Back in 2018 we reviewed a watch from Meraud called the Bonaire, a time-only diver with some stylish undertones that elevated it from mere neo-vintage diver from a micro-brand status. In closing, Ilya expressed excitement about the future of the brand, and how that might manifest in different models. This week, we’re finally getting a look at the next chapter with the release of the hand-wound chronograph called the Antigua. This is a watch no longer content with stylish undertones, instead opting for outright stylish, full stop. The Antigua oozes personality from damn near every angle, and while not without fault, this is a watch that’s not just fun, but unexpected.
Colorful hand-wound chronographs from small independent brands are certainly enjoying a moment thanks to the likes of Studio Underd0g, Lorier, and Baltic, among others, and Meraud carves their own path with the Antigua thanks to the well considered design (a trait shared by the others cited above), and the somewhat unconventional choice of movement. I wouldn’t go so far as to call the Antigua an anomaly, but it manages a fine balance between safe and comfortable, and quirky and strange, landing somewhere in the middle. It’s the best kind of follow up to a promising start, and I only wish it had come a little sooner, as this is a brand I’d like to see more from.