We’ve reviewed quite a few different models from Marvin over the past few years, and we’ve liked the brand for the combination of style, fit-and-finish, and affordability that their lineup offers. Like the styling of a particular watch, but the mechanical movement is a little out of your price range? Well then, they very likely have a quartz variant, saving you a few bucks. In what we’ve looked at previously, if they haven’t been “true” sport watches, they’ve definitely skewed less formal. Today’s watch, the M126.96.36.199 definitely takes us away from that, and is very much a dressier piece.
This first and foremost presents itself in the styling of the watch – the wide (41mm) and relatively thin (10mm) stainless steel case carries a rose gold PVD finish, paired to a sunburst galvanized blue dial and embossed calfskin strap. Add in a surprisingly low weight (66g), and you’ve got a watch that is ready to be paired up with a suit and tie. Which isn’t to say you couldn’t dress the piece down a bit. I most certainly did by wearing it in to the office (which isn’t a formal setting), and it worked well. Just don’t try to pull it off with jeans and a t-shirt, and you’ll be alright.
Let’s take a bit of a step back, though. Why is this line called Origin? Think of it as their heritage lineup, in some sense. The M125 is pulling inspiration from one of their models of the 1940s, updated of course for today’s tastes. The case itself is as about as slim as it could be (or at least looks that way, more on that in a minute), with additional finishing (somewhere between a machined and brushed) and engraving (slim line, brand logo) on the sides of the case keeping things a bit more interesting.
Up top, of course, the case is polished, giving you a flash of light around the sapphire crystal. When it comes to dress pieces, I’m definitely a fan of the wider sides of the case having a non-polished finish, as that helps keep down fingerprints and smudges (or, at least, the appearance of them). Flip the watch over, and you’ll see the Sellita SW 200 through the display back, along with an engraved rotor pronouncing the direction of “the swing” (spoiler: it spins both ways). Looking here is the only clue you have that the watch case is wider than it needs to be to accommodate the movement.
Many watches these days, just due to modern sizing tastes, are bigger than they need to be to hold a movement. With the M125, Marvin wisely left out a date window on the dial side, which would have been a much bigger visual clue to the size discrepancy. For this watch in particular, the (presumed, I didn’t open the case) empty space is just fine, as the 41mm case is in a sweet spot for me, giving a little bolder of a dress watch than you might otherwise have in a smaller case.
As I mentioned, there’s no date display on the dial. You do have applied indices and slim hands in the same golden finish that the case carries, which is a great complement to the dark blue of the dial. This particular dial is an interesting one, as it will change appearances from darker to lighter, depending on how the light is hitting it. The only other color introduced on the dial is white, courtesy of the printed logo and wording denoting the automatic movement. Scratch that, there is one other color, and anyone familiar with Marvin would know what it is, and where to look for it.
That’s right, there’s a little bit of red popping up over at the 8 o’clock position – just one of those visual cues letting you know that it’s a Marvin in hand. It’s a subtle touch, but I’m a fan of it for sure. The red also carries through to the back of the calf strap, which is another thing I’ve become a fan of. Something about having a wildly contrasting color on the back of a strap (which is rarely seen but by the wearer) is a great touch.
I also was surprised (pleasantly so) to see that they’ve installed quick-change (aka tool-less) spring bars on the strap. While the stock one works quite nicely with it, I think you could easily find a dark brown strap to slip in the lugs to get a different look. One last great surprise was how smooth the transition from buckle to tang is – it’s just about perfectly flush, and the best fit I’ve seen in a buckle for some time.
All in all, this was a great watch to wear. With it’s light weight and slim case, it was easy to slip under a cuff and virtually disappeared on the wrist until it came time to, well, check the time. At that point, you get the case and the dial catching light in different ways, giving you a subtle reflective light show of sorts. The one caveat here is that, depending on the ambient lighting, it can sometimes be hard to pick out the handset, due to how slender it is. This is a quick thing to remedy, though, you just need to tip your wrist a bit, and visibility is restored.
Coming in at a price of $940 (available here), I think Marvin has an excellent alternative to the regular black- or white-dialed dress watches people will normally go for. Of course, if you’re looking for something a bit more economical, you could go for their quartz variant, the M025, which comes in at a price of $590 (available here).
Regardless of the movement (or the finish, as there are some others than the gold shown here), you’ll have a competent watch ready for the office or a suit, with just enough of a difference that makes it stand out from anything your buddies might have. marvinwatches.com
- Brand & Model: Marvin Origin M125 (ref. M188.8.131.52)
- Price: $940
- Who’s it for?: The guy looking for a dress watch that conforms to some of the “standards” but still has some character of its own
- Would I wear it?: Indeed I would, though I would personally probably opt for one with a silver-colored case (just a personal preference)
- What I’d change: Perhaps widening up the handset a touch would be nice
- The best thing about it: That awesome blue dial
Wondering about that denim in the backgrounds? Those are some offcuts from our friends over at Gustin