There's something truly special about automatics.
We love all of our watches. Our quartz styles are special too, but we have a special place in our hearts for the little mechanically-engineered wonders that are at the heart of our collections, such as the P-51 Chrono or GX1-A. And we can’t forget the GX-AC, of course.
We thought it was time for us to re-think the latter, one of our beloved automatic watches. It was a question of being innovative and pushing ourselves once again, which is intrinsic to the LIV spirit, combined with listening to our fans (because we always do). This article will provide some insight into what went into the latest evolution of the GX-AC, which we are truly excited about launching.
Up close and personal on the GX-AC dial
Why the GX-AC?
In the words of Chaz, co-founder and resident guru of LIV Watches, the GX-AC is nothing short of a ‘sleeping giant’ for the LIV brand. It has been a highly popular watch among our fans, which is not at all surprising. Consider that we offer a high-quality, Swiss-Made automatic watch for under $1000, so little wonder that Chaz proudly proclaims that the GX-AC 'gives so much bang for the buck!'
We knew our fans wanted a further iteration of the GX-AC. And we knew we wanted to keep it as affordable as ever, especially given the surreal, trying times the entire planet is currently going through as 2020 lumbers along. It was time to give the ‘sleeping giant’ a revamp. But how does one improve on a watch that is already so popular, such good value for money, and, well, damn near perfect? Seriously!
Well, the beauty of watchmaking is in the detail…the tiniest of detail…
Why Envy Green?
To know why we decided to rework our popular GX-AC is to go a little back in time. Make that 2015 and, more specifically, the end of that year when we at LIV Watches launched our Kickstarter campaign for the GX1-A. That campaign was a monster success for us because the GX1-A was our first effort at an automatic and, well, it’s a super-duper watch too!
One of the models we released as part of that 2015 campaign was the Kickstarter Green. Our fans loved the accents in green, which seemed unusual for an automatic watch, and the limited edition of that model was sold out by 2017. Since then we have received countless requests to bring back that model. But we have a policy here at LIV Watches: we don’t re-introduce what were limited editions. That would defy what is meant by the words ‘limited edition’ and would be a travesty, right? We respect that.
The original Envy Green GX1 from our 2015 Kickstarter
Envy Green design decisions
We knew that the GX-AC was mechanically and technically as sound a foundation as possible. Very little to change there. So design is where the focus would be. To know what went into the styling and design of the Envy Green is to know the painstaking, often minuscule decisions that we have to make when designing a watch. And no one is more pedantic and frets over the tiniest details more than our main honcho and resident perfectionist, Chaz!
Consider just a few of the design decisions we made for the Envy Green: for example, take the case-back. The original GX-AC has a stainless steel back. Looks great and suits the styling in front. But for the Envy Green we made the case-backs in dramatic black. It may seem like a minor detail, but any watch lover knows that it’s that type of detail that can make all the difference between liking and outright loving a watch!
The exhibition caseback shows off the GX-AC's gorgeous inner workings
Another nifty design decision we made was regarding the indices on the dial. Look at any index on the original GX-AC and you’ll see that its borders are highly polished and the index raised. In contrast, an index on the dial of an Envy Green has brushed gunmetal borders for a ‘rougher’ look. The indices are also more flush with the dial, giving the dial surface a subtly more even, less pronounced aesthetic. Yup, it’s in the detail.
But we knew the biggest challenge would be how to incorporate the green into the dial without it being (1) garish, or (2) odd-looking, or (3) too understated. This watch needed to look distinctly green-accented but in a way that complimented and enhanced the design. So we opted for green hands for this dial, or, more specifically, a green seconds hand and green-tipped hands in the three sub-dials. It’s something we have never done before, but we think it works beautifully.
No one frets over the tiniest details more than me!
We then decided to offset the green hands on the dial with two more design features: green numbers on the dial, but only the numbers 2 and 4, and in our distinct LIV-inspired futurist font, as well as a nifty black silicon strap with five discreet stripes in green at its upper end. We knew we had incorporated just enough green to give this GX-AC its distinctiveness without it being too understated or, worse still, tacky-looking.
It’s also important to note that the GX-AC is quite large, at 46mm. So we couldn’t afford for it to look clunky. That too was an important factor throughout this design process. We believe we’ve created a watch that looks masculine yet refined and classic-looking.
GX-AC tech specs
For those of you not yet familiar with outstanding features of the GX-AC model, let’s list them here for you (if only because we also like to show off):
- Swiss-Made (because that’s important to us too)
- ETA Caliber 7750 (as in probably the most sought-after automatic movement of its type)
- 3-hand (hour, minute, chronograph seconds) automatic chronograph with date and 12-hour, 30-minute, and continuously running 60-second sub-dials (nothing quite beats the sheer thrill of a chronograph, right?!)
- High-grade dual sapphire crystals with anti-reflective coating (for superb clarity, and which also happens to be scratch-resistant, we might add)
- Dual sapphire crystals allow for a screw-down exhibition (aka skeleton) case back (is there anything more beautiful than being able to see an automatic movement in perpetual motion?! No, we don’t think so either…)
- Case material in high-quality 316L stainless steel (although remember the case-back is in dramatic black for the Envy Green)
And here’s more about the GX-AC…
- Case diameter: 46 mm (note: it looks masculine and impressive, not chunky and clunky)
- Case Height: 15.9 mm (for a well-proportioned watch)
- Strap/lug width: 23 mm (that means it fits up to 23 cm or 9" wrists)
- Crown is screwed-down and gasketed (as you would expect from LIV…)
- Lume on the hands and indices is in Super-LumiNova BGW9 (which is as brilliant as it gets for checking out the time in the dark)
- Water resistance of 100 meters (300 feet)
- 42 hour power reserve - fully wound (that’s pretty impressive for an automatic, trust us)