Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singapore watch review! This time, we’re reviewing another local watch effort – the GT collection from Reverie.
Reverie had a very successful debut model in the Sea-Spirit, which microbrand watch aficionados would no doubt be familiar with. Let’s now see how their motor-sports themed chronograph stack up!
Reverie – the Brand
As aforementioned, Reverie is indeed a Singaporean watch effort. Reverie was started in late 2014 by Samuel Tay, whilst studying for his law degree. Yup, some people start Facebook in their dorm room – Samuel decided to start a watch company instead. How he managed to juggle studying for an undoubtedly intensive law degree with founding his own watch brand is an absolute puzzle to me! Nevertheless, I believe that speaks volumes about his passion for watches, and also his determination and perseverance. Through WahsoShiok, I have had the fortune to meet several founders of various watch brands. Most have day jobs (Samuel is currently a practicing lawyer) – these are their passion projects. Their love for watches is evident in the models they produce, and I feel that that’s what sets them apart from people who go into the watch industry to make a quick buck (cough, DW, MVMT, Filippo Loreti, cough). People like Samuel aren’t in this for the money – they’re making watches because it’s their dream. Indeed, that’s how the name Reverie came about – stemming from Samuel’s “dream to create beautiful watches which stand the test of time”.
So what is Reverie all about as a brand? Firstly, they pride themselves on exclusivity. All their pieces are limited edition – once it’s sold out, it’s gone forever. Samuel revealed to me that after almost selling out the Sea-Spirit (currently only the black variant is left), he was approached by interested customers to reintroduce it in new colorways. While that would undoubtedly be profitable, Samuel decided against it as he felt that it would “defeat the purpose of making pieces limited edition”. As such, he decided to stay true to what he wanted Reverie to stand for, rather than going for more profits. Respectable to say the least. Secondly, all Reverie watches would feature a guilloche dial in one way or another. It’s a design ethos that would tie all all Reverie models together, making a Reverie watch Reverie.
I’ve no doubt that Reverie would go on to become an iconic Singaporean watch brand, in the same vein that Zelos and Gruppo Gamma now are. This is a brand whose star is rising.
Reverie GT – Build Quality
As always, let’s examine how good the build quality is on the watch!
Sapphire? Check. 316L stainless steel? Box ticked. In my reviews (or when I’m buying a watch personally), these are two areas I always look out for. The sapphire crystal makes the dial virtually scratch-proof, thereby prolonging the longevity of the watch. Meanwhile, 316L stainless steel is corrosion resistant, therefore adding durability to the watch. The sapphire crystal on the Reverie GT is anti-reflective coated as well, ensuring that legibility is present even in glaring sunlight. (which happens in Singapore’s weather most of the time)
Inside, the Seiko VK64 mecha-quartz movement powers the Reverie GT. Yes, it’s a mecha-quatz, not a full mechanical movement. If you’re looking for a fully mechanical chronograph, you will need to look at 4 figures price-points, probably something from Hamilton, Longines or Brellum. At $385 USD/~S$529 (after using the promo code at the end of this article), a mecha-quartz movement is more than acceptable. In fact, it’s an increasingly popular movement of choice for chronographs in the ~$500 price range. There’s good reason why. With a mecha-quartz movement, you really get the best out of both worlds – the accuracy of a quartz movement (which also negates the need to wind the watch), but also the sweeping second hand that’s characteristic of a mechanical chronograph. With the VK64 movement that’s on the Reverie GT, the second hand can be instantly reset (by pushing the bottom pusher). Furthermore, there’s no sub-second dial on the Reverie GT, so you won’t see the ticking of seconds that’s characteristic of a quartz movement.
Unfortunately, the straps that come with the Reverie GT are of “Genuine Leather” quality. I previously wrote a bit on the differing quality tiers of leather, which you can read here. Granted, the straps that came along with the Reverie GT are still better than the ones you see on run of the mill brands such as Daniel Wellington and MVMT. Furthermore, the default strap comes with a butterfly clasp, which is something that you don’t see often at this price point. Nevertheless, I’ll still say that the straps here, while not terrible (like on the Vorque I reviewed), are decidedly average. Between a vegetable tanned, full grain strap (like the one on the Tordney) and a genuine leather strap, you really can feel the difference. While I appreciate the fact that the Reverie GT comes with two straps (both fitted with quick-release bars), I would rather have ONE amazing strap than two mediocre ones.
