Many watch brands are named after the founders who created them. Others arrive at a name that suggests the genre of watches they are selling. While some invent a word that they feel expresses the spirit their watches are trying to convey.
Grayton is different. Established in 2015, its name in part, was inspired by the founders’ love of the bestselling novel ’50 Shades of Gray’. That and the fact that not everything is black and white, there are always shades of gray. Unfortunately, we’re all out of 50 Shades of Gray in this household so we just had to use a Tom Clancy novel as a backdrop. It was either that or Andy McNab.
The founder of Grayton Watches is Remi Chabrat, who is no newcomer to the business of making and marketing watches. For 20 years he was part of the Montrichard Group, who create watches for many big-name brands around the world.
Remi Chabrat’s passion for watchmaking began at an early age:
“I discovered my first automatic watch as a young boy, when opening a drawer at my grandfather’s house. It was a WWI officer’s watch. Intrigued, I turned the crown to wind itand as if by magic, nearly one hundred years after first being produced, it began to move and accurately keep time. At that moment, my passion for watches was born.” Remi Chabrat , CEO, Grayton Watches
Remi noticed that while quartz watches were steadily coming down in price, traditional quality automatic watches were not following the same trend. This meant that the options for those who wanted to purchase a mechanical timepiece were limited. He saw a gap in the market through his extensive experience in the watch manufacturing business and decided to give the world some options to make it a better place. He already had a factory and a working manufacturing process so the idea of creating his own line of mechanical watches didn’t seem completely out of reach.
Speaking of shades of gray, where better to have the watch reviewed than on Watchuseek, whose readers can dependably give you all the shades of gray you could possibly wish for when expressing their opinions of a new watch. Some will be caustic, some will be kind, while other will be indifferent, but there’s no better place to discover what the watch buying public really think of your new watch.
When my Grayton Automatic arrived, I was surprised at how much I liked it. The watch costs just $235, but it looks and feels like it should cost more.
Water resistant to 100 meters, the watch has a clean contemporary feel but at the same time, the dial looks like a retro classic from the ‘50s. There’s a choice of dial size including 36mm, 40mm and 44mm. My model comes with a creamy silvered dial with large and clear Arabic numerals at 2, 6, 8,10 and 12 o’clock, with a date window at 3 o’clock with a subtle railway track circling the dial. The sword shaped hands and numbers are painted using SuperLuminova. The glow of Super-Luminova works subtly throughout the day by soaking up the light you expose it to.
There are two styles for the dial: original and vintage. The original, which I have, features a one-color satin dial while the vintage (shown above) features a sunray dial gradient that shifts from one color to another.
The choice of movement for these automatics is the trusty Seiko NH35A with a roughly 48-hour power reserve. It’s a reliable and robust movement based on the dependable 7s26 caliber, that powers the ever-popular Orange Monster. While it’s not in the same league as any of the mid-range ETA modules it should compare nicely with the ETA movements found in Swatch products. If the NH35 lives up to its 7s26 heritage; it will outlast the ETAs with a minimum to no servicing for a couple of decades, and I can attest to this with ownership of an Orange Monster that just won’t quit.
The crystal is hardened mineral as opposed to sapphire, but this is also the case with the Orange Monster which uses Hardlex.
The watch comes on a choice of leather straps. One option is the alligator embossed one, which uses a leather strap with specific detailing to make the strap look like alligator skin. Another option is the genuine leather strap that either uses white or black stitching as a detail. There is also a stainless-steel bracelet, a much better option for tropical climes.
Overall, for just $235, there’s much to admire about Grayton Watches and they are worthy of investigation.
|Case diameter||Ø 44mm|
|Case material||Stainless steel|
|Case color||Stainless steel|
|Glass material||Hardened mineral|
|Case water resistance||10 ATM / 300 feet|
|Dial color||Satin white silver|
|Numbers &/or indexes color||White super luminous with rose gold borders|
|Hands colors||White super luminous & rose gold|
|Strap & bracelet material||Alligator embossed|
|Strap & bracelet color||Brown & cream stitching|
|Movement||Japanese automatic Seiko NH35|