Photographer’s Notebook #2 – The Workshop Collection

The Workshop Watches Photo Shoot

On Wednesday 9th October some members of the Geckota team ventured to Montpellier, a fashionable suburb of Cheltenham for a shoot of the Workshop range of Watches. The chosen location was John Gordons, a specialist wine, whisky and gin bar. Montpellier, being the home to stunning architecture, chic boutiques and stylish restaurants, was the perfect place to capture the W-01 and W-02 in its natural environment.

Before we began our photo shoot we stopped at The Tavern, a rustic restaurant which focuses on Eastern European cuisine.

Explore the setting below...

The Tavern, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 400, Aperture: f/1.8, Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec

Once we had finished at the Tavern we relocated to John Gordons, juts a 5 minute walk away.

Behind the Scenes of the Workshop Range at John Gordons, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: SONY ILCE-7M3, Lens: Zeiss FE 50mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/2.2, Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec

Behind the Scenes of the Workshop Range at John Gordons, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: SONY ILCE-7M3, Lens: Zeiss FE 50mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/2.5, Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec

Behind the Scenes of the Workshop Range at John Gordons, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D,, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 800, Aperture: f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/13 sec

Behind the Scenes of the Workshop Range at John Gordons, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: SONY ILCE-7M3, Lens: Zeiss FE 50mm, ISO: 1600, Aperture: f/2.2, Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec

The W-01 and W-02

The Workshop Range at John Gordons, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: SONY ILCE-7M3, Lens: Zeiss FE 50mm, ISO: 1600, Aperture: f/2.2, Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec

The Workshop Range at John Gordons, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 1600, Aperture: f/3.5, Shutter Speed: 1/400 sec

The Workshop Range at John Gordons, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 800, Aperture: f/3.5, Shutter Speed: 1/25 sec

Above, is the gold variation of the W-02, which was one of the first watches to exist in our workshop collection.

The Workshop Range at John Gordons, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: SONY ILCE-7M3, Lens: Zeiss FE 50mm, ISO: 800, Aperture: f/5, Shutter Speed: 1/8

The Workshop Range at John Gordons, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota -Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 800, Aperture: f/2.8, Shutter Speed: 1/60

The Workshop Range at John Gordons, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: Fuji Film X-T2, Lens: ?, ISO: 1000, Aperture: f/5, Shutter Speed: 1/80

To learn more about our Dress Watches, explore the range here

 

Black Friday starts now! Don’t miss out on the upcoming sales…

Great deals available now!

Throughout the entirety of November, huge deals are available every Friday! Ranging from watches to straps, find your perfect combination this month.

Geckota P-01 Small Seconds Automatic Watch

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The P-01 is a classically inspired, luxurious time only watch with an emphasis on contemporary design.

  • Utmost styling - The P-01 shows it's appreciation for established styling in the overall design of the piece, yet manages to add a unique, fresh take on an immensely popular watch style.
  • Dial details - The P-01 features an incredibly detailed, deep multi layered dial. A classic centralised guilloché commands the majority of the dial with a remarkably fine concentric guilloché surrounding.
  • Case construction - The P-01 case has been painstakingly designed to embody the key, stand out features of elegant time only pieces. Highly polished finishes dictate the majority of the P-01's case when looking directly down on the watch.

The Geckota K-03 Diver

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As more than just a competent divers’ watch, your K-03 links you to the fascinating history of military and sporting dive watches going back to the 1930s Panerai-Rolex collaboration and the Allied forces’ counterparts.

  • Automatic movement - The Geckota K-03 uses the reliable, accurate and durable Japanese Seiko NH35 movement. It has an automatic winding system but it can also be hand wound. For maximum efficiency the NH35 features bi-directional winding and when fully wound it has a power reserve of 41 hours. This movement also has a hacking feature where the seconds hand stops when the time is being set.
  • Super-Luminova - Geckota watches use Swiss made Super-Luminova® pigments. Swiss Super-LumiNova® is non-radioactive, REACH compatible, highly temperature resistant and resistant to environmental influences.

Gallox Milanese Mesh Watch Band

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This eye-catching mesh strap is made from high quality 316L grade stainless steel to ensure its great performance. 316L grade stainless steel is renowned for its corrosion resistance for seawater and of course for daily wear.

  • Premium solid buckle - A fold-over buckle with safety clasp secures the bracelet making it extremely secure. There are 1 removable link (5mm) and 6 micro-adjustments (3mm increments) on the buckle, enabling you to size the bracelet to a comfortable fit on your wrist.
  • Geckota quality metal strap - With many years of experience and a policy of continuous product improvement you can be assured of quality and reliability. To assure you that you are buying an authentic product, the clasp has been discreetly stamped on the inside with the GECKOTA® logo.