The Reverie GT hands and indices are treated with Super-Luminova lume. What’s interesting here is that the hands glow an icy blue, while the hour indices glow green. I like the bi-color application of the lume – it just looks cool. The lume here isn’t the strongest (as compared to divers) but it’s more than adequate.
While the strap can be improved, overall I feel that the Reverie GT is of decent build quality for its price.
Reverie GT – the Design
The moment I saw the Reverie GT, my heart sang.
I really like the layered dial – it’s has depth, texture and contrast. Firstly, let’s talk about the minutes sub-dial (for timing minutes) on the left, and the 24-hour sub-dial on the right. I love the way they cut into the minutes track – visually, it reminds me of a car speedometer! Secondly, the use of applied indices creates further depth, and looks sharp. The Alpha hands are interesting as well – it gives the timepiece a dressier look. The hands, combined with the large lume accents, reminds me of Parmigiani Fluerier watches! I like the font of the Reverie logo at the top too, though I’m a bit mixed on the GT logo at the bottom – it just doesn’t scream racing to me.
The devil is in the detail, and it’s in the details that the Reverie GT really shines. For both sub-dials, you can see that they are made of 3 separate tracks. The inner tracks are finished concentrically, which are especially pleasing to the eye. In addition, the clous de Paris guilloche dial is really beautiful! For the non-watch nuts, clous de Paris is a guilloche pattern on the dial of hollowed lines that intersect to form tiny pyramidal shapes. Under different lighting conditions, the guilloche dial transforms – it’s simply a sight to behold. Samuel told me that the GT was inspired by vintage racing cars of old, such as the Bugatti Type 57S. In that regard, the“waffle” dial gives the watch a distinctively vintage feel, as well as being “evocative of a car’s radiator grille” (what Reverie says). Furthermore, you can see the sunburst finishing on the outer minute track as well. I really love the varying textured finishing on the dial – guilloche, concentric patterns, and even sunburst are present!
Seeing that the Reverie GT is a racing chronograph, the dial is fitted with a tachymeter scale. For the uninitiated, a tachymeter scale basically allows you to measure your speed over a fixed distance. I love that the tachymeter scale is on a raised ring that surrounds the dial – again, it adds depth to the dial in my opinion. The Reverie GT has layered complexity – you have the bottom guilloche layer, the minute track/sub-dials above it, then the applied indices, and finally the tachymeter ring around the dial. Overall, the dial possesses both depth and contrast. The Reverie GT reminds me of the Arcturus LC-1 (another watch that I love) in this regard, even though they are two completely different looking watches. Both watches have depth and contrast in spades! Nevertheless, make no mistake – though this is a complex dial, it’s by no means busy or complicated. The dial looks clean, and remains very legible.
It’s clear that Samuel has put a great amount of thought into the case too. Firstly, the case features a stepped bezel that “is inspired by the exuberant Art Deco design language of the 1920s”. Again, through the triple-stepped bezel, depth is added to the watch. Secondly, the main case body is polished, whilst the lugs are satin-brushed in juxtaposition. The contrast in finishing provides further complexity to the GT’s design. Speaking about the lugs, Samuel actually designed the lugs to model the “tear-drop shaped fenders of the beautiful Bugatti Type 57S”, which as mentioned earlier was the design inspiration for the watch. I really like the lugs – when worn on the wrist (see the wrist shot below), the effect is really striking. We also get a polished crown, signed with Reverie’s italicised logo. Nice!
I do think that the screwed-down caseback is nicely done. There’s contrast in finishing between the polished case and the centered brushed medallion, while there’s depth as well due to the aforementioned raised centered medallion. There’s a cute little checkered pattern (mimicking the checkered flag at the end of a race line) surrounding the medallion too. In case you’re wondering, the words Soli Deo Gloria is actually Latin for Glory to God. Samuel is a devout Christian, and for better or worse you will find the inscription on the caseback of all Reverie watches. While I think that the case-back is already above average, I do think that it can be improved upon even further. Apart from the subtle checkered flag decoration, there’s not much that links the watch back to racing. Instead of having the Reverie name and serial number engraved on the raised medallion, how about having an artwork of the Bugatti Type 57S instead? The individual serial number could be depicted on the license plate of the car. That would be brilliant, wouldn’t it? (Maybe I should go start my own watch company one day…hmm)
While the actual quality of the straps leaves much to be desired, I have to say that I think the color choices are great. Each colorway of the Reverie GT comes with 2 differing colored straps that are unique to the colorway. It’s evident that Samuel has put in effort in thinking about strap color combinations, which is an area that many watch brands neglect.
