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Review: The Grand Combin by François Borgel 1887 Genève

Here is my review of the Grand Combin Auto by François Borgel. I have been wearing this watch for 3 months now. I wanted something that would be extremely versatile. François Borgel are widely known in the watch community for offering well built watches for their price, and the Grand Combin Automatic is certainly no exception. François Borgel, a historic Swiss Maison released the revival collection – 130th Anniversary Signature Collection consisting of 13 styles in 67 variations and its exciting to see their new range. Follow the link to order.


The Grand Combin Auto’s design is one of the most appealing aspects of the watch. It’s unmistakably a high end watch, with its flat,white face and opened heart feature. The Grand Combin Automatic has a very classic appearance and feel with many distinguishable characteristics that clearly give this watch a unique look. The gold case, which gives the watch a surprisingly understated appearance when matched with the flat, white dial. The pointed, hands are striking, as are the hour indices with gold accents. The open heart gives a preview to the amazing movement that is inside and is a nice feature and theme for this design.

The beautiful, uncluttered face is matched with a heavy, resilient stainless-steel case finished in PVD plated gold. The strap, which is well designed is completed in brown leather and feels perfect on the wrist.
There is no denying that the Grand Combin Auto not only brings a modern design to the table, but a surprisingly versatile one as well.

It matches beautifully with any attire. The relatively thin profile of the watch certainly helps in this regard. Given the relatively modern and simplistic design, the Grand Combin Auto also works well on casual nights where I’m simply wearing a t-shirt and  shorts. This watch will look great with just about any outfit.


The Grand Combin Automatic is spectacularly built. The strap is secured entirely using pins to the case, this is sometimes over bearing on other watches but not on the Grand Combin. The watch has a fairly hefty weight that definitely gives the feel of high quality. This is due to the stainless-steel case, in addition to the precision SW200 movement found inside. Both windows on the Grand Combin Auto are made of sapphire, which is really great to see at this price point. The open back displays the 26 jewel movement which is truly something to admire. The Grand Combin Auto is built out of materials that will definitely stand the test of time.


The Grand Combin Automatic runs on a Sellita SW-200 movement. The Sellita movement is as good as the highly regarded SWISS MADE movements. I love taking my watch off and looking at the movement through the rear window. The 26 jewel movement is definitely the highlight of this watch, the sapphire jewels and gold integral parts are exquisite.

The detail and finish are nothing short of amazing to be honest. This puts the Combin in the highest calibre group of watches at such an affordable price point. In the 3 months I have been wearing it I have noticed how accurate the movement is.  It has not drifted at all and is well within the permissible values for a watch of this grade.

This is only to be expected with the well matched movement inside and is the reason I purchased this watch.
You hand-wind this watch, the winding rotor feels robust and gives the impression of a strong and rugged movement that will literally last the test of time. I have no doubt this was a great investment and have confidence.


I absolutely love my Grand Combin Automatic. It’s incredibly durable, comfortable, and attractive. The open heart is unique in this segment. The design of the strap is absolutely second to none. The SW-200 consistently keeps time at -5 to -10 seconds a day, which is perfectly acceptable and to be honest a major factor in automatics. They must keep time otherwise you will be adjusting all the time and I have never had to do this. The SW-200 is currently performing well, I can’t say I’m disappointed and to be honest to be expected.

If you want to buy a classic watch with fantastic features, the Grand Combin Automatic is a perfect place to start. It is prestigious without being overstated. The Grand Combin Auto is the watch for people who want a legitimately great watch that can mix it with higher level names such as TAG, Omega offerings at a lower price point.

You can’t beat this value and it is so thrilling to see François Borgel bringing amazingly priced offerings like the Grand Combin Automatic to the watch market.

I really enjoy this watch and sure you would too.

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