The case is all done in a nice gunmetal pvd, and utilizes hex screws for the lugs, and also hex screws for the crown guards. I am not sure if the these screws for the crown guards are functional or if just decoration, I didn’t want to scratch them up by attempting to unscrew them. The screw down crown functions well, and does not have a scratchy or grinding feeling, like one of original models I reviewed from Gruppo Gamma.
The domed sapphire crystal is a nice touch, and adds to that vintage feel. For the most part I am a fan of the domed crystals and am glad to see many companies utilizing them. Under the crystal you have a very clean black sandwich dial, with arabic 12, 3, 6, 9 markers, much like Panerai. One thing of note, no small second or regular second hand here. Now this is somewhat a pro and a con. On the one hand, with no regular second hand, you do not encounter the stutter that can sometimes happen with the Miyota 8215 movement. With that said, with no minute/second hash marks and lack of a second hand, accuracy is hard to attain. So if you are an accuracy nut, you might want to pass this one up. In a week of wearing, best I can tell, the watch was about 3 minutes slow.
The case back is done in brushed and frosted finishes, with the skull logo etched on the back. Original prototypes of the Vanguard had the skull logo on the dial, which might have been too garish for some, so glad to see they switched it to the back. The Vanguard does have a screw down case back and is water resistant to 200 meters. Would I take it into the water? Maybe, with an isofrane or some other rubber strap on it I would, but I rarely take my watches with me into the pool or otherwise, because I dont need the time when in the pool or ocean.
Speaking of straps, the Vanguard comes with 2 straps, black and brown leather. The straps are supple and pliable and of very decent quality. Are they of custom leather quality? No, but they are very nice for what they are and both look great on the Vanguard. Both come with a matching gunmetal pvd signed buckle.
On my 7.5 inch wrist, the 44m Vanguard fits well. The size in general is what I prefer, with 15mm in thickness and a length of 54mm. The straps are also the size that I generally order when getting a custom strap and should fit up to an 8 inch wrist.
Lume is very nice and bright, and lasted about 4 hours before fading out. So it is not the greatest lume out there, but is above average.
Overall, I think Gruppo Gamma has created a nice package with the Vanguard. I think I would have preferred a Miyota 9015 movement, even if it brought the price to over $400 , but I think Gruppo Gamma is on the right track. As I said in the beginning, I know these homages are not for everyone. But for those who like this style and can’t afford the originals, this is a nice example with some quality materials.
You can see all variations of the Gruppo Gamma Vanguard HERE.
Thank you to Gruppo Gamma for providing the Vanguard for review.
Please leave your comments below and thank you for reading.
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