We’ve seen several very attractive collaborations with independent watchmakers done by Massena LAB, the design studio founded by industry veteran William Massena. Most of them were double-branded models, with the watchmaker’s or brand’s name printed on the dial. But we’ve also seen Massena LAB creating its own watches, with only its name on the dial. This time, it’s a new model that couldn’t be more “Massena-ish” to be released. Design-wise, it has all the codes that William cherishes. Mechanically speaking, it comes with a proprietary movement developed on purpose by talented indie watchmaker Raúl Pagès. The result is this Magraph by Massena LAB.
It’s an essential step for William Massena and the Massena LAB. A sort of declaration of independence, a new chapter in a story that has already proven successful. Indeed, all non-collaboration-based models of Massena LAB, for the time being, have been based on existing movements, with a work mostly focussed on the habillage. But today, the Magraph by Massena LAB launches its own proprietary movement, the M660, designed and developed in Switzerland under the eye and technical supervision of Raúl Pagès.
Let’s first talk about the design. As said, the watch is typical of Massena’s inspirations, which have already been seen in several of his collaboration-based Habring² models. The case of the Magraph by Massena LAB is a sleek, Calatrava-shaped style with a signature stepped bezel and overall, a 1930s/1940s design. Made of steel, it’s a reasonable 38.5mm in diameter and 10mm in height, with brushed and polished surfaces. Sapphire crystals frame the case, and water-resistance is rated at 50m.
The Magraph is fitted with straps made from sustainably-sourced sturgeon skin, dyed a deep indigo, and highlighted with iridescent turquoise accents, designed exclusively for Massena LAB by Jean Rousseau Paris. For comfort, they have an inner rubber lining and are closed by a pin buckle.
The dial is, once again, very Massena in terms of style. The look has been modelled after “a mysterious pièce unique, commissioned in 1933 by a leading luxury retailer in Berlin.” It feels, however, slightly different from the usual sector dials William has been making in the past, with a more technical, even sleeker look that is reminiscent of the Bauhaus era – it indeed favours geometric shapes over elaborate ornamentation. Minimalist in style yet focused on precision and ease of reading, the dial is off-white in the centre with a matte surface and features a circular-grained and rhodium-plated outermost sector ring. The dial is then intersected with a radially grooved small-seconds subsidiary dial. The finishing touch is the use of heated blued steel hours, minutes, and seconds hands. A highly modernist look…
Mechanically, we’re talking about a strong evolution over the previous releases of Massena LAB, the Magraph inaugurating the studio’s first proprietary movement. Development has been done under the guidance of Raúl Pagès. In order to retain reasonable costs of R&D, the movement starts from the gear train calculation, assortment and kinetic chain of a 7750. The rest is entirely custom-made, with a new position for the small seconds (now at 6 o’clock), newly designed plates and bridges, and of course, only three hands running on the dial.
The Calibre M660 is a rather large engine with a hand-wound architecture. It runs at 4Hz and delivers 60 hours of power reserve. Design-wise, it comes with a broad plate with Côtes de Genève finishing and hand-chamfered plates and bridges, all of which are visible through its exhibition caseback. The decoration is very appealing, with thin perlage, large ribbings and bevelling, all done in a traditional way.
Availability & Price
The Magraph by Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès is released as a limited edition of 99 pieces. It will be for sale exclusively on massenalab.com, at a retail price of USD 8,675. Delivery of the timepiece will be on a first-come, first-served basis, starting in December 2022, with approximately fifteen to twenty watches produced per month. It includes a two-year guarantee, box, deerskin travel pouch, papers, and a Massena LAB NFC card.
For more details, please visit massenalab.com.