Originally set up in 1758, the story of the Gevril watch company comes with an illustrious history. Founded by a Swiss watchmaker, Jacques Gevril, the company rose to fame for its innovative timepieces and exquisite craftsmanship.
In 1990, a Swiss distributor took over the brand, officially launching a series of watches. Following this, in 2001, Samuel Friedmann acquired the company. To date, Gervil watches functions under his leadership, slowly rebuilding the brand’s lost reputation, with new models and latest designs.
This article takes a deep dive into Gevril’s history, some top collections, and the reputation of the brand. Read below to know if Gevril is the brand for you!
Gevril Watch Brand History
Jacques Gevril, the founder of the brand, originally developed musical automata for King Ferdinand VI of Spain. The King loved the pieces so much, it pushed Gevril to stay back and learn the art of watchmaking befitting the Royals. Consequently, he mastered the skill needed to make artistic pocket watches and eventually built his reputation as a horological innovator.
The 1990s: Revitalization of Gevril
Up until the 1990s, Gevril designed and produced high-class enameled pocket watches only. A Swiss distributor took over the rights of the brand, paving the way for the brand to enter new markets. As a result, the brand launched different editions at the Basel fair in 1995.
However, according to the brand’s website, the true renaissance of Gevril occurred when Samuel Friedmann acquired the whole company under the culmination of the Gevril Group. A businessman at heart, Friedmann’s passion for watchmaking fueled his journey towards taking the brand to immense success.
From making limited artistic high-quality pocket watches, the Gevril watch brand began producing up to 6000 watches per year from its Swiss facility. Around this time, the brand saw a huge shift by moving its headquarters to New York, USA. Reviving the brand to what it is today, Friedmann brings together the essence of quintessential American traits with Swiss watchmaking standards, honoring the brand’s 250 years plus tradition and values.
Avenue of Americas: Influencing Gevril’s Styling and Aesthetics
Gevril’s current line of watch collections takes after the names of prominent Manhattan landmarks and neighborhoods. For instance, the Avenue of America Collection personifies the ’30s era with art deco-style watches. This takes after the image of the rich array of buildings on Sixth Avenue, also known as Avenue of America.
By fusing the American culture with the Swiss spirit of watchmaking, Gevril opened itself to wider audiences. Moreover, setting up the base in the US brought the brand closer to Hollywood. Stars like Heidi Klum, Randy Jackson, and Jennifer Hewitt endorse Gevril and, secured its name as a trustworthy and rising brand.
Gevril Watch Collections
Driven by the desire to innovate, the brand currently showcases a versatile list of watch collections. We will cover the brand’s top watches with different notable features. Check out their official website to see all the collections available today.
The Novelties Collection proudly showcases the brand’s modern designs, equipping their years of watchmaking know-how into highly functional and dynamic timepieces. However, not all watches under this collection are similar. Different features set them apart within the collection, making it vast for any occasion.
Some noteworthy timepieces part of this collection is the Gevril Wall Street Automatic watch and the Open Heart watch. The Wall Street Automatic, though, bears a striking resemblance to a Rolex, yet distinguishable with Gevril’s essence. Engineered with ETA 2824 movement, the Wall Street Automatic comes in stainless steel bracelet and a unidirectional bezel.
The Wall Street edition also comes with a chronograph, if you are into such styles. The Open Heart editions, on the other hand, showcases a sneak peek of the movement under the dial. The Mulberry Open Heart is one such, most sought after, with M05g Swiss automatic movement in a 41 mm case diameter.
As the name suggests, this collection epitomizes the style of the bygone era with current modern taste, creating some unique and distinct watches.
The Gevril Men’s Wallabout Solar Compass watch displays an internal compass bezel, a feature unprecedented in wristwatches. Named after the row houses on the Wallabout neighborhood with Brooklyn Navy Yard, these timepieces merge style with craftsmanship. Designed with a dual crown on top of the watch to set the time and orient the compass, the watch gives the essence of a bull watch. This edition is available in gold, rose gold, stainless steel, and black, all powered by the MD3G Swiss movement.
Another remarkable retro-styled watch by Gevril is the Vaughn Pilot watch. This edition comes with a chronograph as well. With a straightforward and clean design, this watch showcases a black dial for legible reading with white markings. Designed in a 42 mm case dial, this edition comes with the ETA Valjoux 7750 Movement and water resistance up to 164 feet.
Gevril for the Women
Gevril watches for women are highly stylish and luxurious. Embodying the value and ethos of the brand during the years prior to the takeovers, the ladies’ watches have superior artistic craftsmanship and high-quality finishing. This section will note some of the most trendy watches of all time.
The Gevril Fifth Avenue timepiece embodies elegance, sophistication, and luxury in this sleek classical watch. Equipped with a Swiss Quartz movement Ronda 1042, the Fifth Avenue timepieces resonate with the high-fashion thoroughfare of New York. Designed in a round dial, the face proudly displays elongated Roman numerals, sitting on a half-moon shape, all cut in diamonds.
