Gorilla is a watch brand that, to put it mildly, is an acquired taste. Ostensibly inspired by car culture, the watches are big, loud, and colorful. Up until very recently, they were also exclusively square shaped, but with the release of the all new Outlaw Drift, the brand has developed a watch that, on its surface, is perhaps a bit more conventional and appealing to the mainstream. Only its surface, though. This is still a brash, modern timepiece with a wandering hours complication and the word “Gorilla” on the dial.
Gorilla Outlaw Drift
- Case Material: Titanium
- Dial: Blue/black
- Dimensions: 42 x 52 x 13.8mm
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Water Resistance: 100 meters
- Crown: Screw down
- Movement: ETA 2824-2 with Vaucher “Wandering Hours” module
- Strap/bracelet: Rubber
- Price: $ 3,950
- Reference Number: n/a
- Expected Release: Available to purchase now, delivery Fall 2020
Gorilla, for those unaware, is the brainchild of Octavio Garcia and Lukas Gopp, two watch industry veterans who have spent time at Audemars Piguet, IWC, and elsewhere. Garcia, in fact, was AP’s creative director from 2002 to 2015, presiding over many Royal Oak Offshore releases that no one would argue have influenced the Gorilla aesthetic. The brand is really an attempt to translate some of the high end design ideas Garcia and Gopp worked within at large brands into a small, boutique brand experience that’s limited, exclusive, but still relatively affordable. The original Gorilla Fastback GT debuted in 2016 and sold for around $ 1,000, which is a real value proposition considering the materials used (ceramic, forged carbon) and the pedigree of those involved.
The Outlaw Drift represents the first significant change to the form factor of a Gorilla watch. This is a large tonneau shaped case with exaggerated curves and a sleek look that draws heavily from the 1970s. The titanium case is brushed all around, and flows smoothly into an integrated rubber strap that matches the blue elements on the dial. At 42mm in diameter and almost 14mm thick, it’s a big watch. But that’s kind of the point. This isn’t the kind of watch you wear when you want your timepiece to blend in – it’s the definition of a conversation starter.
That conversation likely ends up at what has become something of a signature complication for Gorilla, the wandering hours mechanism. Using an ETA 2824-2 as a base movement, the wandering hours module is made by Vaucher Manufacture and uses three constantly rotating hours discs that line up with a minutes track at the top of the dial for time telling. It’s a surprisingly intuitive way to read the time once you get used to it. Here, the anodized blue aluminum hours discs complement the titanium case and black “base” of the dial really well.
The latest Gorilla is more expensive than the first watches in the collection – the Outlaw Drift sells for $ 3,950, and is limited to 250 individually numbered pieces. It’s inevitable in some ways that as the brand grows, prices creep up, but this is still, I think, in the neighborhood of “affordable” considering the complication and genuinely interesting and unique design. Gorilla is definitely not a brand for everyone (and some of their color choices in the Fastback line simply don’t work), but it’s always interesting to see what small brands with a distinct point of view can come up with on a budget. Gorilla