Magrette watches hail from New Zealand under the direction of a man named Dion. Dion McAsey has been making Magrette watches for a few years and has taken the time develop an interesting brand and a one that has found a home among dive watch collectors thanks to its sporty styling and personal touches. Magrette watches are a mix of of styling cues found in many contempt Italian style divers like Panerai and Anonimo but with some distinctly New Zealand charm and philosophy added in. The Regattare Moana Pacific PVD is a limited edition creation from Magrette that is an example of what the brand has to offer and what makes them special.
- PVD stainless steel case
- 44mm wide
- 16mm tall
- 51mm lug to lug
- 24mm straps
- Domed sapphire crystal
- Miyota 8215 Automatic movement
- 40m/132ft WR
- Limited to 500 pieces
- Kauri wood insert
- $365.00 USD
The first thing you will notice about the Moana PVD is that visually, it is not as large as its measurements suggest. At 44 x 16mm its not small but it is somehow a modern sized watch that seems classically proportioned. It is not flashy or blingy in any way but does exude a fair amount of style as you wear it, especially on the included soft black leather strap with red stitching. The case is nicely finished and uses screw bars to affix the strap which is 24mm wide and for some reason doesn’t come with a pvd buckle. The crown is also not PVD which adds some contrast that doesn’t ruin the overall effect but it definitely would have been nice to see a pvd crown. The dial is very sparse listing only the brand, model and 12 – 03 – 06 – 09 for an hour reference while bar style markers fill in the space between. There is no chapter ring nor a minute scale as the the Moana PVD doesn’t even have a second hand. The two hands that is does have are quite simple and very effective, this is a highly legible timepiece even if you cant be to-the-second accurate. Above the dial sits a domed sapphire crystal that has no AR coatings and I actually found to be ever so slightly cloudy, almost as though it is catching and deflecting light across the inside of the crystal as well as the top. The domed shape and lack of AR make reflections a common site on the dial and detract from the fun of looking at the Moana PVD. This is really my only problem with Magrette Moana PVD and it could be solved by using a higher quality crystal with greater clarity and an anti-reflective coating on the crystal to help with the glare caused by the domed shape.
The Moana PVD screams to be worn as a weekend watch, with jeans or maybe shorts. Its fantastically casual but what can you expect from a watch that doesn’t have a second hand. The crown operates very well for this price point and the screwdown is light and simple. Take note, even with the crown screwed down, the Moana PVD only achieves 40m (132ft) of water resistance so its definitely not intended as a dive watch (although Magrette does make two beautiful looking divers – The Moana Pacific Diver and the Magrette Reattare). The Moana PVD is powered by the simple but realiable Miyota 8215 automatic movement that has handwinding but it not a hacking movement (you cant stop the second hand to set the time, not an issue on the Moana PVD). The example reviewed here exhibited limited rotor noise and showed no loss or gain that could be measured by the minute hand.
The Moana PVD does have one surprise left for the owner, which is seen when you flip it over and look at the case back. The case back features a Kauri wood insert that is made from ancient Kauri wood sourced in New Zealand. Kauri wood is protected by the New Zealand government and only dead Kauri wood can be aquired for projects like these. Karui wood can be up to 45,000 years old is the oldest workable wood in the world. This is something I have never seen before in a watch, much like getting a special inlay in the neck of a fine guitar or the hilt of a knife. The small wood disc carries the Margrette logo and the serial number of your watch in the limited run of 500 that were made (seen best in the video). This is a very personal touch for a watch that has been purchased by diverse collectors from around the world. Along with the watch you get a very nice rubber strap, a military style role-case and a cool wooden box to house everything in.
The Magrette Moana Pacific PVD is an interesting blend of Italian diver styling and New Zealand philosophy. The lack of a second hand is very relaxed and the Moana is very easy and comfortable to wear. Magrette has built a well featured bundle with the limited edition Moana Pacific PVD where you are getting a watch that is stylish, well priced, runs on a well known asian movement and features a little slice of New Zealand’s history hidden within. At $365 USD the Magrette Moana Pacific PVD is very reasonably priced and very unique to is price point. This Magrette, or really any of their other models, are worth taking a look at as they have models that range from casual to diver to hand-engraved artwork.