Marnaut, an independent micro-brand founded by Mario Jutronic in 2018, originates from the Mediterranian country of Croatia. The brand first made its mark with the Dark Surge 300 Dive series, known for its unique dials inspired by a sea urchin, and an impressive 300-meter water resistance rating. After five years of loyal service, Marnaut now introduces a significantly updated version of the Dark Surge 300, featuring new design elements and a Swiss automatic movement.
The latest Dark Surge 300 model presents a slightly reduced case diameter, now measuring 41mm. The lug length has also been shortened to ensure a proportionate appearance, resulting in a total length of 50mm lug to lug. Except for the full-steel 300S variant, the bezel is now crafted from ceramic and features a unidirectional 120-click mechanism, marked in one-second increments. The caseback is screwed-down and sealed with a gasket, while the crown incorporates double o-ring protection, ensuring a water resistance rating of 300 meters.
The beautiful black enamel-finished dial retains its distinctive design, with 47 metal indices. Among these indices, 34 are arranged in the recognizable “sea urchin” pattern around each five-minute marker. The indices closest to the centre of the dial form a circular arrangement. Additionally, the dial incorporates prominent Arabic numerals at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, along with applied stick indices at five-minute intervals. All indices are coated with Super-LumiNova for enhanced low-light visibility. The arrow-shaped hour hand, minute hand, and lollipop seconds hand are all filled with luminous material. A new addition is the marking on the dial’s periphery for indicating seconds. The dial also features latitude and longitude coordinates at the bottom edge, on either side of the “6”, linking to the Blue Cave on the Croatian island of Bisevo.
The updated Dark Surge 300 models, with their new dial and case design, are expected to appeal to a broader range of customers, particularly with the incorporation of the reliable Swiss-made Sellita SW200 automatic movement. However, there is something in the simple symmetry and cleanliness of the earlier Dark Surge 300 edition that remains equally appealing, and Miyota certainly did the job powering the series. Mario Jutronic summarizes the changes by stating, “We made the watch more wearable for the average consumer.” Now, it’s up to the consumer to agree.
The three new Marnaut Dark Surge 300M references are presented in a stainless steel case, with or without the black PVD treatment, worn on a rubber strap. This updated Dark Surge 300M retails for a very reasonable EUR 749 for all three models. The watches are available to buy directly from the brand’s website, or if you are in Croatia, stop by the Marnaut showroom on the Island of Brač, which has just opened.