Tag Archives: Alexandre Meerson

Meerson Mutiny Chronograph

 

Meerson Chrono Mutiny

Alexandre Meerson has been drip, dripping hints about his latest watch for a couple of months – we now have a more complete picture. The limited edition,  Mutiny Chronograph.

 

Why Mutiny ? This is Alexandre’s explanation.

The name comes from the idea that this watch defies conventions and the status quo in modern watchmaking. The Mutiny Chrongraph expresses that:

  • Luxury does not need to carry an artificial “luxe” price
  • New is good – with the vast majority of luxury watches having been designed before 1977.. our industry has become a world of icons that only evolve very slowly every year
  • Luxury is personalisation – yes you can build your own watch and express your individual sense of style
  • Luxury is a relationship with the owner – Design is a collaboration between the creator, the owner and the artisan – by removing unnecessary intermediaries we build a direct relationship with our clients and believe in involving the owners in the design

The design of the Mutiny is simple,  balancing style and function in a timeless style. The wire lugs reminding you of the trench watches of the First World War.

Chronograph  watches lend themselves to personalisation, another key feature of the Mutiny. The  sub dials and counters,  the hands  offer  many opportunities for self expression.

Here are some of the extensive personalisation options offered:

  1. The Case:  polished steel, can be finished in different ways, as well as treated to a superb black shade. Special versions can be made to order in silver or even vermeil.
  2. The Dial: pick any colour, design a pattern or symbol. The chronograph sub-dials lend themselves beautifully to contrasts and patterns.
  3. The bespoke Straps: made to your exact measures: pick the leather or fabric you love, from our extensive selection or from your own wardrobe. Sign your style with matching or contrasted stitching.
  4. The Hands: they are subtle details, several colours are available, as further accents of your style.
  5. Engraving: each watch is individually numbered. Make your watch even more personal, by drawing a pattern on the case or designing a symbolic message in the case-back. Or keep it secret on the inside, as a locket.
  6. The travel pouch: personalise it to match the bespoke strap, and add the owners name or initials.

From a technical perspective, the Swiss precision mechanical movement delivers the heartbeat and playful soul of the watch. For this watch, Meerson needed a hard-working, robust movement. So they selected the Concepto manufacture to deliver the AM-0788 – a Swiss calibre of traditional heritage and design that has a superb reputation for accuracy and reliability.

It is based on a clone of what was the Valjoux movement and is now known as the 7750 ETA movement. The first Meerson Chronograph in the 1980s was powered by the Valjoux . It is a fabulous “workhorse” of a movement, wonderfully made by Concepto in its interpretation (calibre 99001). Alexander wanted to retain this spirit, but made by a refined manufacture, hence why they use it.

The last question that comes to mind is the origin of the name “Mutiny”. To this I received a more complicated explanation than I expected.

Meerson are taking orders for the Mutiny Chronograph through this secure website. The watch starts at £4,475 (£3,730 excluding UK VAT). A deposit of £500 will secure your order in the next manufacturing run, for worldwide delivery from October 2017.

I am really looking forward to seeing one of these in the metal.

Meerson Altitude Officier in Black on my wrist

This has been a momentous period in the life of Grinidgetime; my first watch to review that is not mine, all thanks to  Matthew Fletcher of Meerson Watches who organised a lone of an Altitude Officier in Black.

My first concern was to make sure should anything untoward happen my insurance would cover me, £9800 would make a substantial whole in my current finances – All OK.

Altitude Officier on my wrist
Altitude Officier on my wrist

Trying to put this value at the back of my mind I now had to try to think objectively about this watch. The first impression is “black” I realise that despite telling Matthew that this is my favourite of the Meerson range, I am currently not a great fan of black straps. My only explanation for this I can think of is that I am not wearing such formal clothing these days. If this was my watch, I would specify a brown strap, which I think would also be more in line with the idea of a field watch.  On “field watches” I am also a big fan of “nato-style” straps, thanks to the option to rinse the strap once they get a bit sweaty, this is not an option with the the unusual lugs on the Altitude Officier.  Having said all this the black case looks really great, this is an ADLC finish on titanium so super resistant.

The Black - Altitude Officier
The Black – Altitude Officier

Titanium explains the second sensation – lightness. On the wrist the sensation is almost like that of a Swatch,  you just do not notice it at all. This is probably helped by the way the watch sit on the wrist.

After these initial thoughts I then started to look more closely at the detail of this watches build and it is here the quality and attention to detail shows. If you look closely at the AM-4808-A movement you notice how careful the finish is when you compare it to more mass-market movements. The titanium case is lovely and smooth to touch. The raised “Breguet-style” numbers, each an individual work of art.

Then on this particular watch the really cool touch…

Prototype !!
Prototype !!

Yes, this watch is a prototype. I had one very impressed teenage son.

I wore the watch most of the time for almost two weeks, I only left it off in occasions in which I thought I might expose it to undue risk such as decorating at home or riding bicycle quickly over south London’s “pave” the later having proved pretty negative for several of my friends watches.

The impact of this watch on my office colleagues  – zero. No comment at all, but not many watches do provoke much comment. This does suggest this is a great “sleeper watch” passing unobserved by the general public, which for many of us is a very positive attribute, leaving its many particular features to be explained to any passing aficionados.

