There is an old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I think this must be the motto of the Griffin Emblem Watch Company, since they are back with a second batch of watches on the crowdfunding site, Indiegogo. The Griffin Emblem Automatic is offered in three general flavors and several case options for a total of 10 watch configurations, and the designs are only slightly different than the previous campaign. There are three levels of skeletonization in the watches, a small open heart window for the balance wheel, a larger central open heart, and a semi-skeleton design.
The fact that the watched have not evolved much from one campaign to the next is not meant to be a dig at the brand. They were successful with the first round of funding, and the second iteration changes up a few things cosmetically, so if you like the style, and don’t have the first watch, here is a chance to jump in and pick up an attractive watch. The most open of the three variations, the RG-1052 (above) is offered in either stainless steel or rose gold plated stainless for €249, about $271 USD. The open heart design, the RG-1008 is available in stainless, rose gold and black with a black dial for €199 (~$217). The in between version is available in stainless, rose gold or black with a white dial (RG-1032) for €229 (~ $250) or stainless and black with a black dial (RG-1062, below) for €241 (~271). These versions of the watch use a small second hand at 3:30 instead of the central hand on the other two versions.
The brand is also allowing you to personalize the watch with an engraved screw-in nameplate on the side of the watch for €15. I think the watch looks fairly well done. In looking at the comments from the original project, the backers are happy with the product, and since this is more of a slight change in the design and not a clean-sheet redo, delays should be minimized (but this is a crowd funded project, not a piece already in production). Personally, I am not a big fan of open heart designs, and the level of skeletonization in the movement itself does not really lend itself to the wide open cut-outs of the higher priced model. If I were getting one, it would be the middle version, especially with the small second hand to add more movement to the exposed workings. As always, if you jump on board, or if you have a different take, I am happy to hear from you. also, if you picked up the first version, let us know how you like it. griffinemblem.com
- Brand & Model: Griffin Emblem Automatic
- Price: €199 to €241 (~$217 to $271 USD)
- Who we think it might be for: Fans of open heart designs
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: No. I think the watch is attractive for what it is, but the movement is too basic to show off with this level of skeletonization.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Opt for a different movement with the more open dial designs.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It looks readable even with the cut-aways on the dial.
Tech Specs from Griffin Emblem:
- Movement: Miyota 82S0 / 82S5
- Functions: Three hands
- Case: 316L Stainless Steel with rose gold or black plating and exhibition caseback
- Glass: AR coated sapphire crystal
- Water resistance: 5 ATM
- Lug width: 22mm
- Straps: Leather
- Diameter : 42mm
- Length: Not specified
- Case height: 12.6 mm
- Weight of watch head: Not specified