Subscribe to the newsletter by clicking here to keep up to date with the ongoing deals.

More special offers available here

Photographer’s Notebook #1 – An Introduction into Watch Photography

Turning a Passion into a Career

With so many forms of photography out there it's an appealing hobby, especially if you're looking for something creative. I started my journey into photography when I was a teenager and since then it has become my livelihood! Most photographers start out with a passion to capture a moment in time or create something visually stunning that captures emotion.

From portraits to sports, or nature to architecture, there is always that one thing that sparks a photographer's love for the art and in a lot of cases turns that hobby into their occupation. However, I fell into the watch industry with little to no knowledge about the world I was entering, and here I am three years later finding myself more and more obsessed with watches!

Behind the scenes; photo shoot at John Gordon's Whisky Bar, Cheltenham - Image Credit Geckota

Within this Photographer’s Notebook I will be discussing photography tips when shooting watches alongside any exciting behind the scenes shots here at Geckota.

There are so many aspects of photography which I could delve into, but I'll kick start it off by talking a little about the equipment I and the photography team use at work...

Geckota E-01 Gen 2 - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma 105mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/2.8, 1/125 sec.

Camera

One of the most common questions I get asked is about what camera gear I use. A lot of people think that if you own an expensive camera then you’ll automatically be able to take amazing shots like all the pro’s, but unfortunately it doesn’t really work that way. Not only do you need to understand the camera and its settings, but you additionally need to be creative with your set ups and have an eye for what compositions work well to achieve the image you originally had in mind. This includes, framing, depth of field, lighting, and other factors which we'll be sure to discuss more in depth in future articles.

Setups can take a bit of patience to get right, that's why most of my time in the studio is spent moving around lights and props to create the image I want. An expensive kit definitely helps for the quality of image, but I use an entry-level Canon EOS 700D at work which I have grown to love! When out on shoots the photography team will also use the Fuji Film X-T2 where having a smaller, lightweight camera is great for shooting on the go.

Image Credit Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 400, Aperture: f/1.8, 1/80 sec.

Outside of work I use a Canon 7D MKII for my personal photography which is personally my all time favourite camera! However, whenever I  compare images between the 7D and 700D, for the purpose of what the images are used for (most commonly for social media) then the differences are extremely minimal. I have even seen many people on Instagram take photos with their iPhones and still create an amazing image, because they have the eye and passion for photography.

The Geckota C-03 - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/5.6

We have 2 Canon EOS 700D's in the studio which have rotating LCD screens and are touch sensitive. This makes it easy to frame images where I can set up as I go along, looking back and forth from the display to adjust the set up bit by bit.

Image Credit Geckota

Lenses

Lenses are a crucial part of any type of photography, so it’s worth investing more in a lens than it is camera body. Here at Geckota I mainly switch between two lenses, the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 and the Sigma 50mm Art Prime f/1.4.

The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 is great for watch photography. As it’s a macro lens it’s built to capture extremely close up shots making it perfect for shooting watch details. It's also a great lens to have in any kit where I frequently use it for event photography and people photography too, not just macro images. I have always been impressed with Sigma lenses, especially for the price, and this lens is one that has always been a valuable part of my kit as it's versatility is endless.

The Geckota E-01 - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma 105mm EX DG OS HSM, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/5.6

The 50mm Art Prime brings a bit more diversity to my kit allowing me to shoot with a wider aperture (f/1.4) to get shallow depth of field, but also works well for any kind of photo-shoot, whether you’re photographing watches or weddings!

After researching different 50mm lenses I had been told by many that this lens is incredible for the price, and they definitely weren't wrong about that. Again, this 50mm is one of those lenses that I can't go anywhere without. Whether I'm photographing an event, architecture, or watches, this is a go to lens for me.

The Geckota G-02 - Image Credit Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/4.8

Tripod

I always use a Manfrotto Tripod for any images taken in the studio to prevent as much shake as possible and get sharper images. I prefer to use the built in timer on the camera when taking photos to further reduce the risk of shake.

There have been many times where I have gone out for a photo-shoot and thought to myself that I wouldn’t need to bring a tripod, only to arrive at the scene wishing that I had. It’s a part of my kit that is practically glued to my hip, and I recommend that any aspiring photographer should use one! Having a tripod allows you to be prepared for any situation, especially if you're photographing in low light or chaotic weather conditions.

