5 years ago we launched our first product Ginault BM1, it was a sterile Submariner homage watch. The release had a mild success in the short period that it was sold. The BM1 hit certain members' taste palates and at the same time missed many members' to buy list.
However, the infant venture to start a watch company with the goal to have everything excluding the movement made and assembled domestically came to a sudden halt. The Swiss movement giants became very strict to whom they supply their movements to and coupled with a steep price hike choking the supply. It basically meant a death sentence for a micro brand like ours.
We had to put the project on halt and re-consider the options. We entertained the idea of using Chinese clones but they were just not stable nor consistent enough.
Then a wild idea came to us. We wanted to do something that has not been attempted by small independent watch companies for a long time. We thought maybe we can produce our own movement parts domestically.
We went back to the drawing board and back to the basics. To make this in a reality consists two parts, movement part production and movement assembly. Although these are two totally different realms, our team has the knowledge and know-how of both. What we do not have is the resource to invest in exotic and capital heavy equipments in making these parts. But we kind of have an idea where to look for them.
A lot of good folks in the country have the right equipment, manufacturing skills, and know-how in making specific part for the watch movement. They were just not in the watchmaking industry. During the past 5 or so years, our challenges were, to find them, convince them to take on our small quantity and yet supper anal and annoying orders due to the high precision requirement, to assemble these parts into functioning movements and finally to test and tune these movements in house.
Ginault Caliber 7275 is an reproduction of the Swiss ETA 2824-2. Caliber 7275 shares the same original Eterna design with the Swiss Sellita SW200-1 and Swiss Technology Production STP1-11.
The Objectives blueprinting the Ginault 7275 caliber:
1.Cannon Pinion has to be 0.50mm taller than the original H2 cannon pinion design:
Many of our original designs are diver's watches with forged hour markers riveted on the dial. The cannon pinions have to be at least 0.50mm taller than the standard issued H2 height. However, being a micro brand, there is no way the Swiss giants and the Chinese state owned movement factories will even be bothered by our custom order let alone the small order quantity.
2. The consistency and performance of the movement:
Swiss ETA 2824 movement although not the most accurate movement, it is known for its consistency and durability. This decades old design has proven being a reliable work horse in the world of horology.
Why not use Tianjin Seagull ST2130 or Hangzhou 6300? We found one down side of the Chinese clones is consistency. In a random sample batch, we found the performances of the blank movements range from a wild variety. The durability of the movements were also in question. So if we build them by ourselves and assemble them in our controlled environment, it will be easier to keep quality in check and then to control the consistency of our calibers performance.
3. Being independent from the Swiss Giant's monopoly choke:
Much like the US rubber crisis in the 40s, Ginault faced the supply shortage and price hike on the Swiss made movements. We knew if we can realize a self sustaining supply of movement parts we no longer have to be dedicated by the Swiss.
However, there are still some parts absent of domestic supplier. Those parts are the hairspring, the mainspring, the red synthetic sapphire crystals also known as jewels, and the shock absorber.
Wang Jia Ling Shock Absorber
The three leafs cherry blossom shaped shock absorber is Chinese. It is Wang Jia Ling shock absorber. It costs about the same as the Swiss Incabloc. We opt for WJL for one specific reason - it is designed to stabilize the slight unbalance oscillator movement caused by not perfectly matching the hairspring and escapement wheel. Hence, helps the caliber keep more accurate time and deliver better performance.
Today, almost all Chinese made mechanical movements use WJL shock absorber and even some Swiss customized calibers have WJL shock absorbers in them. It happens for a reason.
Dr. Wang originally designed the shock absorber in 1985. He was so ahead of his time before the Chinese mechanical watch industry boom. In fact, his design worked too well that in ETA's performance chart, it could turn a Standard Grade movement blank into a decoration worthy Elabore Grade caliber. In plain English, WJL shock absorber brings normal to good, and it brings excellence from good. That is why later in 1986, the Japanese watchmaking giant adopted Dr. Wang's three leaf cherry bloom shock absorber design in almost all their mechanical product lines.
The Tune In Process
Once a completed Caliber 7275 is encased in the watch, it will then go through a 6 weeks journey on our automatic winder to simulate real world use. Our watchmakers time each one of them every 7 days, then give each one of them a slight tweak if necessary to make the caliber to run even more accurately until it reaches as close as to 0 in the end of the journey. The mark "X" means the "average daily rate". The Swiss COSC standard of this particular measurement is +6 / -4.
