It’s easy to forget in a sea of marketing campaigns and brand ambassadors that there are a lot of small companies out there making cool watches too. Martenero is one such company that has been creating small runs of enthusiast-designed watches for a few years now, right out of New York City. Its latest design, the Edgemere is inspired by marine chronometers, but with a modern look and bright colors. Here’s a hands-on look at this high-value piece.
We first told you about Martenero back in 2014 when it launched its very first watches. The idea was simple then: offer customizable watches inspired by the founders’ favorite vintage models for a reasonable price, and do as much as possible in New York City. The initial collection was follow-up with the Ascent and Marquis watches, both of which were also extremely customizable. With the Edgemere, Martenero is changing things up a bit, but without straying from the design sensibility and price-consciousness that has helped the brand grow over the years.
The Edgemere is a time-only watch with a sub-seconds dial at 4:30. The stainless steel case is 40mm across and 11.8mm thick, so it wears really nicely on a variety of wrist sizes. It seems like a lot of brands are settling on proportions like this, since they work for a variety of consumers, rather than going crazy with the 42mm and 44mm offerings. The crystal is sapphire and the screw-down crown helps make the Edgemere water-resistant to 50m. Â
Inside the Edgemere is a Miyota 8245 movement. It’s a Japanese automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve that’s known for being a reliable workhorse. Not having a Swiss movement in this watch allows Martenero to keep the price down â $550 for all models â and I think it’s a good compromise here. The caseback is closed stainless steel (ie, no sapphire window) and is engraved with a large nautical compass rose. Some might not like this approach to the mechanics, but I really do think it’s the right call with a watch like this.Â
Instead of offering the Edgemere with the customization options that were the hallmarks of its previous watches, Martenero is offering four different set versions of the Edgemere. There’s a blue dial, a silver dial, a combination white/blue dial, and a combination white/red dial. All four are bold and sharp, with the white/blue combination (seen below on my wrist) probably shouting “nautical” at me the loudest. The white/blue and blue have gradient-colored minute tracks around the dials’ edges, while the other two have solid tracks. It’s a small detail, but the solid track definitely gives the watch a more toned-down look. That said, the blue is quite handsome and I could see a lot of guys with blue-heavy wardrobes really enjoying it.
My favorite model is the silver dial Edgemere because it really lets you admire the dial finishing. For a $550 watch, this dial truly blew me away. The center section has a cross-hatch pattern, while the sub-seconds dial has subtle circular graining (not as visible after the application of the color). The hour-ring though has a brushed finish that catches the light in all the right ways and the applied Arabic numerals give it another layer of depth. In all honesty, it reminds me a lot of a more modest version of the dials Kari Voutilainen makes. Put away the pitchforks â I know this is a different level than what Kari is doing, but the basic principles aren’t too far off and I’m yet to see a nicer mix of textures and finishes on a dial at this price point.
All in all, the Edgemere is a pretty compelling watch. Sure, not all the color combinations are ideal for me, but that’s why there are four distinct models. The case geometry, dial finishing, and attention to detail all belie the watch’s affordable price and make this a great value pick for micro-brand lovers and general watch fans alike.
The Martenero is available now, directly from Martenero, and all colors are priced at $550.