March 25, 2019
by Rob Nudds
I guess I believe in love at first sight. The Mauron Musy Armure MU 03 watch had me at hello. Which is weird, because, despite its many charms, it can’t talk. What it can do, however, is withstand the humongous pressure of 30 atmospheres bearing down on its exterior without the need of a single rubber gasket.
We covered the earliest model from this intriguing Swiss outfit (located in the Broye Valley) way back in 2016. David gave a great introduction to the company and its patented, and painstakingly-researched, nO-Ring technology that uses a series of clamps and robustly machined case components (36 in all) to create a water-resistant housing that is completely secure, despite the absence of traditional gaskets. Though it comes in at 44mm, the Mauron Musy Armure MU 03 case wears well, thanks to the fact it is machined out of grade 5 titanium.
At Baselworld 2019, Christophe Musy and his team are showcasing the evolution of that original design with the fantastic Mauron Musy Armure MU 03. With plenty of dial and case combinations, there is surely something for anyone that is allured by this technologically tantalizing wrist machine, with plenty of hidden treats. Check out the close-up below to see one of them: the seconds hand actually passes under the overhanging hour marker at 9 o’clock.
I adored the aesthetic from the outset but was actually able to get one on my wrist this past week for the very first time. It’s a strange watch in teams of proportions and wearability (both are excellent). It is lighter and taller on the wrist than one might expect, but it wears with exceptional balance and comfort. The first thing that popped into my head as I looked down at it was how it came across as the thinking man’s Hublot. In rose gold — a model that is not officially available but has been developed for one particular customer — the piece has all the glitz and glam of a footballer’s fever dream, and yet, thanks to the nuanced angles and many intricacies of the gasket-less case, it comes off as much more intellectual at its core.
Crucially, this model is supported by a passionate and driven team that hopes to bring Mauron Musy’s work to a wider audience. In my opinion, having seen so many small brands set out with the same mission, there is absolutely no reason why Mauron Musy cannot achieve this. Its one sticking point with potential customers yet to see this work in person might be the price — but one only has to handle the Armure MU 03 for a few minutes to know why it is priced as it is. And, more importantly, why it’s worth it.
The movement is stylistically congruous with the industrial futurism of the case. The MM01 is exclusively made for the brand by La Joux-Perret. It is a generous 33m-wide and 6.55mm-thick. Its snailed, hollowed, and micro-blasted surfaces marry perfectly together. The movement features 25 jewels, an operating speed of 28,800vph, 149 components (one of which is a gilded Glucydur balance wheel), and a robust 55-hour power reserve. It’s a handsome beast, too.
I think the reason I’ve become so captivated by this brand is that it is not only making a contribution to horology with its efforts but is also doing so consciously within its own limitations. It is that self-awareness that has, I believe, fostered such strong respect for the team, who knew at the outset they were not movement designers. They knew it was not their destiny to create wild and wonderful horological howitzers. They were engineers who identified a weakness — the potential failure of synthetic gaskets — their expertise could address. And address it they have. The Mauron Musy Armure MU 03 retails for CHF 9,300 before taxes. Visit mauronmusy.com for more information.