This year, watches and jewellery have become increasingly important for Gucci. If you scroll through their Instagram feed, you will see more than just idiosyncratic fashion. Although their G-Timeless Automatic has been given attractive, exotic stone-dial updates, decorated with their signature bee motif, their ’70s skater scene-inspired Grip was the big focus at this year’s Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show in Switzerland.
Gucci’s intimate glass conservatory was one of the most tranquil experiences during the fair, offering a welcome respite from the crowds - and it required none of the usual strict scheduling for entry. The eclectic space was a cabinet of curiosities, filled with giant foliage, bold comfy armchairs, a patchwork of rich Persian carpets and rows of vintage-style glass cabinets to preview the new “gender neutral” Grip collection of watches – or to simply take some time out.
The full impact of creative director Alessandro Michele’s vision and message is clearly expressed in all aspects of the brand’s product range and merchandising, with the Grip highlighting 1970s-inspired themes, while referencing the timepiece division’s origins in the early part of that decade.
Retro-cool like That ’70s Show, their current advertising campaign is fashion’s call for “more self-expression, independence and freedom” through its nostalgic representation of the ’70s. With Gucci’s big focus on street style, there is little more expressive of “freedom” than surfing and skater cultures with boards, trucks and wheels providing the inspiration for the rounded disc that is the Grip.
The Grip is an artful blend of vintage and contemporary cues, featuring small, hands-free analogue display windows on solid, slimline medallion dials. Printed seven-segment numerals recall period quartz displays and possibly the Swiss-made movement driving the rotating hour, minute and date disc.
Presenting an embarrassment of choice, four versions are available in PVD gold and steel, engraved interlocking G logo options, with dozens of easily interchangeable bracelets, and luxurious, colourful snake and calf leather straps to choose from. The high-end versions in gold feature ruby and sapphire indicators.
Priced at between CHF1500 and CHF1750 (about R22 000 and R25 000), the Grip will be available from September, giving you plenty of time to cast your vote.
For more information on Gucci timepieces, visit Gucci's website.