Watch collector Stijn Busschaert from Belgium has been a passionate collector of vintage watches for many years. According to Stijn, many of the big brands are releasing heritage models these days, but only a few are able to focus on the correct details and storyline(s) that actually matter. Next, and we’ve been writing about this “trend” for the past few years as well, is that many vintage watches are being seen and treated as investment objects. As you know, the prices on vintage watches have been booming and many of them have become unavailable for (especially) the young audience who appreciate vintage mechanical watches. Too cut a long story short, Stijn came up with his own watches based on diver’s models from the 1960s, with mechanical movements, packed with neat details. Oh, and he also wants to keep them affordable. In that, he succeeds, as the Méraud Bonaire watches will be offered via Kickstarter for €635 (up to €655).
The first Méraud model is a diver and called Bonaire, after the Caribean island which is like heaven for divers. Méraud is by the way derived from the French word for emerald (émeraude), and according to Stijn symbolic for the simple yet luxurious approach of his vintage watches.
So, what does that mean? Well, at least the pricing of the Méraud Bonaire is very interesting at €635 via Kickstarter. We received two of these Bonaire models and had a thorough look, despite them still being prototypes.
The stainless steel case measures 39mm, and the sapphire diving bezel definitely reminds us of the bezels used by certain diving watches back in the day. 39mm is also a very good size, although diving watches from the 1960s were typically a tad bit smaller. Méraud’s divers watches come in three flavours: Graphite Grey, Marine Blue and Onyx Black. The black dial version has been applied with faux-patina lume (SL) and the other two watches have been applied with the white C3 Super-LumiNova.
Case and Dial
The case with its long lugs wears comfortable, although the relief engraving on the back was a bit sharp on the proto. I have to say that I really love the shape of the case, it suits its vintage aspiration. The Fifty Fathoms-like bezel is easy to rotate and feels solid. The sapphire crystal used for the bezel ensures it is resistant to scratches. On the dial, you’ll find raised hour markers, filled with Super-LumiNova and the Méraud logo is printed just below 12 o’clock. “Bonaire” is printed just above the 6 o’clock marker. Fitted on top, a domed sapphire crystal treated with an anti-reflective coating. The case is 12.5mm in height.
Being a real divers watch, Méraud guarantees a water resistance of 200 meters.
Although the watch is powered by a self-winding movement, the crown is large (and looks nice) and easy to grasp. Inside, Méraud uses the STP1-11 movement. This is a movement based on the well-known ETA2824-2 movement. It ticks at 28,800vph and has a power reserve of 44 hours. It has perlage finishing and the rotor has been applied with a “Côte de Genève” striping as well as a Méraud logo.
Méraud watches come with a very nice comfortable leather strap and a stainless steel buckle. The calf strap has a beautiful texture and has been hand-finished. There will also be a stainless steel bracelet offered (stretch goal) with rivets.
Availability of the Méraud Bonaire
The watch will be offered today (October 17th) on Kickstarter at 2pm CET. All backers of the project will receive a watch with a unique number engraved on the case back. The Méraud Bonaire will be delivered in a beautiful box, included are a NATO strap and a rubber strap as well as a changing tool to DIY.
More information and a link to the Kickstarter website via the official Méraud website.