We last saw MAEN when we reviewed the quartz-powered Moonphase. It was a fine watch, but it didn’t really get me smack in the cockles and sub-cockles of my heart. The important thing to remember is, just because someone’s done something before, it doesn’t define what they’ll do next. As Sinatra sang, “the best is yet to come”. So it is with MAEN, who are back with the Hudson 38, an automatic, vintage-sized dive watch.
John Biggs and I talk regularly on the HourTime show about the idea of people who’ve started out making a quartz watch coming back with an automatic, and we applaud it everytime we see it. Well done to MAEN for making this leap. They aren’t fooling around, either. They’ve stepped straight up to the bar with an ETA 2824-2 running the show.
Sized at a svelte, vintage inspired 38mm, it’s about perfect. It’s 12mm thin, and has a double domed sapphire crystal. The caseback is a display back, also equipped with sapphire glass. The crown is a 6mm screw-down crown, and the bezel has 120 clicks as it works its way around the dial. In a nod to vintage dive watches before it, the bezel insert triangle at 12 has no pip and instead is filled in with red. The bezel edge is a coin edge rather than a modern dive watch’s scalloped rim. This thing looks good.
It’s there that the nod to one specific brand stops. The dial has bar markers for hour indices, with a minute track riding the chapter ring or rehaut. The hands are modern, wide, with plenty of lume. The seconds hand is much like any other on a dive watch, but the round circle has red in it rather than white or green lume. The dial is described as a sandblasted jet black.
You might ask, what use is this as a dive watch if the seconds hand is not lumed? And you might be right – one of the things that’s important underwater is being able to tell that the watch is running. But forget that: it’s water resistant to 100m (although I suspect it could handle more, given the screw-down back and crown.) This is a solid watch for the fan of dive watches, perfect for a vintage size, and one to watch. The expected price at launch is EUR 349, or about $435 USD, which is an excellent price for an ETA-equipped watch. Do I want one? Yes. I plan on bringing you more information on this one as I can, and until then, keep your eyes on kickstarter, where it will debut, and fill in your email address over at MAEN’s website to be notified when it launches.