Image Credit Geckota

I hope this short insight has been a helpful glance into the equipment we use here at Geckota! With the amount of subjects to talk about within photography there will be plenty of upcoming articles that will explore lighting, composition, and everything else in the world of watch photography, so stay tuned for future posts within the Photographer's notebook...

 

New range of watch straps made from Cork

Introducing the new MKII Greenwood deployant watch strap to the Geckota range

A unique piece to compliment any collection, both striking and environmentally friendly, this eye-catching accessory is a worthy addition to any watch lover and nature lovers collection.

This cork watch strap is lined with a soft Vegan-friendly PU leather for both comfort and durability.

Cork Watch Straps with Deployant Buckles

Cork Watch Straps with Deployant Buckles

Lightweight yet durable, and benefiting from the natural waterproof properties of cork, this strap is well suited to any activity.

These straps are supplied fitted with our own deployment/deployant stainless steel metal clasp.

This watch strap has a tapered width and is thinner at the buckle than the lug end as follows: 20mm lug / 16mm buckle and 22mm lug / 18mm buckle.

This design is ow available from our WatchGecko retail website.

Genuine Leather Watch Straps With Deployant Buckles

We have been working on a new range of watch straps that feature stainless steel "Deployant" buckles.  This style of buckle is popular on higher end watches with leather straps as it gives the strap, and watch as a whole, more of a premium look and feel.

These buckles are availble to purchase seperatley, in addition to being supplied with our new "Edwyn" range of genuine leather watch straps.

Leather Watch Straps With Deployant Buckles

Leather Watch Straps with Deployant Buckle

 

Cork Watch Straps with Deployant Buckles

Cork Watch Straps with Deployant Buckles

Thaks for taking the time to read this post, we hope you like these new designs, stay tuned to our social media pages to stay bup to date with all of the latest developments.

 

 

High Quality Solid Stainless Steel Clasps

Our new range of solid stainless steel watch straps all have high quality folding stainless steel clasps.

We have two styles of clasp on the new range of straps, the diver's style clasp is made from a solid piee of stainless steel and is chunky and heavy.  This buckle design is fitted as standard to our Warrington, Shaldon and Rivet Berwick Stainless Steel Watch Straps.

Divers Watch Strap Buckle

Our new solid "Divers" watch strap buckle

These buckles have solid folding parts and are made from 316L stainless steel.

Divers Watch Strap Buckle Open

The buckle has solid folding parts

Slim Warrington Push Button Watch Strap

This new design is a lighter weight version of the popular Solid Warrington model and it makes use of a lighter weight buckle.

Lighter Weight Stainless Steel Watch Strap

Lightweight Stainless Steel Watch Strap

The buckle had the same solid construction to the folding parts but the top side clasp is lighter weight and features push buttons instead of the fold over lock.

 

Fantastic Range of Replacement Metal Watch Straps

Several years of product development

It has taken us many years to get to the stage that we are now with our range of stainless steel metal replacement watch straps.  We have taken on board our own feelings and concerns, as well as those of our customers who quite rightly have very high standards and expectations.

Our range of metal straps will continue to evolve as more deigns are added and additional end pieces are offered to provide maximum compatability with popular watches.

Warrington Solid Stainless Steel Watch Strap

Our most popular solid stainless steel watch strap is currently the Warrington model, which is available with both straight and solid end pieces.  By popular demand we have used screw in links on this model.  Manufacturing a reliable screw in link can be difficult and our factory faced a challenge to make a robust and reliable screw in link.  But we have overcome this challenge and the screw is made with the screw thread at the top of the screw, rather than at the bottom.  This allows for small differences in position from one side of the pracelet to the other and it results in a more reliable screw in link.

Geckota Warrington Stainless Steel Watch Strap

Warrington Stainless Steel Watch Strap

We are now offering an updated version of the Warrington Stainless Steel Watch Strap which features a screw in straight end piece which can also be removed.  Once removed, an alternative curved end piece can be fitted instead.

Geckota Solid Stainless Steel Watch Strap

Screw in Link for End Piece

By popular demand, we have been working on special end pieces for various watches and we now have curved ends for the Warrington Solid Stainless Steel Watch Strap.  We currently have the standard curved end piees available.  These are made from folded stainless steel and which allows for some adjustment to get them to fit many different watch cases.  Buyers often tell us that they want solid end piees for their watches but the issue is that unless the solid end piece is a perfect fit, it will either not fit the watch at all, or the end result is not satisfactory.

