This Automatic GMT Watch Is $750. Seriously.

The Maen Greenwich 38mm GMT packs a lacquer dial and Swiss automatic movement.

main greenwich gmt watch
Zen Love

How much bang for buck can microbrands cram into watches these days? The company Maen just might have the answer: Its newest collection packs a host of premium features mixed with a compelling — if potentially polarizing — design in its Greenwich watch. It almost seems too good to be true, so we were curious to find out if a $750 Swiss automatic GMT watch with lacquer dial, possibly perfect proportions and a fun look can really offer all the value it proposes to. (Spoiler alert: it does.)

Key Specs:

Case Diameter: 38mm
Case Depth:
12.05mm
Water Resistance:
100m
Movement:
SwissTech S24-045 automatic
Price:
~$750

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Notable

maen greenwich watches
MAEN

Maen grabs your attention with the kind of specs, features and restrained design you'd typically expect of significantly more expensive watches. It stands out for its price-to-features ratio even within the realm of microbrands where many take a similar, value-driven approach to varying degrees. The Greenwich offers not only nice (read: moderate-to-smallish) sizing and the right specs, like sapphire crystal, 100m of water resistance, and a Swiss automatic GMT movement — but also bonuses like a lacquer dial and sharp, contrasting case finishing. It even gets an extra point for interest thanks to its use of a little-known movement.

On top of it all, the design mixes sporty and conservative elements in a balanced way that results in a unique but potentially polarizing character. Most people will either love or hate the oversized hour markers — I happen to love this design. There are four available variations of the Greenwich with mostly more traditional dial colors than the one we selected, which has red hands and indices. (The blue dial one has a cool waffle texture.) We chose this model to mix things up — there are enough traditional field, dive and other tool watches out there — and because the brand deserves credit for a gutsy design choice.

Who It's For

It's hard to fit the Maen Greenwich into traditional categories, but if you must label everything, it could generally be described as a tool watch. Its legibility and sporty vibe make it seem ready for outdoor use, while refined touches like the case finishing make it potentially more versatile. The Greenwich is, of course, for those who dig the look and size — and it's particularly appropriate for slimmer wrists or for those with a taste for watches with smaller profiles (as is currently on-trend).

main greenwich gmt watch
MAEN

Alternatives

There aren't many automatic GMT watches in this price range, much less with a Swiss-made designation. You can look to tool watches in general, but if you just want a GMT at under $1,000, check out British watchmaker Christopher Ward's take on the Rolex Explorer II which they call the C63 Sealander GMT ($950 on a strap).

Like the tool watch vibe and field watch size of the Maen Greenwich but have more to spend? Try the Monta Atlas ($1,950), which also offers a GMT complication as well as a nice level of finishing — but it'll cost more than double Maen's price. Finally, if you're captivated by those hyper-legible, blocky indices (and don't really need the GMT) check out either a vintage Seiko 62MAS dive watch originally from 1965 (which will cost you a bundle) or a modern remake of it, like the Prospex collection's SPB239 ($1,200).

Review

Based in Sweden but founded by two Dutchmen, Maen looks like a manifestation of how consumers win as startup brands (and even Swiss big boys) compete for entry-level value. Following collections of automatic dive watches and aviation-themed chronographs (as well as quartz dress watches), the Greenwich seems to round out Maen's lineup and fill the niche of an outdoor or adventure watch.

Like the brand's other collections, the Greenwich seems very aggressively priced for the features it packs in. Maen first intrigued the hell out of me by offering a thin, 38mm Swiss automatic chronograph watch with all the right materials and specs for under or around $1,000 called the Skymaster. That's more or less unheard of, so when something sounds too good to be true it, it makes you wonder: what's the catch? I'm happy to report that I've found no quality issues with the Greenwich, and that it does indeed offer what it advertises.

main greenwich gmt detail
Zen Love

While the Maen Greenwich might not have the high-end feel of watches that its premium features are usually associated with, it's still offering a striking level of value that's hard to ignore and which is easily its most notable trait. Again, here's what you're getting for $750: a Swiss automatic GMT movement; a 100m water-resistant steel case with sharp, contrasting finishes; a double-domed sapphire crystal with antireflective coating; a lacquer dial; a relatively complicated construction involving a stepped bezel; and refined design. Elements like its 38mm sizing and the boldness of its design are subjective, but both are big parts of the watch's attraction — at least for me.

Value might be the headline for Maen watches in general, but there's more of interest in some of the Greenwich's individual features: The dial, with its unusually large indices, will visually stand out first and inevitably make or break the whole proposition for many people. Style and taste are one thing, but it bears emphasizing that indices are functional and these oversized blocks offer excellent legibility against the deep black lacquer dial. I can't say it enough: legibility is important to your longterm relationship with a watch, as well as for being aesthetically attractive.

The overall look of the Maen Greenwich is unique, but combines some familiar elements, such as the blocky indices which feel reminiscent of the Seiko 62mas dive watch. Maen didn't exactly invent this style of hands, which they call "Skyscraper" (and which are also found on their Hudson dive watch), but they've made it a kind of signature. In the case of the Greenwich, thinner lume strips provide a visual counterbalance to the prominent indices. The hands, indices, proportionally big crown and dynamic "stepped" bezel (comprising a polished component on top of a brushed one) are all very well considered and nicely integrated with one another.

man wearing main greenwich gmt on wrist
Zen Love

Unscrew the large, grippy crown and you can wind and set the SwissTech S24-045 automatic movement for about 40 hours of power reserve. This is an uncommon movement coming from a company based in Hong Kong but producing watch movements in Switzerland, qualifying for the Swiss Made label. The movement has performed satisfactorily during testing, but one quirky feature is that when setting the GMT hand it travels counterclockwise only. It doesn't offer the most buttery-smooth winding experience I've ever had (and such things are important to me), but it's hard to register such nitpicking as a complaint at this price point.

At 38mm, the Greenwich is on the small end of sport watches, but the fit was excellent for my 6.5in (17cm) wrist. In addition to the contrasting finishes of the layered bezel, the case features brushed finishing on top, polished sides and an elegant polished chamfer between them — and here's where I found a minor issue: the drilled holes in the lugs for easy strap changes are too close to the bevel's edge and look hastily considered to my eye. I'd rather see it without the holes, especially for a watch that's otherwise got enough elegance to be considered more than "just" a tool watch.

Maen is offering not only a high value proposition, but restrained designs and sizes. Even more refreshing, however, is that the brand was able to make something that feels a bit funky and and potentially modern (enough with the vintage and retro, already!) — and at the same time without that having to mean "outlandish" or "aggressive."

Verdict

Even though I can hardly find anything to criticize about the Maen Greenwich, there's still a little bit of a microbrand feel to it. That gives it a personal touch and uniqueness, but in some way I want it to be a more expensive watch — a totally weird thing to say, I know. I'm such a fan of the design that it's easy to imagine it executed with something like an Omega or TAG Heuer-level case construction and the watch would be even more amazing. As is, this is a hell of a value for all that you're getting and a character that you won't find anywhere else.

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