Greg Steven's GSD-2A
Back in February of 2017, I had the opportunity to review one of Greg Steven’s GSD-1A pilot style watches. I’ve always been a big fan of the work the Greg does, own several of his custom straps, and pretty much daily wear one of his belts. So, when Greg presented me with the chance to review the upcoming GSD-2A Diver, I jumped at it.
For those of you not in the know, Greg Stevens has been making custom watch straps since 2005. He started out just trying to make a strap that would suit his personal needs and tastes, but then other's took interest in his work. Now Greg makes wallets, belts, pocket organizers, and many more products.
Before we get too far, let’s go over some specs on the watch itself:
- Case Size: 44.14mm
- Lug to Lug: Again 53.10mm
- Case Thickness: 14.7mm
- Weight: 5.3oz on Greg’s leather bracelet
- Movement: Miyota 9015
There’s no denying that GSD watches trend towards the larger side. Greg’s design aesthetic is largely influenced by his own watch preferences, Panerai being an important brand to him. I believe Greg’s business really took hold with the Paneristi crowd and their love of collecting and swapping the straps on their watches. You can feel that influence in the GSD series of watches too, they wear large but on my 7.25” wrist they fit, just. The crown at 4 o’clock removes any potential for it to dig into the back of your hand, and the case thickness at sub 15mm has it wearing pretty reasonable despite the case size itself.
The Miyota 9015 is a controversial movement. Real watch snobs will wring their hands and lament the lack of a “Swiss Movement,” but when it comes down to it, the movement is simply the engine of the watch itself. I have found the Miyota movements to be completely reliable, and keep excellent time. It is hacking so you’ll be able to sync the time up for you to get an accurate idea of the watch’s accuracy.
The GSD’s case is a robust steel case with an all brushed finish. With any of the GSD watches that I have handled, “stout” certainly comes to mind. I believe this is largely because of the case and its construction. The case finishing is a simplistic brushed finish with good crisp edges at the transitions. The lugs are drilled for make strap changes easier. Caseback is a solid, signed caseback with various watch details etched around the extremity. All of this culminates in a watch with 300m water resistance.
The crown sits nicely at 4 o'clock, keeping any "crown-diggage-into-handage," from happening. The winding action is positive and smooth, and the crown screws down securely.
Dial, Bezel, and Crystal:
Alright so the business end of the GSD-2A. The bezel on the GSD-2A is a “weathered” PVD finish, giving it a very vintage-y or “aged” look. It’s a 12hr bezel, which is a feature that I have come to really enjoy. As long as you can keep a grasp on AM/PM you can offset the bezel by a time-zone change and track two different time zones. If you want to time something, it’s as simple as multiplying by a factor of 5.
The dial itself is a matte black with generously applied lume plots at all the hour markers. The quarter hour markers are longer, and you’ve got a double marker at noon. Greg has also put minute ticks for precise timekeeping. The hands are polished with dual lume plots on each hand. The dial is also signed with Greg’s logo and the model number.
The crystal is particularly interesting, it’s a boxed style sapphire crystal. Its a little reminiscent of an old Rolex top hat crystal. It’s nicely AR coated from what I can tell and offers a very clear view of the dial, but you get some really nice vintage-y distortion around the edges.
Ultimately I think Greg was able to really effectively capture a vintage aesthetic without having to compromise on the practical application of a watch.
Straps are the easiest thing to talk about in regards to one of GSD’s watches. Greg is a strap guy, that’s his bread and butter and what his name is built on. I currently own two GSD straps for my personal watches, and they are the same quality as the one that comes on the GSD-2A. They are thick, and robust, nearly to a fault… You have to want the strap to make as much of a statement on your wrist as the watch does, if that’s what you are going for, then the GSD will be a perfect match for you, hands down. As a note, Greg is working on a bracelet option for these watches that will be available at release, I was not able to handle it myself so I cannot speak to its quality.
To wrap up, I think the GSD-2A is a good evolution in Greg’s lineup of micro-brand releases. These watches are going for $695 during preorder, not sure if they’ll adjust after release. For that, you’re getting a proven movement that is keeping excellent time, a large, but nicely finished case, and a leather strap that alone would sell for $150+. There’s a lot of value here. I’ve talked to Greg a few times about offering a watch in a smaller size, (would still love to see a 40-42mm from ya Greg!) and I think that would be incredible.