Hands-On: the MAEN Brooklyn 36 Triple Calendar

I have to start this review by being honest about something: I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about calendar watches. I just don’t. 

When I think “calendar watch,” for some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, my mind jumps to “perpetual calendar,” even though a watch with a simple date function is also technically a calendar watch as well. My curse, I guess, is that I immediately start thinking about a complication that is, for the most part, completely out of my reach. So when someone says there’s a cool new calendar watch to check out (I can count on one hand the number of times this has actually happened) I’m usually less interested than if someone were to, for example, suggest we go out and get dumplings at the Chinese restaurant down the street, or go see Oppenheimer for a second time, or some combination of those two things. 

The other problem, because I tend to associate the very idea of calendar watches with the most complex watches in production, is that when talk turns to calendars, I think of very expensive service costs. A local watch friend once owned a vintage triple calendar made by one of the most respected and admired Swiss brands. It broke, and the bill was, how can I put it this…kind of brutal. Again, not something I want in my life. 

This line of thinking, of course, is deeply unfair, and a bias that I freely admit and am trying to break out of. A new watch from MAEN, a Swedish brand with a Dutch name, reminded me recently that there’s more to calendar watches than pricey and finicky perpetuals, and that their many forms include the sporty and under the radar aesthetics of their Brooklyn 36 Triple Calendar. 


Hands-On: the MAEN Brooklyn 36 Triple Calendar

Stainless steel
Miyota 9122
Dark Gray
Stainless steel bracelet
Water Resistance
36 x 46mm
Lug Width

Notable Specs and Features 

The most notable technical feature of the Brooklyn 36 is without a doubt the movement, a Miyota 9122 automatic caliber that displays the date within a window at 6:00, and the day and month in subdials at 9:00 and 3:00, respectively. If we ever do a guide to “Movements We’ve Completely Forgotten About” (we definitely should) I think the Miyota 9122 would be at the top of my own personal list. For all the ubiquity of Miyota time only automatic calibers, the triple calendar movement is rarely used, always waiting in the wings for an industrious brand to try it out, and see if they can capture the imagination of calendar lovers and calendar skeptics alike. I found this Miyota to be reliable in my time with the Brooklyn, and easy to set via a pusher on the case flank. I never had the feeling I was about to break something, which is a low bar for signing off any watch, but important nevertheless. 

The other important fact about this watch is (also) right there in the name: it comes in at just 36mm in diameter. That’s a classic size, the same as the traditional Rolex Datejust that this watch made me think of more than once, but in 2023 it’s squarely in the authentically vintage inspired realm. There will no doubt be some people who read about this watch and immediately dismiss it as too small for their modern wrist. To that I say, I’m glad for you that you weren’t live in the 1950s or 1960s, when if you wanted a watch in this style it was 32mm – 36mm or bust, and in the days before eBay and WatchRecon and, you know, caring about the size of a watch at all, for the most part, you’d probably simply have to go without, lest your wrist appear absolutely gigantic next to your miniature time telling device. You’ve dodged a bullet by being born just a little bit later on the timeline we all share.

At a glance, the dial seems to be relatively straightforward, but MAEN has added a number of small touches here that really add up if you take the time to look at them closely. There’s a surprising amount of depth, with the subdials being slightly sunken, and an outer minute track that is recessed, sitting on a lower plane than the main dial. There’s a small ball of lume at each hour, sitting within this recessed portion, which further adds to the dial’s overall visual interest and creates a bit of additional complexity with the mixing of shapes and dial levels. MAEN says they were inspired by the pie pan dials of watches from the 1960s, and they’ve achieved a similar effect without doing exactly the same thing, namely adding a somewhat strange dimensionality to the dial that’s relatively subtle. If, like me, you’re a fan of normal things represented in watches that are just slightly off kilter, I think you’ll find a lot to enjoy here, particularly once you examine the Brooklyn 36 under magnification.


Looking at the specs, particularly the size of the watch and the five link bracelet it’s mounted on, I expected this watch to wear a lot like a classic Datejust. I wasn’t wrong, but of course it’s a bit more complicated than that. As someone who finds himself wearing a chronograph more often than not these days, looking down at that dial and seeing those subdials that are definitely not chronograph registers played tricks on me at first. The Brooklyn 36 is kind of like a bizarro Datejust, and made me imagine what a “Datejust Chronograph” might look like, or, even stranger, a Datejust with additional calendar functionality. What would you even call that? A Triple Calendar-Just? A Day-Date-Month? As you can see, there’s a reason I’m not in charge of naming anything around here. 

The most lasting impression I have of this watch’s aesthetics is certainly the very well executed dial. The sunburst finishing on the dark gray dialed sample I got to wear for a bit is really detailed, and has a great sheen to it that contrasts sharply with the more industrial finishing of the day and month subdials, as well as the outer ring. That contrast is all the more dramatic on the colorway you see here, which features cream colored subdials. The Brooklyn 36 is also available in other less contrasty options (black on black, and gray on black) but I think the move here is definitely to go for one of the “panda” variants, whether it be the one you see here, green, or copper. 

It’s worth noting too that legibility, and the actual calendar functionality here as it relates to being able see those subdials at a glance, is pulled off nicely by MAEN. The time telling hands are polished and easy to spot against the dark dial, and it takes no time at all to get accustomed to reading the day and month information off of the sub-registers. I appreciate seeing the progress of a week or a week or a year in a calendar watch as it relates to the whole, and once you understand that the 12:00 position within both subdials corresponds with the starting point for each, it becomes second nature to easily spot where you’re at in time. 


There’s something refreshing about the Brooklyn 36 that comes largely from how unexpected it is. There simply aren’t a lot of triple calendar watches out there, and the last decade in the watch hobby has been so dominated by a demand for Sports Watch Everything, a compact, retro inspired calendar watch, which once upon a time would have been quite common, seems like a real gamble. 

MAEN is a relative newcomer to the microbrand space (we covered their first mechanical watch back in 2018) but is developing a reputation for their unfussy designs and attention to quality. They made one of the more subtle in a recent slew of seconde/seconde collaborations recently, which communicates a visual joke cleanly and effectively while keeping the focus on that watch’s defining feature, the gorgeous dial finished with traditional Geneva stripes. Similarly with the Brooklyn 36, the great build quality is there if you look for it. Crisp, contrasting finishes abound on the case (and dial), and the static bezel has been set within the case walls, rather than atop them, which helps slim the watch down while also, one would assume, improve its overall robustness. 

We haven’t talked about the price yet, and that’s a highlight as well. The retail price of the Brooklyn 36 comes in at an eminently fair $762. Without naming names or calling anyone out, I can easily think of more than a small handful of watches over $1,000 that fall short of MAEN’s finishing and overall attention to detail. The inviting retail price also gives people like me, who are far less inclined to notice or seek out a dedicated calendar watch, an obstacle free and affordable way to try one out. If the calendar-curious watch collector doesn’t become a full fledged connoisseur of the complication, they’re certainly not likely to be disappointed by the package MAEN offers, which is attractive, affordable, and very well made. MAEN

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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.