It is no secret that I am a fan of the watches Magrette creates (my first automatic was a Magrette), and I have also been curiously attracted to using bronze as a case material. Magrette did have an earlier bronze piece, and now they are back with another – the Magrette Vantage.
So, lets talk about that case. It is Magrette’s familiar 44mm cushion-style case, though rendered in CUSN8 Bronze, rather than steel as we normally see. The change in material also made for a change in the case finishing. While most un-coated cases from the brand feature a mix of brushed and polished surfaces, the Vantage features a fully brushed finish. I am guessing this is due to the nature of the material, and the patina it will develop – probably just did not make sense to do the polishing, as it might look kind of bad as time goes on.
The next change (and one we are seeing on the more recent Magrette models) is the use of a sandwich dial. These are another thing that I am a fan of when they are well-executed. They lend a subtle sense of dimensionality to the dial, and allow (as we have here) for some great lume application to the lower level of the dial (C3 Luminova in this case). Past that, we have the familiar (for the brand) double-digit numeral layout, the watch name in signature red, and a handset in a bronze color to match the case.
On the reverse of the case, there is another surprise – an sapphire crystal set into the DLC steel. While I have seen this feature on a manually-wound Magrette (reviewed here), I have not seen it in place for an automatic. It is also a little surprising to see it on a watch carrying a 500m WR rating (as they generally have solid casebacks to meet the rating), but no matter – you and I will never be taking the watch to that sort of depth. While no one will claim that the Miyota 9015 is a beautiful movement, it does have Geneva stripes, and you will be able to see the balance wheel in motion.
Rounding things out, the Magrette Vantage comes on a leather strap to match the dial color (black or brown) and a bronze thumbnail buckle. Either option looks to be an attractive route, though I am going to give the edge to the black-dialed variant. Regardless of your choice, there will be 500 of each made available, with $150 deposit securing your watch at the pre-order price of $616 (after the pre-order, which should close at the end of the year, regular pricing will be $685); delivery is anticipated to occur in May 2015. magrette.com
- Brand & Model: Magrette Vantage Bronze
- Price: $616 (pre-order)
- Who we think it might be for: Perfect second chance for those who missed out on the first bronze Magrette watch
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Apart from any other factors, yes – especially the black-dialed variant.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: It is hard to tell from the renders, but it seems that they are not back to their original (and lovely) red-lined straps. I really think they should get back to those.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The bronze, of course!
Tech Specs from Magrette
- MODEL: VANTAGE BRONZE
- CASE DIAMETER: 44MM X 53.5MM EXCLUDING THE CROWN
- CASE: CUSN8 BRONZE ALLOY WITH BRUSH FINISH.
- CASE BACK: SEE-THROUGH (SAPPHIRE) CASE BACK , DLC WITH ANTI FINGER-PRINT COATING.
- CROWN: SCREW DOWN CROWN (POLISHED STAINLESS STEEL).
- CRYSTAL: SAPPHIRE (DOUBLE DOMED), AR COATING.
- WATER-RESISTANCE: 500M RESISTANCE WITH AUTOMATIC HRV.
- STRAP: LEATHER WITH CUSN8 BRONZE BUCKLE
- MOVEMENT: MIYOTA 9015
- LIMITED EDITION: 500 PIECES INCLUDES BLACK DIAL AND BROWN.