A brand’s reputation is built piece-by-piece. Credentials, characters, stories, products, reviews…
So much goes into the formation of an identity it’s a shame that we often neglect to appreciate this when we hold a young brand’s early products in our hands for the first time. For those of us who live and breathe watches, it isn’t so hard to understand instinctively the character (or lack thereof) of a brand and to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Mauron Musy is a small brand from Broye Valley that we have been following since its inception. There was something special about them we just couldn’t dismiss, as we did so many others. The model family central to their identity is the Armure. The latest and most advanced of a very narrow product portfolio is the Mauron Musy Armure MU03. And it is, quite simply, awesome.
In the last 10 years, the watchmaking industry has changed. It has been forced to reevaluate its values and trajectory. During the recent years of economic austerity, consumers started really caring about a solid return on their investment. Millennials research, research, research. And then they complain if they don’t get exactly what they hoped they would. That means nowadays products, and how good they are, is really, really important. Perhaps more than it has ever been.
Thankfully, Eric Mauron and Christopher Musy have placed a huge amount of emphasis on the quality of the product itself. These collaborators, local to the region in which their manufacture now sits, founded the company in 2013. Since then they have produced a handful of models that all live up to the incredibly high bar set for themselves.
The Mauron Musy Armure MU03 boasts an incredibly complex case construction comprised of 36 components. This model, unlike some earlier models, is made from titanium. One thing it shares with its forerunners, however, is what makes Mauron Musy’s product offering so compelling.
After three years of gruelling research into a new type of technology that would become the cornerstone of the brand identity, the duo was able to launch the nO-Ring technology, which provides a completely watertight seal down to 300m without the use of rubber gaskets (or O-Rings, hence the name).
it’s a pretty techie watch that looks like it could break into your house and steal your wife just because it felt like it..
Gaskets don’t fail all that often, but they are certainly susceptible to warping, degradation, and even melting. Is it a common problem? No. Are some seals able to withstand a huge amount of stress and survive just fine? Yes. But the tack taken here with the nO-Ring technology is that it preempts and prevents a potential flaw. And rather than pursuing novelty and brand distinction by messing around with aesthetics for the sake of it, they have decided to place emphasis on improving something that was able to be tangibly improved.
The really cool thing about the Armure MU03 (aside from the 102 reference with the achingly beautiful teal dial that has more levels of interest than a skyscraper) is the fact that it’s a pretty techie watch that looks like it could break into your house and steal your wife just because it felt like it. It blends the perception of strength and intellectuality expertly. The quality of the engineering that has resulted in such a striking case is obvious and gives a cerebral design a real toughness, exacerbated by the abyssal colour palettes chosen for the Armure MU03.
The case is 44mm wide and made from hypoallergenic grade five titanium. Within the magnificent case, the calibre MM01 beats away at 28,800vph. With a 55-hour power reserve and industrially finished bridges with a multi-level design, this is both a practical and handsome self-winding movement.
The bead blasted dial provides a highly legible base for what is one of the most attractive handsets I have seen for a long time. Subtly curved at the sides, the centrally-mounted hour and minute hands are come off as elegantly edgy. Had the design been sharper I think the hands would have been a bit generic. This slightly organic flair really makes them stand out. The counterpoise of the seconds handset on a nine o’clock sub-dial echoes the curvaceous flanks of the others.
The product goes beyond the Swiss Made label, and instead bears the inscription ‘Swiss Crafted’, meaning that 100% of the watch was made in Switzerland, and much of it in Mauron Musy’s incredibly well-arrayed manufacture. And the model name is sneakily engraved on the nine o’clock hour marker for a flourish that I can only remember seeing on Cartier’s famous number fives in the past.
As with a well-rounded personality, everything about the watch case that defines the brand with wordless perfection hangs together flawlessly. The wealth of angles and nuances in the case design, the cleanliness of its construction, the mind-boggling complexity that results in something that is at once digestible while remaining engaging is just fascinating.
I’m lucky enough to have a broader view beyond the mainstream. The watches I favour more than any others are those with interesting cases that treat me to a new experience every time I check my wrist. The interplay of light and surfaces finished differently as the intersect harmoniously is something that gives me a great deal of joy. Inescapably excited by new concepts that challenge the convention, the discovery of ever more interesting designs is something that consumes a lot of my life. When that pursuit is rewarded with the unearthing of something that touches me, for whatever reason, the enthusiasm is tough to contain. The Mauron Musy Armure MU03 retails for CHF 9,700 before VAT and is available in 8 different colour combinations.
Want to know more about Mauron Musy? Visit their website.
Sky is the founder of SKOLORR, the curated hub dedicated to the pedigreed independent watchmakers. SKOLORR is official partners with Farfetch and Quintessentially, handpicking fine watches from independent brands for tastemakers and coolhunters. Sky has operated at the heart of... read more