AFTER successful stints at Omega and Audemars Piguet, Octavio Garcia set up his own watch brand.
Bringing his experience from the established brands, and converging it with his interests in motor sports and comics, the Switzerland-based Chicago native established Gorilla Watches in 2015.
His watches carry a bold look that appeals to a wide base, with prices that fit a variety of pockets. Octavio now takes a bold step by launching a chronograph, the Fastback Thunderbolt with its by now strong colour combinations and a luminous dial.
While no newcomer to the industry, it’s always a challenge to start your own brand. Octavio talks to STORM-ASIA about starting a brand and his latest timepiece, the Fastback Thunderbolt Chronograph.
Gorilla is the incarnation of the three most important brand attributes, explains Octavio.
Leveraging our creative and leadership experience acquired in some of the most prestigious high watchmaking houses in Switzerland to offer a distinctive, creative well-engineered timepiece at a fair price.
Integrating exotic materials until now reserved for the high end to offer an extraordinary wearing experience.
Our growth will be based on our capacity to consistently deliver on our promise of quality and not short term profit.
GORILLA is pronounceable in a majority of languages. And love it or hate it you will never forget it.
How long was the idea of Fastback Thunderbolt in your mind?
The chronograph is synonymous with Motorsport. It was a question of time that we integrate a chrono in the lineup.
However there is a trap with this particular complication if you are not careful. And you can only know of this pitfall with on the ground experience.
The chronograph is one of the most complex complications registering second minutes and in some cases hours. This calls for high levels of horological savoir-faire to conceive, mount, and service.
The chronograph’s popularity has pushed some manufacturers to rationalise the complication, and proliferation in volume and in all price categories has diminished the complication’s complexity!
And since most chronographs are integrated, meaning that the base movement and the complication are one, the visual magic happens on the caseback side, if you are lucky enough to buy one with an open caseback.
This means that in the end all you see from the front or dial side are a few hands registering your seconds, minutes, and hours.
I have even seen some clients of high end chronographs wearing their watches caseback side up to show off the beauty of the chrono mechanism!
Yet these movements are expensive. The result is an under appreciated complex expensive calibre with little visual drama.
The chronograph we chose is different. It’s all party in the front, and business in the back.
It’s a modular chronograph, which means that the chronograph mechanism and all the cogs and levers that activate the version’s hand that register time are placed on the dial side. This chrono module is mounted piggyback onto a base calibre (the business side) that generates the power.
This makes for a more dramatic visual on the dial side.
There are very few companies in the world that make these chrono modules and I happen to work with la crème de la crème of Swiss module manufacturers. These guys work for other heritage brands.
So our chrono promises both horological provenance and visual drama at a price point that is fair and in a quantity that is rare — only 99 pieces for the world.