While we wait for Gorilla’s upcoming limited-edition Fastback Thunderbolt Chronograph watch (that will be the brand’s most expensive product, to date), I’d like to review another limited edition, the entirely different Gorilla Outlaw Drift. There are two very important points to make about this highly interesting Outlaw wristwatch from Octavio Garcia’s Gorilla watch brand out of Switzerland. The first is that this is the second Gorilla watch to implement a “wandering hours” complication to indicate the time, and the second is that this is the first Gorilla watch debuted by the brand which does not have its polarizing Fastback-style case.
The predecessor to the Gorilla Outlaw Drift was the Gorilla Fastback GT Drift watch (aBlogtoWatch review here), which used the same movement. Gorilla also calls the wandering hours complication “drifting hours,” and sometimes people refer to the system as “satellite hour time” (how Urwerk refers to it) or as a “Star Wheel” (how Audemars Piguet refers to it). Octavio Garcia fell in love with the complication when he worked at Audemars Piguet as head of design. What Garcia was able to do with his Gorilla brand in relationship with Swiss movement-maker Vaucher is develop the world’s least expensive Swiss Made wandering hours watches — with no sacrifice in quality or functionality.
As such, the movement inside the Outlaw Drift is a base Swiss Made ETA automatic with a module over it known as the caliber G-5238. This module was developed by Vaucher for Gorilla and turns the movement into a wandering-hours complication that uses a revolving satellite system to indicate the hours, which uses the top 1/3 of the dial to indicate the minutes. The dial also features a traditional seconds hand that revolves around the entire dial. Reading the Outlaw Drift is dead-simple once you know what you are looking at, but it is normal for people to be highly confused as to what they are looking at. The trick is to realize that only the top third of the dial is used to read the minutes, which starts at around the 1o o’clock position with “00” and goes to about the 2 o’clock position where the “60” mark is. Once the current hour drifts past the 60-minute mark, the next hour is indicated on the next four-sided satellite disc.
The G-5238 module also doesn’t seem to negatively affect performance with the specs for the base ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, being an operational frequency of 4Hz with 38 hours of power reserve. I like that the movement is visible through the rear of the case, and there is certainly heaps of value here, but I would have liked for Gorilla to opt for more decorated 2824-2 automatic movements so that they would better mimic the excellent polishing of the Outlaw Drift’s titanium case.
The metallic blue dial of the Outlaw (mostly done in anodized aluminum) elegantly transitions into the polished and brushed titanium case. I didn’t realize the Outlaw Drift was titanium until I read the specs, as I was under the impression the fine-polishing job was on a steel case. Alas, Gorilla makes use of a fine Grade 5 titanium case, which is really nicely polished for a tonneau-shaped cased that is 42mm-wide, 13.8mm-thick, 52mm lug-to-lug, and has a water resistance rating of 100 meters. Over the dial is a slightly domed and AR-coated sapphire crystal. Note that there is luminant on the dial, with the hour markers and minute track painted in Super-LumiNova.
Gorilla designed the Outlaw case in response to the feedback by some customers that the Fastback case is too large. I don’t deny that the Fastback is a big case, but it wears very comfortably. In any event, the style of the Fastback isn’t universal, and Gorilla set to work on creating a design that matched its 1970s American muscle-car inspiration, was original, and also was not a “typical boring round watch.” Little details like the counter-sunk screws around the polished and sloped bezel are really cool, and I like how Gorilla tied the Outlaw with the rest of the brand by using a crown design that, while distinct, is similar to the crown designs used on the Fastback models.
The integrated blue rubber strap tapers elegantly, and the lugless design of the case helps it wear on the smaller side. While the Outlaw Drift is not a small watch in the scheme of things, it wears a lot closer to a mid-size timepiece at 42mm wide (without the crown) than the 44mm-wide, more square-shaped Fastback collection. The blue rubber strap has an outer lining in Cordura fabric, which is fashionably attractive when you look closely at it. It closes with a bespoke buckle produced out of grade 5 titanium.
The Gorilla Outlaw Drift is a much more subtle watch than the Fastback, even though it is no less detailed or original. That makes it a better option for wearers with conservative taste who love the idea of a wandering-hours complication but don’t want to wear something as bold as the Gorilla Fastback. The Outlaw is very much the type of watch that could be worn in any timepiece-enthusiast setting and get a lot of approval — even if it isn’t the most expensive product in the room. That’s an excellent reason for a lot of people to get it because it is a true timepiece exotic without an exotic price. Having said that, the Outlaw Drift is a luxury timepiece and, in my opinion, priced accordingly given its pedigree, originality, and construction quality.
Right now, this blue dial with red seconds hand version of the Outlaw is the only version Gorilla has produced, and it is part of a limited edition of 250 pieces. Too much work went into the Outlaw case for this to be the only one. While Gorilla is known to release new color variants with unpredictable hue combinations, I fully anticipate that the Outlaw will get additional Outlaw Drift versions with the G-5238 wandering hours module, or perhaps even as a lower-priced three-hand model. The blue and titanium version is a beautiful start and easily one of the more underrated limited edition luxury watches of recent times. Price for the limited edition Gorilla Outlaw Drift watch is $3,950 USD. Learn more or order at the Gorilla watches website here.
>Model: Outlaw Drift
>Price: $3,950 USD
>Size: 42mm-wide, 13.8mm-thick and 52mm lug-to-lug distance.
>When reviewer would personally wear it: Great all-purpose watch to wear when wanting to impress other timepiece enthusiasts with a true conversation piece.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Those fascinated by wandering-hours watches who cannot spend several times the money on one — and for those who like the Gorilla brand but may not have been into their Fastback case models.
>Best characteristic of watch: Very high-grade finishing for the elegantly designed titanium case. Movement module works well and is efficient. Attractive presentation in a rarefied product.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Movement not as nicely decorated as one might expect in a product at this price range (though not a big deal). No additional strap options.