Introducing the MAEN Skymaster 38, a Value-Packed, Vintage-Inspired Automatic Chronograph

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MAEN is a brand out of Stockholm, Sweden, and it’s gained some significant traction with the release of their Hudson dive watch, their first mechanical timepiece. Brad had a chance to go hands-on with the Hudson last year, and his impression mirrors those of others who took the watch for a spin: it’s a solid, vintage-inspired dive watch that represents great value for money. There’s not exactly a dearth of watches in that category — I sometimes wonder if, in fact, every watch is a well-built heritage diver — so for MAEN to break out of the pack is in and of itself an accomplishment. A word of mouth hit in the micro-brand space is maybe the best kind.

MAEN’s follow up to the Hudson is something totally new for the brand, who now enter a growing but not quite saturated market for old-school-looking mechanical chronographs at a budget price. Let’s take a look at some of the key elements of the new Skymaster 38.


MAEN Skymaster 38 Automatic Chronograph

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Jet Black, Panda, Inverted Panda, Midnight Blue, Thunder Grey
  • Dimensions: 38mm x 10.9mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Crown: 7mm
  • Movement: ETA 2894-2 Elaboré Grade
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather
  • Price: 799 Euro at Kickstarter launch
  • Expected Release: September 2019

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The Skymaster is a three-register chronograph with a rotating 12-hour bezel, which for my money is one of the most useful non-mechanical complications around. The 38mm size would seem to fit perfectly into MAEN’s general new-vintage aesthetic. The Hudson comes in at a similar size, and many raved about that piece’s compact charm. Long and straight lugs conjure up images of highly prized vintage versions of another famous chronograph, but stops short of being an outright copy.

Where MAEN really sets itself apart in terms of design is the opportunity for their customer to choose from a range of dial options to suit their taste. We see this frequently in the micro-brand community, and it’s one of the aspects of this watch category that really distinguishes itself from the big brands. Variety continues to be incredibly valuable to MAEN and others, and I think it allows them to appeal to a wider audience while also making an implicit promise that they are truly client focused.

There are a total of five dial options for the Skymaster. In addition to the fairly standard Jet Black variant, we have great looking Panda and Reverse Panda options, a Midnight Blue with white sub-dials, and my personal favorite, something MAEN is calling Thunder Grey. This one has splashes of red in the sub-dials and a bright orange handset. It’s funky in a way that earlier MAEN designs hinted at but never quite reached, and I think it offers something unique in their lineup and in the market for this type of watch.

MAEN intends to launch the Skymaster on Kickstarter with a launch price of 799 Euros, which is major value proposition for a chronograph with a ETA 2894-2 movement under the hood in a form factor that is becoming more and more desirable. With plenty of variety and a design that has already stood the test of time, the Skymaster seems to offer a lot, and is definitely a watch to keep an eye on. MAEN

Thoughts on the newest collection? Let us know below.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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