995 with its bold primary colors. Oh, you have got to love the Italians (and their flag). As much as I joke about it, I still do quite like this timepiece as a fashion watch. It is just sorta ‘fun.’
Gucci is watch maker I don’t really discuss all that often. First of all, they don’t make complicated watches. Off the top of my head I can’t even think of a mechanical Gucci watch. Though they do have some which have that “G” as the bezel. For the most part I think of their attractive quartz watches for the ladies. All ladies love a nice Gucci timepiece. For men they have had an interesting and slightly avant garde collection of watches over the years. A few years ago they came out with their pretty cool high-end digital watch collection called the I-Gucci that I will review hands-on soon. It was released right about when it was really trendy to place “i” in front of almost every word. iJoke… no I don’t. This G-Timeless Sport is analog, but contains a Swiss ETA quartz movement. For most people that is a deal breaker, but then again, those people aren’t people who buy “fashion watches.” I actually first wrote about the Gucci G-Timeless collection here a while ago before some of these new styles came out. Once again I find myself interested in the collection. Is it just me or do these pieces beg to be worn with a colorful polo shirt that has a pulled up collar?
The G-Timeless Sport is a dive style watch with 100 meters of water resistance. That is just enough for the “Sport” part of the name to apply. The case is in steel being 44m wide, and there is a PVD black version as well. As a diver style piece it does have a rotating timing bezel and easy to read dial, as well as an AR coated sapphire crystal. Plus, according to Gucci the colored hour markers and hands are done in colored SuperLumiNova.
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.