As Matt noted in his original writeup on the G. Gerlach Kosmonaut, this is indeed a watch that draws very heavily from the past. Â Specifically, the first quartz watch made in Poland, and the one worn byÂ Polish Kosmonaut, General Miroslaw Hermaszewski. Â While I may not have traveled space, I could not help but to think of MajorÂ TomÂ as I wore the watch. Â Let’s see what I thought of the piece after spending some time with it.
First off, I have to admit I have some sort of odd on-again, off-again fixation with watches like theÂ G. Gerlach Kosmonaut. Â While I never had one when I was younger, I vividly remember playing (yes, playing) with an old calculator that had a similar display. Â I have no idea what sort of crazy scenarios I was running in my mind, but I had a blast. Â Somewhere in the last, oh, 20 years I had a sort of Fossil version of a watch like this, which was fun, but ultimately the appeal wore off.
Then theÂ G. Gerlach Kosmonaut arrived on my wrist, and I was that kid playing with the cool calculator again. Â While I would not say that a watch like this is something I’d wear all day, every day, it is a fun change of pace. Â Styling aside, this is primarily because it is very purpose-driven. Â It tells you the time (well, and the date, but I never found myself making the second button press) and that’s it. Â Even to do that you have to manually intervene.
That’s right – in the modern era of accelerometers (like we saw on the Division Furtive Type 40 and Type 50), theÂ G. Gerlach Kosmonaut requires you to press a button to get the display to light up. Â This makes the time-telling a conscious decision, and is a practical consideration to keep the battery from running down. Â Which means, for most of the day, you could consider you have a large steel-and-sapphire (from the crystal) bracelet on your wrist.
While my personal tastes in watches do tend to skew to the more traditional, I have a special place reserved for watches that are inspired from vintage designs and/or make a quirkier statement (provided they can still tell the time clearly). Â Then again, theÂ G. Gerlach Kosmonaut also stirs up the kid in me (or least the memories), so there are a lot of positives going for me with a watch like this.
If I am being objective, however, I have to admit that all is not perfect with theÂ G. Gerlach Kosmonaut. Â The biggest drawback to this watch, for me, is the bracelet. Â It’s a nice-enough bracelet, but I found that it had bigger gaps in the links than I’d prefer, and at the solid lug (see the photo above). Â If you take a look at our original article, you’ll notice more of an engineer-style bracelet, which while perhaps not as thematically correct, just seems to look better.
The other issue worth noting on theÂ G. Gerlach Kosmonaut is really not a shortcoming of the watch, per se, but of the display technology itself. Â Basically, if you are in a bright enough light (say, full sun) it can be difficult to read the time – the segments can’t light up enough to overcome the rays bouncing around in the crystal. Â This is much less pronounced that I remember it being on that Fossil I had years back, but it is worth noting.
Then again, those are the issues that cropped up only when I stopped to think more critically about it. Â When I was wearing the watch in day-to-day situations, I really did not have a problem with either item. Â I found the watch eminently wearable (the case is 40mm, on 20mm lugs) and weighs a reasonable 138g after I adjusted it (with all links, it’s closer to 150g). Â Oh, and speaking of daily utility, the 100m WR is a definite upgrade over the original (as is the sapphire crystal).
Also of note, from the earlier model we wrote about, is that the caseback has been modified. Â The General’s likeness has been removed (as is Sputnik), and instead we have a more generic space suit showing up (albeit with Polska markings). Â Ultimately, this is one of those watches I think that you either get or you don’t. Â For some, perhaps it’s the draw to having had a watch like this (or a calculator), or perhaps coming of age in the era of space races this watch hails from. Â Whatever your reason, if this is a watch that pressurizes your space suit, you can pick one up for aroundÂ $200. Â Some might balk at that pricetag for a digital watch, but for me, I think its in a very affordable sweetspot for nostalgia. Â gerlach.org.pl
- Brand & Model:Â G. Gerlach Kosmonaut
- Price:Â ~ $200
- Who we think it might be for:Â There’s a deep nostalgic hook that has been set in your psyche from the watches of the era the Kosmonaut hails from
- Would I buy one for myself based on what Iâ€™ve seen?:Â Yes indeed.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be:Â The bracelet could use some tightening up.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch:Â This one is very much one of those unquantifiables – it stirs up memories from being a kid, and that sort of emotion can be hard to pin down.
Tech Specs from G. Gerlach
- Quartz LED module LED-001GG
- Accuracy +/-60 s monthly at normal temperature
- Battery life approx. 2 years at normal usage conditions
- Recommended battery CR2032
- Stainless steels case 316L
- Case diameter: 40 mm
- Lug width : 20 mm
- Sapphire crystal
- Water Resistant 100M
- Functions: Â Hours, minutes, seconds, weekday, date, 12/24h indication.
- Two color version: steel and black PVD.