As long-time readers will recall, I maintain a soft spot within when it comes to the watches coming from New Zealand-based Magrette. This is due to one of their designs being the first automatic I owned. Since then, I’ve been a fan of the cushion style case they’ve used, and have reviewed a number of them. While I’ve come away liking all of them, I am ready to say that the Magrette Moana Pacific Waterman GMT Titanium is my favorite release I’ve seen from them.
What movement is the Magrette using?
For anyone thinking about a GMT, in the last year or two, that’s been a question that’s top-of-mind. We’ve just gotten so used to the “caller” style movements, where the GMT hand is what you set independently. Then those fine folks over at Seiko introduced a brand-new traveller movement (where the hour hand is set independently) that brought the style to inexpensive-yet-reliable realms.
With that release, we all realized that there was another style of GMT movement that was attainable. For the Magrette Moana Pacific Waterman GMT Titanium, they’ve gone with the relatively new Miyota 9075. Sure, it’s not gotten all of the attention that the Seiko one has, but that’s not really a concern. For us, we’ve had good experience with Miyota movements, and our experience with this review watch has been great.
The big thing to be aware of with this traveller-style movement is how it’s set. Unwind the crown, and you’re in position 0, which means you can wind the movement. Bump it out to position 1, and you’re now moving the hour hand (either forward for backwards). This means when you land in a new time zone, you can quickly set to local time without touching the minutes hand or the GMT.
The flip side of this is that, if you’re the type to let a watch unwind between wears, you do not have a quick-set date. To get the date caught up, you’re winding the hour hand around the dial to get the date set. Not a major issue, just a note on how these type of movements work. Pull out the crown to position 2, and then you’re in good-old time setting mode. Again, note that the GMT hand is locked in here, so all of your adjustment on timezone offset is going to come from the hour hand adjustment in position 1.
What’s is the Moana Pacific Waterman GMT Titanium Wrist Watch made out of?
That’s another big part of the story with the Magrette Moana Pacific Waterman GMT Titanium. Obviously, it’s titanium, but not in a grade we’re used to seeing. Most time, watches will use Grade 5. Here, the watch is relying on Grade 2. Why use this grade? We asked Dion McAsey about that, and learned that the softer grade was used in order to create the bracelet. To me, this seems like a smart decision, as the profiles on the links of the bracelet are sublime. Additionally, there’s a darker finish on the titanium than we’re used to seeing, which frankly is great. Just enough to make the watch not as bright, but not so much that it looks like a dark watch that’s faded.
How’s the sizing?
That’s another consideration, as we’re used to Magrette’s cushion case watches being more in the 44mm range, with a few selections at 42mm. Here, the Magrette Moana Pacific Waterman GMT Titanium comes in at a compact 40mm. That means the shoulders of the case are less pronounced, which makes the eye think the watch is all bezel and dial. In other words, it visually wears even smaller than the spec suggests.
The spec you’ll want to be aware of is the height, which is 14mm. That’s tall for a watch of this diameter, at least from the specs. A lot of that is from the boxed sapphire crystal, so again, it doesn’t look all that thick. The fact that the lugs are longer, and curving down pretty aggressively, means that this watch fits a lot closer to the wrist than you’d think for a cushion case. Combined with that flexible bracelet, it makes for a very comfortable fit on the wrist.
How is it in day-to-day?
We’ve been blathering on and on about movements and materials, and how the spec sheet translates into real life. Fortunately, all of those good things carried right on into the actual wearing of the watch. I like titanium for how light it makes things (as compared to steel), which means while you’ll feel the watch on your wrist, it’s not as hefty as a version in steel would be (once the bracelet was sized, we were at 115g).
Though the watch is smaller than previous Magrette models we’ve reviewed, it had no impact on the legibility of the dial. That’s another hallmark of McAsey’s designs that I really enjoy – you’ve got the sandwich dial giving us the lumed indices, which keeps things crisp, day or night.
This is also the first time that I’ve had a “Coke” bezel in on a watch (here, it’s polished ceramic with lume), as I tend towards single-color, or ones with blue in them, on review requests. In terms of the overall aesthetic of the watch, it just works. The red on the bezel picks up the red of the GMT and seconds hands, and the model name on the dial, popping things just that little bit more.
As we said at the outset, the Magrette Moana Pacific Waterman GMT Titanium is one of, if not the, favorite of mine from all of the Magrette models I’ve handled over the years. Sizing, materials, function, it all adds up to the type of watch that I like to wear as a daily driver. With those 20mm lugs, it would be a simple matter to slap in a different strap (you can opt to get an additional red or a black FKM rubber strap), setting the watch up for whatever you’re heading out to do.
If you want to pick one up, you’ll be pre-ordering it. You’ll choose from the black/red bezel, or a fully black one; you’ll also need to choose between a white or a black dial. All told, you’ll be paying $786 for this watch on the titanium bracelet, which feels like an absolute bargain to us (the rubber strap adds $55). You’ll be putting $350 down to confirm the order, and then the balance before shipment. Of note, only two batches have been planned, and the second batch is going to go out the door on December 25th – so if you want one, you’ll want to get your order in sooner rather than later. You can do that directly over at magrette.com
Tech Specs from Magrette
- MOVEMENT: Miyota Cal. 9075 automatic GMT with jumping local hour hand
- CASE DIMENSIONS: 40mm excluding crown, 49mm lug-to-lug, 14mm tall, 20mm lug width
- CASE FINISH: Grade 2 Titanium, brushed, with deeply engraved case back illustrating world time zone offsets
- BEZEL: Polished black or black+red ceramic, fully lumed with Swiss Super-LumiNova® C3 green
- CROWN: Screw-down crown, signed with Magrette shield
- CRYSTAL: Sapphire (box style), anti-reflective coating
- DIAL, HANDS & BEZEL: Contrasting Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9 blue (local time) and C3 green (GMT time)
- WATER-RESISTANCE: 200M water resistance. Viton® gasket used on case back.
- STRAP: Grade 2 Titanium bracelet, brushed, with signed butterfly clasp.
Author Expertise / Author Experience
A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview. If you’re on Twitter and/or Instagram, you’ll find me there as @PatrickWatches.