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Old 19 May 2020, 11:21 PM   #1
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Lorier Gemini Chronograph Review - "Vintage Inspired"

I've been on somewhat of a microbrand purchasing spree, and the next victim is the Lorier Gemini.

I've been hearing so many great things about Lorier so I decided to go ahead and purchase a Gemini Chronograph to check it out. I spent about a week with this watch before writing this review.

You can find my detailed review here:

And a hands-on video review here:

To quickly summarize,

Words of caution:
  • Watch is incredibly loud
  • 5 ATM WR
  • Form over function approach to chronograph operation - coin edge bezel is a bit smooth and I found myself slipping while trying to adjust it. The glass distortion (which I love), makes it hard to properly track the timing seconds hand while operating the chronograph movement
  • Bezel slack (but this is not a problem since it's a 24 click, 12 hour bezel)
  • Movement doesn't inspire confidence as a robust everyday watch - NOTE: I don't have objective evidence to validate this claim, but this is how it felt to me so treat my opinion hear with a pinch of salt (or many pinches of salt).
  • Plexiglass instead of Sapphire

Things I loved:
  • Dial design and execution is incredible
  • The use of plexiglass actually adds TONS of character to the legibility and 'vintage feel'
  • Case design is simple but amazingly so
  • Dimensions are perfect for my 6.25" wrist and the watch wears VERY well
  • I appreciate the 12 hour bezel instead of a tachymeter scale - I was tracking a second timezone
  • Captures almost the entire vintage watch experience without the worry of dying components, franken movements etc.

As my review of this watch has opinions that conflict with the general consensus, I feel the need to include this disclaimer which should be fairly obvious to most:

These are my opinions and your mileage with this watch may vary. My personal collection is primarily robust diver / tool watches so my perspective is clearly biased towards such watches. I tried to be as objective as possible, but this may not always be the case.
Here are some photographs that I took of the watch (you can also find them in the main review):

Thanks for reading and feel free to continue any discussions here!
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Old 13 June 2021, 04:13 AM   #2
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Rather than create a new thread, I thought Iíd just tag onto yours with my own thoughts about this watch, which I recently purchased (in blackóreverse panda). Sorry for the bad picónegotiating file size limits from my phone.

In short, Iím loving it. On my 6.75Ē wrist itís a perfect fit. Extremely comfortable and just the right size. (Iíve decided 38/39 is my sweet spot, and this one wears nice and thin too.) It has a vintage vibe, but it doesnít feel gimmicky or like an homage piece. Itís a legit watch in its own right.

This was bought to be an inexpensive piece (about $500; inexpensive is relative, I know) that I could wear in many circumstancesósort of bridging casual and almost-formal. The bracelet it came on is niceópeople rave about itóbut Iím not a bracelet person, so thatís off and stored in the leather pouch that came with the watch. It looks perfect on leather. Right now itís on a matte black strap; a brown one is en route. (Iím inspired, I guess, by the First Omega in Space, but those are a different price pointóand if I were going to drop $5k on a watch right now, that wouldnít be it.)

Iíll admit Iím superficially drawn to the fact that itís a micro brand, and not a piece Iíll likely ever see on someone elseís wrist, at least not where I live. That didnít influence my decision to buy it very much, but itís a plus for me.

It feels and looks like a quality piece. Especially on the bracelet, it has a satisfying heft, and the finishing of the case is convincing. The ďexplorerĒ lugs are wonderfully executed, and I just love lug holes, both for practical and aesthetic reasons. (Removing the bracelet couldnít have been easier, and the lugs remain unscratched.)

The domed acrylic crystal is the one thing where maybe it could be entering gimmick territory, but I like it. It reminds me of vintage Omegas Iíve owned, in a good way. Some have complained about the lack of a see-thru caseback, which for a manual wind chrono with a low depth rating would have indeed been nice, but it doesnít bother me. Itís a mass-produced Chinese movement in there; very functional, but itís not something Iíd be inclined to drool over.

The chrono function is, well, perfectly functional so far. The stop/start has a harder touch than some Iíve operated, but it works well, and the reset is instantaneous and smooth. Winding is smooth too; setting has a bit of uneven tension, but nothing that worries me. Timekeeping is within a couple seconds per day.

The OP mentioned that itís a noisy movement. This is true: I can hear it ticking from about 4Ē from my ear. But that doesnít bother me.

I also agree that the coin edge bezel isnít as easy to grasp and turn as what you find on a Sub or Seamaster, and there is a very tiny amount of play on the bezel, but this is a fit & finish issue that, to me, suits the price point of the watch. Everything lines up perfectly, and from a practical standpoint, it all works just fine.

The lume is a pretty blue color and glows brightly after a good charge. The chrono features are not lumed, so in a dark room this becomes an hour/minute watch only (with the lumed bezel pip allowing for a few options too, I suppose.)

To me this watch is all about the contours of the caseówell proportioned, slender but still very masculineówith long tapering lugsóand about the glossy, legible, and (to my eyes) exceedingly attractive dial. I wish the hour markers were a bit shorteróI donít love how 2&4 and 8&10 nearly touch the subdialsóbut on the whole I like the dial more than any chronograph Iíve seen with maybe one or two exceptions. Itís a very happy marriage of form and function, and opting for a gmt-style bezel (bidirectional!) rather than a tachymeter (which I, like most of us, would have zero use for) reinforces that.

For $500, this a A LOT of watch! If Lorier made their own movements, I suspect it would command quite a bit more attention. As it is, a very well appointed and portioned watch for those occasions when something more expensive might be inappropriate or risky.
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Old 15 June 2021, 11:04 PM   #3
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A (slightly better) pic of the watch on a brown leather (FOiS-inspired) strap. To my eyes (and the OP's it seems), this shows the watch to its best advantage.
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chronograph , gemini , lorier , review , vintage

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