You are currently viewing Ciga Design X-Series Gorilla – Inside The Growling Beast

Skeleton watches appeal to a small niche of enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to look a bit eccentric. Sadly, most skeleton pieces are usually dirt cheap & low-quality (millions of examples on Amazon) or at the complete opposite of the scale, we have million-dollar Richard Mille watches.

The Ciga Design Series X fills a hole in this market with an astoundingly well-made timepiece for a price that won’t punch a hole in the regular folk’s wallet. You’ll quickly understand why Ciga has won many design awards.

The skeleton frame is purposely built to accentuate important parts of the movement such as jewels, screws, and gears. It is an absolute joy to watch the independently developed CD-01 working hard and elegantly to keep time.

This hi-beat movement ticks at 28,800bpm ensuring a smooth sweeping across the large square dial. It will keep time to a reasonable accuracy (+-30sec/day) for the whole 40 hours granted by its power reserve. Running out of juice? Either wind it by wearing it on your wrists and moving about, or you can also hand-wind it through the crown.

On the silver & red configuration that I chose, the crown sits at the 3 o’clock position and looks like a bright and prominent red ruby adorned with the C from Ciga design. On the opposite side of the watch (9 o’clock position), you’ll find the powerful image of a screaming gorilla screwed into the case. This, of course, refers to the model of the watch.

Nothing says “mechanical” like the plethora of screws, aeration holes, notches, bevels, and robust beads-blasted stainless steel parts of the Gorilla. This is a man’s man timepiece that will affirm your position as the Alpha male of your friend group.

The tough looks are backed up by the “four-corner suspension system” that invites you to give the watch a beating and test its stability. Also, the sapphire glass (rated at 9 on the Mohs’ hardness scale) will be unbothered by almost any attempt (deliberate or not) to scratch it.

With a 44mm square case, even your huge biceps will look pale in comparison to the imposing presence of this Ciga piece. However, I must say that it doesn’t look out of place on my measly 6.25’’ wrist. With every new watch that I fall in love with, I keep increasing my “maximum case diameter”, but I think 44mm is the absolute limit that I’m not going to break for good.

This Mastodon will stay strapped to your wrist by either a perforated rubber band or a canvas strap. Ciga includes both in their gorgeous case, so you’ll be able to switch them to your liking (very easily considering the no-tool removal function). I absolutely love the look of the rubber strap, and it’s cozy and snug as well. The one downside is that it’s maybe a bit too malleable so I can’t comfortably wear it with a long sleeve shirt or jacket as it will always get caught up and undone.

The black canvas strap is nice but nothing to write home about. It’s an enjoyable wear that will let the actual timepiece get 100% of the onlooker’s attention. One small gripe I have with it is that you can’t move back the second metal loop which means the strap end sticks out a good inch (in my case). This, once again, causes discomfort with warmer shirts.

I was disappointed to learn that only the black & orange model has been blessed by the Superluminova gods. Every other model is completely nude and therefore useless in the dark. I’m a sucker for good lume so I was disappointed that I didn’t read the fine print before choosing a model. This feature alone might’ve made me lean toward the black & orange version, which was already the second contender.

However, other versions have something unique going for them as well. For instance, the blue and the gold versions are equipped with a titanium case. This upgrade will shave off a few grams of the Gorilla’s mass with the main trade-off being the titanium’s lackluster scratch resistance.

If you’re not one of Bill Gates’ children, the extra $100 USD (for the blue model) or $190 USD (for the black & gold model) to fork out over the titanium edition might be a pretty serious deterrent. This brings up the total to $479 and $569 respectively, instead of the $379 price tag of the other models.

All in all, I think the stainless steel orange version is the best bang for the buck as it has outstanding looks and is the only model to come with luminous phosphorescent. Take note that you’ll have to spend an extra $20-$30 if you want to get the steel case instead of the regular paper packaging. This might be worth it if you’re giving the watch as a gift, but to a collector with a large watch box, this isn’t money well-invested in my opinion.

I’m already 600 words deep into this watch review and I haven’t spoken of its actual main purpose: reading time. Of course, the Ciga Design Gorilla is much more of a fashion statement than a timekeeping device. Reading a normal analog clock is already pretty hard for a man-child like me, and Ciga makes it 10x harder with this dial.

To quote their website, “The time scale is hidden and it assimilates perfectly into the watch case.”. It assimilates so perfectly indeed, that it takes me a good 15 seconds to figure out the hour & minutes every time I look. However, I think most customers are aware of that and will keep their phone close for a more accurate and convenient reading.

In conclusion, I think that the Ciga Design X-Series Gorilla is an outstanding timepiece with an original design, robust build, and great movement. This one gives some much-needed respect to the Chinese watchmaking industry and gives me hope that more Chinese brands may follow the lead and create their own unique designs instead of ripping off other brands.

I can’t justify spending extra money on the titanium version so my recommendation would be to stick with the SS versions. At $379 it would be almost impossible to be disappointed with the quality of the watch you’re going to receive.

Thanks to Ciga Design for pushing horology further!

Leave a Reply