I get a lot of questions about which watches are worthy contenders if you don’t have a fortune to spend. And, in this economy, it seems everybody has had to cut back on their discretionary spending. Still, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to put a watch on your wrist that’s going to make you smile and feel good. Marvin is a company well worth considering.
The truth is, no matter how good the movement—and it can have a labyrinth of complications with parts hand-tended by master finishers—you aren’t going to buy a watch if you don’t like how it looks. Marvin offers great designs at a reasonable price.
For a few weeks, I had the pleasure of wearing the stainless steel M111 with diamonds on a white leather strap, and I have to say it’s a real looker. I love the gradations of the Roman numerals swooping round the dial. Through the cutout at 12 o’clock, you can see the oscillations of the balance wheel. While the open-dial gives the watch a more dynamic aspect, I think the design holds up without this conceit and would’ve preferred it without. I’m not one who usually gravitates to the twinkle of diamonds—on a watch, that is. In the case of the M111, they add a touch of elegance and playful flirtatiousness. This model also comes with the option of a red or brown strap and a stainless or PVD rose gold bracelet.
At Marvin, they really distinguish themselves with the details through specific design codes. For example, every watch across the line incorporates “Marvin” red in the number 8 on the dial as well as on the underside of the leather straps. Other nice flourishes include the Marvin insignia on the buckle and crown and the beveled crystal.
Inside the M111 Marvin uses the Sellita SW200, which is a clone of the ETA 2824-2, a respectable workhorse movement. You can get a good look at it through the exhibition back. There’s really only one quibble I have with the brand and it’s the name. I know it’s resuscitated from the historical company established by Marc and Emmanuel Didisheim. Maybe it’s an American thing but Marvin doesn’t exactly bring up images of royalty and prestige, like the crown in their symbol suggests. It makes me think of the sniffly kid in math class who asks annoying questions and has no sense of personal boundaries.
Nonetheless, I can get over the unfortunate name because Marvin shines in so many other areas, particularly when you look at the prices. You can get a solid mechanical movement starting at around 1k. The M111 with diamonds I wore cost a bit over 2k
Marvin offers classic design but bring a fun and youthful vibe to the process of choosing a watch. On their website they have a nifty function called a Mood Generator, where you can select how you’re feeling and the system will present you with watch options. Are you feeling funky, subdued, curious or wild? Find out which Marvin coincides to your frame of mind.
Marvin has updated their strap options. Click on the gallery below.