Finding a good automatic GMT watch on a budget can be tough. Especially if what you want is an original, non-homage design.
Here’s an option you might consider – the Maen Greenwich 38 GMT.
- Case material – 316L stainless steel
- Diameter – 38 mm
- Thickness – 12.05 mm including the crystal and the case back
- Lug-to-lug – 46 mm
- Lug width – 20 mm
- Water resistance – 100 metres
- Crown – 7 mm screw-down
- Crystal – Sapphire, double domed with an AR coating
- Price – 799 euro on the Maen website
- Movement – SwissTech S24-045 Automatic
Maen is a microbrand from the Netherlands, taking inspiration from Dutch exploration of North America, and in particular – the roots of New York as the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam.
Collection names are associated with the Dutch heritage of various places in NYC. The brand name itself is inspired by Halve Maen, the ship of the English-born explorer in service of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Henry Hudson.
The Maen collection ranges from quartz dress watches to automatic chronographs.
The Greenwich 38 GMT is offered in four versions, with the dial background in either black or blue.
What immediately draws attention to the blue version of the Greenwich is the dark blue tapisserie dial. The pattern is usually associated with integrated bracelet sports watches inspired by the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Notably, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon, Tissot PRX Powermatic 80… However, you won’t find many watches featuring this particular style that don’t draw inspiration from the AP Royal Oak.
The hands and hour markers are an interesting twist on baton-style. Large, bold indexes and wide hands provide reasonably good legibility even at just a quick glance.
As the hour markers take up approximately three minutes, they make the minute track hard to read. However, they’re bold and chunky and it’s the feature that got the most compliments on Instagram. By contrast, the 24h indicators for the GMT seem to disappear from the dial.
While it could be more practical, it is certainly good-looking.
The case design of the Greenwich takes some obvious inspirations from Rolex and Tudor – the silhouette for one. The case back with its fluted step is definitely a nod to Oyster cases.
The bezel, however, seems almost like a 1940s accent. Like a good frame does a lot for noticing the picture within it, the bezel does that for the dial. And here, it really does a lot. The bezel is a flat stepped one, adding a dressy note to the watch. The polished top and the brushed base make the case stand out.
The finishing is very good – brushed top of the main bloc, polished flanks, and chamfers, brushed case back.
The dimensions make it very wearable, but the shape takes up quite some real estate. This makes it appear slightly larger without being overbearing.
The signed crown is reasonably large and comfortable to use. Since it’s a screw-down, it contributes to the Greenwich’s 100m water resistance.
Instead, the Greenwich GMT is powered by the SwissTech S24-045 automatic movement. SwissTech is a company based in Hong Kong, but they produce their watch movements in Switzerland, meaning the Swiss Made label is earned legitimately.
So, is this a good or a bad thing?
As is, Mean is able to sell this watch for $730 outside of the EU and $900 (incl VAT) in the EU. ETA and Sellita are both more expensive than SwissTech, so the selling price would be (significantly) higher with one of these alternatives.
The SwissTech S24-045 is neatly finished, has 28 jewels, and a power reserve of approx. 40 hours. Compared to the ETA and the Sellita, that’s not bad at all.
The crown has two setting positions – the first is for the date (turn clockwise) quickset and the GMT setting (anti-clockwise), the second – for setting the hour and minute hands.
On the Timegrapher, the press watch had a rate of +4 sec, an amplitude of 290 degrees, and a beat error of 0.1 m/s.
That all sounds excellent.
On the other hand, spare parts for ETA and Sellita are readily available, but I couldn’t find any spare parts for SwissTech movements.
Any competent watchmaker will be able to service it, but if you need spare parts, you’ll most likely have to send it in for repair through Maen. That’s definitely something to keep in mind because it could be a painful surprise.
The included “basket-weave” tropic strap is excellent quality and doesn’t attract dust like some other tropic straps I’ve tried in the past. It’s a great option for those who want something that looks good and is low maintenance.
Plus it’s very comfortable to wear. It’s lightweight and flexible, so it hugs the wrist comfortably.
If you don’t like a tropic strap, you can easily swap it for something else because the Greenwich GMT has a lug width of 20 mm, which is the most common lug width nowadays.
The drilled lugs make it a breeze to replace the strap.
All in all
This watch has some elements of a dress watch, but it’s a bold and sporty one.
It has a versatile design. It’s classy and stylish, but it’s not overly formal. So, it would be the perfect watch to wear with your business casual outfits.
Considering its 100m water resistance and screw-down crown, it’s also an ideal sports watch that can be taken on holiday without a worry. You can wear it with your favorite T-shirt as well.
Being a GMT, it just asks to be taken on a longer trip, whether for business or pleasure.
For the money, Maen delivers good specs and finishing, with familiar design cues, yet in a very original mix.