It’s been some time since I’ve covered a local watch brand, so I’m stoked to return to my roots. Let’s see if the GANE Type C3 is any good.
Update: I’m pleased to list the Gane Type C on my new web-store, The Shiok Shop.
GANE Type C3 – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the Type C3, do check out my Youtube review below:
GANE – the Brand
GANE was founded by Raymond Pee just last year. The brand states that the name is derived from Hagane – the Japanese word for steel – with “brushed steel metalwork” being a mainstay of GANE watches. The mission is to deliver “old school cool automatic timepieces”, which Raymond elaborates on in a CNA interview with Aun Koh (brother of Revolution’s Wei Koh) here.
A talented musician (he plays the guitar, piano and drums), Raymond decided to name his debut collection the Type C – C being the starting note in the musical scale.
GANE Type C – Specifications
For starters, the Type C has decent specifications for its price.
Firstly, the Type C uses a boxed 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. I should highlight that the box sapphire crystal mimics the old-school aesthetic of plexiglass well, giving the Type C a retro vibe. In addition, the underside of the sapphire crystal is coated with an anti-reflective coating, so you don’t have to worry about unwanted reflections on the watch. The watch also has a 5 ATM water-resistance rating, making it robust enough to withstand rainy days and running taps.
The Miyota 8215 powers the GANE Type C. 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, hand-winds, but does not hack. I’m not a fan of the Miyota 8 series movement – the rotor is loud, and the seconds hand is prone to stuttering. It’s not an issue that affects timekeeping, but to seasoned watch collectors it may not be a welcome sight. Given the price point of the Type C, I would have expected a Swiss movement (Tissots and Hamiltons can easily be found at the same price), or at the very least the more premium Miyota 9 series movement. That being said, GANE states that each watch is “tested for function and autonomy in Switzerland”, and I have not noticed any accuracy issues with my review piece.
What I did like was the thick 4mm leather strap, which GANE says is fashioned out of “high-quality European leather”. I’m not sure if it’s full-grain or top-grain leather, but it’s premium to the touch and a step above its competition – even those from entry-level Swiss brands. The strap’s thickness and its side stitching reinforces the neo-vintage feel of the Type C as well. It’s also available on a striking metal bracelet, albeit for US$50 more. Both options are fitted with quick-release spring bars for easy interchangeability.
All in all, the specifications of the Type C is satisfactory. I would have preferred a more premium movement, but the boxed sapphire crystal and the well-made strap makes up for it.
GANE Type C – Design
While the Type C isn’t a specs monster, it does have an alluring design language.
I absolutely love the dial of the Type C. For one, it’s layered, giving the watch depth. I like the grooved indices, which reminds me of Panerai’s sandwich dials (although it’s meant to resemble sundials). Secondly, both layers are brushed, with the texture particularly evident on this silver C3 colourway. GANE stated that “brushed steel metalwork” would be a mainstay in its watches, and it shows in the Type C3. The brushed surface is eminently striking, and plays with the light beautifully. The sleek monochromatic look of the C3 brings to mind the Bulgari Octo Finissimo S – a watch that I simply adore. The Type C is also available in salmon and navy, with the salmon (C1) variant being particularly eye-catching, though the dial lacks the brushed texture of the silver model.
The Type C features a vintage-esque barrel case, with prominent brushing on the front and sides. Polished chamfered edges provide a lovely juxtaposition, with the angular facets resulting in a sharp-looking watch. GANE states that the case is executed by “a trusted company from Switzerland, a member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH”, and it shows – the finishing is one of the best that I’ve seen at the sub-US$500 price point.
There’s also a signed crown, which is not always the case (pun intended) with watches at this price point. It’s well-proportioned, making hand-winding the Type C an ease.
The Type C comes with a closed caseback – a decision I’m fine with given the pedestrian movement within. Interestingly, the caseback artwork is conceived by Raymond himself, who was inspired by his late mum Justilla. He explains the concept on his website here.
On my 7-inch wrist, the Type C wears pretty well. Its 38 mm case diameter and 45 mm lug-to-lug length is perfectly neo-vintage (smaller than most modern watches, but bigger than typical vintage watches), while the 13 mm thickness allows it to still slide underneath a shirt cuff, albeit just about.
Overall, I really enjoyed the design of the Type C. Its use of brushed surfaces is intriguing, the case is finished to a high degree, and I appreciate the vintage undertones. It’s clear that ample thought has been paid here.
Shootout: GANE Type C vs Aevig Valkyr
The GANE Type C reminded me of a watch I had previously reviewed – the Aevig Valkyr.
In terms of specifications, the Valkyr edges ahead of the Type C. Both watches feature sapphire crystal with AR coating as well as a premium leather strap, but the Valkyr has the better Miyota 9015 movement. It also has a slightly higher water resistance rating of 100M.
From an aesthetic standpoint, I prefer the Type C over the Valkyr. Although both watches are very much vintage-inspired, the quality of finishing on the Type C is slightly higher. Due to its dual-layered nature, there’s more depth to the dial of the Type C, and I personally find its brushed texture to be more striking than the matte dial of the Valkyr. That being said, the Valkyr has a sportier disposition, and features a ceramic insert bezel for an added flourish – it’s no pushover.
Given that both watches are priced identically, which watch is better for you depends on your personal preferences. If you prioritise specifications, then the Valkyr would be a better choice. Otherwise, the Type C has a more thoughtful design and is better finished.
Conclusion – so the GANE Type C “shiok” or not?
For the most part, yes. It has decent specifications, and a well-conceived aesthetic that displays a maturity rarely seen in debut collections. I really grew to like the steel on steel colour scheme of the Type C3, and appreciated its neo-vintage attributes. My only knock is the prosaic Miyota 8215 movement within – hopefully GANE upgrades the movement in future iterations of the Type C.
Those interested in purchasing the Type C can do so on GANE’s webstore here. The leather version of the Type C goes for US$495/~S$675, while the bracelet variants cost an additional US$50. Although it may not possess the best specifications, the Type C is more than the sum of its parts. Ultimately, it’s well put together, and remains fairly affordable at under US$500. Singapore may not be short of watch microbrands, but GANE is a notable addition.
Update: The Gane Type C can also be purchased on The Shiok Shop.
View the GANE Type C here.
LUG TO LUG DISTANCE: 45mm
CASEBACK: Decorated closed stainless steel case
CROWN: 6.5mm non screw-down crown
MATERIAL: 316L surgical grade stainless steel
CRYSTAL: Boxed sapphire crystal + underside AR coating
WATER RESISTANCE: 5 ATM
MOVEMENT: Miyota Caliber 8215
VIBRATIONS PER HOUR: 21,600 bph
POWER RESERVE: ~42 hours
ACCURACY: -20 to +40 sec per day
MADE IN: Japan
JEWELS: 21 pcs
FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes, sweep second
WINDING: Automatic and hand winding
STRAP: High quality 4mm thick-cut, ‘Wrinkled Tan’ (tan brown) European leather with quick-release function
STRAP WIDTH: 20mm narrowed down to 18mm
CLASP: 316L solid tang buckle
DIAL: 2-piece 3D layered dial in ‘STEELY SILVER’ with emphasis on fine-brushed surface in different axes to produce varying reflections in different lighting conditions. Deeply grooved indices to create a ‘sun-dial’ effect.
LUME: C1 Super-LumiNova
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.S.S.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.