Greg Stevens GSD-1A Type 2 - Review
Greg Stevens started making custom watch straps back in 2005. He was having difficulty finding straps that met his demands that he could put on his Panerai. Since then his business has expanded to a variety of leather goods including wallets, belts, and other leather goods. A few years back Greg expanded his business into watchmaking, with the release of the GSD-1, followed a few years later by the GSD-1A, the A stands for automatic. The watch is modeled after the Panerai 111, and thusly is a big piece that makes a hard-to-miss statement when worn. So, before we get too far into this let’s go over some basic specs:
- Case: 46mm
- Case Thickness: 14.8mm
- Lug Width: 24mm
- Lug to Lug: 54.4mm
- Weight: 4.7oz
The GSD-1A is a massive watch by anyone’s estimation. It lives in a realm of larger watches like Panerai, IWC Big Pilots, and other wrist monsters of their ilk. Don’t let that deter you from strapping a GSD on though, the watch sits low and tight to the wrist. While the GSD clocks in at 46mm, it wears similar to a 44mm Panerai, which was Greg's target when he was designing it. The lug to lug is pretty large, but on my 7.25” wrist it fits just fine. The only drawback, but an expected one, would be the crown, it’s a larger crown with no guards. It can have a tendency to press into the back of your hand, but that’s just a reality with a watch this size, otherwise it’s excellent.
Greg puts Miyota 9015 movements into his watches. The swiss snob in me wants to wrinkle my nose and whine for an ETA movement… But let’s be practical here, using Hairspring I’m getting +2-2.5s/day out of this 9015. With results like that, who cares who made the movement? Besides if you google Miyota 9015 v. ETA 2824, you’re gonna see a pretty serious forum war. So, good luck with that.
Dial, Bezel, and Crystal:
The GSD’s crystal is a 3.5mm thick sapphire with what appears to be a nice AR coating. The case size on this watch allows it to act like a massive window into the dial of the watch. The crystal is domed, and slightly raised from the polished steel bezel. All in all it makes a very handsome package. The dial itself is a matte black, with raised/embossed text. Greg is the only I know if that does this sort of embossing on the dial, and I love it. The hands and indices are lumed with Greg’s special vintage lume formula, and he uses a TON of it. One thing to note is on this particular dial, the tip of the second hand is also lumed, that’s unique to this model.
One of the coolest things about buying a watch from Greg is that it comes on one of Greg’s straps. He is a master strapmaker. My GSD came on a canvas strap with a leather backing, Greg’s straps are thick, but comfortable and sturdy. He uses a V-style Panerai buckle with his branding on it. The straps are just as much statements pieces as the watches themselves.
I’m working on a larger piece about buying and collecting micro brands, and Greg was my start. There is an incredible value to be found in watches like these, and the GSD-1A’s are no exception. These watches are big, masculine, and forces to be reckoned with. I am impressed by the fit and comfort Greg was able to achieve with such a large case size, and I am blown away by the time keeping coming from the Miyota he used. If you’re a fan of larger watches, I can’t suggest these more.