Gavox Legacy Power Reserve Collection

Michael HappĂ© is a Belgian engineer and pilot who founded Gavox Watches in 2011. I’ve admired his work from the beginning, particularly his military watches like the Squadron I reviewed back in 2015. This past October, our paths crossed in Washington, DC and I convinced him to join my fellow enthusiasts and me for our more-or-less bimonthly Watch Nerd Dinner. Turns out, Michael is an exceedingly pleasant fellow with a quick wit and a wealth of knowledge. After a lovely meal and lots of watch geekery, we agreed that it was high time I reviewed another watch. He let me borrow one of each in his Legacy Power Reserve collection.

Gavox Legacy Power Reserve

The Legacy Power Reserve comes in three varieties: the black-on-white Carpe Diem, and the blue or gray Ultima Necat. They are intended to be everyday watches that can be worn in a variety of settings, and the designs lean more towards business dress than weekend sportiness. All watches have stainless steel cases with sapphire crystals front and rear, 50m water resistance, push-pull crowns at 4 o’clock, and a Miyota 9130 automatic. From the well regarded 9xxx family, the movement has 26 jewels, a 40-hour power reserve, a 28.8k bph beat rate, a decorated rotor, and most notably, a power reserve meter.

Gavox Legacy Power Reserve case back movement

After strapping a Legacy to my wrist, I was quite surprised to learn that it is nearly 42mm wide (41.5mm to be precise). Several design elements make it appear smaller. First, its overall length is just over 48mm, right in the sweet spot for my 6.75” wrist. Next, a rounded bezel softens the edges and a bright polish on its smooth surface blurs the lines, directing attention towards the sharper lines of the obviously smaller diameter dial. Finally, in profile, the reflective surfaces of the bezel and convex case back sandwich a vertically brushed midsection that extends through the lugs, presenting the illusion of a watch far slimmer than its actual 12.5mm. While I would normally consider a 41.5mm watch to be on the large side for most dressy occasions, the Legacy pulls it off. With the right strap, I would not hesitate to wear it with a suit and tie.

Gavox Legacy Power Reserve side profile

The first thing you notice about the Legacy’s dial is that the movement has been rotated one step clockwise, creating an unusual, canted layout. Certainly, the resulting 4 o’clock crown is common enough, but a 1 o’clock power reserve and 7 o’clock date? Not so much. I suspect this will be a make-or-break for most buyers (we watch people are very particular). For me, it made it. I like the fact that it is different. Looking to the left side of the dial for the date instead of the right hardly fazes me and I like the character it imparts. 

Gavox Legacy Power Reserve Ultima Necat wrist shot

Moving the power reserve off-center is just genius. I have never been quite comfortable with reserve meters centered at 12 o’clock. That marker is the key focal point of the dial. Put a needle up there that is usually pointed anywhere but straight up and down, and it just drives me batty (I told you we're particular). Anchoring the needle at 1 o’clock removes the meter from that eye-catching location and makes it an ancillary feature, as it should be.

Gavox Legacy Power Reserve Ultima Necat blue

The Ultima Necat sports a clean, contemporary dial featuring applied and polished dart markers, dauphine hands, and a dose of Swiss SuperLuminova on them all. The brushed rehaut matches the dial color and contains a railroad track index. The markers occupy a grooved ring over sunray center. The power reserve meter is recessed into the lowest layer and cuts through the ring as well as the 12 and 2 o'clock markers. I found an appealing sense of movement in the way the meter markings sweep inward from about 2:30 to 11:00, and are met by the outward-sweeping brand name that is printed from 6 o'clock to 3 o'clock, balancing the date window on the opposite side. It recalls the intermeshed gears and the spinning rotor of the movement inside.  

Gavox Legacy Power Reserve Ultima Necat gray

The Carpe Diem takes the same layout and presents it in an entirely different manner, trading darts for tall, slender Roman numerals. These spidery markers are printed instead of applied, and as a result, the reserve needle passes right over them, obviating the need to cut into them or the ringed layer. Blued Breguet hands accentuate the vintage look and a Geneva stripe pattern and the central dial tops it off. Perhaps my favorite detail is the way the hollow loop counterweight on the second hand matches the lume-filled circles on other two. I love the way this dial is simultaneously antique and unique. I also prefer the way the power reserve is less pronounced than it is on the Ultima Necat. The wearer will have no problem reading it, but it is not readily apparent to a casual viewer. 

Gavox Legacy Power Reserve Carpe Diem

Gavox supplied the watches with a variety of tapered 22mm straps: the Carpe Diem came on padded navy crocodile print calf leather and a signed deployant clasp, the blue Ultima Necat wore orange-brown natural leather with the same deployant, and the gray came on dark brown walnut Nubuck and a signed buckle. I also got to sample a gray-brown Nubuck chestnut. All are high-quality straps with quick release pins. Buyers can choose any of these as well as black crocodile or smooth grain leather. All the straps could accept either a buckle or clasp (I'm a buckle guy myself). 

Gavox Legacy Power Reserve with cat

The Legacy Power Reserve watches are lovely, versatile watches. I found them irresistible, as did the cat, apparently. Whether you prefer the contemporary lines of the Ultima Necat or the classical elegance of the Carpe Diem, you will be rewarded with a distinctive, meticulously designed wristwatch unlike any other, and for an eminently reasonable price.  The Ultima Necat sells for $623 USD, the Carpe Diem for $671 USD, direct from ⬩

Gavox Legacy Power Reserve Ultima Necat and Carpe Diem Lume shot

Gavox clasp

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