Even the most cursory of inspections over the Gane Type C reveals the wealth of mismatched influences that come together to create a surprisingly attractive and quirky watch. It’s the debut watch from Malaysian photographer and musician turned watchmaker Raymond Pee, who created the microbrand Gane last year.
Like any microbrand worth its salt it’s a passion project through and through, hence the endearing mishmash of disparate influences. The name, Type C, is drawn from the musical scale, the dial is inspired by ancient sun dials, the case is vintage 70s and the text font is pure Art Deco. Plus, the caseback is a carefully wrought ode to Raymond’s late mother.
While on paper it sounds like a watch with an identity crisis, on the wrist it actually comes together very nicely. Ultimately, the lasting impression is one of Art Deco aesthetic. The two piece construction of the dial with CNC milled grooves for hour markers creates a geometric display that wouldn’t be out of place in the 1920s. Especially when taken in combination with the stylised font of the brand name on the inner dial at 12 o’clock. It’s incredibly charming in an off-kilter manner.
The tonneau shape and 38mm diameter of the stainless steel case also adds to the vintage appearance of the watch, as does the boxed sapphire crystal. The case itself is well crafted with a nice vertical brushed finish. However, it isn’t perfect. It feels a little tall on the wrist at 13mm high, a fact emphasised by the sharp angled lugs, thick bezel and steep sides. Although perhaps I’ve just been spoiled by the wafer thin horology from the likes of Bulgari and Piaget that slip effortlessly under your cuff. It’s only 1mm taller than a Rolex Datejust after all.
It comes on either a five-link stainless steel bracelet or a nice thick-cut, distressed leather strap which is equally great. On bracelet it costs $555 while on strap it’s $495 (approx. £409/£365), although if you happen to get your hands on both then the quick change system is easy to use. In fact, swapping between them also gives you an excuse to appreciate the engraved caseback, featuring a scales and lamp combination in honour of Raymond’s late mother who was known for her fairness and appreciation for interior decoration.
The version I have here is the Gane Type C1, which has a tone on tone salmon dial. It’s also available in indigo blue in the C2 edition or silver/white in the C3. From where I’m sitting, I don’t feel the need to try the others to know the C1 is my favourite of the trio. All three are powered by the calibre Miyota 8215 automatic movement, a solid enough movement with a 42-hour power reserve that makes sense for a young microbrand.
I can see the potential arguments against this watch, its unconventional mix of influences won’t appeal to everyone. However, all that pales in comparison to the fact I’ve enjoyed my time with it. It’s quirky and full of personality, which is not always the case with vintage inspired microbrand watches, it’s no Submariner/Fifty Fathoms recreation. And if you like talking about your watches, there’s plenty to talk about, all for typically accessible microbrand prices.
Price & Specs:
Model: Gane Type C1
Reference: C1B (stainless steel bracelet), C1L (leather strap)
Case/dial: 38mm diameter x 13mm height, stainless steel case, 2-piece 3D layered salmon dial
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Miyota calibre 8215, automatic and manual winding, 21 jewels
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 41h
Functions: Hours, minutes, sweeping seconds
Strap: Stainless steel 5-link bracelet or vintage grey leather
Price/availability: $495 (leather strap) and $555 (stainless steel bracelet)
More details at Gane Watches.