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Watch Talk, Episode 2: The GX1 Chrono

In Stories

Let's talk about the watch that started it all.

In today's episode of Watch Talk, cofounder Chaz and fan experience concierge Ernie discuss LIV's first style, the GX1 Chronograph. The GX1 is where it all started. Our first watch--and it’s still our number one style for going on five years now. The watch started as a design challenge, and 200 designers entered their best, boldest ideas to come up with our first style. We received so many wonderful entries that we actually had to choose six winners! But the minute we saw the rough sketch of the GX1 design, we knew it was the one.

Here at LIV, we want our fans to do more than just buy a watch. We want you to love the watch, too! That’s why we consider ‘customer’ a dirty word--it’s too transactional, and not about the experience of our brand. Fan experience is super important to us. Ernie is one of the excellent folks who handles that aspect of our website--he’s a little reluctant to be on camera, but he does a great job in this vlog as we discuss the GX1 in detail!

First things first: the dial

First things first: the dial. It’s three-dimensional, meaning that it has layers that you can actually see when you look at it from the side. The base layer, or the bottom plate, is covered by a top layer, through which the numbers are stenciled for extra depth. On top of that, we’ve got the applied indexes. We wanted very few printed elements on the dial, and the wordmark LIV is the only printing. Everything else is a layered object. Then we have the beautiful rings around the sub-dials and a deep sunburst pattern underneath it all.

Speaking of layers, the GX1 features Swiss BGW9 Luminescence for great visibility in darker conditions. The type of lume isn’t the only thing that matters--it’s also the number of layers that you use. The indexes feature five layers of lume, and the hands feature three layers. The reason for the difference is the amount of weight added by each layer of lume. The watch’s movement has a weight tolerance when it comes to the hands, so it’s really important to balance everything to prevent issues with the battery or the gears.


When we first debuted the GX1, the hands and indexes were slightly smaller than they are now. We received some feedback from our fans about this, so of course we took action because we want to craft watches that our fans want. It is at the heart of our brand concept that anyone who purchases a watch from us is not only spending their hard-earned money, they’re also giving us valuable real estate on their wrist. That’s a responsibility we take seriously, and we think the person who’s sporting a watch on his wrist should have some input and the ability to communicate with us about what he wants. Some brands say they want to listen, but we want to go one step further--we listen and implement! This means that our fans are actually a part of our brand. By giving us feedback, both positive and negative, our fans become part of what we do.

Crystal clear

Okay, onto the crystal! This is another super important element to talk about. We can have the most beautiful three-dimensional, multi-layer luminescent dial, but at the end of the day the layer of glass protecting it needs to be top-notch as well in order to make all that detail really shine. The GX1 features a high-precision, high-quality sapphire crystal with one layer of anti-reflective coating. Why just one? Some brands do two layers--one on the inside and one on the outside of the glass. But we think that’s a big mistake because the coating on the outside is another layer that can get smudged or scuffed. The sapphire glass is as hard as nails, so that isn’t going to smudge or scuff--but the anti-reflective coating can. That obviously defeats the purpose of anti-reflective coating--you want to see the time, not the glass. So we put our anti-reflective coating on the inside so you can do just that.

Not a single reflection to be found!

Case by case

Let’s talk about the case. The GX1 features 316L surgical grade stainless steel and IP coating that will never ever come off this watch. Normal wear and tear is absolutely no match for this finish. Water resistance is another important feature of the case. The GX1 is water-resistant to 200 meters, and it also features a screw-down crown. Another big part of the design element would be the bezel, which has a beautiful machined pattern. The case is actually screwed into the bezel (the back is then screwed into the case).

The black IP coating on our case isn't going to budge.

What's inside counts

The inside of the watch is just as important as the outside. The GX1 uses a Ronda 5040D. Chaz has a very good relationship with the Ronda group. This movement has been around for 20-some years, and it is a worker. It’s a one-tenth of a second chronograph, meaning the six o’clock subdial runs one-tenth of a second. It’ll run around super fast and it’ll stop after thirty seconds (to prevent battery burn out) but this highly accurate stopwatch feature continues running electronically. One-tenth of a second is so, so fast! The three o’clock subdial displays the second hand, and the nine o’clock subdial displays the chronograph minute. After that initial 30 seconds, when you stop the timer, the hands will jump to show how much time has elapsed. This watch features a quick-set date, which is awesome. All you need to do is unscrew the crown and turn it clockwise to set the date—you don’t have to go around to midnight to change it manually.

Macro shot of that 1/10 second chrono subdial.

Strap in

If you’re going to design a watch, you have to design a cool custom strap. We paid for tooling for this strap, which is a double-injected silicone and features anti-dust coating because we don’t want lint or any other dust to be attracted to the silicone. The strap is super comfortable, soft, rugged, but not harsh on the hand. From a design perspective, the lugs continue into the strap for a sharp look.

Double-injection silicone strap

Living color

Let’s talk some colors! The black and orange GX1 is the original, the OG. LIV’s brand color is orange, so it’s only fitting that our first watch should be orange. We have a black dial with orange accents, the stenciled numbers, and the signature orange button.


We also have a sky blue as a part of our color palette, and the Sky Blue GX1 swaps out some of the orange accents for the blue. Panda watches are very popular right now, so we also have a GX1 panda if black and white is your thing.


The TJ Blue is another special edition in our GX1 collection. About two years ago, Chaz came into contact with professional cyclist TJ Eisenhart. He’s more than a cyclist—he’s also an artist with this awesome creative side. TJ always wears a necklace made of turquoise gemstones, so that is the origin of the TJ blue.


The Venom Yellow is an ultra-bright flashy option if you want to make a major statement with your watch. Our straps can be quickly and easily changed, so you can get the look you’re going for no matter what. Other colorways in the GX1 collection include Cool Gray, Rose Gold, and the Orange, which boasts a bright, bold orange dial.

Even five years later, we’re still excited about this watch! We want you to be proud of the products you wear. This is not about selling—it’s about educating you and about getting the most beautiful product on your wrist. Watch freaks, you know what we’re talking about. You want something different, something quality, and you want to wear something special. That’s why we do what we do.

The full GX1 collection




About the Author

Esti Chazanow, Co-Founder at LIV Watches
Esti's passion for men's watches led her to co-found LIV Watches—a microbrand dedicated to connecting watch collectors with high quality, limited edition, Swiss Made timepieces at prices they can afford—and the rest is horological history.

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