So accepting the premise that I would prefer a brown strap my overall conclusions about this watch is very positive. It is subtly great looking. It is really well made. It is exclusive and, probably what is the most important element for me, is I have met its creator, Alexandre Meerson, on a couple of occasions and I enjoy the way he thinks. This gives the watch meaning for me.

I have left out a lengthy technical explanations in this review. This is because Alexandre has gone to great lengths to ensure the specification is top notch, and I am confident that a Meerson buyer takes this for granted and buys into the authentic and Alexandre’s story.

However for those of you that are curious you can find a full technical description here : http://www.meerson.com/watches/altitude-officier-smallseconds-titanium-whitesilvered-101-oejw-101-OEJW.html

My Watch Week

My blogger life is a little different this week. firstly because given the arrival of the Salon QP “news” is a little thin on the ground. Secondly because I am wearing a watch that until now I have only been able to make occasional comments about – A Meerson Altitude Officier in black. Please do not be too jealous this is a temporary arrangement.

Smiths & Meerson
Smiths & Meerson

My first reaction on putting the watch on was to be careful, however the lovely Laura that brought me the watch assured me it was tough, all the same I won’t be using it on my cycle commute for fear of falling off.

Once over this initial trepidation the experience of wearing this very unusual timepiece is interesting. The 42mm case sits very nicely on my wrist and being made of titanium is very light. So far so good.

Clearly the build quality is impressive, especially compared to the Smiths Deluxe I had on my wrist earlier. I am also a little surprised at the lack of any particular comment from my colleagues, who being largely Italian have a keen I for detail. In the past my Tudor Submariner on a leather strap and my 1970’s Seiko 5 have both provoked comments. The reason might be that as Alexandre Meerson himself says this is a re-invention of the “round watch”.  Without close examination this watch can pass under the radar very easily. For many people this could be a attractive attribute.

At this point the only detail I would change is the strap colour, I think the watch would look more “me” with a brown strap but this may be down to my minority skin colouring.

I will now start to compose a fuller assessment of my time with the watch.

Meerson – Unscripted

Alexandre Meerson
Alexandre Meerson

This week I was very flattered to receive an invitation from Alexandre Meerson to one of his “Un-Scripted” events. This was a lunch event Alexandre hosts himself for, in our case, about 10 people that have been in contact with the brand. During the event Alexandre explains how the brand came about and what it he wants to do with it. From his part he is looking for feedback.

I have covered the back story to Meerson in a previous post so here I would like to describe how my impressions have changed or not.

Alexandre first explained that he describes himself as a “watchmaker” but he has no formal training as such his mentors were his family. His ambition is to build a luxury “maison” based on excellence (not on perfection).

He went on to tell us that in his search for excellence it took him 4 1/2 years to build the supply chain and 2 1/2 years to persuade  Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier to supply his movements. As a further indication of the quality of Meerson watches the cases are made by the same company as Patek Philippe.

We then got to see and try some of the variants of Meerson’s range.

Altitude Officier
Altitude Officier

Currently the Altitude Officier in black, above, is my favourite of the range. Alexandre describes this as an “everyday” watch., tough enough to take knocks. I would be a little concerned about the water resistance at 30m but Alexandre is sure this is enough for everyday use.

The other range in the Meerson are the D-15 the “high-luxe field watch”, a sport-inspired traveller’s watch. The name of the watch comes from Alexandre’s son’s rugby position.

D-15 High-luxe field watch
D-15 High-luxe field watch

In the “flesh” this is a very nice watch, its curved case sitting snugly on the wrist. I am sure also the GMT function is very useful for anyone who regularly travels across time-zones. This is ,in many ways, the perfect watch for someone that travels , wants a luxury timepiece that is off most peoples radar which also offers the opportunity to personalise. One guest had a small diamond on the face of his watch in celebration of a wedding anniversary.

The last “tip” from Alexandre was a hint of what his “Maison” is looking at for the future – a women’s range. “Women’s watches should not just be men’s watches with diamonds on”

Thank you Alexandre and his time for a great session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexandre Meerson

Well what a shock, Alexandre Meerson suggested we meet up. As I am not one to pass up on an interesting chat I accepted.

meerson-push-subblock

I have, I believe, expressed doubts about including Meerson in my blog dedicated to British watch brands. Each time I try to find a definition that is acceptable I find a brand that the definition does not suit. Well, I have decided just to go with the flow, I am making arbitrary inclusions. I liked Alexandre and I accept his commitment to a building his brand here in the UK. Like many of his countrymen he finds in the UK the “do it” attitude which is lacking in their homeland.

Alexandre’s objective is to “define luxury for now” which means not falling back on tried and trust design formulae. Which I think you will agree this Altitude Premiere (below) does very successfully.

101-pbjr_front

I was surprised to find, that despite its size being for me already “large”, the watch wore really comfortably ( maybe I need to try one for an evening to confirm this 🙂 ). I was a little disappointed that I was not able try the new sports model the D15. Alexandre told me the only example they had was now in Australia on the wrist of a rugby player.

meerson_g_d15-mk-1_dualtime_2_1

The Meerson range is really individual and excellent quality. I wish them luck and hope they manage to find the few “appassionati” they will need to make their business a success.  Here is a link to their website for more detail on the range, Meerson Watches .