Company: Gruppo Gamma
Model: Genesis G-04 MK III
Mk III Genesis
Stainless steel, polished
Diameter 44 mm excluding crown x 14mm thick excluding crystal
Seiko Instruments NH35A (4R35)
140 g with strap
30 ATM/ 300 m/ 1000 ft
Genesis means “birth”. 4 in Chinese means “death”. The G-04 is the end of the beginning.
A chapter is coming, is coming to a close in the Gruppo Gamma history book. The G-04 is the last model in their Genesis line. The Genesis line began in 2013, with the MK I. The MK I housed a Seagull movement and used a mineral Crystal. In 2014, Gruppo Gamma released the MK II. But Gruppo Gamma wanted to make the MK II into a true tool watch. Using the same case design GG improved the infrastructure of the MK II by using a Japanese self-winding movement and adding a sapphire crystal.
Now we have the MK III which now features a redesigned case and features an allusive prototype dial from the 1950’s. The 44mm excluding crown x 52mm L2L, polished stainless steel case stands 14mm tall excluding the sapphire crystal. The 2mm thick crystal is double domed which features underside anti-reflective coating and is bordered by a fixed sterile bezel. The finish on the case is absolutely superb. The MK III case rivals watches well above the $399 asking price. Running your finger across the case is like feeling the curves on an antique car. Smooth and sexy.
Speaking of curves, the lugs are nicely curved allowing the watch to hug your wrist without overhang on your wrist depending on your wrist size. My wrist is 7 1/2″ just for your reference as you look at the pictures later in the review. The MK III fits like a glove on my wrist. The lug holes allow you to easy unscrew the strap bars with the provided screwdriver which is always a useful tool to have. The lugs are 24mm spaced. I love how thick the lugs are on this watch. It really gives it a rugged/tool watch feel. Nothing dainty here. On the review piece you will see a strap from the GG Predatore series(available on GG website $49). This one is the blue version. The strap is alligator grain embossed cowhide, which is well padded and comfortable. It is nubuck lined and features painted edges. The strap right out of the box is pretty firm but it will soften with more wear. The strap comes in at 125×75 mm which will fit a 6 1/2″ to 7 1/2″ wrist.
The classic lines of this case are not interrupted by crown guards. This gives the MK III a classic and clean look. The screw down crown functions like a champ, smooth and precise. The crown is signed with MK III. A fitting engraving for sure. Since we are on the subject of engraving, the case back on the MK III is absolutely awesome. The screw down case back features the Gruppo Gamma skull and rose logo. It looks killer, quite possibly one of my all time favorite case backs and logo. The simple text on the case back is done in a very nice retro font. It really gives the MK III that vintage feel and that ending of an era embodiment.
Classic. Beautiful. Elegance. All describe the MK III’s dial. The elusive 1950’s prototype dial is 2-layers, matte black, and features C3 luminescent markers. Matte black dials are hard to beat in the beauty and looks department. Give me a matte black dial any day of the week and I will drool over it like its the first time seeing one. Adding the white numerals and indexes just makes this dial that much more stunning. There’s such a simplistic thing of beauty that is happening on this dial. You won’t find the dial overcrowded or featuring any unnecessary text. What you will find is Gruppo Gamma printed in white underneath the 12 o’clock hour marker. There is no date feature on the MK III which adds to the harmony of this dial. The traditional 12, 3, 6, 9 hours are represented here, and the other hours are marked by line indexes. The minutes/seconds are marked by small dots. All of indexes are coated with a nice layer of C3 lume and are located in the second layer of the dial.
What Gruppo Gamma has done again and again is make balanced dials, with the absolutely perfect proportioned hands to dial size. It is something that I have so much respect for Gruppo Gamma for doing. The know what works and they stick with it. Very commendable. The hands on the MK III are gold and feature lume centers. There is only an hour hand and a minute hand. You won’t find a second hand on this watch. These hands come to life through the power of the Seiko Instruments NH35A (4R35) movement. This reliable power house beats at 21600 bph and features 24 jewels. The NH35A is an automatic bi-directional winding, hand-windable movement. It also features a timesetting with stop-second device. The accuracy rate of this movement is between -25 to +35 s/ day which I always find GG watches to be well under that. Typically I find them to run at -/+ 5 seconds per day. You will get almost 2 days out of a full wind with the MK III’s power reserve of 40 hrs.
