Master mix: Gucci’s new watch pays homage to some vintage greats

‘Grip’ watch in yellow-gold PVD, with swiss quartz movement
‘Grip’ watch in yellow-gold PVD, with swiss quartz movement, £1,600; ‘GG Running’ 18-ct gold ring, £2,800, both by Gucci. ‘Balance Signature’ necklace in yellow gold, with Akoya pearls, £4,150, by Tasaki. ‘Longtail’ lighter, £625, by Dunhill. ‘Cinque Torri’ vase, £2,480, by Filip Dobias, for Moser.
(Image credit: Pauline Caranton)

Gucci’s new ‘Grip’ watch, which genuinely works on both a man’s or a woman’s wrist, is a brilliant mash-up of a century’s worth of the best horological design. Heavily inspired by the luxury sports watches of the 1970s, its square dial with round edges was a period tick of the time.

The mix of brushed- and polished-metal finishes pay joyful homage to Gérald Genta’s 1970 ‘Royal Oak’ design for Audemars Piguet, while the ‘no-dial’ dial can be attributed to Austrian watchmaker Josef Pallweber, who patented his modern ‘digital’ display in 1883. It’s been a long time coming but, in 2019, in the polymath hands of Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, the fashion timepiece has finally evolved into a high-street watch with a greatest-hits design culture all its own. §

As originally featured in the October 2019 issue of Wallpaper* (W*247)

Gucci Grip watch in silver with green croc strap, and Gucci Grip watch in gold with brown leather strap

Left, ‘Grip’ watch in stainless-steel PVD and green Alligator leather strap, with swiss quartz movement, £1,320; right, ‘Grip’ watch in yellow-gold PVD and brown leather strap, with swiss quartz movement, £1,150, both by Gucci

(Image credit: Pauline Caranton)


Caragh McKay is a contributing editor at Wallpaper* and was watches & jewellery director at the magazine between 2011 and 2019. Caragh’s current remit is cross-cultural and her recent stories include the curious tale of how Muhammad Ali met his poetic match in Robert Burns and how a Martin Scorsese Martin film revived a forgotten Osage art.