Nice review from another forum about the manufacturer / watch
"I wouldn't so hastily strike Arctos / GPW off your list after one negative response. I strongly suspect the person opining has not owned one. I have.
Arctos (GPW made by Arctos) is a smaller German manufacturer dating back to the 1920's. What most people don't know is that they set trends that are still used today, one being the first to import Swiss movements and place them in their custom cases. Known early on for their outstanding cases, Arctos (under a different name) nearly went out of business after the city in which they manufactured was pummeled to the ground during WWII. Literally rising out of the ashes, the company struggled until 1956 when, at the Hanover Fair, their introduced the Arctos Elite, a watch made in German meant to compete with the Swiss powerhouse brands in retail stores. It was a hit with the German affluent and took the company into the 60's when the family patriarch died and the company's management shifted hands. Again, another decade passed before they grabbed headlines as the first German manufacturer with a quartz watch, something on the cutting edge of innovation for the 70's. In the 80's they received a contract to produce chronographs for the German Department of Defense to be used by pilots and submariners. Soon thereafter, they received similar production contracts for NATA forces. When digital took the stage and the 90's boom-bust crashed markets everywhere, Arctos again nearly went out of business. It took a passionate watch collector to help the company refuel its creative spirit so that by 2004 it had re-emerged as an innovator in a new factory in a new location. It became the first German manufacturer to introduce ceramic and complex composites in their case works.
In short, Arctos / GPW has survived against the odds from world wars to economic collapses, making watches with purpose. It continues with a comparatively small production line compared to Sinn and other recognizable Germany-based manufacturers. More recently, the German Defense Department turned back to Actos to make a watch for their infantrymen. The results are the GPW variants, inexpensive lightweight tool watches with purpose in mind. They offer variety in movements from imported Swiss ETA to inexpensive Asian automatics and now quartz, not too dissimilar from many other well-known brands around the world. No, they do not have their own in-house custom movements but, then again, they aren't priced over $1k either.
In short, as with any watch, it depends on your purpose. If your goal is to wear a Texas Timex to try to turn heads, then this isn't the watch. If you are looking for a solid tool watch for daily wear in active endeavors made with German precision, then this is an inexpensive option. The previous writer indicates small production lines and niche markets as negatives in purchasing watches. If true, then count out US companies like Lum-Tec, Bathys, and Kobold or boutique houses that are setting new standards like H20, BaliHai'i, Helson or Halios. Interestingly, these "niche" brands also use imported complications, automatics, self-winders, and quartz. Outside of Lum-Tec's C3 lum, the only difference really is in style and price, the most selling for 3-10 times more than the GPW. Is their pure "quality" better than Arctos? Having owned all but a couple of the listed (but reading profusely about them), I'd venture a guess, not really. They are all great watches with similar accuracies and capabilities. This said, I've turned more heads on airlines and received more questions from bystanders with inexpensive mod'ed watches that just look cool - even simple band swaps make visual impressions. For most people, Fortis sounds more like a novel new virility medicine; Blancpain is that pen-maker with the white star on top, and Jaeger is a beer. Buying for brand-name alone won't always get you a great watch.
Then it must come down again to purpose. If resell value is critical to your decision-making, the equation changes dramatically. Frankly, many people have lost their shirts (and many spousal conflicts have arisen) utilizing the lame reasoning of expanding their watch collection because it will "hold its value". Let's be honest, we collect our man jewelry because we are passionate about watches. A Casio really would do but we would not be happy looking at that dial hour after hour. We like mechanical things, gears whirling, springs loading, and that magical tick tick despite it desperately trying to hold on to our wrist as we fling our arms through space. We inwardly want something that is rare, something few people wear.
So, my final equation in so many of my watch decisions is whether my heart pounds when I look at it. Not very scientific; but it works.
I own the Arctos GPW Infantry model. I purchased it solely for a feature that I needed, ok, wanted - an alarm. I'd long ago decided never to mix an analog with digital. I hate digital, no, I loathe digital. My heart patters for the Jaeger LeCoultre. Poljots/Vostoks are ugly and everything else is expensive. For a year, off and on, I wore a Fortis Chrono Alarm. It was so heavy that I had to to purchase excess baggage when I flew on Delta. It just wasn't wearable in a practical sense so I sold it and continued my trek. A Memovox antique found a way into my drawer but that autrocious appearance, let's just say it didn't last.
When I received the GPW Infantry, I was stunned at how well I liked it. I have to be honest. I had such low expectations it really didn't have far to go to exceed them. But, at under $300 US, it didn't exactly break my wallet. It's tank solid. I mean the kind of solid you'd expect from a Sinn U1. It was well-constructed in the way Breitling can pull off in their watches. The tolerances are perfect and consistent with the precision engineering for which the Germans are known. Opening the back and it reminds me of the engine compartment of my BMW. There is absolutely no wasted space. Everything is perfectly fit and every mm has a function. Think opposite that of US auto manufacturing (sorry if you are from Detroit). It has been beaten up on my excursions and it keeps perfect time, looking just like it was new upon my return home. Whether climbing or kayaking, it really does just "keep on ticking".
As for the aesthetics, it delivered wildly above my expectations. Probably the best compliment came from my 13 year old daughter who did not receive my watch-passion gene. Entirely out-of-the-blue, she walked into my home-office and in mid-sentence on another topic, stopped and said, "Dad, that is a really cool watch". And no, she wasn't trying to butter me up, at least not at that moment. It just looks balanced, pretty in a practical sense of the word. There is purpose in the dial and it comes across as simplicity, B&H simplicity. The titanium is almost a gunmetal finish and the bezel, though plastic, is that perfect harmony of clicks, just the way we gear-hounds like them. I personally favor vintage looks and can go weak knee'd with domed bezels up against domed crystals. That said, GPW won me over to perfect flatness across the crystal and bezel. It's not quite like anything I've seen before. Add the color flatness of the black on the dial and bold hour/minute markings (I prefer actual numbers over hashes personally so this is a big deal to me) and the balance is perfect harmony. On the Infantry, they opted for straight hands I assume to avoid blocking the digital windows. I favor the other GPW Military model's sword arms, especially with the red minute hand. I do yearn for better lume. Don't expect a glow after more than a few hours. The band is far above average for a low-entry priced watch. Since I always switch out my bands with vintage leather, so not sure how the band wears. With my band, it's as comfortable a watch as I've ever worn as a daily beater.
So why did I jump in with this diatribe? You'll have a hard time finding posts by me because I live on forums as a lurker, learning from others with similar passions for mechanical watches. Every now and then I can't help but jump into the discussion. Almost always it's when someone potificates without basis and another accepts the words as if they were nuggets of gold. That is the case here.
Would I recommend this watch? Absolutely - for the right person it's a great buy. On Amazon you can get the GPW Military for $225. You'd have a hard time finding another watch of the same quality at that price. Sure, you can buy a Chinese knock-off or Japanese digital for that sum, or even, and I cringe, a Swiss Army or Wenger. But if you want a precise well-built titanium-light quartz analog for beating up in the field and still look good with evening wear, you won't go wrong with this watch. Even though one would never buy this watch with anticipation to pass it on to the next generation as seen in some watch ads, I fear my GPW will likely remain in my quiver until my last breath and be bequethed to my heir where it will continue to function as a time tool until their children loose it for this is a watch to wear and not to worry."
Tldr : small independent German manufacturer that has survived ages which has supplied the military. They've also been innovative and ahead of their time.
It's shiny, but so is most of what we look at. It's simple with good lines.