We keep each measurement log in an excel file. When a Ginault timepiece is sold, we will provide you a copy of the measurement log with the caliber's serial number, the actual power reserve tested, and the last measurement date printed on the copy.
Craftsmanship & Built Quality
Many people would ask "there are so many Submariners homages out there with their own flavor and design, why isn't Ginault's Ocean Rover following suit? The answer to the question is simple. It is actually very hard to make a classic 16610 Submariner homage so close to the original blueprint. The level of technical and production maturity required to pull this off is beyond many people's expectation.
Being a Ginaulti we love to tackle the hard question first. Ocean-Rover is a product line to showcase the experts and Submariner lovers in the horology world of what we can achieve. The idea is to take on all the production challenges that most homage Submariners face and strike them head on. We decided not to take an easy way out by changing out hard to make parts with simple and cost effective substitutes.
Another question often asked is "Submariner homages have been done and done. There are countless micro and even well established brands doing the same thing. What could make Ginault stand out the crowd?"
We know we probably would score a zero on design input for the Ocean-Rover series but we know we are going to hit the bulls eyes when it comes the build qualities of our watches.
We known an equal quality built to the original 5 digit Submariner homage that delivers the same balance in aesthetic, performance and durability, and beauty in craftsmanship will appeal to those of whom seeking for the best Submariner alternative.
316L Stainless Steel
Our machinists in fact did not descend from the Swiss watchmaking background. But we have all packed decades of experiences when it comes to industrial design/production under our belts. We often mock ourselves "rusted people" because most of us came from a time and place where tools and machines were our childhood toys. This is how we make the watchcase. We first lathe them one by one from a premium US Steel rod.
Then we let the CNC machine center to give each disc a good 2 hours milling to shape the watchcase blank.
After milling, there is another hour of dirty and dusty brushing and polishing to transform the blank to a beautiful men's jewelry.
The bezel is a tricky part to make. These fine internal gears, which functions stops when turning the bezel, can not be lathed or milled. The only proper way to make these gears is called "broaching". We do not have machines or skills to make them.
However, "broaching" is a manufacturing technique that is a must have know-how for gun barrel makers. We have more than a handful of talented gun makers in this country who's got the right equipment and skill set to make a part that is this delicate, accurate, and durable to withstand tens of thousands turns.
Ginault 94530G Bracelet
When we launched the BM1, many members wish that it also came with a stainless bracelet. We heard you and we made it happen.
Ginault 94530G is a solid linked bracelet. To produce a solid stainless steel bracelet this beautiful would require hundreds of hours of experience and the skilled hands jointing each link, brushing, polishing, and cleaning.
There are 4 permanently jointed solid links and 2 removable solid links on each section of the bracelet. An 8.1 inch wrist could fit in nicely with all links attached.
We also plan on making a hollow link version of the bracelet for those of you who has the weight reduction requirement in mind.
What's in the Box
If stainless steel bracelet is not of your taste. We added in a complementary pair of fine quality handmade Zulu Nato straps.
This is Ginault 30.4mm Dome Crystal. It's from the best supplier in the country. Albeit Ocean-Rover 181070GSLN is a Rolex Submariner 16610 homage. We did not want to take the shortcut and put an aftermarket 25-295-C, Rolex's signature crystal with a cyclops a 3 o'clock on it.
We want to bring something sensational, something nostalgia to Ocean-Rover's owners. Thus we came up with Ginault 30.4mm Dome crystal. It is made of corundum, the second hardest material next to diamond.
In the designing phase, we also wanted to make sure Ginault Ocean-Rover and any of our future models equipped with 30.4 Dome crystal to withstand the extreme water pressure while being worn under water.
By increasing the thickness of Ginault 30.4 Dome crystal from 1.8mm to 3.1mm, plus with the computer aided design software calculated the surface curvature, the maximum depth Ginault 30.4 Dome crystal can withstand is 1,220 meters underwater in computer simulations. However, the actual testing equipment our supplier has could only simulate water pressure up to 1,000 feet. Nonetheless, Ginault 30.4 Dome crystal's real world test in our supplier's testing chamber went with flying colors at 1,000 feet.
Until we conduct our tests in a more sophisticated institute, we put 1,000 ft / 300 m on the face of the watch.