Curved End Pieces For Stinless Steel Watch Strap

Curved End Pieces

These curved end pieces for the Warrington are available in 2 sizes, the 20mm curved end pieces are a great fit for our G-02 and K-01 40mm watch cases. And the 22mm will fit our Geckota S-01 watch case.

Solid End Pieces Are Currently In Development

By popular demand we have started working on a small number of solid end pieces, specially made for specific watches.  We currently have in development, solid curved end pieces for the following models...

Seiko SKX007

Seiko SRPB "Samurai"

Seiko SRP "Turtle"

These end pieces will fit the Warrington and Rivet Berwick Geckota solid stainless steel watch straps and they will be available before the end of the year.

If you are looking for a high quality stainless steel watcb strap for your watch, see our full range of stainless steel watch straps here. Many thanks for reading this article, stay tuned to our social media and blog pages for more news and product announcments.

Workshop First Editions Are Nearly Sold Out

These Popular Products Have Been A Long Time In The Making

We had been talking about the workshop range concept for a long time before finally being in a position to commit to the project.  The concept is simple, all of the watches will be made in very small numbers, and we will be more experimental in our designs and the materials and movements used.

For the first models in the range we decided to use two Chinese made mechanical movements.  Now, all watch enthusiasts have an opinion about Chinese movements, some will love them, some will hate them.  Many of our suppliers will not touch them, "too many problems" they say, and "they are not reliable, and we don't have the tools to repair them".  But not all watchmakers think this way, and earlier in the year we were pleased and excited to receive a small number of samples of watch from our new workshop range.  We disassembled the watches and tested them over a long period of time to make sure that they were well made and would be reliable.

The watches are beautiful, with acrylic crystals and highly polished details on the dial, hands and case.  The collection launched with two models initially available.  Made in a total batch of 100 pieces per model, this small quantity was further split into 3 subtly different variations.

The Geckota W-01 "Jump Hour" dress watch

The first is the Geckota W-01 "Jump Hour".  The jumping hour is a rarely seen complication, certainly at this price point.  The watch has only one hand, indicating the minutes.  The hour is indicated by the rotating disc, visible through the window at the 12H position.   The hour indicator instantly jumps over to the next number when the hour advances.

Geckota W-01 TY2709 Jump Hour Watch

Geckota W-01 TY2709 Jump Hour Watch

For this model we use the Chinese Sea-Gull TY2709 Automatic "Jumping Hour" movement.

The Geckota W-02 Mechanical Chronograph dress watch

The second of the initial two releases is the W-02, a hand wound mechanical chronograph.

Our customers have been telling us for as long as I can remember that we should make a mechanical chronograph.  For the reasons mentioned above we were unable to do it.  But following discussions with a number of alternative suppliers, and as our own expertise and capabilities has evolved, we decided to embark on this project and the results speak for themselves.

The watch uses the well respected Sea-Gull ST1901 hand wound movement.  This movement is a Venus 175 design which dates from around 1940, the rights to the design along with all of the machinary were sold to the Chinese company Tianjin (which later became Tianjin Sea-Gull) in 1961.

Geckota W-02 Mechanical Chronograph ST19 Movement

Geckota W-02 Mechanical Chronograph

Both watches have been hugely popular and only very limited numbers of them remain in stock, so if you are interested, get your W-01 or W-02 while they are still available.

Geckota C-04 VK64 Space Age Racing Chronograph Watch

After a long wait for the prototypes and then a few small changes, we are pleased to announce that our "Space Age" theme continues with the launch of our newest addition to the Geckota watches family, the wonderfully striking C-04 Racing Chronograph.

Featuring both new and "old fashioned" materials for the construction and many custom made parts, the watch features a ceramic bezel and acrylic crystal.  There are 3 versions available at launch, all of which are striking and distinctive in appearance.

The watch uses one of our most popular movements, the SII VK64 "Mecha Quartz" movement.  This movement boasts quartz accuracy and convenience, but the chronograph action is achieved mechanically, so the all important instant reset is there at the push of a button.

The case size is 40mm diameter and the lugs are an industry standard 20mm wide.  The dial and hands feature high quality "Super Luminova" paint.

Get your Geckota C-04 now while stocks last.

ZULUDIVER brand goes from strength to strength

We have been making NATO and diver's watch straps for almost 10 years using the ZULUDIVER brand and during this time we have become recognised around the world as a trusted name for these products.

Our product range has continued to advance as we explore the possibilities for making watch straps using new and more reliable materials.

Our new range of "Sailcloth" watch straps are another example of this philosopy.

The watch straps are made from a PVC material that is both stylish and highly durable.

We will be adding new designs to this range over the next few months.