When discussing the sub-$1000 dive watch category, one name that doesn’t come up often is Geckota. The brand, which is affiliated with Watch Gecko, a watch strap company from England, flies under the radar of most enthusiasts. Geckota covers almost all the bases as far as variety is concerned. From quartz chronographs to 3-handed fliegers, there is a lot to like about their product range.
Usually accompanied by stellar photographs, their watches always look outstanding on paper. With that said, there isn’t a lot of fanfare around the brand. Their designs are classic with usually a little bit of flair to make the watches their own. They are affordably priced with solid movements, usually ETAs in the automatics. So, what is a Geckota watch like in the metal? Let’s find out.
The G-02, the newest watch in Geckota’s collection at the time of this writing, is a 40mm vintage-inspired dive watch. The first thing most will notice about the G-02 is the gilt dial. For those who aren’t familiar, a gilt dial is usually a black dial with gold accents, typically on the markers and dial text. While Rolex did not invent them, they were popularized by Rolex in the 50s and 60s , gilt dials have become popular again, especially on dive watches.
Under the sapphire crystal, the gold accents on the G-02 are highly polished and provide just enough bling as to not put off those who might be averse to a gold watch. I’ve never owned a gilt-dialed watch before handling the G-02 and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the look. Perhaps the gold accents offered me something different than the flat or silver-accented dials I am accustomed to. On the G-02, the hands, marker surrounds, minute hash marks, date window and most of the dial text have the gilt application.
The handset on the G-02 is unique to Geckota. Geckota have used this handset on a few of their watches and they seem to be a calling card of theirs. The hands are all long, with the minute and seconds hands extending almost to the edge of the dial. This provides excellent readability with no question as to the precise time when reading the watch.
The bezel on the G-02 is neither ceramic, sapphire nor aluminum. Geckota chose to use an epoxy resin as the final finish on the bezel. However, that is not the only trick up the G-02’s sleeve regarding the bezel. Upon closer inspection, you will notice that the bezel has a radial sunburst pattern. Geckota used a sunburst dial plate as the base for the bezel, giving it a unique finish. It gives the G-02 a little something different and it does look great in direct sunlight.
The dive time bezel is capped off with 5-minute increment marks. Each 10-minute mark is printed in a larger text, making using the bezel as a timer a little easier to read at a glance. They are also a slightly brighter color gray than the rest of the text on the bezel. There is a lume pip at 12 o’clock, highlighted with a red triangle. The bezel on my G-02 was a bit stiff out of the box and a little difficult to turn. However, each of the 120 clicks felt satisfying with no back play.
The left and right sides of the case are a mirror image of each other. The only difference is that the right side has the cutaway for the crown guards and crown. The left side of the case protrudes, giving the case a more geometric shape. This is only visible from a profile or angled view of the case. If you are looking straight down at the watch, the bump-out on the left side is hidden by the bezel. It is an interesting design choice and might remind you of some geometric-shaped watches like the Royal Oak.
The brushed and polished surfaces of the case are all finished well. The polished chamfers on the lugs are executed well and have a very pleasing taper as they meet the base of the bezel. The chamfers also give the lugs a thin appearance while still looking sturdy. If the lugs had drilled lug holes, I feel this would have completed the overall design and would have been a total knockout.
The crown of the G-02 ties in nicely with the gilt details on the face of the watch. The crown is signed with a gold inlay, displaying the G of the Geckota logo’s font. The base of the crown is also wrapped in gold, which is visible even when the crown is screwed in. It is a nice touch to help complete the gold accents on the rest of the watch.
The screwed-in caseback features an exhibition window to view the ETA 2824-2. The movement features almost no decoration, which is fine; however, it makes me wonder why they went with an exhibition caseback. The G-02 is a dress diver and the exhibition back would have made sense in this application if it featured more decoration. With that said, this is a sub-$600 watch and I was not expecting a highly decorated movement.
Beads of Rice
Seeing as Watch Gecko/Geckota are recognized for their straps and bracelets, one would expect the G-02 to come with a well-designed bracelet. That assumption proves to be true here. Beads-of-rice bracelets were extremely hot in 2018 and the trend has continued into 2019. They seem to be the modern-day jubilee and in most cases are just as comfortable.
The beads-of-rice bracelet included with the G-02 is executed well. Not only does it fit with the vintage aesthetics of the watch, it also matches current design trends with modern divers. It is comfortable; the links articulate well and easily conform to your wrist. The fold-over, push-button deployant clasp is also executed well, snapping into place securely. Unlike some of the bracelets Watch Gecko sells on their website, the G-02’s bracelet is fitted with solid endlinks.
The clasp is short, which isn’t a problem except that there are only 3 micro-adjust holes. This isn’t a problem for me as I was able to get a good fit, but I know there are some who prefer more micro-adjust holes. The pin link system bracelet is easily adjustable by most.
Wearability & Conclusion
The G-02 is going to wear well on a large variety of wrists. The 40mm case diameter and 47mm lug-to-lug distance is in the sweet spot of case measurements. The watch has a nice heft to it, gently reminding you it is there without making your arm a few inches longer. At 13.5mm thick, it should have no problems slipping under the cuff in dressier applications that the G-02 is well suited for.
Overall, the G-02 is a solid entry into the vintage-inspired diver market. It is a dressier watch, outfitted for both the office and more rugged occasions. Geckota did a great job executing on an original design that still feels slightly familiar without creeping into full-on homage territory. The G-02 is also more budget-friendly than some other divers in this category like the Oris Divers 65 and Seiko SBDC051/053.
Geckota offers the G-02 in one dial configuration with 3 bezel options. A black bezel as seen here, jade green and burnt orange. I prefer black and blue bezels, but the burnt orange contrasts nicely with the gilt dial. Each configuration is limited to 100 pieces each.
At the beginning of this review, I discussed how Geckota’s watches look great in pictures and on paper. I’m happy to say the G-02 lives up to the expectation. It isn’t perfect but you’re getting a well-built watch with some great specs for the money. If you want to separate yourself from the pack, the Geckota G-02 is a great option to consider.
|Lug-to-lug Height||47mm||Lug Width||20mm|
|Crystal||Flat Sapphire||Strap||Beads of Rice Bracelet|
|Water Resistance||200 meters||Lume||Super-LumiNova® BGW9|
More Images of the Geckota G-02
Check out the Geckota website