Having recently been introduced to CIGA Design via their Series Z watch and their 2021 GPHG award, I was intrigued to also get a chance to review their more recent release, the Series X Gorilla watch.
Like Series Z before it, the Series X broke the IndieGoGo record for sales in the watch category, a record set by its own predecessor. Now, after the successful crowdfunding campaign, the Series X has reached full production.
It’s not difficult to see why the Series X has thrived: Its modern looks are captivating and the price point is very competitive. To learn if there’s more than meets the eye here, I’ll be completing a detailed review of the Series X via the following categories:
CIGA Design X Series Mechanical Watch
- Case Diameter: 44mm
- Case Material: Coated Stainless Steel
- Crystal: Scratch-Resistant Sapphire
- Water Resistance: 3ATM / 30m
- Dial: Skeletonized
- Bracelet: Silicone & Fabric Straps
- Movement: CIGA Design CD-01
- Fully Skeletonized
- Automatic; Wind via Crown
- 40-Hour Power Reserve
- -15/+30 Seconds/Day
- Retail Price: $369
- Browse on [CIGAdesign / Amazon]
The CIGA Design Series X is available in a number of conformations. As you can see from the pictures above, for this review, I have the black-steel/orange version. However, there are also black-steel/purple and all-steel models.
There are also titanium options, titanium blue & black-titanium gold, though these command a premium over the stainless steel versions. Considering the hefty price tags usually tacked on to titanium watches, I was surprised to see that the titanium Series X was only $449.
The Intricate Case Of The CIGA Design Series X
With one look, it’s easy to tell that there is an overarching cyberpunk/skeleton theme to the Series X’s case design. What’s not so easy to discern is that the case is actually two components.
There is an outside frame and an interior case, with both components attached by four screws at the corners of the case. At these junctions are four “shock absorbing” springs (in contrasting red paint) that allow the internal case to move independently of the outside frame. It’s tough to say how much of an effect this has on the accuracy of the movement, but it certainly adds to the cool factor of the Series X watch.
When it comes to case dimensions of the CIGA Design X Series, they are as follows:
- 44mm case diameter
- 48mm lug to lug
- 12mm tall/thick
- 22mm strap size/between the lugs
- 47.5mm diameter incl crown
The case is crafted of steel with a matte black coating that I’ve yet to be able to identify as PVD or DLC, the two most common types found in luxury watches. Yet, it does seem pretty durable; I’ve worn the watch carelessly and have yet to find any spot where the coating has come off to reveal the shiny metal underneath.
Broadly speaking, there are a ton of design details on the case, both front and back. Honestly, they’re too many to list here. However, I’ve had a lot of fun examining it up close and have only come away surprised by the attention to detail.
For instance, all of the various edges of the case are chamfered and polished in the same black coating. The orange accent components on the case flanks are also beautifully finished. And lastly, the crown is incredibly intricate for a watch of this price point.
The majority of the dial of the CIGA Design X Series watch has been completely hollowed out or skeletonized so as to best exhibit the CD-01 movement within. What results is an X-shaped dial (hence the name) with tons of Super-LumiNova lume, making for a watch face that is quite fun to look at in low-light conditions. Additionally, to aid in time-telling, the hands at center are made of contrasting polished steel and are lumed as well.
Admittedly, legibility is not the strong suit of the Series X, but I find that the unique look of the watch makes up for this shortcoming. I’m usually looking at my phone for the time, anyways.
Customized CD-01 Automatic Skeleton Movement
CIGA Design refers to the movement in the X Series as an “independently developed CD-01” movement. To me, it looks a lot like the movement in their Z Series; in that case, it was a custom Seagull ST2553JK caliber.
That being said, the CD-01 movement in the Series X has been visibly improved upon from the movement in the Series Z. In this X Series, the movement has been skeletonized even further and probably specifically modified to be able to attach it to the unique X-shaped dial.
It’s quite surprising how much of the movement plates they’ve managed to take away. Naturally, this allows one to get a great look at the inner workings of the movement, both from the front and the back of the watch.
In scrutinizing the caliber through the caseback, you’ll also find that much time and effort has been put into finishing the movement. The plates are sandblasted with polished edges. The wheel and screws are also polished, and the winding rotor is custom engraved for this X Series watch.
Overall, this CD-01 movement is quite sophisticated and, in my opinion, earns the right to call itself an original CIGA Design movement.
Box Set And Accessory Straps
While the X Series wristwatch itself is the main event of this show, I think it’s worthwhile to highlight the box set and accessory straps that come with the watch.
Not unlike the watch, the presentation box set is very well designed. It’s basically a booklet that opens to reveal the individual watch head and two straps (silicone and fabric). Notably, each strap has quick-release spring bars and individual branded tang buckles.
My favorite was the silicone strap not only because I found it more comfortable but because I preferred the look that the texture of this strap gave to the watch as a whole.
On its exterior, the box/booklet has a printed diagram of the watch, while the inside contains information regarding the watch and straps. This entire booklet also has a sleeve with an embossed image of the X Series that keeps it all together. And finally, for protection while en route to you, the booklet is shipped in a cardboard box.
Review Of The CIGA Design X Series
In my first review of a CIGA Design watch, I harped on how the brand’s attention to detail, both in design and final execution, was pleasantly surprising and left me more than satisfied with their Series Z. I genuinely thought that the brand had pushed it to the absolute limit when it came to value for money in a watch. In spite of this, I definitely believe CIGA Design has managed to outdo themselves with the X Series.
Simply put, many aspects make the Series X a worthwhile addition to any collection. I’ll get to these next, but I will lead now with one of the only faults I could find: the water resistance (or lack thereof.)
The CIGA Design X Series is only rated to 3ATM, which is basically just hand-washing. You can see some of the pictures in this review are at the beach, and I wasn’t able to go in the water with the watch. The X Series looks so much like a sports watch that I really wish it were able to go in the water, but this would have undoubtedly increased the price and potentially altered the case design. Considering this, I’m OK with the current depth rating and have no issue concentrating on what CIGA Design got right with the watch.
Beginning with the aesthetics, the Series X quickly captures you with its contemporary looks and robust construction. Go a step further into the case, and you find a refined movement that has been reworked and customized not only to look great but also to fit this specific watch. Zoom out, and you have the beautiful box set and two straps, all packed and sealed in a booklet that could serve as a coffee table book, so you may actually keep it around instead of just storing it away forever.
All in all, the Series X is a value-packed watch set that I can gladly recommend checking out, largely because it surpassed my expectations, especially after having previously familiarized myself with the CIGA Design brand via their Series Z watch.
What’s your experience with CIGA Design watches? Do you own or are looking to purchase this Series X mechanical watch? Let me know in the comments below! Otherwise, check out some of our other related watch content:
- Review Of The CIGA Design Series Z
- What Is A Watch Tourbillon?
- Different Bezel Scales & How To Use Them
- Best Chinese Watch Brands
- All Of Bespoke Unit’s Watch Reviews
"A value-packed watch set that will exceed the expectations of new and experienced watch collectors alike."
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