I really like microbrands. It’s a type of areas of our beloved trade that you simply most likely love or hate. For me, I adore it. Whereas it takes a whole lot of effort to sift by way of all of the dross and garbage to unearth actual gems, the hassle is price it. In the present day I’m writing about one such gem from the microbrand Maen. Extra particularly, the Maen Greenwich 38 GMT.
Chances are you’ll recall I briefly coated this watch in a previous Independent Insights article. I made it the lead story of the roundup as a result of I cherished the look of it a lot. I reached out to model proprietor Sebastiaan Cortjaens and requested if I’d borrow the prototype to get a hands-on really feel for the watch. Fortunately for me, Sebastiaan kindly agreed and shipped out my favourite mannequin (with the orange-tipped GMT hand) for me to put on and get a really feel for. So, how did I get on?
First issues first…
I’m fairly joyful to let the cat outta the bag right here and say that I actually loved this watch. All of the design parts got here collectively very properly to create a watch that lived as much as my expectations, after which some. It’s good with the ability to write that as there have been another watches I’ve been excited to see in hand, solely to be let down by them after I get an opportunity to deal with them. Fortunately this was not the case with the Maen Greenwich 38 GMT.
The case measurement is a bizarre one. There’s no 100% arduous and quick rule concerning what works for me and what doesn’t. Positive, I’ve my desire, however there’s nothing like getting a watch in your wrist to know for positive. That’s the place I used to be with the Greenwich 38 GMT. Till this level, I’d by no means truly skilled a 38mm watch earlier than, so I couldn’t say for positive the way it was going to put on. I’ve a 36mm piece in my assortment, which is enjoyable, however typically it feels somewhat too small. So, logically, I puzzled the place the 38mm may sit. Effectively, it turned out to be one thing of a revelation!
The Maen Greenwich 38 GMT case
As I beforehand talked about, the case is available in at a svelte 38mm in diameter. It measures 12mm thick, together with the gorgeous domed sapphire crystal. The case is effectively machined, and the ending was on level. The brushing was easy and even, and the polished sides and bevels offered glorious distinction. Nonetheless, the true winner right here is the beautiful stepped bezel.
I feel it’s vital to say how a lot the stepped bezel contributed to the watch’s character. I can’t think about the Greenwich 38 GMT with another kind of bezel. The stepped bezel was an ideal selection. With alternating polished prime surfaces and brushed sides, the bezel actually helped body the large, daring dial whereas additionally providing some form and depth from the facet profile.
A stunning black enamel dial
Maen gives three totally different dials for the Greenwich 38 GMT: two black ceramic dials, differentiated by the colour of lume (select from basic white or vivid purple), or you’ll be able to plump for a fairly fetching blue tapisserié dial. I made a decision to check out the black enamel dial with the white hour markers. I most well-liked the extra basic look, because the purple was an excessive amount of for me. The blue tapisserié dial was additionally very good. Nonetheless, I assumed the flat enamel dial would higher enable the built-in rubber strap to shine. Extra on that later!
The ceramic dial was glorious. The floor was flawless, and the lumed hour markers carried out admirably. I admit it took somewhat little bit of time to get used to the outsized hour markers, however they appeared like the one apparent selection by the top of my time with the watch. There was a date window at three o’clock, which was very neatly lower out of the dial. No messy edges right here.
All textual content on the dial was in an identical white, save for the phrase “GMT”, which was orange to match the GMT tip. Across the periphery of the dial, Maen included a easy white minute monitor, damaged up by GMT hour notations. Solely the even numbers are proven right here, which is sort of regular, but when I recommended one change, it’d be to incorporate some form of marker to indicate the odd 24-hr numbers. When setting the GMT hand, I a few times discovered myself getting it barely mistaken, probably confused by this scale. That one may very well be completely on me, although, as a) I don’t personal a GMT watch, so I very not often get to make use of the complication, and b) I’m undecided how the odd numbers/indicators might simply and neatly be integrated into the dial design. When you have a suggestion, please let me know within the feedback!
