More specifically, polished pencil-style hands are paired with applied rectangular markers which are also polished. Edouard did not highlight the hour markers at the cardinal points and instead opted to make all of them the same size to create symmetry. The latter is not interrupted by the date aperture located at three o’clock as its beveled frame makes it seamlessly integrate within the dial. The gray dial, showcasing a sun ray finish, creates interesting light plays when holding the watch at different angles. A stylized logo can be found at the 12 and the word “Automatique,” written in script, at the six. There is enough lume on the hands and markers to make reading the time easy in low-lit condition.
(Note: the photos are of a prototype which didn’t receive an even application of lume.)
Solid Everyday Specifications
If you are like me, you might want to know what’s under the hood and how big or small this watch is. Let’s start with the dimensions: 38mm in diameter, 42.20mm lug-to-lug, 11.25mm thick and a lug width of 18mm, though the bracelet starts at 22mm and tapers down to 18mm. La Fidèle fits well on my 6.25”/16cm wrist as you can tell from the photos. As we already know, it has an impressive 200 meters of water resistance which is more than we need for everyday use, despite having a see-through sapphire case-back showing the Miyota 9015 caliber within. Regulated in-house, this movement is part of the premium line of calibers from Miyota and beats at 28,800 BPH (4Hz) and has 42 hours of power reserve.
The sun ray gray dial can easily be admired through a flat piece of sapphire crystal complete with anti-reflective coating. As you know, sapphire doesn’t scratch easily which, combined with the 200 meters of WR, makes La Fidèle a solid companion for your everyday adventures. This is further made possible by the application of a proprietary hardening compound on the case and bracelet making both virtually unscratchable. Lastly, and despite the fact that I haven’t experienced many butterfly clasps, the one found on La Fidèle feels solid and comes with the added benefit of being short.
A final point before some final thoughts: La Fidèle comes in five versions. Four dial colors—gray, green, copper and salmon—and a military version called La Fidèle Dirty Dozen which Edouard designed as part of a competition Manime was invited to participate to by Mark D. “Nix” Natale, Major in the British Army and US Advisor to the Ministry of Defense.
If one cannot afford or doesn’t want to invest thousands of dollars in a Royal Oak, Nautilus, or 222, one can turn to the micro and independent watch market for solid options under $1,000. In addition to its unique design and specs (at least according to me,) the Manime La Fidèle comes with the added bonus of an attractive price tag. The Kickstarter campaign starts September 26, 2023, with a Super Early Bird Price of $438, an Early Bird of $480, and a full retail of $600 thereafter. Production is slated for the end of November of the same year and shipping for March 2024. You can learn more about Manime here and the Kickstarter campaign here.