The Gucci 25H collection grows with four new models
Best known as a leader in the fashion industry, the House of Gucci also has more than 50 years of experience in the watch game. With the release of four new models in the 25H collection, Gucci aims to add significant substance to a range already replete with style.
For many serious collectors, it would be fair to wonder whether there could be anything of interest to say about Gucci. Yes, the iconic fashion house from Florence played its part during the 1980s as wristwatches were reimagined as collectible items of fashion rather than the necessary tools they had been before the quartz crisis, but, since then, has “the House” done anything worthwhile from a horological perspective? As it turns out, the answer is, “It’s certainly trying.”
The Low Down
Two of the four novelties covered here are fitted with the brand’s proprietary automatic movement, which is about as “in-house” as a proprietary movement gets.
Gucci is owned by Kering, a luxury conglomerate with interests in fashion, jewelry, watchmaking, and other industries. Kering has its own manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds where the GG727.25 movements are made. And so, while the CNC machines that churn out the components may not bear Gucci’s name exclusively, the chain of supply is but one link long.
As such, you’ll see both the terms proprietary and in-house used to describe these movements, and, for once, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of controversy surrounding the terminological discrepancy. One thing is for sure: you won’t see the GG727.25 anywhere else. That, from my perspective (and I would imagine that of many collectors), is good enough.
But how good is the GG727.25? Under the microscope, its finishing is passable but unremarkable. Given the price tags of these pieces, I might have expected a little more refinement, but with the naked eye, it passes the test and is at least novel in its decoration.
The “Gucci wave” pattern (my words, not Gucci’s), is on-brand and quite in-your-face given Gucci’s decision to go with sprawling bridges covering almost all of the gear train. I actually like this industrial architecture and it sets up the micro-rotor nicely as the star of the show, while affording the silver-toned balance wheel, held in place by a pleasingly symmetrical balance bridge, the focus the most active component of the movement deserves.
Technically speaking, the most impressive thing about the GG727.25 is its 60-hour power reserve, which is about par for the course these days, but notable given the movement’s slimness (it is just 3.7mm thick). This power reserve has likely been achieved by keeping the operating frequency at 21,600 vph (3Hz), a step lower than the 28,800 vph (4Hz) that is more common nowadays, lowering the movement’s power consumption.
Quartz variants are available in either 38 or 34mm and come in either steel with a silver-colored dial or yellow-gold-plated steel with a golden brass dial. The 38mm cases come on either a black or blue strap, while the smaller models are fitted with either a red, white, or blue band. The big selling point here is the 4mm case thickness.
The two automatic watches are both 40mm in diameter but wear a little smaller than that thanks to the hidden crown design. The 18-karat gold bezel model is delivered on a navy blue alligator strap giving it an exceptionally regal appearance, while the all-steel model, fitted with a blue dial, is available on the bracelet.
It is that bracelet that steals the limelight for me. It is, I would say, an excellent example of an integral bracelet as opposed to an integrated bracelet that has a proprietary case fitting. In much the same way the Rolex Datejust only achieves its true star power when worn on a jubilee bracelet, so too does the Gucci 25H come to life on this charming five-link.
I’ve long made the case for the integral bracelet category to gain traction in its own right. From a consumer’s perspective, integral bracelets that are as important to a watch’s character as the case silhouette are perhaps the perfect compromise between design and practicality. Although I personally love integrated bracelets, because I enjoy seeing a designer’s vision in its purest form, the sticking point for many watch buyers is the inability to quickly and easily change straps.
For a brand like Gucci, that flexibility is essential. While the automatic versions of the 25H are surely a step in the right direction horologically, there’s no need to pretend that we buy Gucci for anything other than its name and how the House’s products look. Considering this watch will mostly be worn as a fashion item, having the option to stick with the brushed five-link bracelet, or to switch out the strap to match whatever outfit you’re rocking that day, is imperative.
Overall, I think this is a very solid update to a collection I find strangely compelling. The price for the automatics puts these models in a very competitive bracket, but the quartz pieces, which seem like a viable alternative to something like a Cartier Tank Solar, might warrant serious consideration from the fashionistas among you.
GUCCI 25H AUTOMATIC & QUARTZ
Movement: Either GG727.25 proprietary micro-rotor automatic or quartz
Functions: Hours and minutes
Case: 40mm steel or 18-karat gold and steel, or 38/34mm steel or yellow-gold-plated steel, WR 30m
Dial: 40mm models with either blue or gold dials, 38/34mm with either silver-colored or golden brass dials
Strap: 40mm all-steel model on a five-link bracelet, 40mm steel/18-karat gold model on a blue alligator strap, 38mm models on either a blue or black leather strap, and 34mm models on either a red, white, or blue leather strap
Price: 40mm steel automatic USD 9,700, 40mm yellow gold and steel automatic USD 15,500, 38mm quartz steel/gold-plated USD 1,950, 38mm quartz steel USD 1,600, 34mm quartz steel/gold-plated USD 1,850, 34mm quartz steel USD 1,450
MORE STORIES ABOUT GUCCI
FROM THE SHOP
|Movement||Self-winding caliber A-500; 60 hours power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and date|
|Case||42.5mm; titanium; water resistant to 30m|
|Dial||Salmon (6N gold plated) with gené or frosted area; Super-LumiNova filled Arabic numerals|
|Strap||Ballistic gray rubber; titanium folding clasp|
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