Maen Watches seems to be on a roll this year and moving up the small-brand tiers with its portfolio. The Skymaster 38 that I recently had the pleasure of reviewing was refined and upgraded mechanically, yet it still presented good value. This time, we go hands-on with the Maen Manhattan, but it is a brand-new Ultra-Thin version with a different vibe than its 37mm progenitor.

Small is good in my book, so I enjoyed the Manhattan 37. It was a bold move by Maen in a world where 38–39mm cases are still small for some, and it captured the ’70s zeitgeist perfectly. We love chronographs and big dive watches, but the integrated bracelet is super hot. So what does the new Maen Manhattan 39 Ultra-Thin bring to the table?

Hands-on with the MAEN Manhattan

Big-brand execution with small-brand rarity

I still remember having the Manhattan 37 as a house guest in February, which made an impression. This is an upgraded experience, reduced by 26% from a 9.3mm thickness to an impressive 6.9mm. Sizes mean so little on paper when you see how much a shape makes for different wearability. The Manhattan is a case in point. Two things set the Manhattan 39 Ultra-Thin apart in the landscape of “The Integrateds.” The case shape is a brand-defining feature, and the dial has an unusual Côtes de Genève finish, making it distinctive.

It has a delightful way of reflecting the light, which turns this dark navy version into a chameleonic color shifter. Forest green, tonal gray, ice blue, and deep red dials are also available, so the choice might be difficult. The main case body, with its scalloped corners, vaguely reminds us of a slim Nautilus. But with the broad, brushed bezel pulled in from the edge, it has its very own personality and a palpably slim nature. To underline the design, all edges are defined by slim, polished beveling.

Hands-on with the MAEN Manhattan

The bracelet is king

For a watch under €1,000, Maen has got its bracelet game down with this latest release, just like the tougher cousin that I recently reviewed, the Skymaster 38. But this Manhattan offers a different vibe in a market with higher demands on finishing and comfort. And yes, it pretty much nails it. The bracelet seems slightly refined compared to that of the 37mm Manhattan and has little slack. The links have refined bevels that catch the light, making the look as well as the comfort sublime. It’s got a secure click on its logoed butterfly clasp and easy-to-size-up screw-fixed links.

The brushed finish is also well executed, while the polished details make an elegant difference. Sure, the exposed screws in the removable links might look a bit sportier than slim friction pins. Still, they make a world of difference in the fitting experience sans paying a watchmaker, so that’s also a big plus for me.

Hands-on with the MAEN Manhattan

A slim, storied movement

For many, the movement is an equal star here. For the first time, Maen opted for the 2.5mm-slim ETA/Peseux 7001 caliber. It’s a hand-wound gem, with various executions found in watches from Omega, Blancpain, Nomos, Farer, Stowa, Ming, and the list goes on. This is one of the main reasons that the Manhattan 39 manages its impressive 6.9mm case slimness. I also enjoy the small, logoed octagonal crown on the Manhattan 39, another example of Maen’s focus on details. You might view the small size skeptically, but its design detail makes it worthwhile.

The ETA 7001 winds smoothly and helps maintain a cohesive design for the Manhattan 39 Ultra-Thin’s ’70s vibe. The caliber has been fully decorated with blued screws and precise Côtes de Genève finishing, which are on display through a sapphire-equipped exhibition case back. This was not fitted to this pre-production prototype, so, unfortunately, there are no shots of the back. With a decent 42–45-hour power reserve, the movement has also been adjusted to five positions, comes with an Incabloc shock absorber, and has a vintage-calm 21,600vph beat rate.

Hands-on with the MAEN Manhattan

Final thoughts on the Maen Manhattan 39 Ultra-Thin

I have nothing but good things to say about Maen’s newest Manhattan. Its broad case and elegantly thin profile impressed me. Yes, I’d love to see a middle-size model with a 38mm case and even a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. But surely, that’s being a bit too picky (or maybe it’s already on the drawing board, Maen?). Even with its 39mm diameter, 47.8mm lug-to-lug, and non-articulating end links, this one wears comfortably thanks to a big detail.

Maen has understood the importance of the shape of the lugs, and they angle down dramatically, merging with the bracelet. This means that the watch hugs the wrist enthusiastically, only emphasizing its slim vibe. There’s also much to be said for the zen joy of only two hands on the dial. It’s a move reminiscent of vintage dress watches, as bold as it is remarkably calming, and I’d like to see more of it. Add the bespoke-suit feel of the vertical dial structure, and Maen has a great extension to its Manhattan range,

The Maen Manhattan 39 Ultra-Thin will be available for pre-order a week from today at a reduced price of €847 (retail €999). To check out all five dial colors and sign up for notifications about the launch, visit the Maen Watches website.

What are your thoughts, Fratelli? Could this new Manhattan 39 Ultra-Thin be one of the best bets for an integrated-bracelet watch under €1,000 this year? That might be a yes, but let me know in the comments.

Watch specifications

Manhattan 39 Ultra-Thin
Midnight Blue with Côtes de Genève finish, applied markers and hands with Super-LumiNova C1 X1. Also available in Forest Green (MHU.01), Ice Blue (MHU.03), Ghost Grey (MHU.04), and Garnet Red (MHU.05).
Case Material
316L stainless steel
Case Dimensions
39mm (diameter) × 47.8mm (lug-to-lug) × 6.9mm (thickness)
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire crystal, fixed with screws
ETA 7001 — Elaboré Grade, manual winding, 21,600vph frequency, 42–45-hour power reserve, 17 jewels
Water Resistance
10 ATM
Integrated stainless steel three-row bracelet with butterfly clasp
Time only (hours and minutes)
€847 (pre-order) / €999 (retail)