All great things must come to an end. It’s sad to see such a great and classic series end. The MK III does a fantastic job of closing the series though. It is absolutely breathtaking in person, pictures honestly don’t do this watch it’s due justice. It’s a great example how you can merge classic with tool and the outcome is outstanding and stunning. Noaki is a true master of what he does and this couldn’t be more evident than it is with this last edition of the Genesis line. There’s always something that I can find on a watch that I can suggest a change or something I can not pick about because of personal preference, but there is absolutely nothing and I mean nothing that I can find on this watch. It’s pretty darn perfect.
This watch comes with a high recommendation from me. You are getting a piece of Gruppo Gamma history. If you are looking for a tool watch you’ve found it. If you are looking for a dress watch you’ve found it. If you are looking for a 1950’s classic styled dive watch you’ve found it. That is what makes the MK III so incredibly special. It’s the merging of all these worlds into one beautiful watch. This watch can seemlessly transition into any situation and setting. You can drastically change the look of this watch with a simple strap change. The blue Predatore strap is a work of beauty. The blue color is so deep and mesmerizing. You can see the different looks of this watch in the pictures below by the strap changes.
I find myself getting lost in this dial. The matte black just seems endless like the night sky. Takes me back to being young and laying in the grass dreaming about the endless space and stars above my head. Like I got lost in the sky many times over, there have been many books that I have found myself lost in. Escaping to that book, emersing myself until the end. Feeling saddened about that good book ending. During this review, I kept thinking how sad that I am that this chapter is ending. But like all good books, you think back to your favorite parts or favorite characters which would bring a smile to your face. This review is no different, it had me remembering early memories, fond memories of the my first experiences with Gruppo Gamma.
The Genesis chapter is ending, but like all good books, one chapter ends and the next chapter begins. Gruppo Gamma’s book has a wonderful start and the Genesis chapter was amazing with a fitting ending. I am eagerly waiting to enter the next chapter as this is one book that I am finding quite impossible to put down and a book that is nowhere close to ending………
I can remember a diving trip in Florida. I was taking a wrist shot and a lady stopped me to question what exactly I was doing. As we talked, she told me what a watch nut her son in law was and we actually talked about watches for a long time. It was a Gruppo Gamma bronze vanguard on my wrist, now her son in law not only follows my blog, but he also started his own Gruppo Gamma book.
The best way I can compare this to is this: ever hear a song that you haven’t heard in years? Listening to that song I bet you can remember where you were the first time you heard it, or remember that time you made out with that girl and that song was playing in the background. Watches can create that same memory thought process. Just look at your watch collection and reminisce. No watch collection? The MK III would make a great first chapter in your own personal GG story. Creating your own pages in the book, filling the pages with the many adventures that you can have with the MK III.
“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” ― Frank Herbert
Thank you Naoki for allowing me the honor to do the farewell review on the Genesis line. I’m forever grateful and humbled.
Quick Q & A with the master of Gruppo Gamma himself Naoki Tsukumo
Is the dial on the G-04 an actual vintage dial or just vintage style?
Naoki: The dial was based on a prototype that was produced presumably in the 50s. t was never put to production. In our version we modified the design very slightly.
What was your inspiration for the G-04?
Naoki: A main reason behind setting up Gruppo Gamma was our desire to realise what could have been but never was.
Favorite memory of the time with the Genesis series?
Naoki: We made many friends. They’re our earliest customers and we share similar passion and values.
What was the origin of the Genesis name?
Naoki: Genesis means “birth”.
Are you sad to see this chapter end?
Naoki: Yes, but I’m happy that we’ve started a new chapter.
Which was your favorite Genesis model?
Naoki: The G-04.
Strap that comes with the G-04
Comic strap from Lion Straps