Gevril’s First Patent of the Modern Era

Watch Crowns


by Adrian Herscovici  

Historic Gevril Unlocked Crown Indicator or UCI

Gevril WatchesDust and moisture are two chief enemies of a watch movement; each one has the ability to disrupt the narrow tolerances of a movement’s vital components. Keeping a watch’s engine clean and dry is therefore of fundamental importance in watchmaking and continues to be an essential aspect of quality case construction to this day.

Water Damaged WatchIn 1994 Gevril launched its first watch collections of the modern era and, in doing so, the company wanted to contribute something new to the legacy of movement safeguards. Gevril watchmakers focused on the area of the watch that is typically the most vulnerable — the hole in the case for the winding stem below the crown, a relatively large opening that is used regularly to adjust the time and date, or to wind the watch.

Like any proficient manufacturer, damage prevention was a primary motivator for Gevril, as was designing a system that would be an asset to the owners of Gevril watches. Although an effective and well-established preventative mechanism to close the stem opening was already invented and widely used — the screw-down crown — there was nothing in place to let watch owners know if the crown was closed properly, and a simple user error would leave the watch exposed to harmful elements. Gevril built upon the existing expertise and came up with the Unlocked Crown Indicator or UCI — a world novelty in watchmaking.

The UCI afforded owners of Gevril watches with a visual clue on the dial to avoid a screw-down crown miscue. It worked like this: a disk underneath the dial, visible through an aperture at 3 o’clock, moved with the crown as it was screwed open or closed. When the crown was open a red “warning bar” appeared. A full red bar indicated the crown was completely open; the bar slowly vanished as the crown screwed to a closed position. The UCI was Gevril’s first patent of the modern era and an example of the skillful and inventive attitude it would carry into the 21st century.

UCI with “Closed” Crown UCI with “Open” Crown
UCI with 'Closed' Crown on Gevril 1st Generation Watch UCI with 'Open' Crown on Gevril 1st Generation Watch
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Improvements in durability and performance are ongoing in the watch industry, where innovation is the name of the game. Modern watches utilize various mechanisms to deter damage and general wear-and-tear, a legacy of advancement that began ages ago and included Borgel’s threaded screwback system, Perregaux and Peret’s screw-down stem system and Wildorf’s Oyster. Developments such as these are a part of horology’s grand history — the UCI is one of Gevril’s additions to this great narrative.

Gevril Group Worldwide Agent for Gevril Watches

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the worldwide agent for Gevril Watches. You can email us or call us at 845-425-9882.

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Historic Gevril First Generation Watch Collection

Historic Gevril First Generation Watches


by Adrian Herscovici  

First Generation

Gevril WatchesThe early 1990s were significant years for Gevril, culminating in the launch of the company’s first offerings of the modern era in 1994, a collection of timepieces with similar design characteristics in multiple sizes with different complications. Together these comprised the “first generation” of modern Gevril watches and represented the brand’s renaissance.

Gevril chose an ambitious path, launching half-a-dozen watch styles concurrently. To do so Gevril watchmakers decided upon a single, innovative case design. The most noticeable aspect of the construction was a threaded bezel with six recessed notches designed to fit a special tool to screw the bezel down. The benefit of this mechanical construction was that it allowed for customization by providing the ability to switch “decoration rings” in and out.

Gevril Men’s First Generation Watches
Gevril Men's First Generation
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These decoration rings (the sides of the case, essentially) fit into the case around the dial and were available in stainless steel or gold to either match or contrast the case. The rings also had names — one was Sevilla, another Granada and a third called Cordoba — all Andalusian Spanish cities, a nod to Jacques Gevril and his role as Spain’s royal watchmaker in the 1700s. The threaded-bezel design was actually Gevril’s second patent of the modern era; the first was the innovative Unlocked Crown Indicator (UCI) system, which provided a visual queue on the dial that indicated whether or not the watch crown was screwed in properly.

In addition to the patented threaded bezel and UCI novelties, watches in the First Generation Collection shared several other attributes including cases, bezels and bracelets made of either stainless steel or gold — or a choice of several colored leather straps. Dial colors included silver, black and various two-tone combinations, and dial designs featured circular engraving and pomme hands with either Roman or Arabic numerals. Every First Generation watch was Swiss made.

Gents Automatic and Gents Midsize

The Gents Automatic was available in a 39 mm case or a midsize 35 mm version. Both shared similar traits including the threaded bezel and UCI indicator. The Gents series had 11 dial variations. The large Gents Automatic housed an ETA 2824-2 movement while the smaller Gents Midsize housed an ETA 2681 automatic, both of which were individually regulated and featured time-only functionality.

