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The Peren Nera Rogue (Hands-On)

A contemporary dive watch from Transylvania that pays homage to a very rare 1960s Blancpain.

| By Erik Slaven | 3 min read |
Peren Nera Rogue

Watches are sometimes born in unexpected places, but Transylvania is unusual, to say the least. Known more for Dracula and vampires than timepieces, it’s the home of small watchmaker Peren. We recently went hands-on with Peren’s Hintz, inspired by the Wyler/Hintz pocket watch from the early 20th century, and we’re now looking at the Nera Rogue that pays homage to a legendary Blancpain dive watch. The Tornek Rayville TR-900, a Fifty Fathoms through and through, had “Tornek-Rayville” deviously added to the dial to circumvent American laws prioritizing domestic watches for the military. The Peren Nera Rogue is a modern interpretation. 

A vintage Tornek-Rayville TR-900 – images by Phillips Watches

1,100 of these Blancpain watches were ordered for the U.S. Navy Seals in the 1960s and only around 30 exist today. Peren is a brand of five years and often finds inspiration for its collections from the past. It doesn’t produce clones or rip anything off, however, but reimagines designs in a contemporary way. The Nera Rogue does have a bit of the Fifty Fathoms vibe to it but strays far enough from the original to clearly separate itself. 

Peren Nera Rogue

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The 39mm diameter of the stainless steel case is restrained for a modern diver, but also a refreshing, universal size. The height is 12.8mm with a lug-to-lug of 48.8mm. Three case finishes include bead-blasting, brushing and hand polishing. The rotating, unidirectional conical bezel has a black PVD coating with bold white indices every five minutes. There isn’t a detailed scale, but the simplicity maintains a modern vibe. The mid-century Tornek Rayville TR-900 was similar, but with Arabic numerals at 15, 30 and 45. There’s also a second Peren model with a silver bezel and detailed 60-minute scale, the Nera Rogue X. The screw-down oversized crown is easy to manipulate and has Peren’s logo embossed, which is fittingly a set of fangs. Transylvania, folks.

Peren Nera Rogue

The crystal is sapphire with three anti-reflective layers and the case back is solid with an interesting engraving – “IF FOUND CONTACT PERENWATCHES.COM.” This echoes the original that had concerning amounts of radioactive Promethium 147 as lume – “IF FOUND RETURN TO NEAREST MILITARY FACILITY.” Water-resistance is rated at 200 metres, so it’s a capable diver for sure. Strap options include a black nylon/leather NATO, three-link steel bracelet, ZULU leather and vintage brown leather. 

Peren Nera Rogue

The dial continues the modern look with a black chapter ring and white square indices sitting within shallow indentations. The dial comes in a “Nera” blue/green and contrasts well against the white hands and indices. The colour can be seen in the water of Devil’s Lake in the Nera gorges in Transylvania. A date window with a matching blue/green background sits at 3 o’clock and complements the design well (a white background would’ve been disruptive). The sword-style hour and minute hands are coated brass and have Super-LumiNova BGW9 inserts, as does the triangular tip of the seconds hand. The indices and triangular bezel mark have lume as well. The overall aesthetic is simple, stylish and modern with excellent legibility. 

Peren Nera Rogue

Powering the Nera Rogue is a Sellita SW200 that Peren regulates in-house. This ubiquitous workhorse is an alternative to the ETA 2824 and comes with 26 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 38-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and date. Although based in Transylvania, Peren watches are assembled in Switzerland and officially Swiss made. 

Peren Nera Rogue

Peren has an intriguing diver with the Nera Rogue and it’s a great follow-up to the (very different) Hintz. It brings a modern interpretation of a rare classic without falling into the traps of copying. If you can’t afford a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, this is a cool substitute at a very affordable price. Preorders start at just CHF 449 and the watch is limited to 300, as is the Nero Rogue X. Deliveries are expected to start in November 2021. For more information, visit Peren’s website.

6 responses

  1. The Design elements are all there . Nice. But the green/blue dial not so much.

  2. Contrary to Richard, I really like the colour combination – it’s refreshing and not obviously like anything I’ve seen before which appeals to me. (I have a green Longines hydroconquest… which is would benefit from exactly this colour in my option) (I have just ordered one – to settle my own curiosity and perhaps comment with more experience on quality etc).

  3. There is a heck of a lot to like about this watch. Inspired by a Blancpain diver from the past yet no one would really realize it unless the Brand itself told you. I like that. This watch seems so refreshing in style and execution. Simple layout, cool color, good movement, and just a pop of details that makes it stand out. Details like the cut ins for the indices on the dial, the pop of color above the water resistance at the 6 O’clock, the grippy down-sloped bezel and the large crown. Many times less is more and in the case of this Peren Rogue, you get a lot more!

  4. for a correct information it must be said that Transylvania is a Romanian province, so it is part of Romania, Nera comes from Cheile Nerei which is located in Banat, another Romanian province and the Sphinx on the site is in Prahova county which belongs to Muntenia another Romanian province. Maybe for those who do not know it seems interesting but the truth is that it is a mixture of regions related to kitsch. If you want to promote the country is something else but you have to start from something real, true not from distorted information. Also in Transylvania, in Cluj there was a small manicure that produced watches in wooden cases and in Puciosa another small workshop Augusti Matei personalizes watches, Such a watch was offered as a gift to the Pope on the occasion of his visit to Romania.
    What I wrote has nothing to do with the quality of the watch and the effort of the entrepreneur that I appreciate, but it is correct that some information is presented correctly.


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