Magrette of New Zealand has just released two watches for pre-order that are the brand's first chronograph watches. The watches contain the same movement and share similar cases, but have their differences. The first watch is the Magrette Moana Pacific Chronograph PVD and the second is the Magrette Regattare Chronograph.
With their first chronograph watch Magrette did not want to alienate its loyal followers by pricing the watch too high. At the same time the movement needed to be interesting and useful. Magrette turned to the actually quite impressive Seagull TY-2901 manually wound 30 minute chronograph movement. This is a Chinese made replica of an older movement called the Venus 175. Another watch that used this movement was the Techne Sparrow Hawk that I reviewed here. The Sparrow Hawk sold very well and I attribute that to people liking the nice mixture of interest and value in the movement.
Through the exposed caseback you can see the movement - which has the fine look of a vintage chronograph (because it is). It is worth the price just for that. The watch cases are 44mm wide and in steel. The Moana Pacific Chronograph PVD has a black coated case and rotating diver's bevel. The bezel is actually in black ceramic - which is a first for the brand I believe. The flange ring on the Moana Pacific Chronograph PVD is of a minute scale. On the Regattare Chronograph it is a tachymeter scale.
Both watches have the same dial and both have the same depth rating of 500 meters - pretty cool with the sapphire crystal caseback. For water tightness, the chronograph pushers are screw down. It is interesting how Magrette released two chronograph models right at the same time - each with enough differences to be separate models, but also also similar enough to be in the same product family. They certainly did a good job at making the Moana Pacific version feel more like a dive watch and the Regattare version look more racing inspired.
While the prices are a bit different, fans of the chronograph watches from Magrette will ultimately choose the style that they like best. Be it the cleaner polished and brushed steel Regattare or the more sporty and black Moana Pacific Chronograph PVD. Magrette will produce each of them as a limited edition of 1000 pieces. Price for the Magrette Moana Pacfiic Chronograph PVD will be $545 and the Magrette Regattare Chronograph will be $498.