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Treiber T54SL Gullwing

The First Car-Inspired Watch I’d Buy

Independent brands know how to keep me on my toes. I love this segment of the horological market because it is where I find endless creativity and boldness. I’ve often wondered how one comes up with an idea for a new model? Is there a limit to what we can create? There doesn’t seem to be one actually and that’s a good thing for us—watch enthusiasts. Because this means that we are bound to find something we like and which resonates with us. Whether we are into coffee, vintage cars, architecture, music or food. And today’s protagonist perfectly illustrates how creative certain people are. And, as equally important, the capacity they have to communicate their passion in horological form.

You may have heard of Treiber Timepieces before, like I did, but I had yet to get one in front of the camera and on my wrist. Their first model, the Bel Air, looked outstanding and perhaps a little too “out there” for me. But as soon as I saw the first shots of their newest creation, the T54SL Gullwing, I was immediately charmed. Although, as you know, I don’t like to say it: I’ve never seen something quite like it before! And the Gullwing is not just a handsome watch, it’s also a well-made timekeeping device that burgeons with Easter Eggs. But before we start, you should know that this model is currently on Indiegogo with an estimated delivery for February 2025. 


I generally am excited talking about the specs of a watch although I’m usually much more interested telling you about its design. And I cannot wait to get to the latter part because there is a lot to cover here. But first, as usual, let’s run through all important specifications as they will partially explain the Gullwing’s price tag: $975 USD on Indiegogo and $1,499 USD after that. I know, specs are not everything and design is priceless. However, from a mechanical standpoint, you do get a lot for your hard earned cash, starting with intriguing dimensions: 39mm in diameter, 45.3mm lug-to-lug, 11.9mm thick, and a 22mm lug width. I say “intriguing” because they are rather compact although, visually, the T54SL commands a noble wrist presence. 

The case and bracelet are made of 316L stainless steel which showcase a fine alternation of brushed and polished surfaces. (More on that later.) Both the see-through case-back and crown screw down which endows the Gullwing with 100 meters of water resistance—what I generally consider to be a great average for an everyday wear. The top and bottom crystals are made of sapphire so that both the lumed dial (it is tinted SuperLuminova SL-GL-C1) and Top Grade Sellita SW200-1 caliber (28,800 BPH/38 hours of power reserve) can easily and safely be admired. I think it’s pretty neat that Treiber chose a higher grade movement for this exceptional piece, in a way matching the robust and powerful engine found on the car which inspired this model: the Mercedes 300SL. 

In terms of the bracelet, we find what is commonly referred to as a “H-Link'' construction, where the H-shaped links are fully brushed and the center portion fully polished. I generally do not care for polished links but here they just work for me. Interestingly enough, the links are held together with spring bars which means that from the outside, the links are seamlessly connected to one another. I’ve never seen anything like this before (I don’t know everything) and I think it’s quite genius. And although it might not sound super practical at first, I didn’t have any trouble removing a few links to adjust the T54SL to my wrist. 


Alright, now we can talk about the design! As briefly mentioned above, the Treiber Gullwing is inspired by the iconic Mercedes 300SL which was nicknamed “The Gullwing.” Most of what you see on this watch strongly and beautifully evokes key design characteristics of the car it was inspired by. First and foremost, the dial layout which mimics the gauges found on the dashboard, with a clear and legible layout, Arabic numerals for the hours printed in small, as well as thin and elegant hands. The icing on the cake here is the cap above the pinion which brings back memories of old cars my dad used to drive where I would be marveled thinking that the hands would magically float above the dial. 

Note how the minute track does not come with hash marks for each minute, but rather two large ones between each hour to pay homage to the design of the speedometer found on the 300SL. 

If you look closely, you will notice a few more Easter Eggs on the dial. First, the fact that the larger section (where we find the hour markers) is slightly below the center portion and adorned with a subtle radial finish. A metal ring separates the two sections of the dial and I absolutely love how the hour hand perfectly aligns with the hour markers and the metallic border. (Further brownie points for the perfectly proportioned minute and seconds hands.) Additionally, we find a discreet cut-out date aperture at the six o’clock with a white disc and black printed numerals for easy reading. (I sincerely do not think that color-matching the date disc would have been a good idea here.) 

The bezel, crown, and case are just as outstanding as the dial—at least to me. At 11.9mm, the Gullwing is thin and visually appears even thinner thanks to the design of the case flanks which evoke the “eyebrow” wheel arches found on the Mercedes. The flanks are fully polished and flow from one end to the other in a continuous manner which I found particularly well-executed. We also found polished finishes on the fixed bezel which has the shape of a mountain—meaning that it flows up from the crystal and down towards the case. The elegant design of the bezel is accentuated by the fact that the edges of the crystal turn down ever so slightly. (See photo below.) 

Lastly, I love the crown design which pays tribute to the radio knobs found on the 300SL. Being fully polished and having geometrical edges, the crown is not the easiest to operate but who gives a shit? It’s gorgeous and complemented by the brand’s superb logo which makes me think of vintage cars—delightful. 

The Heart of the Matter

At the heart of the matter is the fact that Treiber created a homerun. True, you must like the design, and I guess, be into vintage cars to fully enjoy it, but even if you were not, you can easily appreciate its originality and the attention to detail the brand put into designing it. The T54SL Gullwing is not the first car-inspired watch I’ve come across thus far, but it definitely is my favorite one. And it is so because it actually does not look like a fully car-inspired watch in the sense that it could only be appreciated by someone who is crazy about automobiles, but it is (to me) thoughtfully designed and put together. A vintage vibe clearly emanates from the Gullwing but one which I would describe in a sense as being approachable. 

And I for one am not scared of the $1,499 USD full retail price tag which I would objectively consider to be reasonable. Why? Because of the tremendous amount of work that went into designing the Treiber T54SL, and most importantly, the fact that nothing you see here can be bought off-the-shelf. Most watches you see everyday—and especially those from the micro and independent watch market—are made up of commonplace watch parts. The hands, hour markers, cases, and bracelets tend to be more or less the same. However here everything was made specifically for Treiber which explains the higher than usual—yet reasonable, I insist—price tag.

The other heart of the matter, so to speak, is the fact that the T54SL will be offered in four distinct and cool colors: Strawberry Red (limited to 100 units,) Blue/Gray (also limited to 100 units) Black, and White. As you may have noticed, we had the blue/gray variant in for review. 



As mentioned in the introduction, you may have heard of Treiber before but never seen one of their models in the metal. I sincerely hope that you will do so soon as the T54SL is nothing short of exceptional. If it makes someone like me—someone who doesn’t care for vintage automobiles—fall head over heels for it, then there might be something in it for you as well. Technically speaking, the Treiber Gullwing is a solid piece of horology made with good components. The finishing is sharp and consistent throughout, and the transitions between brushed and polished surfaces are superb. The crystal is clear and the lume is good. From a visual standpoint, well, you already know how I feel about it: I’m in love. 

The last point I would like to bring up is the usual timeframe to receive the watch which is explained, once again, by the fact that everything is custom made for the brand. The Indiegogo campaign started a few days ago and runs through the end of June. Production is slated to begin in November 2024 and delivery for February 2025. I know this is a long time to wait but for once I would say the wait is worth it here. 

You can learn more about the brand by visiting Treiber’s website and this model by checking out the Indiegogo campaign here.

Thanks for reading. 


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