Not the standard suspects
Chances are you’ll expect a Sellita SW330-1 or an ETA 2893-2, as they’re the standard suspects for microbrands when making a GMT watch. That isn’t the case right here. As a substitute, Maen has opted for the much less well-known SwissTech S24-045 GMT motion. Regardless of the extra frequent motion choices talked about above, the SwissTech motion is turning into extra frequent within the mid-priced microbrands. The motion gives a 40-hr energy reserve, which isn’t something to shout about. Nonetheless, with how typically I are likely to rotate my watches, something lower than an Eight-day energy reserve is a moot level. I think about this additionally rings true for many people, so I don’t are likely to get caught up on energy reserves.
In operation, the SwissTech motion carried out admirably. I seen zero loss or acquire of time for the week or two that I wore it. Once more, I don’t have a tendency to watch accuracy as ferociously as some reviewers for a similar cause as I’m not fussed in regards to the energy reserves. So long as the timekeeping just isn’t noticeably off, then that’s what issues to me. The motion labored effectively and did its job. Winding was easy, and the crown operation was equally as slick. Nothing to complain about right here.
I consider that the SwissTech motion is a good bit cheaper than the ETA or Sellita. When the operation and accuracy appear at the least on par from my expertise right here, I’ve zero qualms with Maen saving some cash. If it means a less expensive product with a really related stage of high quality, I fail to spot any difficulty with that!
The Maen Greenwich 38 GMT comes on a rubber tropic strap as customary. I requested the model to ship over one of many case-hugging customized rubber straps, too, as I cherished the combo from the renders. The shape-fitted rubber strap simply regarded unbelievable! When the watch arrived, the tropic strap was put in. The standard of that strap was glorious sufficient. Nonetheless, I admit, I took it off instantly and placed on the opposite rubber strap. I have to be aware that putting in the form-fitted rubber strap was actually fairly fiddly and took about 5–10 minutes to do!
I spoke about this to Sebastiaan (founding father of Maen). He mentioned there’s a selected method to set up the strap, and all consumers can be proven how to do that correctly. Even with the fiddly set up, the strap is price it. As I mentioned, the tropic strap was good, however the fitted rubber simply appears infinitely higher.
If I needed to choose on one factor, the butterfly clasp on this strap was simply “okay”. It might have been barely higher, nevertheless it’s tough for microbrands. Giant MOQs imply that customized choices are very not often possible. Nonetheless, there are numerous off-the-shelf choices obtainable to manufacturers. It might need been higher to blow the price range on a greater clasp in order that such an apparent weak spot wasn’t left screaming at me from the underside of my wrist. That’s to not say it was inherently mistaken; it labored wonderful and was snug sufficient. Sadly, it simply wasn’t totally on par with the remainder of the watch, which was in any other case very good. I suppose Maen made its personal mattress on this one: if the model hadn’t obtained it so proper with the watch head, I may not have seen…
A microbrand different to the Aquanuat?
In numerous microbrand Fb teams, I typically see that persons are in search of microbrand alternate options to dearer watches from the large boy manufacturers. I’m not speaking about homages; I’m speaking about different choices that seize a few of the vibes of the opposite watch whereas nonetheless doing their very own factor. For that cause, if somebody requested me for a microbrand different to a Patek Philippe Aquanaut, I’d haven’t any qualms suggesting the Maen Greenwich 38 GMT.
The watch itself appears totally totally different. I’m not suggesting that there’s a similarity (past the fitted rubber strap design, maybe). Nonetheless, having worn an Aquanaut a few instances and sporting the Greenwich, I see some crossover in character and persona. Each watches are sports activities watches with a barely refined and classier edge. I really feel that each watches are appropriate for numerous settings, from the seashore to the boardroom. Each watches can shortly change their persona by a easy strap change, with leather-based or rubber creating fairly totally different personas. And each are very versatile on a regular basis watches. I actually wish to applaud Maen for making a watch that effortlessly handles this fluid persona.
Ultimate ideas on the Maen Greenwich 38 GMT
It’s fairly evident that I like this watch. Maen has achieved a fantastic job of making a watch appropriate for a lot of totally different settings. I cherished the choice to go along with the 38mm. The watch receives two massive thumbs up from me. For €639 (excluding taxes), it is a lot of worth in your cash. In the event you like what you see, and wish to discover out extra, you’ll be able to go to the Maen web site proper right here. Meeting is happening proper now, and the Greenwich 38 GMT can be obtainable to buy on Tuesday 20th July at 4pm CEST. I like to recommend signing as much as the mailing listing on the Maen wesbite for a reminder nearer to the time!
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