One brand which has caught our eye in the past few months is the California and Biarritz, France based March LA.B watches. March LA.B seem to be very capable of making drool-worthy dress and casual watches with a unique blend of retro and European styling. While they feature a full men’s and women’s collection, we will highlight only a few pieces that have kept us returning to their site for another look.
First up, the Men’s AM1 series of casual dress watches. Featuring an instantly recognizable case design from the 60’s, the AM1 comes in a bevy of options to suit your wrist and style needs. Available in both 37 and 40 mm sizes and with options in both quartz and automatic, the AM1 should suit most wrists providing you’re digging for that Don Draper look.
Call me boring but I prefer the AM1 Black Automatic. The case is stainless steel and houses an ETA 2892-A movement with a March LA.B decoration, and a sapphire crystal for the front and a sapphire coated mineral crystal in the display back. The second hand, crown, and case back crystal are done in green (crown detail looks really nice) which is seen throughout much of the March LA.B line as they feel it symbolizes life and even donate 1% of every watch sold to suicide prevention.
For my eyes, the AM1 is absolutely gorgeous with its retro case, finely detailed engraved dial and small splash of color. The lighter silver or platinum versions look too vintage for my taste and I prefer the contrast created by bright hands on a dark dial. The AM1 aesthetic does not come cheap with the automatic priced at $2295 USD while the quartz version carries an $845 price tag. In the event you aren’t convinced to open your wallet just yet, we hope to have an AM1 in for review in the coming months.
March LA.B continues to chase the “Mad Men” look with the very minimal JC1 Banker, which we assume is something of a tribute to vintage JLC Memovox Alarm models. The 40 mm JC1 uses a quartz movement with an alarm feature indicated by a marked disc on the interior of the dial. The simple style and alarm functionality makes for a winning combo but the price point is also quite high at $995 USD.
Once you have spent some time on the March LA.B website you begin to better understand the brand which seems to be very passionate about the style and glamor of the 60’s and its that voice that stands out in their designs. It would be simple to class March LA.B as a design label that is using watches as a brand vehicle (not an uncommon practice) but their site is surprisingly void of wallets, key chains, sunglasses, jewellery, bags, shoes and luggage to support a “designer” theory. It would seem that they exists somewhere between a conventional watch brand (note the lack of a diver or chronograph) and a design house that applies a label to whatever suits the current trends. In all honesty, we just like the look of the AM1 and, if we get the chance to see one first hand, we will be sure to let you know if its timekeeping ability matches its vogue styling.
Editors Note: March LA.B has informed us that the specifications as listed for the AM1 were incorrect. The AM1 does indeed feature a front sapphire crystal and a sapphire-coated mineral crystal in its display back. This post has been updated to reflect the correction which can now be verified on the March LA.B website.