Traditionally, enthusiasts divide watches into two broad categories: fashion watches and “important” watches. But as everyone knows, there is no such thing as black and white – there are infinite shades of gray. And so there are watches that have a bit of one and a bit of the other. And for that very reason, they seem to represent that ideal bridge that unites the two sides of the river. In short: these are, for all intents and purposes, watches appropriately made, with appreciable technical content, but speaking the same language as the people transitioning from smartphones and smartwatches to something different. And this model from Gravithin, named Argo/Argomatic, does just that. Join us for our review of the Gravithin Argomatic 42 mm.
Who is Gravithin
The company was born where you would least expect it: from the lands of Salento. A region famous for a thousand other things but certainly not for watchmaking. Yet, this oh-so-modern and appealing project comes to us from this sun-kissed land and the Adriatic Sea.
Born in 2017 from the idea of Cesare Zuccaro, the company wants to represent a challenge. A challenge to stereotypes, and a testimony to a constant and continuous search for self-improvement, offering affordable dress watches that make design their workhorse (the company has won several prestigious design awards such as the IF Design Award and the A Design Award).
The name is meant to evoke lightness and subtlety, two of the founding principles of the company’s style and its collections. But now to what interests us most: the watch.
The Gravithin Argo model
The fundamental element of the Argo is definitely the design, minimal and contemporary – and nothing in this area has been left to chance. The watch arrives in a beautiful rectangular box with a counter box and precious embossed details that reveal the attention to detail.
Opening the box, we find ourselves in front of our timepiece, well-protected thanks to a series of compartments lined with a velvety material. In addition to the warranty card and the instruction card with a QR code to access the complete manual, we also find the bracelet and a handy tool to groom the bracelet to fit our size, and of course, the watch head. Worthy of note are the springbars, featuring a quick lock system – a relatively rare solution on affordable watches like these.
One small note: the watch head is a bit difficult to take out of the box, so caught up in the urge, we might try to do it with some metal tool, with the risk of scratching the case.
Gravithin Argomatic 42 mm -Case and finish
Speaking of the case, we are faced with a UFO-type case without lugs, so despite its size of 42 mm, it feels smaller and adequately fits even less important wrists.
The watch we received is steel with a PVD-deposited satin gold coating, a finish that is also repeated on the bracelet. If you are not a fan of this look, you will find that the classic polished steel version with Milanese link bracelet is more to your liking.
The satin finish of the case is very elegant, in our opinion – different from the usual and effectively contrasting with the blue tones of the dial and the red details. It has a sturdy look, matches well with the bracelet, and conveys an excellent impression of sturdiness despite its height of about 10 mm. The push-pull logoed crown has a design that makes it easy to operate, and the watch claims a water resistance of 50 meters.
Gravithin Argomatic 42 mm – Dial and hands
The dial is definitely the most exciting element of the watch: it has a distinctive style that is somewhere between minimal and industrial and is embellished with details such as a sandwich structure in shades of light blue and blue and a matte finish with a contrasting “automatic” lettering in a shiny effect.
The hands are well executed, traditional in shape with tonal inserts on the dial, and equipped with BGW9 SuperLuminova coating. Nothing to say; the final effect is charming and puts the Argo in far higher categories than it might seem from its list price.
The sapphire crystal is flat, helping to make the watch more dressy, and the dial well readable, thanks in part to the anti-reflective treatment.
The Gravithin Argo offers several versions, both quartz and automatic. We tested the automatic one, equipped with a movement quite different from those usually adopted by contemporary Microbrands.
We are talking about the Miyota 9015, a robust and reliable automatic caliber developed by the Japanese company belonging to the Citizen galaxy, with 42 hours of power reserve, visible through the sapphire crystal case back so that you can appreciate the finish of the Cotes de Geneve (or maybe Tokyo, in this case!) bridges.
There is also a small date window, located at six o’clock – which stands out because of the white coloring of the date window. Perhaps a colored solution com the dial would have been more elegant, but it is a detail.
Gravithin Argomatic 42 mm – Strap & Wearability
As mentioned, the Argo features several different strap variations. The version in our possession has unique gold-coated steel elements that taper toward the butterfly clasp – a very elegant solution that gives this watch an extra design touch. But we also like the version with a Milanese metal mesh strap. And given the style of the watch, in the field of third-party proposals, you can find some great ideas for changing the look of your Argo. For example, a light blue printed leather version might be a fun alternative.
The metal bracelet, as supplied, is very large, so you will have to strip it of some links to adapt it to your size. Gravithin encloses a special tool, but to be on the safe side and to avoid rifling the links, the intervention of a watchmaker would perhaps be desirable.
Wearing the watch feels an unusual weight for modern watches, especially if, as in this case, the timepiece presents dressy features. And its design turns out to be eye-catching, and it attracts people’s eyes because it is a watch, but not the usual traditional kind that everyone would expect.
And the real surprise is when you look at its list price. The variant with a quartz mechanism is on sale for 139 euros, while the automatic one costs 329 euros. This is a more than reasonable price considering the watch’s features and build quality. Most importantly, it is a watch that “weighs” much more than it costs. International customers, especially from the USA and Japan, who are paying particular attention to this fine Made in Italy timepiece, know this feeling well.
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