For those tactically aware members, unlike Rolex 25-295-C, which has quite a direct light reflection point, we specifically designed Ginault 30.4 Dome with almost no direct light reflection point. Slap on the Nato strap this watch won't become an object exposing your tactical positions under a bright sunlight in the open field.
We believe if a diver's watch has a soul, it must dwell in the luminous indicator on the bezel. The quality has to match with other parts of the watch. From the same supplier of our crystal, the luminous indicator is also made of corundum.
We set the corundum indicators one by one on rodico, apply luminescent material carefully in each one of them the same way we do on our forged hour markers, then hard pressed them in the cup shaped holders made of german silver along with the aluminum bezels.
The Watch Face
Gold Sand Lume
An homage should never be just a lookalike or a replica. The makers of an homage watch should bring value, taste, and innovation to the classics.
We have heard of the legend of a luminescent material that is not a product from the Swiss RC Tritec, the lume company, and is so expensive only the top antique clock and pocket watch restorers could afford and would be interested in using on their masterpieces.
We travelled to Alaska and to the very southern tip of Argentina in search for this luminescent material in order to bring the vintageness and class to Ginault Ocean-Rover.
The High Gloss Enamel Dial
Dial creation in the process of producing a watch has its own special pedigree. A dial not only represents the identify of a watch, it is also what connects the movement, the hands, and the functions of the watch to the wearer. It not only reads time, it also gives the final finished touch of the overall aesthetic and balance of the unit.
Creating a high gloss enamel finished surface with perfectly forged, angled, and finished hour markers take nothing less than a true craftsman with the sum of many skills calling for both great expertise, decades of experiences and know how in the making of a single perfect dial.
Looking around, only a handful horological titans use high gloss enamel dials with forged, mirror polished hour markers in their product lines. The craftsmanship and cost required in making this kind of dial post as a barrier for many watchmaking companies to enter the world of "Haute Horology". In fact it is rare to find a watchmaking company like Rolex which controls in-house all the aspects of dial creation, from design to production.
Luckily along the way we were introduced to a master dial maker in the United Kingdom who has worked for a famous Swiss watch company specializing in dial production to help us realize this dream of creating a top of the line classic Submariner 16610 homage dial.
Enamel is an opaque substance that is a type of silicon. After solidification in high temperature, it produces uneven cracks and tiny apertures that look like scratches or flaws on the dial. Only through years of restless practices, can we present to you the almost perfect, high gloss enamel dial in deep black.
When we were first introduced to our dial maker, we did not possess much knowledge about the differences in forged hour makers. Looking across the market it is not hard to find that only a handful of brands have forged hour markers on the dials. They all look the same right? But truth to be told devil is in the detail. What the difference is between an artisan made hour marker vs a production line hour marker is hard to explain by words. It is more of an experience. Have you ever noticed when you turn your wrist over to look at time some watches just don't give you that pop, and on the other hand the few elite makers' watches reveal otherwise.
Forged, Mirror Polished Hour Markers
The secret lies in the finest details of the way the blank hour marker is forged and shaped. We encourage members to take a look of Ginault's hour markers with a loupe. Another important step is how the hour marker was polished from the blanks. Only through arduous polishing by hand each hour marker can then have the shine, the reflections of light, and that polished uneven deformation on each corner of the forged hour marker brought to life.
40mm in Diameter, 50mm from Lug to Lug, 45mm from Bezel to Crown, 15.6mm Bottom to Top, Distance between Lugs: 20.05mm, Solid End Link width: 20.03mm
Thanks for reading.
We understand many members are interested and would like to add a Ginault Ocean-Rover to their collection. We also understand before you can pull the trigger many of you would love to see more pictures and reviews by other members.
That's why we are ready to prepare a special 55% off offer if you can agree to share a write up (at least 350 words) with pictures on WUS or an "open box" clip on Youtube with you narrating your thoughts and opinion after you receive our watches.
Use coupon code: openbox55 (limted 10 use) Please provide us with your WUS/Youtube username in the comment section during checkout.
We have noticed that Ginault Ocean Rover is inevitably compared to many other more affordable homage makes.
We truly do want the chance for members to see the built quality in our products and the value Ocean-Rover brings.
If you are an owner of one or more Submariner homage watches and are ready to add a Ginault Ocean-Rover to your list, by agreeing to write a detailed comparison reviews on Ocean-Rover V.S. your current Submariner homages on the forums we will offer you a 60% off discount code for the purchase.
Please email us at "[email protected]" and let us know what Submariner homage you own for this special 60% off coupon.