The Grayton brand dates back to only 2015 and was started by Remi Chabrat, the 24 year long CEO of the Montrichard Group.  Montrichard Group is a global watch company with manufacturing in Switzerland and China and marketing offices located in the USA, Hong Kong and Europe.  Designed in New York City, Grayton’s emphasis is on quality, design and value.

Grayton offers three watch sizes; 44 mm for men, 40 mm unisex and 36 mm for women.  For this review I have their 44 mm mens watch, model S.8-44-005-DR.  It is about 14.44 mm thick, 50.44 mm lug to lug, 22 mm between the lugs with the bracelet tapering to 20 mm.  The case is completely polished 316L stainless steel with a five link stainless brushed/polished bracelet.  The watch case is rounded in profile with an exhibition engraved screw down case back and polished turned down lugs. The very comfortable bracelet has a hidden deployment butterfly clasp and is solid and well finished.  The watch is also available with an embossed crocodile leather strap or a nylon fabric strap, but the bracelet is my personal favorite for this watch.

The push pull polished stainless unsigned diamond shaped crown works well with this case and face design.  It is rated for 100 meters W/R with a domed, hardened mineral crystal.  The satin finished, almost navy blue dial has alternating large raised even Arabic numerals and raised medium sized dots, all with silver borders and green Super Luminova filler.  The sword hour and minute hands are also finished in this way with the second hand a polished slightly tapering thin stick.  The chapter ring has 60 markers, with every fifth marker being slightly bolder.

The 3 o’clock black on white date window is nicely framed with a raised silver edge and a raised silver bordered lume dot next to the date window.  This design element is possible  because the 44 mm case contains a smaller movement.  The date window can then be positioned farther inward, allowing for a 3 o’clock lume dot.  The Grayton name is tastefully printed in a white Mrs Eaves all capital font on the upper half of the face while “automatic” appears in a smaller Helvetica font on the lower half.

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All Grayton watches are currently powered by the Seiko/Time Module NH35A 24 jewel bidirectional winding movement.  This 41 hour, 21,600 bph hand winding and hacking movement is probably the most popular of it’s type in the world.  My example has at most been only a second or two fast per day, the best I have encountered so far with any automatic movement.  It is quite attractive through the exhibition case back, with a Geneva striped Grayton signed rotor. The case and bracelet can scratch, but this to be expected. The attention to detail that has been put into this watch is impressive.  This model is currently selling for $255 on the Grayton website.

As a comparison in the far more expensive luxury watch arena, the new Swiss made IWC DaVinci model IW356602 is remarkably similar, but sells for well over $5,000.  Though smaller at 40 mm and using a Sellita SW300-1 movement, the IWC is only marginally better with a 28,800 bph movement with 25 jewels and 42 hour power reserve.  Incidentally, the Sellita movement in the IWC sells for about $279 and the Seiko movement in the Grayton sell for about $40.  The IWC will likely not be any more accurate, but it does have interesting articulated lugs and a sapphire antireflective crystal.  The IWC only has a 30 meter W/R rating, no exhibition case back and is being chastized in the media for it’s incorrectly positioned 6 o’clock calendar window.  I don’t see any reference to lume on the IWC, which on the Grayton is excellent.

Grayton is offering a 15% discount to readers of Microbrand Watch World on all of their current line of watches.  Enter discount code CL-Com-Grayton15%-Microbrandwatchworld with any order from their website. $255 USD. www.grayton-watches.com

Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.