Watch enthusiasts can be a fickle bunch regarding what they wear on their wrists. The more discerning they are, the more likely the make and models that catch their attention are those from renowned names in the industry only. The rest who appreciate timepieces, in general, have more options available. CIGA Design was kind enough to share with us an example from their lineup – the X Gorilla.
Since micro brands tend to take more creative approaches when it comes to aesthetics, they are great sources for avant-garde designs. If you prefer timekeeping instruments that make a bold statement on your wrist, the X Gorilla is an ideal candidate to consider. CIGA Design has other silhouettes to choose from if this is not your style. Moreover, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to own.
Unlike exclusive boutiques and distributors that require special appointments, CIGA Design makes the retail process convenient for interested parties. You can order your timepiece directly from their website or Amazon. Delivery times may vary depending on where they need to ship it. In our case, it took less than a week to arrive.
You can tell that just like their watches, a lot of effort was put into the design of the packaging. We have a white outer sleeve with an embossed image of the X Gorilla at the center and the CIGA Design label on the top right corner. A cutout on the left edge makes it easy to grab the inner box and pull it out.
What greets us next is a detailed illustration of the watch inside along with the branding and model. The cover opens like a book and shows printed information about the specifications and more. Meanwhile, the X Gorilla and its two straps are securely nestled within their respective holders.
SPECSCase Size: 44 mm x 48 mm x 11.8 mmCase Material: 316L Stainless Steel/TitaniumCaseback Material: 316L Stainless Steel/TitaniumBezel: FixedDistance Between Lugs: 22 mmCrystal: Sapphire/Mineral GlassDial Style: SkeletonMovement: CD-01 AutomaticPower Reserve: 40 HoursWater Resistance: 3 ATMStrap/Bracelet: Silicone/NylonClosure System: Pin Buckle
The first thing that will surprise anyone who ordered their first CIGA Design watch is the craftsmanship. Despite its affordable price point, what you get is a ticker that looks stylish from every angle and feels premium to the touch. The X Gorilla is available in 316L stainless steel or titanium options, and our sample is the Black/Orange variant of the former.
Other colorways available for the 316L stainless steel include Black/Purple and Silver/Red. The remaining are Titanium Blue and Titanium Gold. The watchmaker endows it with a square case with rounded corners. We’re not sure if the dark tone is a PVD or DLC coat, but it’s classy, nonetheless.
Although it’s not obvious at first glance, it features an independent spring suspension system on each corner. CIGA Design says the inspiration comes from the SUVs and their ability to handle the roughest terrains. The concept is similar as this dampens vibrations that could potentially affect its sensitive components.
Its case band forms a protective frame around the X Gorilla which also flaunts a sapphire crystal cover on top and a mineral glass panel for its exhibition case back. Overall, this is one solidly built timepiece. Its robust housing beats the in-house developed custom CD-01 self-winding movement with a 40-hour power reserve.
We can’t help but enjoy watching the oscillating weight from the underside as well as the other moving parts of its automatic caliber. You can also catch a glimpse of even more intricate details on the X-shaped skeleton dial. The CIGA Design signature is set at 3 o’clock, but you’ll notice the absence of traditional hour markers and indices.
Instead, you can use points on the fixed bezel as a reference to tell the time. Swiss Super-LumiNova is on the spines of the open-work dial and tips of the hour and minute hands to aid with visibility in low-light conditions. Pair it with the textured silicone strap or the nylon fabric strap. Both use a pin buckle closure and a quick-release spring bar for easy replacement so you can swap between the two easily.
After using the X Gorilla for more than a week, its striking aesthetics were constantly on the receiving end of compliments from co-workers at the office and loved ones. We can also notice it gets the occasional appreciative glance when out in public. The build quality is remarkable and is leagues above other watch micro brands out there. Those who choose to get this or other models from CIGA Design will likely want to give them a lot of wrist time compared to their other timepieces.
“CIGA Design is an original watch brand. Since the brand started in 2013, we’ve won many awards including Reddot, and German Design. And most importantly and proudly, last year, we were invited to the most famous and authoritative award, which is known as “the Oscars” in the watch industry – GPHG. We not only got the chance to stand there and compete with those famous brands from Swiss, but CIGA Design – Blue Planet won the award eventually. This is the only original watch brand from China that won the prize in the past 21 years.”