If you’ve been following this blog for the last few weeks or so, you’ve probably seen the report about our factory visit to Norwich on the day of the launch of Meridian watches. We were honoured to have the scoop about this watch brand. In an earlier stage, you might also have seen the teaser drawing as shown below. Contributing guest writer Jake Price received a Meridian MP-05 for review and reports here on Fratellowatches.
The brand in question, Meridian Watches, launched at Salon QP Thursday the 8th of November and were given a warm reception by those lucky enough to be at the event. Their aim is simple: to make watches that are “Made in England…for the World.” I think they are succeeding thus far.
When you receive the watch from Meridian, the first thing you notice is the quality of the packaging. Firstly, the outer package is a canvas bag – which is a very nice touch and is something that adds a unique and individual touch to the brand. Once you open the bag, you get a canvas roll – handmade by Carl at GasGasBones, which just oozes quality.
In the roll is your chosen timepiece along with a spare canvas strap, two Allen keys to facilitate the changing of the strap and a small tube with spare bars/screws for the straps in.
On the note of the strap: I wasn’t a fan. The quality of it is undisputed, but big watches need big straps, and I don’t think it suited the watch. The leather, however. Is lovely.
Anyway, onto the watch itself. Every watch in the Meridian Prime collection is hand made in their Norfolk workshop around a Unitas manual wind movement – something they call a ‘Meridian Prime Calibre’. The movements themselves are hand finished by Meridians watchmakers: they spot the main plate, hand frost and re-plate the bridge, hand blue the screws and engrave the movement with the Meridian logo. Each movement contains 17 jewels and has a power reserve of approximately 40 hours once fully wound.
The finished movement, once cased in its hand made stainless steel case, creates one of a series of Meridian Prime watches. The one I shall review today is a Meridian MP-05.
My version of the MP-05 is a black dial version of the Prime, which has a sub-seconds at 9o’clock. Like every Meridian, it is a hefty watch. It’s case measures 46mm and is milled out of a blank that, like as much of the timepiece as possible, is sourced and worked in England.
The case itself is paired with a lovely caseback that is adorned with lovely etching also has the companies logo and motto, “Made in England…For the World” and “Water resistant to 1000ft” etched around the outside.
At the front of the case is a nicely shaped, beveled and rounded, sapphire crystal. The crystal itself is sourced in the UK and it is even double anti-reflective coated by a UK company who works closely with the UK military.
Through the crystal can be seen another highlight of the watch, and arguably the most important part of the watch: the dial.
The dial itself is a “sandwich” construction. This means each dial consists of two metal disks that sit on top of each other: the bottom disk contains the luminous material, and the upper disk has the dial detail: the stencil numerals and the Meridian logo cut into it.
The hands and dial are all handmade and generously cover in luminous material, but I have one criticism – and just one. Why are the sub seconds markers lumed, but the hand itself not? This seems strange, I could understand if the hand was lumed and the markers not, though.
Overall the Meridian Prime MP-05 is a good pilots style watch, and is exceptionally legible.
PS: Thanks to Richard at Meridian for the watch to review, and keep an eye on Meridian, they will go far and have some interesting things in the pipeline!
More photos of Meridian can be found in Bert’s recent article about his visit to the Meridian workshop in Norwich.