One thing I keep on saying about microbrands is that it’s enjoyable to see them evolve. The "big brands" have hundreds of years of experimentation and refinement behind them, and at this stage they are pretty easy to identify. It’s the newcomers who are still trying to define and establish themselves that I find quite interesting, which brings me to the Martenero Edgemere. I was fortunate enough to get one of these a few weeks ago, and I have been wearing it ever since for this exclusive wrist-time review. What do I think of it? Well, what else would you be here for, other than to find that out! (Unless you are here because you like to compare the arm hair of various ABTW contributors — which would be weird.)
Back to matters of the wrist, I found the Martenero Edgemere to be a great example of a brand learning about what makes a great watch. When I first unboxed the watch, I immediately thought that this may very well be the most uniquely "Martenero" design that has been released to date. Some of you may remember my review of the Martenero Marquis, which I found to be a classy yet practical watch. The Martenero Edgemere seems to have learned from past experiences and delivers what I feel is the best piece in their current line up.
For starters, it takes bigger risks. The model in this review is the "main" colourway, and I think you will all agree that it makes a much more confident statement. The red strap, blue hour ring, and multicoloured chapter ring are super catchy, and I really love the vibrance of this thing. It definitely gets noticed, and it’s only one of the four clever colour combos Martenero offers for the Edgemere model. I’m very happy to see such a bold step from this New York microbrand. Kudos.
The silver dial of the Martenero Edgemere has a modern diagonal pattern that is rather fetching, and I personally love the sub-seconds at four-thirty. The raised hour ring also has raised numerals, which really makes the Arabic numerals pop off the dial. Also, the numerals on the Martenero Edgemere evoke the dial of the Omega Suveran 2400-7 (circa 1950s), which is a fantastic reference to be reminded of. I also get the overall marine chronometer look, which is really carried through in the style of the hands. The hands have a somehow recognizable feel to them, but they still look unique. Come to think of it, I can only think of Ulysse Nardin using a similar diamond shaped minute hand on some of their marine chronometers. Either way, it helps get the point across, and it does it well.
The solid caseback is a welcome feature on the Martenero Edgemere, and it bears a nautical compass in correlation with the overall theme. Why is a solid caseback a welcome feature? Now, don’t get me wrong, display windows are great — I just don’t really need to see the Miyota 8245 that’s inside. Miyotas are reliable little machines, and because they are equally accessible, you’ll find quite a few microbrands using them. However, I’d rather see brands in this price range focusing on the case, dial, and overall design of the watch rather than try to wow me with the innards. Other than the first-time mechanical watch owner, I think many watch enthusiasts would agree with me on this point… Or, they will try to boil me alive in the comments section for my ignorance and heresy. We’ll see!
Backing up a slight bit, the Miyota 8245 ticks away at 21,600bph, with a 40-hour power reserve. You can give it a short wind, to kick-start the engine if you’ve let it wind down, but this automatic movement will stir to life with the slightest agitation. Like I said, it’s quite reliable.
Up next, I want to talk about the case of the Martenero Edgemere. It’s quite different from the twisted lug cases that Martenero has used up until this point. It has wide, short lugs that are brushed on the top, and polished on most of the side. About two thirds of the way down the side of the case, it angles inwards slightly and is brushed again, almost like a knife's edge. It’s a simple feature of the case, but again, it’s quite unique. I mean… I have seen twisted lugs before, but nothing comes to mind for this kind of detail on a watch case. It’s good stuff.
The 316L steel case is 40mm in width, and it’s just right for the overall vibrance and presence the watch carries. The screw-down crown affords you 50m of water resistance and could make this an easy everyday wearer. The slightly domed sapphire crystal has an excellent anti reflective coating that lets all the wonderful features of the dial shine on through. I didn’t notice any unpleasant glare during the last couple of weeks, so it is certainly doing its job.
And finally, the strap of the Martenero Edgemere is great. It’s genuine leather, with a hypoallergenic leather lining, and is made in the USA. The hold end is rounded with a classic branded buckle on the other end, and the strap is finished in a bright oxblood red that I really enjoy. It’s vibrant enough to be impactful, yet tasteful enough that you suit it up and still look dapper. It really brings the whole colour theme to a satisfying conclusion.
So, what do I think of the Martenero Edgemere? I think it’s great, and I think it’s the smartest piece they have released to date. What’s more, you can strap one of these on your own wrist for a mere $550 USD, and I can tell you it is damn well worth that in terms of enjoyment. And you know what I like best about it? It’s fun. It’s something that isn’t trying to be overly serious, and I think we can all use a little bit of levity on the wrist from time to time. martenero.com
>Price: $550 USD
>Size: 40mm x 47mm x 11.8mm
>Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
>Movement: Automatic, Miyota 8245
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we'd recommend it to first: A watch lover that wants something fun to wear.
>Best characteristic of watch: Colourful and unique.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Honestly, I can’t think of one. I’d love to see a version of this with sans-serif Roman numerals also. Perhaps one completely insane colourway in a limited run.