Our favorite New Zealand-based watch company Magrette is back with a new watch model called the Moana Pacific Professional. FEBRUARY 2013 UPDATE: See the end of the article below for links to new images of the finished watch. In addition to a slightly new design flavor and more sporty attire, the Moana Pacific Professional finally uses the well-received Japanese Miyota 9015 automatic movement that we actually covered back here. This isn't the first watch I've seen with a 9015 movement, but I know Magrette has been waiting to get their hands on these. The caliber 9015 is a high-grade automatic movement from Citizen-owned Miyota meant to compete with the Swiss ETA 2824 - and we hear really positive performance results with watches containing the caliber 9015.
The Miyota 9015 movement is a 4 Hz automatic with hand-winding and a hacking seconds hand.. It has the potential to really fill in the gap where ETA movements used to go now that ETA is severely restricting sales of their movements to brands outside of the Swatch Group. The 9015 represents a high quality Japanese alternative mechanical movement that still isn't too expensive for watches that are $1,000 and under. I heard that until recently Miyota wasn't selling too many 9015 movements, but that the doors have opened up a bit more now. What is means for you is that you can get a decent mechanical watch for a reasonable price and not have too much ETA-envy.
Magrette will offer three limited edition versions of the Moana Pacific Professional. Each comes in a 44mm wide steel case with either a brushed steel, black PVD, or rose gold PVD finish. Exciting for Magrette fans is that the bezels will feature ceramic inlays. The matte black ceramic bezels will further have inlays of C3 colored SuperLumiNova which ought to match the SuperLumiNova on the dial quite well. The new dials have a new chapter ring with some timing indicators on them. I suppose this is part of the "professional" package. We look forward to seeing the watches hands-on to see just how the dials come out, but the colors aren't bad at all at first glance.
Performance-wise the Magrette Moana Pacific Professional has a lot of juice. Over the dial is an AR coated sapphire crystal. The case is water resistant to 500 meters and it contains and automatic helium release valve. Will most people use these functions? I think you know the answer to that, but I like that Magrette is upping the value proposition of their watches without really thrusting up prices.
Attached to the watches will be polyurethane rubber straps with a new deployant buckle that I don't believe has ever been offered before by Magrette. According to Magrette there will be other strap options available when the piece is finally released. What we are seeing is an overall list of new features (movement, bezel, case, delpoyant clasp, etc...) that are new offerings from the brand. As a limited edition each of the three versions of the Moana Pacific Diver will be available in different quantities. The brushed steel and black PVD models will be limited to 750 pieces each, while the rose gold PVD model will be limited to 500 pieces total.
Having said that, Magrette will produce only about 200 pieces per version to start when the Moana Pacific Professional will be initially released. The sad news is that the Moana Pacific Professional will not be ready until late spring/early summer 2013 (estimated May 2013 release), but aBlogtoWatch readers get this early look so you can pre-order now if you like (for a $150 deposit). Price for the Magrette Moana Pacific Professional models is reasonable starting at $545 for the brushed steel version. The black PVD model will retail for $575, topping out at $595 for the rose gold PVD model. More info here at Magrette.
Model: Moana Pacific Professional
Movement: 9015 Miyota with hacking seconds
Case diameter: 44mm excluding the crown
Case finish: PVD (black), PVD (rose gold) and Stainless steel brushed/polished.
Bezel: Black ceramic (matte finish) with C3 LUMINOUS fillings.
Crown: Screw down crown.
Crystal: Sapphire (double domed), AR coating.
Dial and hands: Super Luminova C3
Pressure valve: functional pressure escape valve, protecting the watch against pressure differences that can occur below 300 meters of depth
Water-resistance: 500m/1650ft Water resistance
Strap: All new black PU rubber strap with logo, name and customized stainless steel deployment buckle. (other strap options will be available)
LIMITED EDITION: 500 (rose Gold PVD) 750 (Black PVD/Stainless steel) pieces
Price: Stainless steel $545.00 USD/ Black PVD $575.00 USD/ Rose Gold PVD $595.00 plus $30.00 USD shipping worldwide.