In today’s arena of off-the-shelf designs, standing out can be a challenge for a new watch company. And it’s a challenge that up-and-comer Gruman Watches takes seriously. The team behind Gruman didn’t want to put out another minimalist watch that would disrupt the industry. Now with its first watch, the Sputnik, the young brand is confident that it has avoided many of the micro-brand pitfalls with a fresh design at a solid price point.As the name suggests, the inspiration for the Sputnik was drawn from Russian sources, specifically referencing the first-ever man-made satellite to orbit Earth. Gruman’s design goal with the Sputnik was to develop a watch that would fit into any situation with versatile specs for everyday wear.
First, there’s the dial. It features a pattern that draws from the texture of a satellite’s body, emulating bolted metal plates. It is the first thing to catch the eye and the concept looks well executed. The dial is actually one piece with engraved lines (the delineation between the plates) and embossed dots (the bolts). This gives the dial three distinct levels and some welcome dimensionality.
The hour markers are applied batons and filled with C3 Super-LumiNova. The sword hands also feature Super-LumiNova applied around a unique design, where the center is split down the middle and luminescent material flanks the center line along the forward-half of the hands. The second hand is a simple needle, and the GMT hand is a stylized arrow. Dial printing is relatively straightforward, with the model name taking center stage right below 12, and Gruman is printed at a smaller scale below that. Below the six o’clock date window is the “Swiss Made” text.There are two versions of the Sputnik: time-only and a GMT. There are two variants of the time-only edition–black and blue–and four variants of the GMT edition–Anthracite, Silver, Blue and Black. The GMT version has an addition 24-hour index on the dial.
The GMT and time-only versions share the same two-crown cushion case with an inner rotating diver’s bezel. The case measures 44mm in diameter, 50mm lug-to-lug, and 12.4mm thick on the GMT and 12.6mm thick on the time-only edition. The case is rated to 200 meters of water resistance. The outer bezel does differ between the two models with the time only having a 12-hour marked bezel (suitable for tracking a second time zone), while the GMT comes with a bezel denoting cities around the globe.To achieve the Swiss Made mark for the Sputnik, Gruman has chosen two Sellita movements. The time-only model uses a modified elaboré grade SW200-1, a 26-jewel movement with 28,800 bph and 38 hours of power reserve. The GMT has an elaboré grade SW330-1 and 42 hours of power reserve. The movements will be decorated and will feature a custom rotor.
Gruman Watches has made the Sputnik available now for pre-order with delivery expected by the end of January, 2018. Special pre-order prices are available at $390 for the time-only edition (full price after the pre-order will be $690) and $590 for the GMT (full price after the pre-order will be $980). The watches ship on a padded leather strap but a bracelet is available for $100 at the pre-order price. For more information, head over to the Gruman Watches website for the full rundown. Gruman