New Zealand doesn’t have all that many watchmakers to speak of. It is just as well, then, that Magrette is flying the flag (and flying it well). Known for its cushion-shaped, go-anywhere watches, this Kiwi brand has settled on a definite aesthetic and is currently going about embellishing its collection with the addition of new materials and more basic complications. The most previously reviewed release on aBlogtoWatch before the release of the Magrette Moana Pacific Waterman GMT watches in bronze and steel was the Magrette Moana Pacific Professional Kara watch in titanium. A black-dial follow-up to that model is currently in the pre-order phase, following the warm reception of the original blue dial version (which was inspired by the flag of New Zealand).
Red, white, and blue is back again in both the steel and the bronze models available in the Magrette Moana Pacific Waterman GMT range. There are two bezel insert options for both case materials, with customers able to choose between a solid blue ceramic dial filled with Super-LumiNova or the same component in the red/blue Pepsi flavor.
As a GMT, this is the first watch from Magrette to use the ETA caliber 2893-2. Three years after the introduction of the Waterman range, and just a few months after debuting a CuSn8 bronze case for the 42mm cushion-cased range, it is great to see a further diversification for this popular family. While 42mm sounds modest enough by sport watch standards, the case, due to its square silhouette, wears much larger. Still, these watches offer a very fine, affordable option for would-be Paneristi looking for an aesthetically similar, but individually characterful alternative.
What is most satisfying about this range is the use of quality materials, the wise decision to close and brand the caseback, and the inclusion of a spare strap (you get a TROPICTM-style rubber strap and a vintage leather option in the box). With water resistance down to 500m to boot, the Magrette Moana Pacific Waterman GMT watches boast exceptional beater credentials for watches that retail significantly below a thousand bucks.
But the thing I like most about the bronze models, in particular, is the fact that they are paired with a bronze buckle (rejoice). I can well understand the use of solid steel casebacks due to the level of unavoidable contact between that component and the wearer’s skin, but steel buckles with bronze cases are a serious pet peeve of mine. While the buckle does get a lot of “skin time,” it just looks plain odd to me to have a completely different material on the underside of the wrist. Yes, the buckle may patina at a faster rate than the case, but not often by so much that it is as noticeable as a gleaming stainless steel buckle in its place.
The Magrette Moana Pacific Waterman GMT watches are delivered in Magrette’s custom leather travel case (very much appreciated for a GMT). As of today, all models are available with special pre-order pricing in effect for a limited period. Shipping is expected to occur around the end of February 2020, which should get fans of New Zealand watchmaking’s year off to a good start. Learn more about Magrette and the new Waterman models at magrette.com.