On the other hand, is the Mezzo MOP editions, taking after the reputable Avenue of America line of watches, originally introduced by the brand in 2001. Gevril’s then flagship collection, adorning the art-deco style watches in a rectangular dial. Powered by the ETA 956 Movement, the current edition of watches comes styled with Mother of Pearl Guilloche Dial and decorated with 18K Gold (or Rose Gold) numbers. Above all, this is a limited edition watch, with just 500 pieces per edition.
The brand introduced this collection at the outset of developing affordable luxury watches. Unlike the above-mentioned watches, the GV2 Collection provides casual designs in luxury dress and sport watch categories.
The GV2 collection features different designs and a wide variety of watches to choose from. Here are some of our favorites. First, the Scuderia edition is inspired by Italian racing and daring sleek design. Bold and chunky, this edition comes in a 45 mm case, with a chronometer for recording split-second recording. Second, the Contasecondi cannot go unmentioned. Designed with virtually striking features, this timepiece redefines the way we read and measure time.
The Contasecondi comes configured with two rotating bezels, the outer one with 24 hours and 60 minutes scales, and the outer one with a 60-second scale. Finally, on our list, comes the Siena edition for women. A classic design, paired with elegant finishing, makes this timepiece perfect for the modern urban woman.
Unlike many other brands, Gevril watches do not strictly fall under one collection. Given their dynamic nature, you may find some timepieces featured under more than one collection on their website. For this purpose, we have classified these timepieces under different heads based on the most suitable category.
Gevril Brand Reputation
Gevril started on a high note at the time of its inception. Designing timepieces for a King is no simple feat, but the founder Jacques Gevril achieved high ranks then thanks to his drive and passion for combining art and highly skilled craftsmanship. Unfortunately, the brand met with a turmoil with change in multiple ownership, diluting the brand’s original mission and ethos.
Consequently, post the death of the founder up until 2001, Gevril’s name suffered. The brand lost the prestigious spot it once held as one of the top Swiss watchmakers. Currently, under the leadership of Friedmann, the brand caters to a wide audience, being every dynamic in their style and design to suit the ongoing market trends.
Regardless of its troubled history, Gevril has produced some of the most remarkable timepieces that will go down in history as the then trailblazers of the industry. It is because of the tireless drive by the founders, Gevril managed to develop some unparalleled designs, continuing to function well even after generations. For this reason alone, Gevril will remain a worthy brand in the eyes of watch aficionados even today.
Is Gevril A Good Watch Brand?
Much like many unfamiliar brands, Gevril attracts a mixed bag of reactions from watch enthusiasts all over the world. One reason attributed to this is because watch lovers believe Gevril to be overpriced. This is accompanied by the opinion that many more affordable brands offer better features at a lesser cost than Gevril. On the flip side of the argument, many also note that Gevril watches are modern and attractive.
While the brand takes pride in its 250+ years of rich history, there is little written to how history shapes the timepieces produced today. Given that the brand saw a change in ownership multiple times after the demise of the founding members, Gevril seems to have lost its once acclaimed position for making exquisite pieces for the Royals. Today, the brand is working its way up the ladder in the watch industry.
Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that first-generation Gevril watches, designed and developed by the founders, continue to function even as of today. Many watch collectors highly regard these timepieces for their design, high-class finishing, and superior quality.
Yet, compared to brands like Seiko or Hamilton, or Tissot, Gevril has a long way to reach up to its competition. Our recommendation is to consider all factors like budget, functions, brand history and needs before purchasing a luxury watch. If you are looking for a retro-designed watch with an American soul, Gevril has some options for you.
Where To Buy Gevril Watches?
You can purchase Gevril watches from their official online store. They ship their products worldwide.
Alternatively, you may also purchase Gevril from Amazon.
Please note, the only authorized dealer in the USA is Gevril, and purchase from any other dealer will invalidate the warranty.
You can also find some new and pre-owned Gervil watches on eBay.
Is Gevril A Luxury Watch Brand?
Yes, in short, Gevril is a luxury watch brand. While there is no clear definition of what a luxury brand is, we look at concepts like price tag, rare materials, exclusivity, and tradition, to learn if a brand sells luxury goods. By this understanding, and taking into account the brand’s 250+ years of experience, it is evident that Gevril is a luxury brand.
Before moving its headquarters to New York, Gevril held the name as a Swiss luxury watch brand. But, post the relocation, and introduction of new modern collections, Gevril may have fallen off the Swiss watchmaker rank to just a luxury watchmaker ranks.
Where Are Gevril Watches Made?
Up until 2001, Gevril was headquartered in La Chaux De Fonds, Switzerland. Although Friedmann decided to move the headquarters to the US, the facility moved to New York, the brand maintains a factory (Gevril Horlogerie) in Switzerland where it continues to produce its contemporary Swiss-made models.
Although the brand does not develop in-house movements, they use Swiss movements to ensure the same high quality.
Gevril Watch Warranty
Gevril offers up to two years warranty on their watches. However, to avail of this warranty, you must register on their official website within 90 days of purchase.
The warranty includes all manufacturing defects, only when bought from authorized dealers and can support the purchase with proof. The brand promises to repair all manufacturing defects free of cost. Keep in mind that improper use, neglect, and normal wear and tear will not fall within the warranty policy.