Marloe Morar Beacon
Dive watches are some of the most popular watches out in the market, and that probably will never change. The dive watch is functional, sporty, generally attractive and can be worn in almost any setting or any activity. The Marloe Morar is Marloe Watch Company’s take on a dive watch, and while it may look derivative at first, I feel they put their unique spin on the dive watch genre. Marloe decided to stay on the current trend of smaller watches, and the Morar comes in at 40mm, a popular size these days in the microbrand space. Priced at $525 with a Miyota 9039 no date automatic movement, and available in a plethora of case finishes and dial colors, the Morar is attractive all around.
Marloe Morar Specifications
- 40mm Stainless Steel Blasted Case
- 48mm Lug to Lug
- 20mm Lug Width
- 12.4mm Thick
- Sapphire Crystal
- Miyota 9039 Automatic Movement
- Silicone Strap
- 310m Water Resistant
I imagine being a microbrand and setting out to make a dive watch can be a daunting task, after all, what has not been done before. If you do not want it to be a straight-up homage but you don’t want something so outlandish or niche that most will not wear, your dive watch will inevitably look similar to others. Off the top of my head, I would say this reminds me of a Deep Blue and H2O watch brand. Neither company makes a watch exactly like this and as far as I know, this is not an off the shelf case design used by others, at least not that I have seen. It just happens to have some elements that remind me of those watches, most notably the bezel for H2O, and something of the general design for Deep Blue. I see some similarities to Citizen Watches as well.
On the other hand, I do not recall ever seeing a dial such as this, in terms of the shape of the markers. Yes, if you look briefly, it does look similar to others, but look again and you’ll notice the markers are the shape of shells, with the cardinal points being bi-valve shells and the 12 o’clock and lume pip surround being slightly different as well to set them apart. It is a subtle, but nice detail. Even though I wear a Breitling a lot these days that is anything but a clean dial, I still love when a dial is short on text or unnecessary logos. Marloe Watch Company went this route and kept the Morar very uncluttered and therefore very easy to read at a glance, something you want for any watch, but especially a dive style watch. This model variation I have for review, the Beacon, is the only one to have the orange minute hand. Also note the dial texture, which reminds one of sand on the beach. This, of course, was not an accident.
Speaking of model names, let me say I am not a fan of the model name or the fact there are different names for each color as well. Marloe Morar does not roll off the tongue. Loch Morar is the deepest body of water in Britain (at least that’s what it says on the Marloe Website, I did not fact check it) and that is how they chose the model name. Unless there was a trademark issue, I would have chosen the whole thing and went to Marloe Loch Morar. When it comes to each version’s different name, I am not sure the reasoning behind it either, but each variation is distinctly different. The Beacon is the only one that is blasted steel-all others have a gunmetal or bronze PVD coating applied to the cases.
On the wrist, the Marloe Morar is good looking and very comfortable, as the case design lends itself to wrap around your wrist if you will and the 40mm size on my 7 1/2 inch wrist doesn’t seem too small. The strap I do have to take issue with though. You can see in the photos that the strap looks all dirty and linty, and that’s because it is silicone. Silicone may be soft and pliable, but it looks awful in about 5 seconds. I know pricing is always tricky for microbrands. They do not want to start too cheap (this is not Marloe’s first watch btw), nor do they want to overprice it, but if cost were a factor, adding $25 more to the price for a true natural rubber strap would have been welcomed, at least by me. Of course, you can always switch it out to whatever strap you like if the silicone is not for you as well.
The Marloe Morar uses a Miyota 9039 Automatic movement, which is the specific no date movement for Miyota. Yes, you have probably seen no date Miyota watches before, but most have just covered up a 905S (open heart) or a 9015 with the dial, at least before 2018. The 9039 otherwise is the same as the aforementioned, but the hands are set lower than the others, allowing for use in slimmer watch cases. Turing the Beacon around, and you will find a screw-down case back with a laser engraved depiction of the Morag, a fantasy creature said to be in the waters of Loch Morar.
Lume is on point for the Marloe Morar. All the markers and hands look to be filled in properly and the dual lume is both strong and attractive. No, no bezel lume here, and I know I may be in the minority, but it is nice to see a dive watch from a microbrand that did not lume the bezel. If you are someone that dives (I am not and never have I claimed to be), you will know that besides the 12 (or the 60 minutes) pip, lume on the bezel is not needed. Beyond that, if you do not dive, unless the bezel is a say a GMT, I see no need for you to be able to see an elapsed timing bezel in the dark.
Taking a look at the Marloe Watch Website, you can see they go into great detail about the design elements and inspirations, more so than I do here. Part of that is a passion for their watch, of course, part of that is marketing as it is nice to have an elaborate back story. On my end though, all the stories and novelties about the watch are only great if they lead to a great product. The Marloe Morar, despite the name, in my opinion, is a clean and classic looking dive watch that style-wise will always look good. The dial is crisp and clean, the case design and finishing are both attractive and functional and at 40mm, can be worn by both males and females alike. Size is always so subjective, though I probably wouldn’t mind this in a 42mm and If I were to change anything else, I would like to see an all-Black DLC case and possibly some satin-brushed versions.