Hands-On With The Peren Nera Rogue BW
Today, we’re taking a look at this new Nera Rogue BW. Peren has become a household name in the microbrand universe. In particular, the brand’s divers under the Nera moniker are well thought-out and widely appreciated. Previously, they were fitted with a signature petrol-color dial, but now there is a version with a black dial as well. You may think the watch could lose its unique character with this change. However, I am happy to report that it does not.
I have spent some time with the new Peren Nera Rogue BW on the wrist. This is how we fared…
We have covered Peren before. Nacho previously reviewed the petrol-dialed Nera Rogue, and he was very enthusiastic. Watch lover Andy Bica runs the microbrand from Transylvania. The name is derived from the word “perennial.” It refers to the lasting nature of a proper mechanical watch. In Dutch, however, it means “pears,” which makes it sound a bit odd to my ears. Luckily, our reader base is spread all over the globe, so most of you will not have that issue.
You can spot those Transylvanian roots in the logo, which is an abstract set of fangs. Otherwise, the region serves as a source of less obvious inspiration for Bica. It is probably best to read Bica’s own words on the topic on his website. He explains it better than I could reproduce here.
I think it’s cool if a designer allows his/her roots to influence the work consciously. At the same time, the Nera range omits the “Transylvania” line under the logo, as seen on the Hintz. I think that makes sense. A philosophical influence — as Bica experiences — does not necessarily have to be made explicit like that.
Nera Rogue BW
So this new Nera Rogue BW is technically identical to the one Nacho reviewed last year. It is still a 39mm × 48.8mm × 12.8mm dive watch in a bead-blasted case. It still has a 200m water-resistance rating, and it still houses a Sellita SW200-1. Furthermore, it still features that black PVD unidirectional bezel. This time, however, it is completely blacked out. The five-minute markers are etched but not painted or lumed. There is a lumed white triangle at the top for orientation. It lends a more minimalist aesthetic to the entire watch.
There are a couple of attractive details that deserve a mention. First is the sloped rehaut that hugs the hour markers. It is often compared to the Tudor Pelagos, but it does not look derivative. It has a far less pronounced effect here that you only notice upon close inspection. The color-matching date is another well-executed detail. Thanks to the short indices, the balance of the dial is kept intact.
Another detail that I love in particular is the narrow steel band surrounding the bezel inlay. It breaks up the black-on-black theme and adds some nice light play. Lastly, the crown is worth mentioning. It is very well-machined and signed. I have seen lesser crowns on watches costing several times more.
A word on straps
I am about to get quite positive in the next section, but allow me to get some critical notes out of the way first. The strap offerings with the Peren Nera Rogue BW do not really do the watch justice. You can have your pick of a black NATO, black sailcloth, and black rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet. I have tried all but the sailcloth, or “water resistant” option, as Peren calls it.
The stainless steel bracelet is a generic Oyster-style affair. Considering the price segment we’re talking about, that would be just fine if it were not finished completely differently from the watch. The case is bead-blasted, and the bracelet is brushed. I find it an unacceptable mismatch that cheapens the watch dramatically. Apparently, there is a bead-blasted alternative in the works. Until that becomes available, I would recommend picking another strap option.
The NATO strap looks good, but it is rather thin. There are much nicer NATOs on the market today at very competitive prices. Lastly, the rubber strap features a tire-tread pattern as on Chopard Mille Miglia watches. That makes sense on a racing chronograph but not so much on a dive watch. My advice would be to get the cheapest option (NATO, rubber, or water-resistant) and put the Nera Rogue BW on a nicer strap of your choice.
Wearing the Peren Nera Rogue BW
I put the Neren Rogue BW on a nice sage-green nylon strap of my own, and the watch immediately came to life. Size-wise, it wears really well. The long lugs make it feel a bit bigger than the 39mm diameter suggests. Still, it hugs the wrist well and maintains a nice and sporty stance.
The Nera Rogue BW feels more luxurious than its price should justify. Its bead-blasted case is well-machined and has a smooth feel to it. The blackened bezel also looks quite fancy, and the dial and handset provide a very clean aesthetic that just works. The only issue I have with the dial is the positioning of the text. The printing at 12 and 6 o’clock is probably centered between the hand stack and the edge of the dial. That makes it feel pushed out too far to me. Perhaps it should be centered between the hand stack and the inside of the indices, or maybe it is just me… Let me know in the comments below.
The combination of black and bead-blasted elements is distinctively sporty. This could be your do-it-all watch if you live a purely casual lifestyle. I cannot see it dressed up, though. But then again, you could get the Nera Rogue BW and an Orient Bambino for well under a grand, and you will be settled for any situation. I want to give extra credit for the fact that the Nera Rogue BW looks very original. Sure, it is an archetypal dive watch, but it does not look derivative like many microbrands’ offerings. That is deserving of praise.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Peren Nera Rogue BW. The watch itself punches way above its weight. If Peren manages to get its strap game sorted, the brand really has a potential winner here. Still, if you like the style, just fit any strap of your choice and don’t look back.
The Peren Nera Rogue BW is priced at CHF 595 on the NATO, rubber, or water-resistant strap. The stainless steel bracelet pushes that up to CHF 665. That puts it at the lower end of, for instance, Seiko Prospex divers. For a watch with this level of finishing and a Sellita SW200-1, that is not bad at all.
In short, then, I can wholeheartedly recommend this watch. If you want something off the beaten track and you like the style, you cannot really go wrong. It is limited to 100 pieces, so you will be wearing something rare to boot. I think Peren is on the right track with its latest release.
What do you think? Would you consider the Peren Nera Rogue BW? Let me know in the comments below.
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