PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 19 Mar, 2017.
The Greyhours Essential Black, their introductory model, proved to be a well-made timepiece with attractive, simple design. Their latest offering, the Vision, builds on this -but in reality only really changing the date window to a subdial and tweaking the design ever so slightly.
The Vision will cost you £180, and one key thing to be aware of is that it has an impressive lifetime warranty against defects – something that you very rarely see.
Let’s take a closer look to see if it’s good value for money.
- Dimensions: 40mm diameter x 9.35mm height x 40mm lug to lug
- Weight: 65g
- Water resistance rating: 5ATM
- Movement: IsaSwiss 9231/1890
- Lug width: 20mm
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Price: £180
The case has an “IPH Shield” – which means it has an Ion Plating Hardened coating. It’s the same as PVD coating, but in this instance rather than a black coating it’s still steel coloured. This is pretty cool as it keeps the natural appearance of the case, but provides an extra layer of protection.
The Greyhours Vision Silver boasts one of the nicest sapphire crystals I’ve seen on an affordable watch, much like the Essential did. The star of the show is the outstanding anti-reflective coating. I always think that a decent AR coating makes the difference between a good looking watch and a great watch – and this is the case here. It makes the watch look well finished, and in turn more luxurious.
It has a very simple case shape – it’s basically a disc thanks to the lack of lugs. The strap ends sit within the case itself, so it’s a complete circle. The case is primarily brushed, bar two small bits – the surround to the bezel and the chamfered edge of the caseback.
The crown is simple, but it’s also pretty small and also quite slippy when you come to use it. It has a nice channel around the middle which allows you to pull it out easily.
The pusher at 2 is to advance the date indicator, so just be careful you don’t accidentally push it as it’s quite easy to do so.
The dial is extremely simple, and can indeed be called “minimal” in the truest sense of the word (don’t link this to all those lame minimalist watches found on KickStarter though). It’s effective in design, thanks to the subtle hour markers, sparse printing and attractive subdials.
The watch has a sandwich dial technically – the hour markers are cut out of the top section and are on a lower level, providing gentle depth. There’s also a nice bobbly texture to the dial, almost like it’s been painted on with a roller.
The subdials are also on this lower level – they flow into the markers at 3 and 9. They are calendar indicators (day at 9, date at 3) – but I would have loved it to be a chronograph.
The hour and minute hands are polished steel, and have a lumed channel at the top. The seconds and subdial hands are simple blue points.
The strap I got sent is a very stylish, cool grey colour. This strap is French lambskin, and the high quality is evident from the moment you feel it. It’s incredibly soft, supple and well put together. The only thing to note is that it does start creasing quite soon (from the buckle of course).
The strap has the added bonus of quick release pins, which I really like as they make switching straps a doddle, without the use of tools – and therefore also without the risk of scratching the case.
The tang buckle is simple, yet stylish. It’s completely brushed but has the Greyhours logo engraved on the underside of the top bar.
The movement powering the Greyhours Vision Silver is the Isaswiss 9231/1890. Yup, not one I had heard of either.
From what I can tell, it’s a Hong Kong based brand, which create both Asian and Swiss produced movements. From what I can tell, the 9231/1890 is Far East assembly.
The 9231/1890 is quartz (battery powered), and the main functions are the day indicator on the subdial at 9, and the date indicator on the subdial at 3. It has no jewels, and a battery life of approx 3 years.
As it’s quartz, you’re pretty much guaranteed that it’ll be well behaved in terms of accuracy and reliability.
Just like its cheaper brother the Essential, the Vision is a watch that is incredibly well made – you can just tell that it’s high quality when you have it in your hand.
Every main aspect of a watch that create an impression – the strap, the case and dial finishing, the crystal – are all exquisitely assembled to a grade that does not match the price tag. The AR coating on the sapphire crystal is specially outstanding – I can’t think of a watch in the price range that has one better. The ion plated case also means that this watch will prove to be hard wearing and will look great for a while.
Moving forward, I really hope to see a Greyhours with an automatic movement in – as they could easily be worth upwards of £400.