Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Accessible Peren Regia X Automatic 39 Diver

A modern Swiss-made dive watch with a design influenced by the ancient Sarmizegetusa Regia Calendar in Transylvania.

| By Erik Slaven | 4 min read |

Gone are the days when dive watches truly challenged watchmakers. The Submariner and Fifty Fathoms battled it out in the 1950s, pushing for just 100 metres of water resistance. Modern tech allows microbrands to hit triple that depth today, so small watchmakers like Peren need to focus on design to really stand out. They’ve done just that with the new Regia Automatic 39, which follows the affordable and contemporary Nera Rogue and Nera Rogue BW Edition from last year. It’s a step-up in design that complements impressive specs with a great feel on the wrist.  

Although a Swiss brand, Peren’s heart lies in Transylvania. Look no further than the small vampire fangs printed on prior dials. Of course, this goes beyond whether or not Dracula would’ve sported this watch as the design was influenced by the ancient Sarmizegetusa Regia Calendar. Known as the Stonehenge of Transylvania, the Dacians used an impressive blend of math, geometry and astronomy to create one of the most precise calendars of its day (lunar/solar cycles) and it’s a significant contribution to modern timekeeping. This was even before the height of ancient Rome. Peren was introduced by Transylvanian Andy Bica and is named after the word perennial, meaning everlasting or perpetual. 

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The stainless steel case has a matte, bead-blasted finish with polished edges that expand in width. This play on dimensions is seen throughout the case, which comes in at a universal size of 39mm in diameter and 12.8mm in height (lug-to-lug 45.3mm). It’s certainly not a diver that overwhelms the wrist and can be worn for most occasions. The precise 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel has a conical shape with two distinctive finishes – a series of horizontal grooves at the top and vertical knurled pattern underneath. The screw-down crown follows this theme with a conical knurled pattern for grip capped off by horizontal grooves. The solid, screwed case back is individually numbered and water resistance is rated at 200 metres.

There are two different versions of this watch, the standard Peren Regia and Regia X, separated by their aluminum bezel inserts. The Regia has a two-tone (black and white) 60-minute scale that’s functional yet simple with no Arabic numerals. The Regia X, which is illustrating this article, has two scales with more detail – an outer silver 12-hour scale and inner black 60-minute scale. This allows for a 12-hour GMT function. Both bezels have 12 o’clock markers with Super-LumiNova. A flat AR sapphire crystal protects the dial and each edition is limited to 300 pieces, again numbered on the case back. The watch comes standard with a comfortable 20mm black FKM vulcanized rubber strap, but a black fabric strap or a stainless steel bracelet are available at the time of order. 

The dial has a modern aesthetic that strays from your typical diver, reminding me a bit of Dietrich’s SD-1 Skin Diver. The matte black dial has white circular and long oval indices (at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock) in 3D Super-LumiNova that really pop. You can see the Sarmizegetusa Regia Calendar influence in the design. A dial-matching circular date window sits at 12 o’clock and seamlessly blends in. The placement, however, is a bit polarizing as the hands will conceal it as it advances at midnight. Form over function, but it does look very nice. The hour and minute hands have Super-LumiNova inserts as well, so nighttime or underwater visibility are excellent. A subtle laser-engraved scale spans the outermost perimeter with non-luminous white marks every five minutes, while an engraved circle sits inside the indices. Everything is tastefully detailed, although, unlike prior collections, the vampire fangs logo is nowhere to be found. That seems to represent a maturity of this latest collection, which is a bit above prior models. 

Powering the Regia Automatic 39 is a Sellita SW200-1. Introduced in 2012, this proven workhorse is an alternative to ETA’s 2824-2 and has 26 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) and comes with a 38-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and date. The movement is regulated in-house by Peren in Switzerland. 

Both editions of the Peren Regia Automatic 39 are available to preorder now with deliveries expected to start in December 2023. The price is reasonable at CHF 693 for preorders, which increases to CHF 963 at standard retail. The stainless steel bracelet adds CHF 100 to the preorder price. Each is again limited to 300 pieces, which is common for small microbrands to regulate inventory and costs. For more information and to place an order, please visit Peren’s website.

5 responses

  1. I really enjoy their designs, I only wish the hour hand was more distinct; at a quick glance, the length of both hour and minute hands are similar, and they are identical in shape. Could be confusing.

  2. Really nice design and sweet spot size. Kudos for the flat sapphire.

  3. @DG Scott The two hands are definitely separated enough by length. In practice, it’s easy to see the time at a glance.

  4. Great design. They could’ve omited the date what I’m concerned though.

  5. @Strapon The date is actually very cool on this one. Really integrates well and I like the 12 o’clock position. The only “issue” is the fact that it’s covered by the minute hand at midnight, but it’s not really an issue in practice.

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