Marvin watches can trace their history back as far as 1850 and the Marvin name has been on the books at the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in Berne, Switzerland since 1893. Marvin has an interesting and notable history which eventually saw the brand joining the MSR group (Manufactures d'Horlogeries Suisses Réunies) in the 70's before essentially disappearing altogether. Fast forward to 2002 and the Marvin name was relaunched after being purchased from MSR by Jean-Daniel Maye and his wife Cecile. The Mayes were apparently attracted to the history of the brand and sought to resurrect Marvin, wiping its name from the list of casualties claimed by the quartz revolution. Over the past few years we have shown you a series of interesting and noteworthy Marvin models, and today we add to that list with the Marvin Malton Cushion M119.
This specific variant of the M119 is the M188.8.131.52, but it is easily distinguished from its siblings thanks to its bold combination of a PVD case and a bright white dial with black markers. While there are many versions of the M119, this one offers huge wrist presence for a watch with a 42mm case. The cushion case lies somewhere in the overlap between a Panerai Radiomir and a Tag Heuer Monaco with short lugs, a slim bezel and a thickness of just 11.5 mm. The case is really nice, exhibiting a mix of polished and brushed elements and small details like the heritage marking on the left flank and the display case back offering a view of the movement within. The case finishing is excellent and the design is very detail-driven and one that highlights the fairly complex shape in a luxurious and interesting way.
The dial, along with its punchy white coloring, is fantastic and likely the single best element of the M119 line. Beautifully detailed to catch the light, the dial is decorated with a crosshatch design that serves as the platform for the matte black inlaid markers which perfectly accent the finishing on the case. The hands are done in gloss black but their simple and minimal shape matches nicely with the markers used for all of the odd numbers in the main display. The black ring, which sits inside the radius of the chapter ring, shows a simple 24 hour display and the chapter ring offers a minute track in a minimal and legible typeface. Finally, the date display is situated in place of the six o'clock marker and offers a color matched black text on a white date wheel, excellent attention to detail here. Dial script is minimal with the name plate and logo below 12 and "automatic" printed above the date display. While I could do without the "automatic" text, Marvin also makes a quartz version within the same family of watches, so I suppose the distinction is worth noting. The Malton Cushion range offers a number of dial designs with the M119 range being the most casual design of the three-hand models. Alternate options within the M119 range include an open-heart dial and a series of varied color choices.
Viewable via the display case back, the Marvin M119 is powered by the Sellita SW 200 movement. Attentive readers will recognize this movement as the preferred stand-in for the ETA 2824-2. The SW 200 is a perfectly capable clone of the 2824 and has even been used interchangeably by Tag Heuer as the base for their Caliber 5 movement. Offering a power reserve of 36 hours, this movement relies on 26 jewels and beats at 28, 800 vph (4 Hz). In the M119, Marvin adds a signed rotor and timekeeping was seen to be reliable and without issue.
The Malton M184.108.40.206 comes fitted with a perforated black leather strap with a bright red liner. The strap is soft, very comfortable and even comes fitted with quick-release spring bars (no tools needed). The strap suits the watch nicely thanks to contrast stitching and a matching PVD treated and signed buckle. If the leather strap is not your preference, there are other models of the M119 that come on an attractive stainless steel bracelet. I for one would love to see additional straps available directly from Mavin as the included strap is better than I expected at this price point and the quick-release spring bar encourages strap changes.
On wrist, the M119 is comfortable and easy to wear thanks to a total weight of just 99 grams. While certainly sporty on the perforated strap, I also found the M119 to work well with a simple black nato strap or brown leather straps, providing the shade was not too dark. The detailed case design and white on black should dress up nicely with a black alligator strap and may even play well with a casual suit. Being a forward thinking brand with fresh management, Marvin offers a full online shop and the Malton Cushion M119 range is priced from $1380 to $1690 USD with the M1220.127.116.11 carrying a list price of $1580 USD. While the $1500 price range is stacked for competition from Victorinox, Hamilton, entry level Tag Heuers and many more, I think Marvin is definitely worth a close look as the M119 is a lovely watch that is perfectly sized, excellently detailed and a treat to wear.
>Model: Malton Cushion M18.104.22.168
>Price: $1580 USD
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we'd recommend it to first: The guy that wants a distinctive watch that can be worn in most situations and will appreciate the fine details and automatic movement
>Worst characteristic of watch: The limited luminous material on the hands
>Best characteristic of watch: The beautiful textured dial and inlaid markers.
Written by James Stacey