The GG Grip Rubber Strap Watch comes hot on the heels of the Gucci Grip, a watch so ugly if it was a dog I’d shave its ass and make it walk backwards. To try and save that aesthetic affront, Gucci slapped Mickey Mouse on its weight scale-shaped dial. Nope. Now Gucci’s going a different way, deep into “oh no you didn’t” chronograph territory . . .
The hours and minutes are digitally displayed on rotating discs on the right hand side of the dial – leaving more negative space than, um, space. The word “Gucci” floats in that void – a strangely demure projection of the owner’s fashion victim status (especially after the standard Grip’s Gucci logo rash). It’s an asymmetrical assault; there’s nowhere for the eye to focus.
I’m not entirely sure how the “gender-neutral” GG Grip Rubber Strap Watch’s chronograph works. The silver timepiece below shows a logo-enhanced sweep second hand. That makes sense. The official photos of the black dial version are woefully second-hand deficient. Look Ma, no hands! On a chronograph that isn’t digital.
There’s a tiny red marker sandwiched between two number 60’s at the 12 o’clock position, sitting above a tiny green track with Arabic numerals. Assuming the track indicates both minutes (with the red marker) and seconds (with the missing second hand), it’s a clever solution. But the red marker pile-up when the chrono hits 15 minutes and 15 seconds must make Austin’s 4 o’clock traffic seem like smooth sailing.
The tachymeter running atop all that gubbins offers a graduated measuring system designed to calculate speed over distance. In these days of digital speedometers, onboard race computers and radar timers, the tachymeter is an anachronism. Or, if you prefer, a vintage throwback. Or fashion victim frippery. No points for guessing my take on this application, considering the crowded, multi-sized typography.
The Gucci GG Grip Rubber has a rubber strap, implying at least a modicum of water resistance. True! It’s waterproof to 100 feet. No worries about light rain then, but a lousy choice for showering or swimming. That’s O.K. because the watch “takes its inspiration from the world of skateboarding, its name recalling the way the rider’s sneakers stick to the grip tape on a skateboard.”
A watch that sticks to your wrist? Quel surprise! The Gucci GG Grip Rubber’s total recall costs $1650. The money buys you a watch powered by an unidentified Ronda quartz movement. Don’t get me wrong: there are plenty of quartz watches at this price. And higher. But they all have the distinction of not being this one.
How hard would it be for Gucci to create a mechanical watch worthy of the brand’s rep for luxury? Make that former rep. Aside from their handbags and some (but not all) of their clothes, Gucci has gone downmarket. They make hundreds of millions selling not-terribly-expensive accessories whose main distinction is their Double G label (just ask Gucci counterfeiters).
Add the GG Grip Rubber Strap Watch watch to that list. At least it’s not as ugly as the original Grip. But then, what is?