Introducing the Merci LMM-01 Project Spécial Collection

Part design firm and part retail store, Merci is a multifaceted company that applies thoughtful design to items we use and wear every day. Today, we’re taking a look at the new Project Spécial Collection that’s based on their successful LMM-01 model. This new line consists of three different watches that draw inspiration from the field, the railroad, and the vintage watch from the back of your grandfather’s drawer. Each piece in the LMM-01 Project Spécial Collection is housed in the same 38-millimeter case, but look almost completely different. Merci’s excellent use of dial design and layout take three similar watches and give them each their own personality. They do have a bit in common though. 

Inside the LMM-01’s stainless steel case, you’ll find one of two Seiko quartz movements. The VH31 in the “Field” features a sweeping seconds hand (not all too common for quartz), while the VD78 in the “Railroad” and “Grand Pa’” have a small-seconds sub-dial with your typical ticking seconds hand. All of the cases feature a brushed finish throughout, save for a polished ring that surrounds the crystal. This little detail really helps make the dial pop. 

Even with the double curved mineral glass crystal, the overall height measures in at a scant 10.67 millimeters tall. The LMM-01 looks like it wears nicely on the wrist, easily slipping under a cuff or staying out of the way during activity.

In each of the three versions, there’s a few signature design details that make them each their own unique piece.


The “Railroad”

The most colorful of the three is the “Railroad,” with its blue numerals and yellow-tinted lozenge hand set. Running around the outside of the dial, there’s a railroad track-inspired chapter ring. It’s a subtle nod to its namesake without being too on-the-nose. The textured small seconds dial is packed full of details, with precise markings seen throughout. The “Railroad” has a lot going on, but the design remains interesting and balanced without being too overwhelming.

The “Field”

Available with either a black or white dial, the “Field” watch is a great example of a simple military-inspired design. A 12-hour scale surrounds the dial and is highlighted with vintage-colored lume dots at each hour. The oblong syringe style hands also get the lume treatment, making it easy to read in dark conditions. Instead of ticking, the “Field” features a standard central seconds hand that sweeps like an automatic watch, despite the quartz movement inside.

The “Grand Pa”

Drawing heavy inspiration from vintage watches of the mid-century, the “Grand Pa” focuses on legibility and simple design. The silver dial is largely monotone, save for a small red hash mark at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Simple black lancet-style hands and subtle branding give the dial some welcomed breathing room that results in a classy and legible everyday watch.

I think that every watch collection could benefit from a sharp-looking quartz watch like the LMM-01 Project Spécial. Sometimes it’s nice to throw on a watch that’s already set, and head out the door. You can configure your watch with a variety of leather and nylon bands, or opt for a metal bracelet should that be your preference. Just in time for the holidays, you can add a LMM-01 to your collection or get one as a gift for the reasonable price of 230€, which is roughly $260 USD. Merci

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Ed is a Long Island-based writer and photographer with an affinity for watches, fountain pens, EDC gear, and a great cup of coffee. He’s always looking for the best gear for the job—whether it be new watch, pen, flashlight, knife, or wallet. Ed enjoys writing because it’s an awesome (and fulfilling) way to interact with those who share the same interests.