PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 22 Aug, 2018.
A watch housing the Seiko NH36 movement for £45? Sounds pretty good to me. Enter the Guanquin GJ16034 from Gearbest. Design-wise it’s pretty straightforward – nothing outstanding, but it looks to be a nice, smart dress watch. Again, it’s only £45. Whilst it may not be the most in terms of money, is it still worth it? Let’s take a closer look.
If you order one, use coupon code: GUANQIN0213 for an extra couple of dollars off!
Dimensions: 40.5mm diameter x 11.5mm height x 49.5mm lug to lug
Water resistance rating: 3ATM / 30m
Movement: Seiko NH36
Accuracy: -11.5 sec/day
Lug width: 20mm
Warranty: 1 year
Buy here: https://www.gearbest.com/men-s-watches/pp_685741.html?lkid=15160681
The main question is whether the crystal is hardlex or sapphire? It says hardlex on the site and the water drop test tells me it isn’t sapphire, but many people say it is sapphire. Perhaps it used to be and recently they’ve switched. To be honest, either option is good for the price, and it’s also pretty clear.
The finishing of the case is completely polished and to a surprisingly high standard.
The push-pull crown has G embossed on the end, it’s easy to use but not the best machined.
I really like the angular bezel, I’ve been really impressed by the accuracy of all the different facets and borders.
The exhibition caseback has watch details very lightly etched around the window. These would be better if they were engraved but nevermind.
For the price, it’s pretty good – would be even better if the crystal was sapphire of course; but I really dig the bezel.
The dial in itself has great points, and not so great. Firstly, it’s wonky (even the picture on the site has a slightly off dial). Check out the hour marker at 3; it doesn’t quite line up with the crown or the angle of the bezel.
However, the applied hour markers are surprisingly good – they’re deep and accurately made.
The printed logo and details are all reasonably fine and precise, I personally think the logo could be a little bit smaller and less overbearing from a design standpoint.
The dial has an eye-catching sunburst effect engraved onto the galvanised style base, whilst the date window indicator has a printed border and slight bevel to it.
The slightly pitched hands are a bit on the small side; at a glance, they don’t seem to scale, and they’re also a bit thin.
The lume is pretty dreadful – it barely charges or glows at all.
The straps are always the part that fares worst on watches under £100 – and when you think about it, some straps are more expensive than this entire watch including postage.
The leather isn’t too bad, it’s supple enough with a nice oaky colour and gets the job done.
I’m not so impressed with the deployant buckle though – it doesn’t have buttons to open it easily, so you just have to give it a yank which feels a bit cumbersome and difficult. The top bar has the Guanquin logo very lightly etched on top – like with the caseback, this would have been better if it was engraved.
This is the most fascinating part of this watch; finding a Seiko NH36 within a watch under £50 is pretty epic. Obviously, there are super cheap autos out there but these are Chinese movements which aren’t as good. Quite understandably it has stock everything, there’s no customisation at all – but I’m really not expecting any. It’s solid, dependable, and reasonably regulated at -11.5 sec/day. However, it’s a little bit grubby.
Difficult to say, is it worth it? However much you pay, you expect a straight dial so that’s jaded my impression. The specs are pretty staggering for the price though – the Seiko movement especially being the star of the show when you think that these are about £25 on their own if you want to buy one.