When it comes to watches from Magrette, you know precisely what you’re getting from their lineup. Sure, there are various stylistic differences to the pieces, and movements changed around, but you knew if you dug through their catalog, you’d see cushion-cased divers, plain and simple. Or at least, that’s the way things used to be–a new challenger has appeared!
With the introduction of the Leoncino (aka Little Lion), they’ve looked to the 1960s for inspiration, and have come up with a new case design for the line. From the images we’ve seen so far, this looks to be a fairly bold design, with rounded edges on the rectangular (42mm x 49mm) case. With the introduction of the new case, Magrette also took the opportunity to introduce a new design for both the crown and the buckle. While the crown isn’t anything earth-shattering, I do rather like the details showing up in the buckle, which is a smaller component that’s often overlooked.
Once you get past all the new details and have another look at the watch, you’ll see that it’s instantly recognizable as Magrette. While the case shape is new, the alternating brushed and polished finishes are still present. Move your eye to the dial, and there’s no doubt who the watch came from, with the bold double-digit cut-out numerals at the compass points (though it’s worth noting that there are new lume pips showing up at the hours). The handset is also a familiar one, here color-matched to the chapter ring around the dial.
Tucked into the new case is a movement that’s a newer one for the brand, the Miyota 9015. This movement really seems to have become the darling of the ball for many of the smaller brands, and I can see why. You start off with the Miyota reliability, and end up with a movement that (if you’re wont to compare to ETA) is positioned between the ETA 2824 and 2892. Keeping the whole thing dry to a depth rating of 200m, you’ve got sapphire crystals front and back (another thing we’ve come to expect from the brand).
While the watch comes standard on a brown leather strap, they’re also including a black strap (with red stitching) that’s a call back to the straps we were seeing from the brand a few years ago, something I’m glad to see make its way back into the lineup. And what would you expect to pay for all of this? But wait, there’s more! The Leoncino comes in their new signature case (which includes a nice travel wallet) as well.
Magrette has always offered great value for your dollar, and the Leoncino is no exception, coming in at a price of $625 (plus $30 shipping). Not bad for a limited-edition (667 pieces) watch, eh? While I personally have been a fan of the cushion cases being used, I think it’s refreshing to see the New Zealand brand stretch out a bit and offer something a bit different, while still retaining the brand DNA. Of the variants being introduced (black or white), the white dial seems (to my eye) to be the most appealing, although the black-dialed one is quite nice in its own right. You can pre-order yours here; watches are anticipated to start shipping by mid-November. magrette.com
Tech Specs from Magrette
- MOVEMENT: 9015 MIYOTA WITH HACKING SECONDS
- CASE DIAMETER: 42MM EXCLUDING THE CROWN
- CASE FINISH: 316L STAINLESS STEEL (POLISHED TOP AND BRUSHED SIDES WITH BEAD BLASTED BACK)
- CROWN: SCREW DOWN CROWN.
- CRYSTAL: SAPPHIRE (DOUBLE DOMED), AR COATING.
- DIAL AND HANDS: OLD RADIUM COLOR SUPER LUMINOVA
- CASE BACK: SEE-THROUGH (SAPPHIRE) CASE BACK, DLC WITH ANTI FINGER-PRINT COATING
- WATER-RESISTANCE: 200M/20ATM WATER RESISTANCE
- STRAP: LEATHER TAN STRAP WITH WHITE STITCHING, REMBORDE EDGE, LORICA LINING PLUS EXTRA BLACK STRAP
- LIMITED EDITION: 667
- PRICE: $625.00 PLUS $30.00 USD SHIPPING WORLDWIDE.