Gevril AO111R1B
First Generation
Gevril A0111R4L
First Generation
Gevril AO111R2B
First Generation
Gevril AO111R1B First Generation Gevril A0111R4L First Generation Gevril AO111R2B First Generation
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Chronograph

Another men’s 39 mm automatic, the First Generation Chronograph was a classic timer powered by a modular movement consisting of an ETA base and a Dubois Dépraz chronograph module. The Chronograph had a 12 hour counter at 6 o’clock, a 30 minute counter at 9 o’clock and a perpetual seconds counter at 3 o’clock.

Gevril First Generation Stainless Steel Chronograph
Gevril First Generation Stainless Steel Chronograph
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Chronograph Chronometer

The Chronograph Chronometer was an enhanced version of the standard Chronograph. All of its movements were submitted to and certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres. Like the movement in the standard Chronograph model, the chronometer version featured a Glucydur balance wheel, Nivarox hairspring and Incabloc shock absorber. The watches had a date function and the word “chronometer” displayed on the dial. The 36.5 mm case was appropriate for both men and women.

DayDate and DayDate Midsize

Another model with the two case sizes, the DayDate came in a large 39 mm version as well as a 36.5 mm version for men and women. Both sizes contained an automatic Gevril C0110 movement based on an ETA 2892-A2. DayDate models had attractive concentric sub-dials with dual pointers: the outer track displayed the date and the inner track displayed the day. DayDate models also utilized the UCI display.

Moonphase

Another dual-time model in the Gevril First Generation Watch Collection featured a moonphase at 6 o’clock, the date at 3 o’clock and a home-time subdial at 10 o’clock.

Gevril M0111R2B First Generation Moonphase
Gevril M0111R2B First Generation Moonphase
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15̊ and 15̊ Midsize

“Fifteen degrees” models featured the travelers’ complication — a dual time zone with day and night indicators that corresponded to home time. The standard size was 39 mm and the midsize was 36.5 mm. Both housed an automatic Gevril B0110 movement based on an ETA 2892. Both varieties utilized the UCI display. The 15̊ was a predecessor of the Gevril Serenade.

Ladies

Even though the movement inside the Ladies model was electronic, the case was the same with its threaded bezel and interchangeable decoration ring, albeit in a daintier 26.5 mm package. Twelve dial variations were available. The watch featured a battery end-of-life indicator to let the owner know when the ETA 956.112 quartz movement required a battery change. Each watch had an individual number engraved on the caseback.

The wide array of styles and complications in Gevril’s First Generation Collection was an indication of the elaborate plans the company had for its future. Whether the watch was mechanical or electronic, featured a simple or elaborate complication, or came housed in steel or gold, the Gevril First Generation Collection had something for everyone and was worthy of the traditions Jacques Gevril began centuries ago.

Gevril Group Worldwide Agent for Gevril Watches

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the worldwide agent for Gevril Watches. You can email us or call us at 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also follow Gevril Watches on Facebook and Twitter. Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog.

Historic Gevril Metropolitan Watch Collection

Manhattan, New York


by Adrian Herscovici  

Gevril WatchesThe modern Gevril tradition of naming watch collections after prominent New York neighborhoods and landmarks is well documented. One of the brand’s historic releases was the Metropolitan collection from 1997, named after the greater surrounding area of metropolitan New York. As one of the most populous urban areas in the world, metropolitan New York encompasses a large area that includes Manhattan and Long Island in addition to parts of New Jersey, Connecticut and eastern Pennsylvania.

Gevril’s watchmakers were aware that choosing a single design to embody the personality of such a large region was impossible, since it included a diverse group of cultures and communities. Instead, they agreed upon a design that represented Gevril’s brand values – specifically, its commitment to quality and to designing watches with refined sensibilities – a value proposition that has long been the foundation for Gevril watches.

The 1997 Gevril catalog described the Metropolitan collection as having “genteel sophistication, capital presentation” and the Metropolitan was indeed unapologetic about its upper-crust persona. The case was a demure 32 mm in diameter and quite thin, which represented the classic composition of a sophisticated dress watch (before the emergence of the “big watch” trend that followed soon after). The case and bracelet of the Metropolitan were made from 14 kt. yellow gold, yet the overall design was uncomplicated; its rich personality was innate rather than embellished.

Gevril R017/1 Metropolitan
Gevril R017/1 Metropolitan
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As a result of this elegant construction and in the tradition of a formal dress watch, the dial of the Metropolitan was sparse, a graceful two-hander, with no need to overstate or put on airs. It was a capacious swath of gold color with thin applied hour indexes and the Gevril logo. The watch’s two hands were equally thin. There were two dial variations: one that included a minute track and another with hour indexes exclusively.

