Watches and motor sports go back as long as the cars have hit the motorway and in today’s modern industry we seem to be bombarded by “Motor-Sport Inspired” time pieces. So many, in fact, that it can be difficult to weed out those that truly do have a connection to the sport of racing. Filling a case with a chronograph movement does not automatically make a watch motor-sport inspired. There really needs to be an actual connection to the sport, and in the upcoming Marchand Legacy, that connection most certainly exists.
Today we’re getting an early hands-on look at the Legacy, the second watch from the Marchand Watch Company and scheduled for release April 6th on Kickstarter. I was sent two versions of the watch: The DLC-coated Black and Carbon Edition, and the Blue and White Edition. The timing was perfect, as the watches arrived just prior to my departure for Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California where I would be instructing future Sports Car Club of America racing drivers. The annual soujurn allowed me to show off the pieces to actual racers and get their impressions. Marchand founder, Daniel Brigham is a racer himself, and sponsors several young, up-and-coming drivers. The inspiration for Dan’s pieces does indeed directly reflect his love of the sport.
Similar to Marchand’s first release, the Debonair, the Legacy starts with a perfectly round and lugless case design. From there the similarities end. While the Debonair sports a Rhonda quartz movement, the Legacy is powered by the Miyota 9015 automatic caliber. If I’m honest, I’ve never been much of a fan of lugless cases. I find them tough to pull off on my somewhat large wrists. However, after a week of wearing these two I found myself rather enjoying the look of the 42mm Legacy, especially the Black and Carbon Edition. Too much thickness can kill a lugless design, resulting in something more akin to a hockey puck than a watch. Marchand has done an excellent job keeping the case thickness here to 10mm.
The Legacy is not a chronograph, and I think it’s the better for it. Starting at dial center we find a uniquely shaped, skeletonized minute hand and a batton style hour hand, both painted with BGW9 lume. The seconds hand extends all the way to the outer chapter ring track. The center of the dial shows off a checkered flag motif in various colors based on the model, with the Marchand “Winner’s Wreath” logo just below the 12 o’clock index. The date is found at 6 o’clock, replacing that index. One layer up and out are the lumed Arabic indexes, with the single-digit hours preceded by zeros, adding balance to the dial. The chapter ring sits up yet another layer, with the entire works covered by a double-domed sapphire crystal.
The Miyota movement is displayed behind a sapphire exhibition case back, with the rotor surrounded by an integrated glass ring repeating the checkered flag motif. The case back is held in place by four screws. Speaking of the case, it checks in with a highly polished stainless or DLC-coated black. The bezel has a pleasing cross-hatched knurling, and the screw-down crown is signed with an “M.”
The Marchand Legacy will be available in several color combinations, including a Lotus Racing Green Edition, and can be purchased on a variety of leather straps, all with a simple pin buckle. Both versions of the watch saw significant wrist time at the track throughout the weekend, garnering quite a bit of positive feedback. Between the two, the Black and Carbon Edition seemed a bit more popular. Not surprising given the heavy usage of carbon fiber in the racing world. My wife, whose been heavily involved in my participation in racing as well as being a watch collector, loved the Blue and White Edition, demonstrating that this is most definitely appealing to both genders.
The Legacy’s Kickstarter campaign launches on April 6th at a price of $390, a 30% discount off of the regular MSRP. Fans of the watch can sign up for updates on Marchand’s website at marchandwatches.com.
May 29th Update: Following some issues getting the original KS campaign up and running, Marchand pushed the launch back to June. Keep an eye on their website for updates.
- Brand & Model: Marchand Legacy
- Price: $390
- Who we think it might be for: Definitely motor sports fans, many of whom also happen to be watch fans. The two do seem to go hand-in-hand.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? This is the first lugless watch I would seriously consider adding to the fleet.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: A custom rotor and a bit of basic decoration on the movement couldn’t hurt.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: As a longtime racer myself, I can really appreciate and understand the inspiration behind the design.
Technical Specifications from Marchand
- Material: Stainless steel 316L With DLC Version
- Size: 42mm x 10mm
- Weight: 65 grams without strap
- Crystal: Double-Domed Sapphire
- Case Back: Sapphire Exhibition Held In Place By Four Screws
- Water Resistance: 10 atm/100 m/330 ft
- Strap Width: 20mm
- MOVEMENT: Miyota 9015 Automatic, 24 Jewels
- Functions: Hacking and Manual Winding with date
- Accuracy: -10/+30 sec/day
- Beats Per Hour: 28,800
- Power Reserve: 42 Hours
- Color: Black/Carbon, Black/White, Blue/White, Green/White
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Includes Cross Hatch Knurling
- Material: Leather
- Clasp: Pin Buckle