MAEN, who really are one of the great micro brand successes, moving from a simple quartz moon phase watch to the automatic Hudson diver and Skymaster chronograph, are back with a GMT watch. The MAEN Greenwich GMT is a strong answer to the question, ‘which GMT watch should I have?’
What is the point of a MAEN GMT watch?
A GMT watch is traditionally for travelers, who need to see two time zones at once, and a date. The idea is, you set one time zone to home time, the other to your traveling time, and the date helps you keep track of, you know, what day it is in your new time.
Why would you want this?
GMT watches are especially cool, for me. I used to travel internationally 8 to 10 times a year. I once flew 152 times in one year.
That may sound like bragging; it isn’t. At some point, it becomes tedious.
“Oh, you must see the world!” No. You see the inside of the airport. There has never been a saying, “as pretty as an airport.” You see the inside of a taxi. You see the inside of a hotel room, and then back to the airport.
When I wasn’t traveling, I was making phone calls to other time zones. I can do addition and subtraction, but having the ability to see whether or not it was an appropriate time to phone was practical.
When you’re traveling, you want a watch that’s easy to wear, looks understatedly cool, and has a balance between a lot of lume and a classic design.
What MAEN promises
The MAEN Greenwich GMT is named for Greenwich Mean Time, and also, Greenwich village, New York, which was named back in 1670 when the Dutch colonized New York.
The watch itself is powered by a SwissTech movement. It uses the 38mm case and hands of the Hudson MAEN diver, which provide it with a comfortable shape and plenty of lume in the hands. The case has lug holes for vintage looks and easy strap changes.
The bezel on the case has changed from a rotating dive bezel to a fixed stair-stepped bezel with contrasting brushed and polished surfaces. The case sides are beveled with polish as well, making for a nice, jeweled look to the side of the case.
The dial is a mix of influences. The watch has large bold lumed markers like a Seiko SPB149 (the old 62MAS style.) It has an outer minute track that shows 4 seconds between hour markers, broken up like the modern OMEGA Seamasters. MAEN uses the space between the bracketed minutes to note the 24 hours by even numbers.
The strap is a rubber strap with alternating block pattern on it that looks like a distant cousin to the Philippe Patek Aquanaut strap. The strap tapers from 20mm at the watch to 18mm at the buckle.
The crown of the watch is notable. It doesn’t look like much, a nice grip with an M on the end. But it’s 7mm, which is about the ideal size.
How does this differ from other products?
I have to mention again the Swiss movement. Here, it’s a SwissTech S24-045. The movement delivers 40 hours of power reserve at 28.8k vibrations per hour.
The bezel shape isn’t commonly seen, and the brushed and polished surfaces give a nice contrast to the large lume plots on the dial.
This isn’t a dress watch. It isn’t a large chunky fashion watch. It’s a tool; it’s a nicely sized, proportioned, tool.
The watch is available in 3 variants, a white model that uses a black patisserie dial with stainless hands, an orange model that has a flat dial with orange hand, and a dial with red lume instead of the usual white/green superluminova x1 lume.
The value proposition
MAEN GMT costs €799 including 25% Swedish VAT. Ex VAT it will be €639,40, or about 780 USD.
The question is, do you need an automatic travel watch. If you do, this one is a good choice. It doesn’t look like all the other watches out there, but it does draw on some notable influences in ways that are charming. Big lume plots make it look bold, while it is truthful to its comfortably-small case.
How does it wear
I haven’t had one on the wrist yet. I did have the Hudson 38 on for a week, which is very similar, sharing the same case. It was comfortable, wearing like a favorite item of clothing. It’s that feeling when you know something is right, like it’s a part of you. It’s completely possible that this is my memory playing tricks: it’s been months since I’ve had the Hudson on my wrist, but I have good memories of it, and 38mm is a good size.
This watch was a risk, and I think it paid off. It was a risk to combine elements of Seiko with OMEGA, to use the patisserie dial associated with AP (and also, Seiko) – very often, when you combine parts from different design influences, they clash instead of cooperate. MAEN manages to pull them together in a way that works. My only concerns are, I think the lines of the minute track are a little too bold, and should be slightly thinner.
This is an excellent traveling watch. If you think it’s for you, find out more at maenwatches.com.
- Brand & Model: MAEN Greenwich GMT
- Price: €799 with VAT
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: the case size is perfect.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I am concerned that the minute track is too bold, wish I could put the orange hand on the patisserie dial of the ‘white’ model, and am not completely convinced I’d like the stair step bezel in person. But the case size is correct for me.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The patisserie dial looks wonderful, especially with the rubber strap.
Tech Specs from MAEN
- Case size: Diameter 38 mm, 46 lug to lug
- Height: 12mm
- Case material: 316L surgical grade stainless steel
- Crystal: sapphire
- Strap: rubber
- Movement: Swiss-made SwissTech s24-045