As watches gain in popularity among general and luxury consumers, so too do the many niches of timepiece diversity, offering what seems like an ever-expanding array of options in the modern marketplace. Today, we’ll be looking at a relatively new brand, Alexandre Meerson— a British-based, bespoke-focused watchmaker led by a man of the same name and capitalizing upon this rising desire for distinguished designs with its fashion-focused luxury watches.
Meerson (the founder and creative director of the eponymous brand, pictured above), had his interest in watches stoked by his father, Emerich Meerson, who first led a brand under his own name from the 1970s into the early 1990s. The son chose to follow in the father’s footsteps, remaining in the watch and design space and working for a number of Richemont and LVMH brands before releasing his own inaugural watch in 2014, under the new brand that bears his name, Alexandre Meerson.
From its inception, the company fashioned itself as being “designer-led,” with the younger Meerson at its helm and finding the inspiration in his designs from “art, architecture, high-fashion, and automotive design.” Meerson describes each of these disciplines as being “deeply human, and an exploration of our time — a reflection on life, technology and a tireless pursuit of timeless silhouettes.” This poetic sentiment on design is found throughout the language of the brand, adding further to the bespoke image the fledgling manufacturer is working to build.
As of 2020, Meerson now has several distinctive series within its collection. The first one we’ll look at is the one most recently introduced, the Mutiny (above) — a chronograph marked by its clean lines, rounded edges, and relatively large case proportions in comparison to the dial, giving it an almost orb-like appearance. With its somewhat retro design, this model takes much of its inspiration from Emerson Meerson chronographs designed in the 1980s, whose style remained popular into the late ‘80s and ‘90s. The modern Mutiny, at 40 mm in diameter, with a slightly arched caseback and subtle, wire-like lugs, is the brand’s offer of a classic, all-around sports model, but with a definitive twist in its uncommon design.
Another major series produced by Meerson is the Altitude. This collection, the first of the three families to be designed, has a few different variants, but sticking out for this vintage-watch-loving writer is the time-only “Officer” watch (above), which is a luxury interpretation of a classic early 20th century field watch. This model uses an Art Deco-style case and lugs, an outer railroad track minute ring, and Breguet-style numerals with slim hour and minute hands passing over to tell the time, all together providing the model with a clean and focused look. This watch is available in several different dial colors and case materials, and in true “field watch” fashion is available either with or without a subdial at the 6 o’clock position for the seconds counter.
Rounding out Alexandre Meerson ‘s lineup is the D15 MK-1 (below), a modern-look GMT model with a more masculine and geometric appearance in comparison to the more delicate lines of the previous two. This watch features heavily faceted lugs and case features like the chronograph-pusher-inspired crown guards. The dial of the piece features an outer GMT indicator, with Arabic numerals sectored into different parts of the dial to help tell the running time, and a subdial at the 6 o’clock position indicating the date. The 44-mm D15 is an exercise in maximalist design, with the brand showcasing its craftsmanship in a new and unique direction from others in its short history.
Speaking to the bespoke ethos of the brand, each Alexandre Meerson watch is customizable in terms of case materials and colors, and Meerson takes pride in its cooperative collaboration with clients to produce cherished timepieces “manufactured to last 200 years,” as Meerson states. The brand also works to produce some completely bespoke models for a few private clients, which its founder and namesake sees as a test of his capabilities to develop new luxury designs for very particular tastes.
Last year was a significant year for Alexandre Meerson, which launched its first international distribution entity and formally expanded into the U.S. market for the first time in its young history. This year Meerson will be establish its first dedicated women’s line with a new watch dubbed the Palatine, described by the brand as “a unique design experience involving the exploration of bespoke jewelry and leather straps.” When asked what’s next for Meerson Watches, a spokesperson revealed that Alexandre was already in the process of designing watches two years in advance, with plans to unveil many other new watches in the meantime.