Baldieri SM-46 Seamonster
In the world of micro brand watches, there are a lot of homage watches, and some original designs. Today I get to discuss the latter, an all original design, in the form of the AB SM-46 Seamonster.
For those not familiar with the brand Alessandro Baldieri, it is named after the owner, whose former career was an interior designer. Alessandro was born in Italy and educated in Rome and U.S. Alessandro is fluent in 4 languages, has studied architecture and interior design,in LA, California. After twenty years of interiors and furniture design, Alessandro was ready to fulfill his ambition to start a new venture. His creative flair, love of luxury and a keen eye for details have led him into the world of watches, setting up offices in London and Singapore. His goal has always been to create a line of watches for both men and women that reflected his own persona. The SM-46 is one of his newest designs and a continuation to his Seamonster line.
Full Specifications and price:
- Case Width: 46mm (48mm with crown)
- Case Length: 55mm
- Case Thickness: 16mm
- Weight: 170 grams
- Case Material: 316 Stainless Steel (Sandblasted)
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Case Back Stainless Steel (6 Screws)
- Limited Edition 300 Pieces
- Movement Automatic Miyota 9015
- Strap Reconditioned Ammo Leather – Handmade
- Buckle 316 Stainless Steel Sandblasted
- Box Carbon Fiber
Price $1050 USD
Can be purchased in the US from Baldieri Watches USA
The first thing that struck me about the SM-46 is that a large, thick, chunky watch can sit so well on the wrist and feel so comfortable. These days, my daily wearers rarely go past 44mm and 14mm thick, so this is a large watch for me. But it wraps around my 7 ½ inch wrist due to the curved case back. This is something that I wish other companies making large watches would pay attention to. Large watches are still around and still popular with many, but the smaller wrist WIS that would like a bigger watch can not wear many because of how they sit on the wrist. Alessandro Baldieri has solved that with this model. The case back is sandblasted just like the rest of the watch and engraved with a divers mask and is secured with six hex screws.
Lets be honest, one of the first things we all notice about a watch is the case and dial. It is the first thing we see, and if it doesn’t appeal to you, it doesn’t matter what movement is inside. I have yet to come across another watch with a case like the SM-46 Seamonster. The CNC machined case creates “steps” and angles which give it that modern industrial feel. Another thing of note is the large opening for the lug area, which usually I am not fond of, but in this instance it just seems to work with the rest of it. The screw down crown is well protected by crown guards, as the crown screws down deep into them. This is not only good for protecting the crown, but also with a large watch the crown tends to dig into the back of your hand, something that does not happen with the Seamonster.
As I touched on in the video, the dial is clean, and everything looks like high quality and that attention to design was a big factor. The markers are all applied, the skeleton hour and minute hand a red lightning bolt second hand all work well together, and give the watch a elegant and sporty look at the same time. What I would have liked though was that instead of skeleton hands that they were filled in with lume paint. As is, only the arrow tips of the hour and minute hands have lume applied to them, and the 60 minute marker on the bezel. The lume is a little underwhelming. I think some lume dots on the outside of the markers and hands filled with lume would have made a big difference in this area.
The domed sapphire crystal is another element to the SM-46 where quality is present. Many domed crystals can cause a good amount of distortion, especially when looking at the watch from the side or certain angles, something that I did not find with this example. That could be due to the “sun aged” white dial and maybe the black or grey models are different in this area.
Speaking of the sun aged white dial, that is something else I have not seen before. Not exactly a tan, and not exactly grey, it is somewhere in between. If a stark white dial is what you are looking for, this is not going to be it.
When it comes to the bezel, as I said in the video, a bottle cap is the first thing that comes to mind. It is different, it is easy to grip and rotate, and the bezel functions with with a nice ratchet and clicks into place. The issue here is the lack of hash marks on the bezel and the dial itself, which can make it difficult to use to time things such as a dive, unless you are timing in exact increments of 5.
As I said at the beginning, the Alessandro Baldieri SM-46 really does wrap around my wrist and is very comfortable, and beyond the curved case back, the other reason for this is the handmade ammo leather strap. The straps are made from ammo leather pouches, dyed black and stitched with red thread and a CNC machined signed buckle, which has a scalloped look to it. I incorrectly stated in the video that the straps are 24mm wide, as they are in fact 23mm. If you have a nice soft and pliable leather strap, or an isofrane, attaching a 24mm should not be a problem.
I know because of the Miyota 9015 movement, and the lack of lume, some are going to scoff at the price. And we all look and want for different things when it comes to watches, and that is part of the reason for these types of reviews in the first place, to give you the best look and all the ins and outs. Some may not classify this as a real dive watch, but if you love the look of dive watches and do not dive, than this watch will suit you just fine. The Miyota 9015 is a strong movement, that many micro brands use, and because of the custom design and manufacture, is where I believe much of the cost is coming from. Beyond the Miyota movement, everything else is what you would expect from a watch of this price point, or higher. I know many brands that are well regarded from a collector standpoint, or are more mainstream if you will, that do not fit as well, nor have an expensive leather strap and a custom buckle. Then of course you have watches that are homages but are using Swiss Eta or Sellita movements.
Everyone of course will choose what they will like, but I think the AB Seamonster SM-46 is a nice example of a unique design, despite a few quirks.
Thank you to Baldieri Watches USA for providing this model for review. I look forward to your comments below.