Overall, I love the design of the Reverie GT. Sometimes when you put a watch on you just hear the choir singing, the heavens opening. It was that way with the Arcturus LC-1, and it is the same with the Reverie GT here!
Shootout – Reverie GT vs Nezumi Loews
Given that both are similarly priced vintage-inspired racing chronographs, the Nezumi Loews is the natural opposition in this shootout.
Specifications wise, the Nezumi Loews is near identical to the Reverie GT. Both utilizes sapphire crystal (with AR coating), 316L stainless steel case, Super Luminova lume, and the Seiko VK64 mecha-quartz movement. As I have not had the chance to interact with Nezumi’s strap in real life, and I couldn’t find any information on the quality of their straps (whether it’s top-grained, full-grained, etc) on their website, I cannot comment on which watch has the better strap. (Though Reverie does provide an additional strap as compared to Nezumi)
In terms of design, I feel that the Reverie GT is superior. I’ll give it to Nezumi – with the Loews’ panda styled dial and choice of font, the Nezumi’s dial does give off a strong vintage vibe. Nevertheless, I still prefer the design of the Reverie GT due to it’s complexity in depth and contrast. The Nezumi Loews does not have much depth – the only depth I see are the use of applied indices and the slightly recessed sub-dials. Nor is there much texture and contrast on the dial as well, from what I can see. On the other hand, the Reverie GT’s dial is chock-full of different textured finishing – guilloche, sunburst, concentric patterns, etc. Furthermore, the dial is incredibly layered as well, with depth extending to the triple-stepped case bezel. The Bugatti fender inspired lugs of the Reverie GT looks more unique and striking too, in comparison to the rather standard lugs of the Nezumi. As such, while the Nezumi Loews is a good looking watch in its own right, I have to say that the Reverie GT simply trumps it in terms of the details that are present. Therefore, the Reverie GT is the winner of this shootout for me.
Conclusion – so the Reverie GT “shiok” or not?
Hell yes. Like I mentioned earlier, I haven’t felt this strongly about a watch since the Arcturus. I love the depth and contrast that’s present in this watch. It has a complex but stunningly beautiful dial, with thought paid to the case and the caseback as well – two aspects which most watch brands neglect. Yes, the stock strap is not of the best quality, but an aftermarket strap easily solves that issue. (Watch Wonderland stocks some nice Hirsch straps!)
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m in love with the watch. For those of you who are interested in getting one, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” (case-sensitive) nets you US$40 off all watches on Reverie’s web-store here. If you’re in Singapore, you could also check the watch out in the metal at Watch Wonderland (located in Suntec City). In my opinion, you will be hard-pressed to find a better racing inspired chronograph around $500!
View Reverie’s full range of watches here.
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- Exclusivity – only 175 pieces available worldwide
- 316L stainless steel case with tear drop-shaped lugs, including both brushed and polished finishes. Case dimensions are 40mm (diameter) by 11.6mm (height) by 20mm (lug-to-lug width).
- Seiko VK64 mecha-quartz movement – combines the beautiful sweeping motion of a mechanical movement with the accuracy of a quartz movement.
- Triple-layer dial with our signature guilloché effect for visual depth.
- Super-LumiNova lume in 2 colours : blue on the hands & green on the hour markers.
- Medallion effect case-back with an engraving of each watch’s limited edition reference number.
- Each watch comes with 2 leather straps made from genuine leather sourced from Italy, which are 20mm wide and taper down to 18mm at the buckle, and come with our tool-less strap change mechanism.
- 5ATM water resistance.
- Comes with a navy leather-bound travel case.
- Free shipping worldwide.
- 1 year international repair warranty.
Nigel Gomes, @the_lone_cadre