August 24, 2018
Being no stranger to the world of microbrands, I love seeing start-ups explore various ideas until they find their way. With the release of the Kerrison, Martenero is an example of a brand that has found the right groove to follow.
As a previous reviewer of the Edgemere and the Marquis, I was happy to strap on Martenero’s latest release and give it a whirl. At first glance, the Kerrison shares much with the Marquis line from 2015, save for the Roman numerals and more conservative color palette. Also, I do rather prefer the dial without the “New York” qualifier. It’s a helluva town, but I prefer less type taking up space.
The difference that strikes me most about the Kerrison is the use of color. It may seem like a small detail, but the robin’s egg and a dark blue dial really changes the personality of the piece. The strap looks like a bit more of a slate blue, which differs from the dial but adds to the overall presentation. The color combination is subtle yet clever and it makes the watch stand out. It also feels like a fitting release for Martenero by playing off of the brand’s key strength: Fun.
Martenero’s price point makes this a great entry level watch. However, the playful use of color makes the Kerrison an attractive offering for more jaded veterans of watchnerdery. Fun is the “x-factor” for this piece, and that’s not something plentiful within the watch industry. I hope the brand continues down this path for future releases, and I suspect they will.
A more practical benefit for the Martenero Kerrison is that it is available in two sizes: 38mm as shown in this review, and 42mm if you like to wear your watch a bit larger. I prefer the smaller size based on the shape and length of the lugs, but that’s just my thing. Either way, it’s nice having a watch that feels tailored to your personal preference.
Something I have enjoyed about each and every Martenero watch I have reviewed is the strap. The color pairings are always thoughtful, and I really love the way they fit and wear. A great strap makes a huge difference, and I am very pleased with this one. Well done!
The case features twisted lugs with a chamfered cut off at the end, and a mix of brushed and polished finishing. There is also a screw-down crown, which is really helpful for day to day use. Yet for some reason, I found myself babying the Kerrison more than other Martenero watches I have reviewed. I felt a compulsion to keep this much more neat and tidy, and even took it off when washing my hands or putting away dishes. Completely unnecessary with 50m water resistance, but I caught myself doing this time and again. Make what you will of that WIS-OCD. (For the layman: Watch Idiot Savant – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.)
While wearing the watch over the past few weeks, I observed a trend in who noticed the Kerrison. Friends and colleagues who are working as illustrators, animators, and graphic designers seemed to be drawn to this watch more than anyone else. This really does make sense to me, as the design is clean without being plain. It’s not a bullshit take on Bauhaus or minimalism. It’s balanced, with the date window at 6 o’clock, a smart crosshair at the center, and the 3, 6, 12 layout. The dauphine hands add a touch of classic style to boot, and the Kerrison doesn’t feel typical when all the elements come together. It’s on the edge of being quirky, and I think this is why the watch stood out to more artsy types.
On the inside, the Miyota 9015 automatic hacking seconds movement keeps the Kerrison ticking. Not sure if I feel the sapphire display back is so necessary for a Miyota-powered watch, but it’s there if you care to take a gander. For someone new to watches, seeing the movement is a key part of the experience, so I have no complaints about it. I said before that it would be nice if you could opt for a solid caseback when placing your order, but that would make for additional logistic considerations. The price of the watch is so reasonable it’s really not worth the gripe, and having size options is a better play.
Getting back to style points for the Martenero Kerrison, I have to say this is a perfect watch for the summer. You can dress it way up, or way down, so it’s great when you are packing light on a summer’s getaway. It was highly enjoyable during the time it spent on my wrist and it really just boils down to that at the end of the day. It’s a watch that FEELS GOOD to wear, and it is a lot of watch for the price. Details like the applied hour markers/numerals are really executed well, and just add to the overall quality of the watch.
If you are looking for something simple, versatile, and highly enjoyable, then the Martenero Kerrison may deserve a spot in your watch box. At only $595 USD and with four colorways to choose from, I suspect it will find its way into many wrist-time rotations. Keep fun alive. martenero.com
>Price: $595 USD
>Size: 38mm wide (w/o crown), 10.8mm thick (20mm Lugs)
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Great travel watch for friend with style.
>Best characteristic of watch: The color combination and dial.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Can’t think of one. I loved it.