This article was originally published in April 2022.
Years ago, when I first began writing for WatchTime, I penned a weekly column dubbed “Vintage Eye for the Modern Guy.” I wrote the column for several years early in my career, looking at the many vintage re-editions and inspired watches which in-part help define the industry in the latter half of the 2010s. As part of that work, I was privileged enough to not only able to learn much about some of the most prolific watchmakers around, but simultaneously able to make interesting connections with many new entries to the world of watches, and the many interesting watches they were producing. Among these many brands I was able to get to know, a few stood out, among them including Baltic, Nezumi, and our subject of focus today, Maen.
Maen saw its founding in 2018, then in Stockholm by Dutch founders as part of a Kickstarter campaign, at the time working to launch its first collection in the Hudson Automatic dive watch. The campaign was successful and the brand was off to the races, one year later introducing the follow-up Skymaster 38 and ever since expanding the two lines and its larger catalogue, most recently with the introduction of its very own take on a steel integrated sports watch in the Manhattan 37.
Recently, I had the opportunity for a long-term, hands-on review with one of the brand’s other more recent additions to its catalogue in the Greenwich 38 GMT, specifically with the original blue colorway, though three other color options also exist— including orange, red, and “blue II,” which is blue with some orange accents. The watch is a novel take on the travel-ready, sports watch category, positioned as a versatile wearer for the everyday, with it named for the popular, metropolitan Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village. I wore the watch on and off over the course of three months or so as I travelled back and forth between Paris and New York City (including Greenwich, funnily enough), the period consequently including a time where I was in relative need for a daily wearing GMT on many workdays.
On the wrist, the Greenwich 38 GMT is a capable companion. Sized at its namesake 38mm in steel, it wears comfortable without feeling delicate, with its oversized screw-down crown, integrated rubber strap, and 100m water resistance adding to this sentiment and providing it with some sporty hardiness. The case design itself is also quite interesting for the watch’s price point, featuring a pair of lugs with novel beveled edges, as well as a stepped, flat-topped bezel that provides the model with serious intrigue. The case throughout makes smart use of contrasting brushed and polishing finishing techniques which further adds to its charm.
Beneath its sapphire crystal, a Clous de Paris dial pattern executed in a dark blue enamel is at work. The look is reminiscent of Audemars Piguet’s signature pattern, with the credibility of this inspiration bolstered by the watch’s use of an integrated band. The dial otherwise is familiar Maen, with the brand once more opting for a straight-forward configuration that makes use of only a few flourishes— notably its “Skyscraper” handset recalling the watch’s New York influence, block-style hour markers, an outer 24-hour scale with a matching central pointer for the model’s GMT capabilities, and a date window at the 3 o’clock position for some added daily-wearing utility. The watch is quick to read and striking to look at, with its Maen-signature details providing some nice, interesting touches upon every glance at the wrist.
Inside the Greenwich is the SwissTech caliber S24-045. The movement isn’t nearly as well-known as its counterparts produced by Sellita and ETA, but it is an automatic-powered Swiss -manufactured movement, which to some extent provides some additional mechanical credibility to the watch. Notably, the movement doesn’t feature an independently adjustable hour hand, though this is expected for the watch’s price point, but even for this small inconvenience of needing to manually adjust the hour after each flight, the movement nonetheless performed well enough during regular wear, keeping regular time, and maintaining its 40-hours of power reserve.
At the sub-$1,000 price point, the Greenwich is a serious proposition. With novel design elements, an interesting dial, useful GMT, and a Swiss mechanical movement— there simply isn’t a huge list of watches available that match these traits for the cost. That said, the design likely isn’t going to appeal to everyone, and the watch at times did feel a bit too playful and sporty for all situations on the standard rubber strap, but that said for those who do find an interest in the aesthetic, a third-party leather band is sure to dress up the look for an every more versatile wearer.
The Greenwich 38 GMT is available directly through Maen, with pricing marked at $880 including VAT and $760 without it for all four color options. While not limited edition, Maen produces only limited quantities in each production run, and so depending on demand some color options may be temporarily sold out.
To learn more, visit Maen, here.