Creating a watch brand from scratch, especially when you don’t rely on new funding processes such as Kickstarter, is a daring gamble to say the least in these times of “crisis” and “slow demand”. However, that’s exactly what Alexandre Meerson did 3 years ago, and not just with one affordable timepiece, but instead an entire collection of luxury watches, centered around a unique, tailor-made idea. Following the success of the Altitude and the D-15 GMT collections, Meerson returns now with a third piece, this time entirely focused on the Limited Production / Bespoke concept; the Meerson Mutiny Chronograph.
Not so long ago, before watchmaking became an entire luxury industry on to itself, driven by impersonal marketing campaigns and business-school models, “made to order” was a very familiar concept, at least for high-end pieces. (Keep in mind that, back in the day, if you had the money you could relatively easily commission a unique, bespoke watch direct from Patek or Vacheron…). This is the idea that Meerson wants to bring back to life, with a limited production, bespoke watch collection, with countless personalization options and a unique client experience and service… but not for the price you might expect.
This piece is called the Meerson Mutiny Chronograph and, indeed, it remains in an “accessible” price range, especially when consider what you get for your money and the personalization service. Collaboratively designed with Meerson’s UK-based team, the watch exudes a certain British flair, but remains Swiss Made, and is entirely crafted by Swiss artisans. The Mutiny is a 40mm, steel chronograph with a round and clean design (which was inspired by one of Alexandre’s father creations – who was also involved in the watchmaking and jewelry business) on which gently tapered and curved wire-type lugs are integrated. Overall, a clean, quite “nude” design, which allows the focus to be on the customization options.
In terms of mechanics, the Meerson Mutiny is powered by a Swiss chronograph movement, calibre AM-0788, delivered by a known and respectable manufacture; Concepto. This movement is an automatic chronograph, cam-operated, with 4Hz frequency and 48h power reserve. It displays the time of course, as well as the day and date and finally a 3-counter chronograph (small second, 30-minute counter and 12-hour counter). Overall it is quite traditional, mechanically-speaking at least, but the originality of the Meerson Mutiny is something else.
Beyond the design of the Mutiny, it is the opportunity to customize the watch that really gets our attention. Meerson offers a highly tailored, collaborative experience. Clients can personalize subtle features such as the polishing, color and engraving of the case, or the fabric and stitching on the strap. Dial color and/or pattern may be customized and a coating applied to the hands. The strap fabric pattern or leather may also be picked to match an outfit or a mood as the straps are not only made to order, they are easily interchangeable. Each watch is individually numbered and can be further personalized with a pattern on the back or secretly engraved with a meaningful message.
This experience even continues once the watch has been delivered to the client. Each Meerson Mutiny Chronograph comes with a 5-year guarantee, and owners are invited to regular events hosted by the House. Ongoing modifications and upgrades are possible even years after purchase, such as changing the dial or the polishing of the case.
The brand also uses modern ways to communicate with clients. To help personalize their Mutiny, clients can download the Meerson App to visualize their personal timepiece and track the progress of the manufacturing process. Meerson has launched a special website to discover the Mutiny watch and concept, www.chronomutiny.com. To start the process, collectors can already reserve their piece, with a deposit of £500. Deliveries will start in October 2017. The starting price of the watch is £4,475 (£3,730 excluding UK VAT), a price that will of course evolve depending on the personalization options. www.meerson.com.