As I’m sure you can imagine, we get all manner of mail coming in from companies talking about their “new, innovative” watches, and a vast many of them just get tossed into the circular file. There are gems to be found out there, and that’s what we’ve got here with the Manawa M1 collection coming at us from Belgium.
In terms of the brand itself, Manawa is not even a year old yet, and they’re coming at us with the M1 collection (three dial colors – black, blue, or cream) which relies on the Unitas 6497 manually-wound movement (shown below). That, combine with a very classic – yet updated – dial design makes for a classy watch that’s ready for suit-and-tie season, or even just for putting together a more polished look for the office (if we ever go back to the office, that is).
Now, while Manawa itself is new, the man behind the brand, Gérald Vandeputte, started designing the dial. I don’t know about you, but at 18 years old, I surely wasn’t teaching myself design to come up with a dial. To my eye, the Manawa M1 has a very classic look to it. That comes in large part courtesy of the Breguet-style pomme hands, but also in the dial itself. You’ve got the crisp printing over the dial blank, with a generously bold approach to the numerals that modernizes things a bit.
Along with the ETA movement, the Manawa M1 has all the higher-end features we’re expecting in materials – sapphire crystal in front (mineral in back), stainless steel for the case (a tidy 12mm thick), and a color-coordinated leather strap with contrast stitching. For a first outing from a brand, the Manawa M1 is one the best-sorted ones I’ve seen.
We’re talking with the brand about getting in a loaner to give you the hands-on impressions, so more on that later. In the meantime, you can head over to their site and read about the watches, and even order your own. If you’re in the EU, you’ll be paying €890 (incl VAT); for us here in the States, that works out to about $775 (provided I did my VAT math correctly). Whichever currency, that looks to be a very tidy value for your coin. manawatches.com
- Brand & Model: Manawa M1
- Price: €890 (incl VAT) (approx $775 once you take VAT out)
- Who we think it might be for: You’re looking to start a new, young brand starting out and want to pick up a dress watch
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? Probably not, but that’s because it would try to fill a niche I’ve already got covered
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: A clean, classic look (with modernly bold numerals) paired to a true classic of a manually-wound movement
Tech Specs from Manawa
- Model: Manawa M1
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Caliber: ETA Unitas 6497 soignee with blue screws
- Power reserve: 46 hours
- Movement: Mechanical
- Case Material: Stainless steel, polished
- Crystal: Double domed sapphire
- Case Back: Mineral glass, brushed steel
- Case size: 41mm
- Height: 12mm
- Lug Width: 22mm
- Lug to lug: 49mm
- Water Resistance: 5ATM
- Dial: sunburst
- Hands: Breguet-style
- Delivery Time 3 weeks
- Warranty 2 years