While at MONOCHROME our main focus is still luxury and high-end watches, we have to admit that Kickstarter doesn’t stop surprising us. In all honesty, 90% (if not more) of the projects are not on a par with our expectations. Yet, from time to time, one stands out from the crowd thanks to its originality or its quality-price ratio. The new Maen Hudson 38 Automatic, a pleasantly designed, vintage-inspired Sub-like dive watch is a no-frills sport watch with solid style and an attractive retail price – now officially launched on Kickstarter.
There is no weird display of the time on the Maen Hudson, no spaceship-inspired design, and no out-of-the-box ideas. No, the Maen Hudson veers more on the conservative side – which, sometimes can also be very pleasant. The Maen Hudson is a classic dive watch, with several attractive details and a stunning price…because as you will admit, price is a huge factor when talking about Kickstarter projects.
As mentioned, the Maen Hudson is a dive watch first and foremost. Which means that you’ll find a round case, a rotating bezel, a sporty bracelet and a 3-hand display with a sweeping seconds hand. Fine. So what makes this watch different? Well, it’s all about proportions and details. First, it has a slight – just a bit, not too much – vintage inspiration. No faux-patina, no gimmicky aged indices, no fakely patinated case. To give the Maen Hudson a taste of the past, the case measures only 38mm in diameter, 12mm in height and 46mm lug to lug (certainly as important as the diameter). Overall, respectable masculine dimensions for sure, but nothing compared to most modern behemoth watches. This watch is classically sized, rather thin and well balanced on the wrist. Period.
Looking closer at the case, we discover several pleasant details, such as the combination of polished (sides) and brushed (flat surfaces), a polished bevel running from one lug to another, an oversized 7mm screw-down crown and no crown guards – everything you’ll find a well-known 1960s “Bond 007 diver”. Same goes for the bezel, with its coin-edge profile, its black aluminium insert and a red triangle to mark the desired minute. The bezel is steel and features 120 clicks. Finally, the vintage touch is emphasised with a domed sapphire crystal – which can feel a bit cheap, but then again, this watch retails for a fraction of the price of most luxury dive watches.
The 38mm case can be ordered on request with a sapphire case back or a closed steel case back. This will have an effect on specifications. On the first, you’ll be able to see the movement but water-resistance will be 100m (still very decent and enough for 99% of the occasions). On the closed case back model, the movement will remain invisible but water-resistance goes up to 200m. Completing the package is a brushed, 5-link stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp. Again, don’t expect a Rolex-like quality here, but the Maen Hudson 38 Automatic still feels nicely crafted.
Note: a 42mm version will be added if 450 watches are sold through Kickstarter
The dial of this dive watch is classically designed, rather modern – or at least, not as vintage-inspired as the rest of the watch – and executed with functionality in mind. In short, no-nonsense. Available in four different versions – full black, black with white flange, blue with white flange and white – it features large luminous hands and applied indices. The second hand is a typical lollipop one and the dial is rather quiet (no 5-line of text). On request, future owners will be able to choose between a time-and-date or a no-date display.
Inside the case is the prevalent ETA 2824-2 movement – not a clone but a Swiss-made version (a standard grade version). Reliable and quite precise, it will do the job without even thinking about it. For those opting for the sapphire case back, they will benefit from a movement decorated with blued screws, perlage and a specific rotor.
Overall, the Maen Hudson 38 Automatic shows very decent quality, especially considering the EUR 499 retail price – or even less for early bidders, as the first 150 watches will be offered at EUR 339. You can now check the project on the official Kickstarter page.
Added on 21st of May:
Maen Watches has unlocked the Swiss Made version with ETA 2824 Elaboré movement.
Additionally, there’s now also a Limited Edition available in all black execution! Check out the Kickstarter page here, to learn more.