There are a few classic watch styles. There’s the GMT and there’s the three register chrono. But one of my favorites is the day/date chrono powered by the Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750. That’s the movement that powers the Marvin M103 and, at about $1,790 with a favorable exchange rate.

The watch is a standard three-register chrono with a seconds hand and a 12-hour register. The action is quite smooth and the large, handsome crown offers a nice bit of steel to grasp for setting the time and date. Marvin has created a very sporty chrono here and, although I wouldn’t take this particular model under water, it is water resistant to 5ATM.

I was dubious at first as to Marvin’s quality and choice of design elements. In, I suspect, a nod to our Asian friends, the eight in the hours register and on the face is red. The band is also two-tone with a handsome red back and a muted black front. This, in turn, reminds me of the suits the Agents work in The Matrix with their bright yellow linings.

The watch is quite substantial and heavy. It has a beveled crystal as well as an exhibition back and a decorated rotor. The back screws into the case and the pips, numbers, and logos are chromed and applied to the face.

The design is something I’d call retro-futurist. The numerals look very post-modern while the hands and registers are all business. It looks like a Breitling that made it unscathed through the early 1970s.

My only complaint is that this thing should really be on a steel band. The leather is a little skimpy for my taste, but that’s easily remedied with a trip to the cobbler or a perusal of WatchUSeek sales boards.

In short, the Marvin is a handsome and truly interesting chrono from a clever, Swiss house. I’m quite impressed and at $1,700 or so it makes for a compelling introductory mechanical chrono.

Bonus: Here’s Ariel’s video review:

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By John Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

7 thoughts on “Review: Marvin M103 Chronograph”
  1. Hey thanks so much for the great writeup! Couple things: The Marvin “red” hints are not specifically related to Asia – matter of fact, these little “signs” have been part of Marvin since inception. The reason is known only to the current owners and is sealed in our attorney’s office with orders to open only at the company’s 188th birthday (which is in 2038 if my math doesn’t suck).

    On the strap issue, you can flip this bracelet with a metal one if you prefer – see my instructional video: – The 103 is not sold with metal but theoretically, it’s possible to switch it at will, like most of our models.

    Thank you again for taking the time to do such a detailed writeup!

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