September 14, 2018
by Ariel Adams
I found myself really liking Gorilla Switzerland’s “Mirage” version of their new Fastback GT watch collection. As a limited edition of 250 pieces, the Fastback GT Mirage is Gorilla’s homage to the popular baby blue and orange colors of Gulf Oil. I’m not sure I would be as excited about a timepiece like this at much higher luxury prices, but at this “around $1,000” price, I think there is a lot to be said about a charming and fun watch such as this.
Not everyone has been an immediate fan of Octavio Garcia’s (of Audemars Piguet) Gorilla watch brand, which is inspired by 1970s American muscle cars. Octavio wanted to design something new, and novelty is rewarded with distinction as well as complaint. It simply takes a few years for new designs to “normalize.” The point of the watch is to be both bold and suggest a sense of conspicuous horsepower that helps define the era of automobiles the Fastback GT watch collection is based on.
For the Fastback GT Mirage, Gorilla did a few things differently aside from just change the colors of the existing Fackback collection (no “GT”). Compared to the Fastback, this Fastback GT Mirage has an upgraded movement as the main difference (aside from the colors). Rather than an 8XXX series Japanese Miyota movement the Mirage now pulls from the Miyota 9XXX series, which in this case is the Miyota caliber 90S5. This automatic movement operates at 4Hz with 48 hours of power reserve and has a view of the exposed escapement through the dial of the watch. The 90S5 is an upgrade both in performance and looks. You can see the rest of the movement through the crystal window on the rear of the watch case.
Speaking of looks, the Mirage dial of the Fastback GT is rather legible – something that not all Gorilla Fastback GT watches have been. The hour hand continues to be a disc which moves around, creating a pleasant sense of “animation” on the dial. The traditional minute hand is in an easy to read orange color and the dial also has a separate centrally-mounted running seconds hand. The dial also comes with luminant for darkness reading.
The Fastback GT Mirage case is sort of square in shape and 44mm wide (48.5mm wide with the crown) and water-resistant to 100m. It wears large due to the case shape and wide strap – but that is the look Gorilla is going for. I would argue that despite the size, the watch is comfortable to wear. For the Mirage version of the watch, Gorilla continues to go with a forged carbon case, which on this model has some carbon fiber texture on it near the lug structures (a detail that is easy to miss). The case also uses steel, titanium, anodized aluminum for the orange-colored ring under the bezel, and ceramic for the bezel itself. This is one of the few watches I’ve seen which makes use of a “powder blue” ceramic component – which is still uncommon these days. Over the dial is an AR-coated sapphire crystal. Overall fit and finish are really quite good for a product at this price point and low production volume.
Much of the Gulf Oil/Racing blue and orange color theme is expressed in the two-tone rubber strap, which is blue on the outside and orange on the inside. Orange can be identified through the perforated holes on the strap and I think Gorilla did an excellent job in regard to how the design uses the colors. Attached to the strap is a titanium buckle.
One negative – more like a piece of feedback for Gorilla – is the packaging. The watch comes out of the black felt packaging with small black particles on it, and appears dirty. You can see some of that on the watch I shot even though it was fresh from the box. I usually like to shoot watches right after removing them from the packaging and prior to wear-testing them since it tends to be when the watches have the least wear. In this case I would have been wise to rinse it off before shooting it. This is something for Gorilla to consider in the future.
Even though the Gorilla Fastback GT watch is comfortable, I still mostly recommend it for wrists sized seven inches in circumference or more. The larger proportions of the case simply look better on larger wrists. The way that Gorilla played with the blue and orange “Gulf” colors in the Mirage limited edition watch made it a winner for me, even though I know it will remain a niche model with more conservative colors probably being more generally popular with consumers of the brand. Gorilla did increase the price of its watches with the Fastback GT versus the original Fastback by $350. That goes to some more expensive components, such as the movement and better strap – but I think it was worth it. Once again, the Gorilla Fastback GT Mirage watch is a limited edition of 250 pieces with a price of $1,150 USD. gorillawatches.ch
>Model: Fastback GT Mirage limited edition of 250 pieces
>Price: $1,150 USD
>Size: 44mm wide, 13mm thick, about 56mm lug-to-lug distance
>When reviewer would personally wear it: At car lover events or around car lovers when a playful “Gulf Oil-toned” niche enthusiast watch will make for fun conversation.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Budget-minded watch and car lover seeking something truly distinctive and novel, while not wanting to break the bank.
>Best characteristic of watch: Great use of colors makes for an eye-pleasing wearing experience. Fastback GT includes welcome upgrades over the original model.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Dial and case shape still not up to everyone’s tastes. Doesn’t wear as well on smaller wrists. Price premium for Fastback GT models pushes cost past $1,000 and to possibly a different type of customer.