Space can be an intimidating yet inspiring place. With centuries of gazing up at the stars, it seems we’re closer than ever to expanding our horizon through advanced space exploration and colonisation. Of course, this is probably decades away, but we can begin to fantasise about stepping out of our homes on the Moon, or better yet, Mars. While this only exists in our minds, for now, some people use this as inspiration for their creations. Take Martin Mustonen, for instance, a Finnish watchmaker and jewellery expert launching his own brand, Mustonen Watches, with the M-1 collection inspired by our neighbouring planet, Mars.
Martin Mustonen has spent years in the jewellery industry, gathering knowledge and growing a network throughout Europe and other parts of the world. In 2016 the time came to switch to watchmaking and fulfil his dream of starting a watch brand of his own. Now, a couple of years later and with relevant experience under his belt, he’s launching Mustonen Watches and his inaugural M-1 watch.
The Mustonen M-1’s design is fueled by Martin’s other passion and takes inspiration from space and Martian exploration. More specifically, it should be considered a commemorative piece to mankind’s achievements on multiple Mars missions. Historical moments like the first ultra-sharp images of Mars’ surface or landing the Perseverance rover in the Jezero crater on Mars earlier this year.
There are three options: the M-1 Launch Edition, the M-1 Bespoke Edition and the M-1 Apex Edition. All watches feature the same rectangular-shaped case measuring 39mm in width, 51mm in length and 10mm in height. The case is made from 316L steel with quite a masculine design. On top, you will find deep grooves running from top to bottom across the bezel and exposed screws on top of the lugs, for instance. The back of the case curves over the wrist on the lug-ends to hug the wrist and improve comfort.
The sapphire crystal covers a dial in either black onyx or blue aventurine, perfectly in line with the theme of the collection. The outside edge of the clean and simple dial has a profiled hour and minute track, with large, applied numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. Relatively large hour and minute hands and a sleek seconds hand indicate the time. The design of all three watches is basically the same, the difference being the type of movement and other details.
An important element in all of the M-1 watches is the inclusion of a real piece of Mars meteorite, visible in the caseband through a sapphire window. This is, in fact, a piece of NWA 6963 Basaltic Shergottite, apparently one of the rarest types of Martian meteorites found on earth. A cool touch that underscores the space-inspired theme of the collection.
So let’s go over the differences between all three.
M-1 Launch Edition
The first model presented is the M-1 Launch Edition. This comes with a standard movement, the STP 1-11, which is pretty much a clone of the ETA 2824. The M-1 Launch Edition gives you a choice for the strap, nylon, or alligator leather and the option of having the NASA logo printed on the dial (with authorisation from NASA). The aim was to offer a watch with an accessible, reliable Swiss mechanical movement without compromising the rest of the watch. The M-1 Launch Edition is limited to 999 pieces.
M-1 Bespoke Edition
Second, there’s the M-1 Bespoke Edition, which offers more freedom of choice. You can choose different straps and stitching, have the case brushed or black DLC-coated, have a custom-engraved rotor, and more. Some of these come free of charge, while other, wilder options might cost you a premium. Mustonen does allow you to design your own piece, though, which is nice. For movements, you can go for a Soprod A-10 or an ETA 2824-2.
M-1 Apex Edition
The third chapter in the M-1 collection is the Apex Edition, the most complex of the three by far. It is also the priciest, which we’ll get to later. The reason for this is the movement, which is a tourbillon calibre manufactured by Concepto. The Concepto Calibre 8950-A has a 1-minute tourbillon escapement, visible through the cut-out in the dial. Mustonen offers full bespoke options to the client for each of the only 15 M-1 Apex Edition watches to be built.
All in all, the Mustonen M-1 is a mix of interesting elements with a distinct enough design. On first impression, it might seem a bit confusing with all the available options, but it does allow people to enjoy watchmaking on multiple levels and create a personalised watch (within the brand’s boundaries).
The watches are offered at a very competitive introductory price, ranging from EUR 595 for the M-1 Launch Edition to EUR 795 for the M-1 Bespoke Edition and EUR 9,850 for the M-1 Apex Edition. While basic bespoke options are included in the latter two, some personal requests might come at a premium. Delivery is expected in January 2022, and orders can be placed directly with Mustonen Watches here.
Sponsored Post: This article is sponsored by Mustonen. However, it reflects the writer’s opinion and has been written according to MONOCHROME’s editorial policy.