Fine engraving on a watch is a tradition with a long history. Typically, that sort of work shows up on very high-end movements. However, skilled artisans have been known to work their skills on watch cases as well. I remember the first time I saw photos of a Rolex that had it done, and I was enthralled. One day, I can hopefully have a watch that is a canvas for an engraver. If you’re the same, and looking for a way to spend your stimulus money, perhaps the Magrette Kaitiaki is what the doctor ordered.
As far as the watch itself goes, the Magrette Kaitiaki starts life as a Moana Pacific Waterman, which we wrote about here in it’s GMT guise. No GMT complication, so the movement is “just” an ETA 2824-2 (quite the upgrade from the Miyota that my first Magrette – and first automatic – had in its case). The dial is the lovely sandwich style that Magrette uses quite a bit, and the handset is their standard, newer style that the watches have used as of late.
The real story with the Magrette Kaitiaki is of course that case. The 42mm 316L stainless steel starts life as a cushion case, and then Andrew Biggs – an engraver that calls Christchurch, New Zealand home – puts his skills to work against that case, elevating it into a steely work of art. This is all done by hand, and has a very crazy level of detail.
Given the amount of work that goes into the Magrette Kaitiaki, there are two facts that likely won’t surprise you. First, only 10 of these are being made (manual engraving is time- and labor-intensive). Secondly, to get one of those ten on your wrist, you’ll need $3,200 (plus another $65 for shipping). Is it pricey for an ETA-based three-hander? For sure. But to have something that’s a handmade piece of art to call your own? That’s another story altogether. magrette.com
Tech Specs from Magrette
- CASE DIMENSIONS: 42mm x 51mm lug-to-lug, 22mm lug width, 13mm tall (excl. crystal)
- MATERIAL: 316L stainless steel case, crown, and buckles. Fine brushed finishing throughout.
- BEZEL: Ceramic (matte finish), engraved and fully lumed (Swiss Super-LumiNova® Old Radium).
- DIAL: Sandwich construction with Swiss Super-LumiNova® Old Radium lume; fully brushed hands with Super-LumiNova® Old Radium lume.
- WATER-RESISTANCE: 500m/1650ft water resistance. Viton gasket used on case back.
- MOVEMENT: ETA Caliber 2824-2, Reserve 38 hours.
- CRYSTAL: Sapphire (high domed), AR coating.
- CROWN: Screw down, raised Magrette shield logo.
- STRAPS: Textured rubber (black).
- LIMITED: 10 pieces*
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