Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing the new Great White from Singaporean watch brand Aries Gold.
The Great White is Aries Gold’s latest watch offering, and the first one to feature its redesigned logo. It’s also available in a variety of colourways and bracelet options (14 in total), making it the brand’s most comprehensive collection to date. Let’s see if it’s any good.
Aries Gold Great White – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the watch, do check out my Youtube review of the Aries Gold Great White below:
Aries Gold – the Brand
Many of us Singaporeans should be familiar with the brand Aries Gold – we see Aries Gold watches stocked in watch retailer H2 Hub, which has over 10 locations in Singapore. What many Singaporeans may not know is that Aries Gold watches are actually “Made in Singapore” – the brand possesses its own manufacturing and assembly facilities and a team of watchmakers right here on our little red dot. If you would like to know more about Aries Gold’s brand story, do read my review of the Aries Gold Jolter (one of my personal favourites) here, in which I covered Aries Gold as a brand in detail. I also previously reviewed the Aries Gold Cruiser here, the Aries Gold Roadster here, the Aries Gold El Toro here, the Aries Gold Vanguard here, the Aries Gold Black Sea here, the Aries Gold Dreadnought here, and the Aries Gold Diplomat here. In addition, I did a feature article on why I believe Aries Gold to be the best watch brand under S$200, which can be read here.
Aries Gold Great White – Build Quality
The specifications of the Great White are solid.
Firstly, the Great White uses a double-domed sapphire crystal. As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to its inherent scratch-resisting properties. Personally, I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds greatly to the durability of the watch. The Great White also has a water-resistance rating of 300M – despite having an exhibition caseback – making it a bona fide dive watch befitting its name.
Secondly, the Great White is powered by the Miyota 8215 movement. Some specifications: the Miyota 8215 possesses a power reserve of around 42 hours, has 21 jewels, an accuracy of -20 to +40 sec per day, and hand-winds. While I’m not usually a fan of the Miyota 8215 movement, Aries Gold actually uses the new iteration of the 8215 in the Great White. Not only does the movement hack, but it also does not suffer from the stuttering issue that plagued its predecessor. As such, I actually have no complaints about the use of the Miyota 8215 here. I suppose the movement could have been more elaborately decorated – a custom rotor would have been nice – but that’s a minor quibble at this price point.
The Great White is available with either a bracelet or a curved end silicone strap. My review model comes with a silicone strap, and I have to say it’s a good one. It reminds me of the FKM rubber straps that I previously reviewed from Nomad Watch Straps, which is a good comparison. The strap feels premium and is immensely comfortable on the wrist, and it even comes with a matching brushed black buckle that’s signed with the new Aries Gold logo.
The Great White also features Swiss C5 Superluminova, which results in it being eminently legible even in darkness.
All in all, the Great White ticks every box for a modern dive watch. It has a durable double-domed sapphire crystal, 300M of water resistance, a reliable Miyota 8215 automatic movement, a quality curved end silicone strap, and Swiss C5 Superluminova. What’s not to like?
Aries Gold Great White – Design
While some variants of the Great White are a tad too derivative for my tastes, this particular model – named the Submarine – actually looks pretty unique.
The most striking aspect of this Great White model is undoubtedly the textured dial, which features a rust/corroded patterning that I’ve frankly not seen on any other dive watch before. It’s an interesting concept, and one that’s thematically relevant since the watch is named after one of the mightiest creatures of the seas. The dial looks like it’s fresh off a sunken pirate ship – it’s cool, to say the least. Elsewhere, the watch borrows its hour markers, Mercedes hour hand and lollipop seconds hand from the iconic Rolex Submariner. It’s a tad derivative, but there’s enough things different about it (such as the lack of a cyclops date window) that don’t make it feel like an homage by any means.
The applied indices, coupled with the golden rehaut, result in a dial that appears to have depth in spades. I like how the golden indices and hands complement the golden rehaut and logo – it’s well executed. What I didn’t like was the date window, which would have looked better if it was framed in gold, or perhaps omitted altogether.
Despite being affordable, the Great White features a 120-click, unidirectional ceramic bezel. Ceramic bezels are loved for their scratch resistance, and are often only seen on higher-end watches like the Rolex Daytona. The black bezel complements the stealthy look of the blacked-out case and strap too. It’s robust and there’s little play, though I did find it hard to rotate at times.
With a case diameter of 42mm, the Aries Gold Great White wears well on my 7-inch wrist. It’s a good size that should fit most wrist sizes. However, it is a tad thick at 15.4mm. That’s still par for the course when it comes to dive watches, but I found it a bit too thick to slide underneath a shirt cuff.
Overall, I like the sporty, stealthy aesthetic of the Aries Gold Great White. The textured dial is eminently striking too, and differentiates it from the myriad of affordable dive watches on the market today.
Shootout – Aries Gold Great White vs Seiko 5 Sport Watches
If you’re in the market for an affordable, blacked-out dive watch, the most prominent alternative would most likely be some of the new Seiko 5 Sport watches.
In terms of specifications, the Aries Gold Great White trounces the Seiko 5 Sports watches. The Seiko 5 watches use hardlex crystal, which is significantly less durable than the sapphire crystal of the Great White. They also have a water-resistance rating of a mere 100M, thus making them unsuitable for actual diving. The lume (Seiko’s lumibrite) isn’t as strong as the Swiss Superluminova C5 of the Great White too.
From an aesthetic standpoint, both watches each have their own merits. The Seiko 5 Sports watches undoubtedly have the more iconic and recognisable design, while some aspects of the Aries Gold Great White can come across as derivative. However, the Great White does have a lovely textured dial that I personally find more striking than the matte black dial of the Seiko watches.
Given that both watches are similarly priced, I would say that the Aries Gold Great White edges out the new Seiko 5 Sports Watches by offerings substantially better specifications.
Conclusion – so the Aries Gold Great White “shiok” not?
Aries Gold has always been about delivering value, and the brand does that once again with the Great White. For less than S$400, the Great White offers everything that a modern dive watch should have – sapphire crystal, a robust movement, a comfortable strap, and good lume. There’s also plenty of visual intrigue and depth with its textured dial, and I appreciated the sporty, stealthy nature of the blacked out watch. If you’re searching for an affordable dive watch, the Great White is a solid offering.
For those interested in the Great White, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 20% off all watches from Aries Gold’s web-store. After the discount, the Great White can be had for S$344, making it good value. It also comes with a leather watch roll, which I’ve found very useful when attending watch meetups.
SKU: The Great White G 9040 BKYM-PA
|Solid Stainless Steel
|Silicon Strap with Buckle
|Double Domed Sapphire
|Japan Automatic 8215
|3 Hands with Date
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.