Gevril R017-3 Metropolitan With Curved Lug-EndsAn unusual aspect of the Metropolitan collection was the variation in lug constructions. There were two different lug setups for each of the 14 kt. gold bracelets and another for the strap. One version was designed to accommodate a mesh-style bracelet; another style had curved lug-ends that were designed to match a second type of interlink bracelet, and; a third version had traditional straight lugs that jutted out to accept a leather strap.

Each Metropolitan watch was water resistant to 165 feet and featured a sapphire crystal. Ticking inside was a Swiss made ETA 282.001 quartz movement.

The Metropolitan collection set the tone for the many Gevril timepiece collections that followed with its combination of superb materials, refined craftsmanship and Swiss made components. Gevril remains committed to delivering this level of quality, and the great city of New York is its continual inspiration.

Gevril Group Worldwide Agent for Gevril Watches

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the worldwide agent for Gevril Watches. You can email us or call us at 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also follow Gevril Watches on Facebook and Twitter. Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog.

Historic Gevril Greenwich Watch Collection

Washington Square Arch In Greenwich Village


by Adrian Herscovici  

Gevril WatchesThe Greenwich sport chronograph by Gevril was released in 1997, and like other Gevril collections, it is named after a famous New York area. In this instance the area is Greenwich Village, located in lower Manhattan. Greenwich Village today is a gentrified neighborhood of residential and commercial spaces, but for most of the last century it was home to a thriving artists’ community, and in the 1960s, it was America’s eastern capital of bohemian subculture.

In the world of timekeeping, the name Greenwich also has significance. The Greenwich district in southeast London, England is the location of the prime meridian, or 0̊ longitude, the starting point from which longitudinal distances are measured around the world. The prime meridian sets Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) as well as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), two primary time standards.

Gevril’s Greenwich chronograph is a watch that befits the pace of modern-day New York, yet remains reverent to the importance of astronomy in horological history and to the significance of the Greenwich name.

Gevril KO111/2 Greenwich Gevril KO111/1 Greenwich
Gevril KO111/1 Greenwich Gevril KO111/1 Greenwich
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Greenwich watches are made from stainless steel with 39 mm cases, solid casebacks and sapphire-fronting crystals. The sides of the cases feature a decorative ribbing pattern. Multiple variations of the watch exist including those with silver, blue or black dials. Some dials are a solid color, others are two-tone, which holds true for the cases and bracelets, too. The bezels are marked by a sextet of ornamental nooks, and the cases have a screw-down crown with wide fluting and sunken chronograph pushers. The Greenwich watch is water resistant to 330 feet.

As a timekeeper, the Greenwich features the darling of complications – a chronograph – with a central sweeping seconds hand, a 12 hour counter at 6 o’clock and a 30 minute counter at 9 o’clock. The automatic movement inside is a Swiss made ETA 2824 with a Dubois Dépraz chronograph module.

The dial design is a nod to the celestial roots of horology and to the age of marine chronometers, where stars were an important aspect of navigation. Small, round indexes circle the outside of the dial and sub-dials like tiny moons, and the Roman numerals are like miniature stars with a large numeral XII as the Polaris. More planetary shapes appear on the base of the dial, too, including a central circular hobnail pattern and circular graining in the sub-dials. The three pomme-style hands have circles in them, and the tails of three chronograph hands are spherical.

Greenwich watches are mounted on one of two styles of interlinked bracelets with butterfly-style folding clasps. Both variations combine polished and brushed links made from stainless steel.

As one of Gevril’s most notable releases the Greenwich collection is a symbolic centerpiece of the Gevril universe, much like the Washington Square Arch is the symbolic heart of Greenwich Village. In the same respect, the Greenwich watch is the standard by which future Gevril watches are measured, as the Greenwich meridian is the all-important axis for time reckoning.

Gevril Group Worldwide Agent for Gevril Watches

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the worldwide agent for Gevril Watches. You can email us or call us at 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also follow Gevril Watches on Facebook and Twitter. Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog.

Historic Gevril Chelsea Collection

Chelsea Market


by Adrian Herscovici  

Gevril WatchesChelsea is a cosmopolitan neighborhood in mid-Manhattan and one of the best central locations in which to live in, or visit New York City. Its proximity to both the upper and lower island makes Chelsea the perfect home base. Chelsea consists of residential properties as well as many businesses, including the heart of New York’s art scene, tucked over in west Chelsea and tenanted by dozens of galleries and studios: the cluster between 19th and 29th streets (between 9th and 11th avenues) is indeed an international contemporary art hub.

