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A brand's story : Geckota by Extropian

brand's story
Forzo collection
Phalanx collection
Sea Hunter collection
pioneer collection
chrono timer collection
tourbillon collection
ocean scout collection
pilot watches
british brand
A brand's story : Geckota by Extropian

We all evolve, that is key in the watch industry. Have a concise plan and execute it despite of macro-economic downturns is something that not many brands achieve. But we believe that after almost 14 years in the business, Geckota could be the high-quality entry-level brand to truly enjoy.

Watch collecting for us did not start with a Rolex or a Patek Philippe. It started with something intriguing. Something that look good with certain type of clothes. Then, we evolved to something much nicer, a Seiko or with unlimited budget a Tag Heuer. They were the ultimate expression of coolness. But 14 years ago, there were no independent micro brands, nothing with good quality at a good price, in other words, nothing was made for a true watch geek.

All of the above is why we like Geckota. It brings many options for watch collectors, a great gateway for those who are starting in the hobby. They are not trying to copy designs, but what they are trying to do is to bring is well proportioned watches that perform without breaking the bank.

Let’s have a look.

How it all begins?

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Geckota as a brand founded almost a decade and a half. With good ideas and an enthusiasm, the brands brought designs to the market that we feel are worth for attention. The one that started all was the Geckota K-01, a ‘’flieger’’ style watch which included a sterile dial, ghost centre hands and several revisions over the years. It was an instant hit and those who were opting for more expensive and refined Pilot watches, were in for a surprise.

As a clear evolution, the brand has now ventured to their Forzo range. They are inspired by racing chronograph from the 70’s with vivid colours and a mechanical feel. Lastly, this year, they have developed the new Ocean Scout range which is a call of classic divers with a twist, we will look at them more in depth below.

Who made it happen? 

Jon is the responsible person for launching Geckota. There is a great team around the brand, but it was his enthusiasm that started all. No mater what your commodity is; a watch brand, a bakery, or a tech company, you have to be passionate of what you do. No one starts a business to only make money, there must be an understanding of the subject, which translates to a simple fact: there is a connection to what you do at some degree.

When Jon started Geckota, he mentioned that he has been into this hobby for as long as he can remember, and it really shows when you are talking to him. We discuss about divers, why he was coming out with bronze designs and more about watches in general than his own brand. To us this is a sign that he really enjoys what he does, as consequence their products should reflect that.

As a British brand they are also part of the British Watch and Clock Markers, which means that they operate in a space that is blooming. The vision on achieving a good quality product at an affordable price with design flare is doing well for them.

What is the brand philosophy?

Vintage inspired entry level watches with high quality. We can end up there, but there is also more. The ethos of the brand is to craft watches that are worn by enthusiasts, they are not disposable, they will outlive us most in most circumstances.

Their price point it is a very interesting one. Their watches range from 399 GBP to the 1299 GBP (the last one is a tourbillon, yes you read that right). This is a crowded place in the microbrand space, but we believe they have a unique proposition based on their design and quality control.

One of the strongest points of the brand is their customer service. At the price point they operate; their customer service is great. Being an online outlet, their communication is always present and it does make a difference when you are buying something that you cannot experience live.

The style and design

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There are several inspirations for Geckota, but we can say that vintage style is their bread and butter. That said, there are not copying any brands and slapping their name into the dial. They are truly inspired by models that are iconic and then give it their unique twist.

One of the highlights is that they always try to be period correct. They do not mix and match when it comes to how the watch looks. For example, we will not see a matte case on a 70’s inspired chronograph or a ceramic bezel in a non-crown guards’ diver. Sounds silly but these are small details that make or break a watch.

The use of bright colors and combinations it is present in the brand’s design language. Burgundy, bright greens, light blues are some of the palettes that adorn the dials, but the proportion of their watches is something that you will also note. Sure, the K1 started as a bigger version but as Pilot watches go, it was true to the originals. Now, Geckota offers watches that are usually under the 40mm range, adapting to that enthusiast crowd where they feel that smaller it’s just better.

Who is their target audience? 

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Well, there is a broad range of people who would enjoy wearing a Geckota watch but the vast majority would be those that are starting in the hobby. The design looks somehow more expensive that they are and attention to detail is something that is shown when you handle their watches.

One of the things that stand out is also how they paired straps with their watches. This expertise is because their sister brand is Watch Gecko, they have been offering great quality straps for high end watches. The straps at Geckota are an integral part of the look and feel, it adds quality to the overall package. Their nato straps are also one step above the competition and their leather feels soft and well made.

Because of their range of products, there is not set demographics, you can be a watch collector but want something to use every day or you can be a student that wants to buy their first mechanical piece. Either way, there is something for everyone.

Their current line of products

The range is quite extensive and as mentioned there is something for everyone at Geckota. Let’s drill it down:

  • The Ocean Scout collection- Their latest range. A diver that has 200 meters of water resistance and vintage cues. The Ocean Scout covers different varieties, new materials and also a bronze version. They are all offered on nato, leather straps and full stainless-steel bracelets. (6)

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  • The tourbillon collection – This is a limited manual hand wound tourbillon! Do I need to say more? It is a collector piece which is comprised of 10 units per version, very exclusive.

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  • The Chrono Timer collection – A chronograph with details from the past, cushion shape case with a bi-compax layout. They include a meca-quartz movement to keep the price affordable.

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  • The Pioneer collection – This range is similar in shape of the Chrono Timer but leaving the chronograph function out. It is simple and field looking, it is an everyday watch.

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  • The Sea Hunter collection – an affordable mechanical diver with lots of charm, we can find aluminum bezels and ‘’fume’’ dials which is unheard of at this price range, they are also offered with a stainless-steel bracelet. 

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  • The Phalanx collection – no range of products will be completed without a field military watch. the Phalanx collection takes inspiration on precision and readability to perform.(11)

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  • The Forzo Collection – one of the most popular offerings, the Forzo collection looks at watches inspired in motorsports, regattas, and vintage chronograph watches. They bring a different/affordable take on what is the most complex complication in watchmaking. 

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What is coming?

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As you can see Geckota has gone through several iterations, and we believe that the evolution is going well. The range of products that they have combined with the people that they can target seems like a wining combination.

That alone cannot be enough, you need design quality and knowhow. This is why we think their upcoming products will have the same quality as the ones they have today.

With their experience on the accessories side, new designs are always possible. Their strap pairing with the watches is something that brings the kid in you. Red with blue, orange with white, they are daring while making the brand stand out.

If you are a watch enthusiast who is just starting, Geckota can be that perfect get away to more unique pieces. But it doesn’t matter that they are an entry level brand, as they put all of their effort to deliver a great product. Geckota has been here for a while and we are sure that if they keep coming with lines like the Ocean Scout and the Forzo, the future will be bright.


Article written by Robbie and Watches

Created the 2023-11-27

Modified the 2023-12-01

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