Stop me if you’ve heard this pitch before – “Hey, we’re a bunch of friends who got together to make a watch…” Yes, it’s an old story, and regardless of it’s true or not, the inner cynic pipes in with all manner of wonderment at what sort of junk is being pitched. Then you come to something like the Merlin Sea Legend, and the inner cynic needs to go back to telling kids to stay off the lawn, because this watch is something different and cool.
Now, when I see a dive watch with triangles on the dial, I immediately am reminded of the Vulcain dive watch from the 60s. Then again, plenty of brands make use of triangles. Here, all of the indices on the Merlin Sea Legend are triangles, which puts me in mind of a gaping shark maw – just a bunch of teeth coming at you. Interestingly, the brand also put numerals on the compass points, so there should be no worries at all about holding the watch upside down in the dark. It’s not just the dial indices that look vintage, though.
Proportions on the case of the Merlin Sea Legend also hew back to an earlier day. The steel case comes in at 39mm in diameter, and only 13.5mm thick, which includes the boxed sapphire crystal. Surrounding that, you’ve got the bezel which is also sapphire, but finished in a way to try and give it the look of the bakelite bezels of yore. All in all, these photos give the watch a really cool sort of vintage vibe.
When it comes to fit, finish, and materials, it would seem that the Merlin Sea Legend will be thoroughly modern. You’ve got the sapphire and steel that we mentioned already, and you’ve got modern SuperLuminova lighting things up in the dark. The case is rated for 200m of WR (more than you or I will likely ever need, but appreciated), and that all keeps the Sellita SW-200 automatic movement dry and ticking away. In short, an impressive bill of materials.
Style-wise, if you’re looking to back the Merlin Sea Legend when it launches, you’ve got five variants to choose from. More than just simple color schemes, there are changes to the dial as well:
- Meteorite: grey bezel, black dial, meteorite center
- Golden Boy: black bezel, gilt accents, enamel center
- Tsunami: blue bezel, black dial, Hokusai wave pattern in center
- Nacre: black bezel, grey dial, mother-of-pearl center
- Dark Wizard: black bezel, black dial, meteorite center, and PVD coating on the case
In short, these variants will have enough changes between them to tell them apart, and keep the fans happy. For me, though, I wish there would be some mix-and-match options available (like, putting the blue or grey bezels onto the Nacre) – and who knows, I’ve not seen stretch goals yet, so that could be an option.
Speaking of stretch goals – that means that the Merlin Sea Legend is coming up for crowdfunding. It’s anticipated to hit Kickstarter later this month (estimated for August 30th), with super earlybird pricing starting at $329 – very affordable for a Swiss powered diver, no? If/when we get more details, we’ll let you know, and we’ll of course have a quick note up when the project goes live. We’ve also inquired about a loaner to review hands-on, but prototype availability is limited at the moment, which is understandable. We’ll see what we can do, though, to see if the “in the steel” impressions hold up to what we see in these photos. merlin-watches.com
- Brand & Model: Merlin Sea Legend
- Price: Super earlybird pricing is starting at $329
- Who we think it might be for: You like the vintage sharktooth look, but just haven’t gotten one onto your wrist yet
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? Perhaps, if I could mix-and-match. I’d love to have the blue bezel on the Nacre (with it’s MOP center), or put the MOP center into the Tsunami
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It’s old-school cool, daddy-o
Tech Specs from Merlin Watches
- Function – Hours, Minutes, Seconds
- Material – 316L Stainless Steel
- Dimensions – 39mm diameter; 13.5mm thickness
- Crystal – Boxed sapphire crystal with AR coating
- Caseback – Open sapphire crystal steel back with special engravings
- Bezel – Sapphire ‘Bakelite’ bezel
- Lume: Yes, C3 Swiss SuperLuminova®
- Lug Width – 20mm
- Caliber – Automatic Sellita SW200
- Power Reserve – 38 hours
- Water Resistance – 200 meters