Marvin M103 1

This watch may be a sleeper hit in the watch world – and one of my favorite Marvin watches in their current collection. It has the feeling of a classic sport chronograph watch – but in a modern package. Sized large at 44mm wide, the steel case feels solid while the leather strap feels soft. Looking at the various colors on the dial, I am reminded by one of my favorite sport chronograph watches that are no longer made. The Zenith El Primero Rainbow. The name was a bit deceiving, as it didn’t have THAT many colors in it, but enough to make the dial stand out more. The Marvin M103 watch shares that look. Most of the dial is black with the steel tones, while there are splashes of red, white, and yellow.

You also get the classic looking framed chronograph subdials, while the seconds subdial is not framed in a white ring. This is done for style (to remind of a bi-compax layout), but is also there to help keep your eyes on the right dials when you are using the chronograph timing function. Using the chronograph is easy with the large classic shaped oblong pushers – while the wider and flatter than usual crown is also retro inspired. You’ll love the Marvin crown logo that looks embossed into the watch crown. On the other side of the case you’ll find an engraving of the initials of the original founders of the Marvin brad – a detail you find on all Marvin watches.

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Having a thin polished bezel gives the M103 a large look given the 44mm wide case. The sapphire crystal is raised and nicely beveled. A look that is common in Marvin watches. For another piece of brand identity you can see the red number “8” on the watch dial, as well as the color of the reserve side of the leather watch strap. Like all nice Marvin watches. the strap has a really high quality made buckle – again with the Marvin logo. One reason that I keep mentioning where the Marvin logo is placed, is because many watches that don’t have these “signed” piece feel too much, as though they are made from sourced watch parts (this is especially the way I feel when I see a watch strap buckle without a brand signature on it). Marvin has the feel of a more brand dedicated product that isn’t part of a common parts bin. Thus you get this special attention on the crown, buckle, and on the back of the strap.

Even though the watch is retro and sporty, it is still a nice watch. And with that comes some requisite polish and shine – which I like. I am going through one of those “check out my watch” phases, and I like a little sparkle. This is a trait that Marvin is good at, and the brand certainly has it down when it comes to presentation. From the packaging, to the advertising, Marvin does a fluid job at making you feel good about getting and owning their products. Still, I need to remind you that the watches aren’t available in the US, but they will be soon I predict.

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Usability for the watch is good. The chronograph like I said, is easy to read. The hands of the watch could use a little bit of a size increase maybe. This is always a tricky thing. Because if you make the hands on a chronograph watch stick out too much, they obscure the chronograph, and if they are too thin, they are hard to read. The lume on the hands is thin, but existent. The Marvin M103 is not the best timepiece for night viewing, but it is manageable. The watch case is water resistant to 50 meters – enough for a watch like this. The matte black leather strap is a good match for the character of the watch, and tapers from 22mm wide at the lugs down to 18mm near the bottom for comfort. Tapered watch straps tend to be more comfortable to wear – which is why Rolex has been doing it for year with most all their metal bracelets.

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Inside the watch is the an automatic Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement. The hard workhorse movement is the gold standard for mechanical chronograph movements in many watches. It has a 12 hour chronograph, day, date, and a 46 hour power reserve. You can see the movement through the watch’s exhibition caseback window.

For me, the M103 watch is a good all-around timepiece, with a price of $2,400. With a good mix of sport and formal style, you can wear the watch with jeans, shorts, suit, or a black leather jacket. I feel that the watch exudes a sense of practicality and being functionally minded. Its non pretentious, and genuine.  A watch like this makes you approachable, and also communicates that you are tasteful and enjoy nice things in life. I personally like the watch a lot and certainly enjoy wearing it.

Learn more at Marvin watches here.

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