It all started when Naoki successfully learnt how to build his own mechanical watches using parts sourced from all over the world. While continuing to pursue his interest as a hobby, he realised that it was possible to design and build timepieces that are comparable in quality to luxury brands but at a fraction of the cost. An engineer by training, he was well-versed in sourcing, management of complex projects and lifecycle management. Together with Christine, who’s experienced in corporate finance and administration and Mickey, an ex Navy operations specialist with maritime expertise, Gruppo Gamma was formed.

Within months of the company’s formation, a small group of watch owners created an online community now known as Club Gamma. In the ensuing years we forged a unique relationship with this 1,000-strong community comprising customers from around the world and all walks of life. Customers became friends, some even emerged as dealers, and there’s constant interaction on all stages of the product lifecycle including design, production and aftersales. Naturally, the community has also become the defacto platform for trading of used timepieces. Most importantly, having been through ups and downs in the last several years Club Gamma has become the close-knit community that it is today.

Globalisation and the Internet has resulted in the rise of many new, small brands that promise watches at affordable prices. Some of them evolve into something bigger, while others disappear over time. On the other hand, with some discretionary funds watches from older, more established brands can be had. Somewhere in between and working hard to make a mark, there’s Gruppo Gamma.

We don’t sell the most affordable timepieces out there. While much of production and assembly is outsourced to China, like many other brands that you may or may not know, core activities like product planning, design, testing and aftersales support are performed in Singapore. Moreover, we produce only about 1,000 to 2,000 pieces a year so we’re nowhere near to reaping the economies of scale that big companies do.

 

STAINLESS STEEL

316L stainless steel is one of several types of surgical steel with hypoallergenic properties, and is also a marine grade stainless steel as it exhibits good strength and corrosion resistance. These properties, together with its ability to achieve a rich lustre and ease of maintenance, make it one of the most commonly used materials for timepieces.

Stainless steel lends itself very well to Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) techniques. Widely used in military and industrial applications, PVD is a method by which the coating material is bonded to the surface of the metal in a vacuum at high temperatures, resulting in a coating that’s one of the most durable available today.

BRONZE

The oldest alloy known to mankind, bronze is widely associated with the marine environment. Not to be mistaken for brass, bronze has better mechanical properties and is more corrosion-resistant. Phosphor bronze in particular is considered marine grade, with higher strength and corrosion resistance than most other bronze alloys. In recent years bronze has become a popular material for higher-end timepieces.

Each bronze case is milled from a solid block of phosphor bronze and will develop a unique patina based on the environment it’s exposed to, making it truly yours. The patina can also be removed as and when desired.

TITANIUM

Titanium is the engineer’s preferred metal, widely used in military, aeronautical and aerospace applications because of its strength, lightness and durability, and its non-magnetic and hypoallergenic properties make it very suitable for watch cases.

Use of titanium has in recent years become popular in higher-end timepieces and the fact remains that it’s more costly and difficult to produce and harder to work with, compared to stainless steel.

SHAPPIRE

Corundum, more commonly known as sapphire, has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale that ranges from 1 to 10, and is surpassed in hardness only by diamond. Our current range of timepieces are fitted with crystals made of sapphire.

Compared to mineral glass and acrylic crystals, material and tooling costs are much higher for sapphire. All our sapphire crystals are double-domed and have anti-reflective coating on the underside and while this further increases costs, it also improves readability and shatter-resistance.

LEATHER

A comfortable and durable material that offers good protection against enemies and the elements, leather has been in use since prehistory for clothing and shelter. It played a key role in the evolution of pocket watches to wrist watches, when timepieces were first worn on the wrist of military personnel by means of leather straps.

Leather comes in many forms. Our leather straps are made of top grain cowhide from reputable tanneries. Over time and with proper care, each leather strap will develop its own character and age gracefully.

CHARGES BY WRIST MOVEMENT
NEVER NEEDS BATTERIES

At the heart of our current range of timepieces are self-winding (automatic) mechanical movements. Unlike the standard, no-frills quartz watches that run on batteries, mechanical timepieces are powered by energy stored and harnessed through an intricate clockwork of tiny gears and springs, a technology that preceded quartz watches by almost a thousand years.

Mechanical movements, with their high level of craftsmanship and precision engineering, cost far more than quartz movements and are preferred for use in higher-end timepieces.

Our current models are typically powered by the Miyota 9015, a self-winding mechanical calibre from Japan’s Citizen Watch Company that’s often compared to the Swiss-made ETA 2824/ 2892. The Miyota 9015, with its higher beat-rate, is a class above the Miyota 8215 and Seiko NH35A calibres that are used in our entry-level models.

We chose these movements for their class-leading reliability, robustness and smooth second hand sweep that’s seen in fine timepieces. They’re easy to maintain and should run trouble-free for many years.

AMBASSADORS &
FRIENDS

Sergi Arola

Sergi Arola is a celebrity chef based in Spain and the owner of 2-Michelin-star restaurant La Broche.

In his younger days, Sergi was both a musician and a culinary student and although music was his first love, cooking later became his calling. In 2000, Sergi opened his own restaurant, La Broche, that has since gained worldwide attention, garnering 2 Michelin stars and the National Gastronomy Prize. His second venture, the eponymous Arola, is located in Barcelona’s fashionable Hotel Arts, in the city’s Olympic Village.

Chef Arola has already achieved what many chefs strive to accomplish in a lifetime, yet he has no signs of stopping. While he’s a pioneering presence in the food world, representing the second generation of Spain’s avant garde chefs Sergi is also a respectful admirer of his forebears, notably Pierre Gagnaire, Juan Mari Arzak and Ferran Adrià. Rebellious, anti-establishment and trendsetting in our own fields yet respectful of our sources of inspiration, Chef Arola and Gruppo Gamma have much in common.

Daniel Ho

Daniel is an established fashion photographer based in Singapore and Malaysia, and the key man behind One Click Wonders.

Being a musician, Daniel’s photography journey started in 2005 when he toured Thailand as a drummer for a project band and doubled up as the tour photographer. Having worked hard and made many friends over the years, he’s well-known in celebrity circles and his current works now span a wide spectrum, from weddings and portraiture to commercial and fashion shoots.

Passionate about bringing out the beauty of all things and capturing fine moments in time, Daniel views the photographic journey as one of unending exploration and adventure. Good photography isn’t always about rules and formulas and, as a piece of art, each photo is subject to different interpretations. Daniel and Gruppo Gamma share similar values; regardless of whether it’s photographs or timepieces, we both work relentlessly to reach a balance of technical and artistic quality as we see it.