The historic Gevril Chelsea watch, issued in the late-1990s as a part of the brand’s New York collection (which also includes the Gramercy, Madison and Soho models) is inspired by artistic traditions and, as the Gevril catalog read at the time, by “striking depth and beauty celebrating strength of character.”

Gevril 2301 Chelsea Gevril 2302L Chelsea
Gevril 2301 Chelsea Gevril 2302L Chelsea
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Depth and beauty are represented by the Swiss made Chelsea’s silvered guilloché dial with its mix of engraved and satin-finished surfaces, over which pomme (or Breguet) hands circle and Roman numerals are applied. All of this is further enhanced by the triple-calendar and moon-phase complications, which are symmetrically aligned through the center of the dial. The day and month appear in two apertures while the small pointer-date is incorporated into the moon-phase sub-dial. The dial arrangement is uncluttered and elegant.

Strength of character is epitomized by the 39 mm stainless steel case and matching beaded bracelet. For those who prefer heavier metal, the case is also available in 18 kt. yellow gold, which comes with a brown crocodile leather strap and complementary 18 kt. gold buckle. Like other watches in the New York collection, the steel version is limited to 500 pieces and the gold version is an edition of 100.

Gevril 2305L ChelseaThe Swiss-made automatic 25 jewel movement driving the Chelsea is a tried-and-true ETA 2824, modified by the addition of a Dubois Dépraz 9310. The movement is visible through the exhibition caseback, made of sapphire crystal. The front-side crystal is also sapphire. The watch is water resistant to 165 feet.

In size, design and construction, the Chelsea watch represents a well-rounded, quality timepiece for daily wear, or to wear in rotation as part of a broader collection. Whether it’s to stroll along the elevated path of Chelsea’s High Line Park, or to satisfy a food craving at the famous Chelsea Market, the Chelsea watch is a versatile companion. Check the Gevril Outlet online for availability of NOS (new old stock) Chelsea watches.

Gevril Group Worldwide Agent for Gevril Watches

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the worldwide agent for Gevril Watches. You can email us or call us at 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also follow Gevril Watches on Facebook and Twitter. Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog.

Historic Gevril Gramercy Watch Collection

Gramercy Park


by Adrian Herscovici  

Gevril WatchesGramercy is an area in Manhattan that surrounds Gramercy Park, a city landmark established in the 1830s. In addition to its lengthy history, Gramercy Park is significant for being the only private park in Manhattan. Only the owners who live in the buildings surrounding the park have access and each owner is required to pay an annual fee to receive a key, of which there are between 300 and 400 at any given time. The keys are individually numbered and coded, much like a limited edition watch.

Gevril designed its Gramercy watches with this sort of exclusivity in mind: the watches are produced in limited editions and are meant to represent a legacy, to be held and subsequently passed down.

The size of the Gramercy case is 39 mm, appropriately dressy, and available in stainless steel or 18 kt. yellow gold. The steel version is an edition of 500 and the gold version is an edition of 100. The gold version is paired with a crocodile leather strap and 18 kt. gold buckle; the stainless steel version employs a stainless steel beaded bracelet with an optional crocodile leather strap and folding clasp.

Gevril 2401 Gramercy Gevril 2402 Gramercy
Gevril 2401 Gramercy Gevril 2402 Gramercy
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Time display on the Gramercy is in a configuration known as a “regulator,” in which the seconds and hours are separated onto individual sub-dials while the minute hand remains central. The fundamental purpose for this layout (originally on clocks) is related to ease and accuracy of telling the time – the minute hand, which is referred to most often in time-telling, is dominant, and the hour and minute hands only overlap twice daily at 12 o’clock. Today, the regulator is still effective in this regard, but also presents a thought-provoking arrangement.

Gevril 2405L GramercyLike other watches in Gevril’s New York collection, which consists of the Gramercy, Chelsea, Soho and Madison, the color and texture of the dial is silvered guilloché with pomme (or Breguet) hands and Roman numeral hour indexes. Sapphire crystal is employed front and back and the watch is water resistant to 165 feet. Gramercy watches are Swiss made.

Gramercy watches house 31 jewel automatic movements, each with a base ETA 2824 that is modified by a rare Jaquet 876, which configures the regulator.

With a name based on a landmark and an age-old configuration on display, Gramercy is an apt name for this watch so steeped in history and tradition. Gramercy watches are something out of the ordinary, both in appearance and quality. A select quantity of Gramercy watches are still available (new old stock) and can be purchased online from the Gevril Outlet. Pick one up while you still can, and keep it in the family.

Gevril Group Worldwide Agent for Gevril Watches

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the worldwide agent for Gevril Watches. You can email us or call us at 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also follow Gevril Watches on Facebook and Twitter. Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog.