March 22, 2023

Gruppo Gamma Vanguard Watch Review

Gruppo Gamma. It might be a brand you have heard of , and it may not be. Either way, right up front, Gruppo Gamma for the most part, produces homage replica watches, mostly Panerai inspired homage replica watches. Now, I know some people have issue with homage replica watches, but Gruppo Gamma has become a popular brand in the internet replica watch community, and I decided to review one here for WatchReport. One thing I want to state is if you are only familiar with the homages from certain brands in China, that are of very cheap quality, these are not the same thing. Gruppo Gamma continues to strive to upgrade and make a better product and their replica watches are well finished, have quality movements and crystals and nice leather straps. Even their packaging is high quality.

So, onto the model being reviewed. The Gruppo Gamma Vanguard Dark or Vanguard G-12D.

This version has a Gunmetal PVD case, and comes with 2 leather straps. one black leather and one brown. It is also available in stainless versions with a blue or black dial, and also has a California dial option.

As their website states “The Vanguard, our first Mk III model, is based on our belief that the Rolex Ref. 6152 would by now be slightly smaller, slimmer and more wearable to keep up with the times.” For some that are not familiar, the Rolex they speak of, had a very similar look, with similar lugs. Many might immediately think Panerai or even Ennebi homage, but the Rolex is where they got the inspiration for this model.

Below, you can take a look at my video presentation and my initial thoughts.

Full Specifications:

  • Movement:  Miyota 8215, automatic, 21,600bph
  • Functions:  Hours & minutes
  • Diameter:  44 mm excluding crown and lugs
  • Thickness:  15 mm
  • Weight:  140 g with strap
  • Water resistance:  20 ATM
  • Case:  316L stainless steel, gunmetal PVD finish
  • Crystal:  Sapphire, double domed with underside anti-reflective coating
  • Dial:  Black, 2-layer with yellow lume
  • Hands:  Silver color, with yellow lume
  • Crown:  316L stainless steel, screw-in
  • Caseback:  316L stainless steel, secured by screws
  • Strap:  Black, leather, length 130 x 80mm, width 24 x 24 mm, raw edges
  • Buckle:  Pre-V, 316L stainless steel, gunmetal PVD finish
  • 2nd strap:  Perfect Tan, leather, length 130 x 80 mm, width 24 x 24 mm, raw edges
  • 2nd buckle:  Pre-V (thick), 316L stainless steel, gunmetal PVD finish
  • Price $370 USD

So what you have here is a Panerai/Rolex homage, at a price of $370 that has a domed sapphire crystal, a Miyota 8215 movement and and 2 leather straps.

 Gruppo Gamma Vanguard

The Vanguard comes in a nice zippered and padded case, has a somewhat plastic/rubber feel to it, but it is somewhat hard and lined with foam padding to protect from drops or in shipping. On the front is the Gruppo Gamma skull and rose logo, which you will also see on the case back of the Vanguard as well.

 Gruppo Gamma Vanguard

The case is all done in a nice gunmetal pvd, and utilizes hex screws for the lugs, and also hex screws for the crown guards. I am not sure if the these screws for the crown guards are functional or if just decoration, I didn’t want to scratch them up by attempting to unscrew them. The screw down crown functions well, and does not have a scratchy or grinding feeling, like one of original models I reviewed from Gruppo Gamma.

 Gruppo Gamma Vanguard

The domed sapphire crystal is a nice touch, and adds to that vintage feel. For the most part I am a fan of the domed crystals and am glad to see many companies utilizing them. Under the crystal you have a very clean black sandwich dial, with arabic 12, 3, 6, 9 markers, much like Panerai. One thing of note, no small second or regular second hand here. Now this is somewhat a pro and a con. On the one hand, with no regular second hand, you do not encounter the stutter that can sometimes happen with the Miyota 8215 movement. With that said, with no minute/second hash marks and lack of a second hand, accuracy is hard to attain. So if you are an accuracy nut, you might want to pass this one up. In a week of wearing, best I can tell, the replica watch was about 3 minutes slow.

 Gruppo Gamma Vanguard

The case back is done in brushed and frosted finishes, with the skull logo etched on the back. Original prototypes of the Vanguard had the skull logo on the dial, which might have been too garish for some, so glad to see they switched it to the back. The Vanguard does have a screw down case back and is water resistant to 200 meters. Would I take it into the water? Maybe, with an isofrane or some other rubber strap on it I would, but I rarely take my replica watches with me into the pool or otherwise, because I dont need the time when in the pool or ocean.

Gruppo Gamma Vanguard 

Speaking of straps, the Vanguard comes with 2 straps, black and brown leather. The straps are supple and pliable and of very decent quality. Are they of custom leather quality? No, but they are very nice for what they are and both look great on the Vanguard. Both come with a matching gunmetal pvd signed buckle.

Gruppo Gamma Vanguard 

On my 7.5 inch wrist, the 44m Vanguard fits well. The size in general is what I prefer, with 15mm in thickness and a length of 54mm. The straps are also the size that I generally order when getting a custom strap and should fit up to an 8 inch wrist.

Lume is very nice and bright, and lasted about 4 hours before fading out. So it is not the greatest lume out there, but is above average.

Overall, I think Gruppo Gamma has created a nice package with the Vanguard. I think I would have preferred a Miyota 9015 movement, even if it brought the price to over $400 , but I think Gruppo Gamma is on the right track. As I said in the beginning, I know these homages are not for everyone. But for those who like this style and can’t afford the originals, this is a nice example with some quality materials.

You can see all variations of the Gruppo Gamma Vanguard HERE.

Thank you to Gruppo Gamma for providing the Vanguard for review.

Please leave your comments below and thank you for reading.