Announcements: Alan Downing Joins SJX as Columnist

Providing an experienced eye on the industry.

I’m privileged to write that Alan Downing has agreed to contribute regularly to this site. English by birth but a resident of Geneva, Alan has been part of Swiss watchmaking since the 1980s. Some readers might remember Watchbore, a character he created for the Timezone watch forum.

Alan worked as a news journalist in Africa and in Europe entering the watch industry in the mid-1980s, just as the post-quartz watch boom began. Since then he has written extensively for and about the watch industry, in particular gaining an insider’s view as a copywriter to more than 20 luxury watch brands, including the biggest names in Geneva watchmaking. Amongst his work was the practical guide to the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 super-complication pocket watch, published in 1989 as Voyage to the End of Time.

His unique and often contrarian view of the watch industry is reflected in hundreds of published articles chronicling Switzerland’s fascinating watch culture over more than 30 years, including one published here last year, The Fake Rivalry That Created the World’s Most Expensive Timepiece, debunking the myth about the watch collecting rivalry between American tycoons Henry Graves and James Ward Packard.

We all look forward to Alan’s stories.


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Introducing the Gorilla Fastback Drift – Wandering Hours for Less

Affordable and Vaucher-powered.

Founded by pair of Audemars Piguet alumni – design chief Octavio Garcia and senior designer Lukas Gopp – Gorilla watches specialises in affordable watches with an automotive bent, typically in materials like carbon composite and ceramic. While its earlier models were simple time-only watches, the Fastback Drift is the first complication from Gorilla.

It’s a familiar complication, a wandering hours that displays the hours on three revolving discs that in turn point to the minutes. Found in wristwatches by Audemars Piguet (where it was known as the Star Wheel) and Urwerk, amongst others, the complication actually dates to 17th century clocks.

Gorilla Drift Fastback watch 2

The Fastback Drift, however, is markedly more affordable than most comparable watches. Priced at under US$3000, it is powered by a movement developed by Vaucher. But the base movement is a low-cost ETA 2824 automatic, while the wandering hours display module is added on top by Vaucher, a movement maker mostly known for its pricey, high-end calibres, explaining the relative affordability of the finished watch. The movement has a 36-hour power reserve, the standard for an ETA 2824.

Gorilla Drift Fastback watch 3

At 44mm wide and 14mm high, the case of the Fastback Drift is nearly identical to other Gorilla watches, a chunky, squarish form with exposed screws on the bezel. It’s made of layered carbon composite with a ceramic bezel, as well as red anodised aluminium and titanium. It’s rated to 100m and is fitted to a rubber strap.

Gorilla Drift Fastback watch 1

Price and availability 

The Gorilla Fastback Drift is a limited edition of 250 pieces, priced at SFr2750 before taxes. It will be available for order starting August direct from Gorilla and also its retailers, with deliveries commencing November 2018.


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