Introducing the Martenero Ascent and Marquis

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The last time we wrote about Martenero, the Brooklyn-based brand had just released their two inaugural watches, the Ace and the Founder. For those unfamiliar, Martenero has a unique take on affordable watches. Unlike most brands that only offer only preconfigured models, Martenero allows you to design a watch of your choice using their available dials, handsets, and straps. To simplify the process, Martenero’s website has a configurator so you can visualize your choices as you make them. Once Martenero has your order, a watchmaker hand assembles the watch in Brooklyn, New York, QCing the components and adjusting the movement before sending it out. Today, Martenero is back with two new models and a number of upgrades making the brand’s proposition all the more attractive.

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The first watch is the Ascent, a sporty 3-hander available in 4 colors: grey, navy, silver, and sky blue–all featuring a sunburst finish. The Ascent features a highly legible design, with oblong applied hour markers, a date window at 3 o’clock, and stylized lance hands chock full of lume. A second internal hours track is visualized through 11 hexagonal markers printed on the dial (the date window eats the marker at 3). The hours and minutes hands are outlined in grey with customizable colors for the seconds hand, available in a matching grey, light blue, white, orange, and navy. For every dial color there are four available hand options, with the only exception being a handset that matches the dial in color.

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Of all the choices, my favorite dial is the sunburst navy, which has a rich inky appearance that really pops in the metal. Overall, I have to commend the Martenero team for their color choices for both the dials and the hands. After handling a number of different combinations in person, I can confidently say it would be hard to go wrong with any pairing.

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The second model is the Marquis, Martenero’s first dress watch. Of the two watches, the Marquis is certainly the more complex in terms of design. It features a two-tiered dial, with a raised outer ring surrounding a recessed base layer. The outer ring contains the hours and minutes index, with applied indices for every hour (doubling at 12) and 4 dots between each marker to indicate minutes/seconds. The base layer brings some excitement to the design, adding applied Roman numeral markers at 3, 9 and 12 right below the indices on the outer ring. Along the same track is an additional minutes index, with Arabic numerals denoting every 5-minute/second interval that isn’t occupied with Roman numerals or the date aperture at 6 o’clock. The base dial is divided into quadrants via cross hairs and topped off with a set of beautiful faceted lance hands. The Marquis is available in three dial colors, which include matte white, sunburst silver, and a matte–almost charcoal–black (only the latter two are pictured here).

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The Marquis also comes with a number of customizable handsets. A white and silver set are available with only the black dial, dark blue and black are available for every option other than the black dial, and orange and lighter blue are open to every dial color.

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The case is largely the same one found on their first two watches, though this time around Martenero is offering two size options: the classic 42mm version, and a smaller 38mm version. Each wear exceptionally well, with the 38mm version having a surprising amount of wrist presence due to the elongated lugs. Both cases have a nice mix of brushed and polished finishing, with some sharp edges and transitions between the two. My favorite detail is the twisted “bombe” lugs, which give the case an extra touch of elegance. At 3 o’clock is the screw-down crown, and the case has 50-meters of water-resistance (the former models had 100m water-resistance). Both the front and the display back crystals are sapphire.

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This time around Martenero has opted for the Miyota 9015, replacing the 821A used with their first two watches. The 9015 is the movement of choice for most micro brands today, so its use here is certainly a welcome change and more in line with what I would expect from the brand. The 9015 features hacking, 28,800 bph, and a 42-hour power reserve. The new movement accounts for the slight surcharge this time around, with both models selling for $595.

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Included in the package is your choice of leather strap or nylon one-piece. The leather straps are handmade in Florida and come in a nice variety of colors, which include cognac, chestnut, vintage brown, marine, oxblood, mahogany, and black. The straps feature a minimal stitch design with painted sides and a hypoallergenic leather lining. Though stiff right out of the box, the leather starts breaking in right away and should develop an attractive patina over time.

To watches go live today, so head over to Martenero’s e-store to purchase.

Editor’s Note: Just as a matter of full transparency, it should be made clear that Zach Weiss, co-founder and editor of w&w, works with Martenero in a design capacity. With that said, worn&wound has no financial relationship with the brand, nor does Ilya Ryvin, the author of this post. The post was also written without editorial influence.

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
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