Home New Models Hands-on review with MAEN and the phases of the moon

Hands-on review with MAEN and the phases of the moon

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I don’t know how to pronounce MAEN. They make a moonphase watch that’s classically proportioned. That means, it’s not a ridiculously large diver watch that dwarves my wrist.

First of all, it’s 38mm wide. That’s large if we’re talking vintage watches, but somehow, it feels comfortably smallish on the wrist. Everything about the MAEN Moonphase is nicely proportioned. The hour hand falls just short of reaching the hour markers. The minute hand tip just kisses the minute track. The hands are beveled rather than being flat, and there is no seconds hand. The moonphase window is centered between the hand pinion and the hour indices. The only text on the dial is the MAEN signing, centered between the 12 and hand pinion.

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Centered is a good way of describing the choices here. It’s all very well-balanced. The smooth bezel and tops of the lugs are polished, the sides of the case are brushed, and the space between the lugs is a rough vertical brushing, just as many vintage tool watches were. The crown is signed with an M, and the strap buckle is engraved MAEN. The caseback is decorated with a spirograph pattern and MAEN. It’s secured with six screws.

maen-moonphase-5The strap is my biggest complaint. It’s a 20mm that tapers to 16mm, so it’s great in terms of size, but it’s very stiff. MAEN assures me that it’s genuine leather, with a crocodile surface stitched to brown liner. Honestly, if I didn’t know any different, I would have expected it to be polyurethane. It’s said to be a high quality Italian leather. It may be Italian, but there are straps I like better.

Yellow sun is shining in the afternoon
I’d really like to tell you but I feel it’s too soon
My actions are dictated by the phase of the moon.

What the heck is a moonphase good for? Well, for one thing, it’s meant to demonstrate the prowess of the watchmaker. Here, that’s less a concern, since it’s a quartz movement bought in from Ronda in Switzerland. For another, if you live by a lunar calendar, it might be useful to know how close you are to a new moon. For the rest of us, this is a largely unhelpful feature. On this watch, it’s also a slow-set feature, one where you have to wind the hands all the way around 60-ish times to get a full revolution of the moonphase indicator.

MAEN’s moonphase is priced at around US$300 and comes in 4 variations, two models in a stainless steel case with frost white or midnight blue dial and two models in stainless steel gold plated case with charcoal grey or ivory white dial. https://www.maenwatches.com/collections/all-watches

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: MAEN Moonphase
  • Price: 249 EUR, or about 275 USD. (15% with EARLYBIRD code)
  • Who we think it might be for: You like a classic watch, understated, simple.
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Yes, but I’ll change the strap.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Make that strap softer.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: The simplicity of understated elegance. Without a seconds hand, it’s easy to ignore that it’s quartz, and it looks nice.
    Tech Specs from NAME
  • Case size: 38mm (45mm lug-to-lug)
  • Height: 7mm
  • Case material: steel (brushed, gold finishes available)
  • Crystal: flat, sapphire
  • Strap: leather, pin buckle clasp
  • Movement: Swiss-made Ronda quartz

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