Hands-On With The Transylvania Inspired Peren Nera Rogue X

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Almost three years back I wrote about an interesting piece that was launching on kickstarter. Perhaps more than the watch itself I was impressed by how successfully the brand’s backstory was intertwined in the design of the watch. Living close to London as I do, if I were to design a watch I could perhaps be tempted to recreate the clock face from Elizabeth Tower, housing Big Ben. Or a young watch brand from Transylvania, say, might try to squeeze in a glut of Count Dracula references. As it happens, Peren does hail from the Transylvania region of central Romania – but the inspiration behind the Nera Rogue X isn’t obvious until you’ve read the backstory.

The watch I’m looking at today is an evolution of the same design presented three years ago, with the main difference being a 12 hour bezel and the inclusion of a stainless steel bracelet. So, with the watch now in hand, how do all the pieces of the story fit together?

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$449

Hands-On With The Transylvania Inspired Peren Nera Rogue X

Case
Stainless Steel
Movement
Sellita SW200-1
Dial
Blue
Lume
BGW9 SuperLuminova
Lens
AR Coated Sapphire
Strap
Steel bracelet
Water Resistance
200M
Dimensions
39×48.8mm
Thickness
12.8mm
Lug Width
20mm
Crown
Screw Down
Warranty
2 Yrs
Price
$449

I’m immediately struck by the case and, in particular, that bezel. What’s obvious in photos is ever more prominent in real life. The sloped bezel, PVD coated for additional prominence is an interesting and attractive feature. The conical nature gives a little more real estate visible from above, breaking up the two other finishes on the case (more on that later). From the side, the shape is just…interesting. Not groundbreakingly good, or awfully bad – just an interesting way to form a bezel. The black finish applied here creates a good distinction between the mid case and the bezel. Although nearly 13mm thick, the portion of that attributable to the bezel can almost be forgotten as you focus on the dull stainless steel of the case. Of course, the total thickness still counts but visually at least it’s a neat slimming trick, even if it’s not intended as such.

The majority of the case is blasted, including the solid case back, and that’s a finish that I think suits the watch really well. I don’t want to call the dial color or case finish dull in a disparaging way, but a blasted case can sit quietly in the background in a way that polished chamfers and crisp brushing can’t manage. The top of the bezel, with 12 hour markings for tracking a second time zone, is radially brushed – becoming the single element that catches the light.

And so to that ‘dull’ dial. What’s listed as blue is actually a very muted teal, somewhere between blue and green and seemingly switching between colors each time I pick it up. The exact shade is where the ties back to Transylvania begin, with the dial representing the waters of Lake Dracului located in Romania’s Nera Gorges. What was originally an underground lake became exposed when part of the cave ceiling collapsed. The conical bezel is matched in shape and color by the rehaut around the dial, which is another nod to the cave structure in which the pool of water sits. The dial’s square hour markers cut slightly into the rehaut in the same was as you might see on the Tudor Pelagos, but to a much lesser extent. All indices, as well as the three crisp white hands and the bezel’s triangle marker, are filled with BGW9 SuperLuminova. Although excellent clarity is given during daylight, the lumed areas would benefit from being larger to give some punchier visibility in darkness.

Everything is seeming like a pretty good effort so far as we move to the bracelet, which feels solid and well made. The cold steel wraps around the wrist as a good Oyster should do. The brushing is fairly nice too, and the taper brings the width down from 20mm at the lugs to 18mm at the flip lock clasp with three adjustment holes. It is one of the better bracelets I have seen from a small brand operating in this sphere, which makes it all the more frustrating that the brushing does not match the blasted finish of the case. The difference isn’t jarring, and I accept that there’s already brushing on the bezel but my own preference would be to see more continuity through the lugs. Your mileage may vary.

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Peren have chosen to use the Sellita SW200-1 in this Swiss Made watch – a well known automatic calibre with very similar specs and design to the ETA 2824-2. Peren also tout that each movement is regulated in house. The watch I’ve been looking at over the last week has been running an average of 5 seconds fast per day, which is not bad at all. In addition to the 8 beats per second sweep and the 38 hours of power reserve, the Sellita engine also has a date complication, and I’m very happy to see Peren have color-matched it to their unique shade of blue/green.

I’ve quite enjoyed having this watch on my wrist, and the way it wears is a big part of the charm. If you have a smaller wrist then you might be tempted by the 39mm diameter, and further still by the conical bezel which brings the whole thing in a little smaller still. But beware, the slender lugs reach out to almost 49m from tip, and the ‘male’ endlink pushes that a little further still. It feels perfectly fine on my wrist (and I quite like the slightly elongated appearance), but there’s a definite danger of overhang on a small wrist. Of course, to alleviate this you can switch out the strap for something that wraps around the wrist a little tighter – and the drilled lugs help strap changes.

I was slightly apprehensive checking out this watch citing direct influence from a Karst Lake in deepest Transylvania, and I almost went without mentioning the ‘fangs’ logo adorning the dial and crown – but that’s because no single detail stands out as being tacky. I do wish for a better match of finished between the bracelet and case, but aside from that there really isn’t much to fault, and the slightly unexpected proportions make the watch rather than detract from it. The Peren Nera Rogue X is limited to 300 pieces, currently available for preorder at 519 CHF with delivery targeted for January. Peren

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Brad stumbled into the watch world in 2011 and has been falling down the rabbit hole ever since. Based in London, Brad's interests lie in anything that ticks, sweeps or hums and is slightly off the beaten track.
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