G. Gerlachâ€™s new PZL 37B mechanical chronograph is Polish-bred and Chinese-powered. The PZL 37B takes its name from Word War II era Polish bombers, some of which sported G. Gerlach manometers to measure airspeed and altitude. Itâ€™s a neat coincidence, which G. Gerlach emphasizes through an engraving of the plane on the solid caseback.
That solid caseback hides the Chinese Seagull ST1902 movement, which is a shame. Even undecorated, a manual column wheel chronograph is so interesting that the solid caseback is an unfortunate compromise. The Seagull has a 42-hour power reserve andâ€”typical for a Seagullâ€”there are sub-dials at 9:00 and 3:00 for running seconds and the 30-minute timer, respectively.
Not-so-typical is the crown at 10:00, which I find a nice touch both visually and functionally. Visually, it evokes a monopusher chronograph on the left side of the case, with the standard crown/pusher trio on the right side. So you get the best of both worlds aesthetically, but the technical advantage of being able to stop and restart the chronograph. The 10:00 crown controls a rotating bezel recessed under the double-domed, internally AR-coated sapphire glass. Some might think the extra crown makes the 43 mm case crowded, but it allows for both a secondary timer and a thin polished bezel, reducing clutter by merging the dial and bezel.
The black dial is printed with white numbers and registers, and has skeletonized white hands. The chronograph functions are called out by a red center seconds hand and a red hand on the chronograph register. The whole package is masculine but understated.
The best part is the price, which at press time was PLN 1,950, or about $500. Generously, you get both a light brown leather strap with pin buckle and a stainless Milanese mesh band. Thatâ€™s a great price for a Seagull ST1902-powered chronograph, but add the internal bezel, the pair of straps, and all the other features G. Gerlach packs in and you almost feel bad paying so little. Almost.
Case: 43 x 52 mm
Glass: sapphire, double domed, internal transparent AR coating
Movt: Seagull ST1902
Strap: genuine leather strap + Milanese mesh band
Box: solid wood
Price: PLN1950 (~$500)