MAGRETTE Regattare 2011 Review

The MAGRETTE Regattare 2011 came rolled up in black high-grade New Zealand canvas roll case, which was placed inside a lightweight pine wooden box. Included with the watch was an additional black rubber divers strap and the usual paperwork, warranty card etc. There isn't really anyone else presenting their watches in such a way, not these days, so full marks for originality. Apart from that, well quite a charming presentation, really and one that is also ecologically sound.

There's a degree of emulation of Panerai's historic line going on here as with many of the Magrette models, but it’s been done respectfully and tastefully. Magrette have put their own stamp on this look, too. With the Regattare they’ve taken their signature 1950s case and done something very interesting with it. The inclusion of an internal bezel system is not only unique, but adds much elegance and dare I say, a little more sophistication to the watch. The brushed steel, its clean black dial and simple handset further elements of a classical looking diver.

If the aesthetic of the Moana Pacific Diver took me to the beach and pounding surf of New Zealand's North Island, the Regattare now puts me on the wooden deck of an America’s Cup boat making its way out of Auckland harbor.

DIAL The Regattare has a matte black dial with luminous markers. At 3, 6 and 9 the markers are double markers and at 12 o’clock they’ve gone for Arabic numerals. The use of markers over Arabic numerals makes a lot of sense as they don’t interfere with the internal bezel’s time scale.

HANDS The Regattare has simple yet elegant handset of the type typically used on some of the earliest dive watches. Both minute and hour hands have been applied with luminous material, but the second hand lacks any lume or a colored pointer.

INTERNAL BEZEL The internal bezel, which can be used to measure any of number of activities such as a divers elapsed dive time or the race time of a regatta boat is operable via a crown at 2 o'clock. Rather than going for a contrasting color as many internal bezels rings are designed; the Regattare’s bezel ring is the same matte black as the dial.

The elapsed dive time / race time has been marked out in white with 5 minute increments. A burgundy red has been used for the 15, 30, 45 and the 12 o’clock pointer. The Regattare is unique in the fact that it houses an internal timing bezel in a classic 1950s case; I haven’t seen this combination before, it works really well, though.

The Regattare’s 1950’s case has to be one of my favorite designs. You get these beautiful clean lines, which Magrette have further accentuated by combining both polished (upper) and brushed (sides) finishes. Then there’re the bulging case sides and gently downward sloping lugs. My only complaint would be the use of spring bars over screwed lugs. The case measures 44mm, the lug width 24mm.

CASEBACK The Ragattare has a large brushed stainless steel screwdown caseback. Its design is clean and minimalist. A large portion of the center of the caseback has been satin finished and engraved with a bold Magrette emblem in a brushed effect. The outer portions have been engraved with the Reagttare's specs and limited edition number of 2011. As with all Magrette timepieces it proudly sports the text 'New Zealand'.

CROWNS The Regattare has two crowns; one for adjusting the time and date, positioned at 4 o'clock; and one for operating its internal bezel at 2 o'clock. Both crowns have been brushed finished and signed with Magrette's emblem. The stem of the crown used for the watch's movement is nice and solid with no noticeable wobble. My only complaint here is that because of their size I found operating the crowns a little fiddly. In fairness aesthetically they couldn't really have been designed any bigger.

FIXED BEZEL The Regattare has a fixed outer bezel; whilst not functional it acts as a great strengthener holding in place the large crystal. It also lends much to the minimalist look of the watch. The upper portion of the bezel has been brushed with a circular pattern, its sides finished with a high polish.

GLASS The Regattare has been fitted with a thick double domed sapphire crystal, which has been treated with an anti-reflective coating on its inside.
Despite the addition of a second crown for its internal bezel system the Regattare retains the same 500m depth rating as its sibling the Moana Pacific Diver. It is quite usual for a divers watch that has more than one crown to have its water-resistance compromised as these are its weakest points with regard to water-tightness. Basically the higher the number of entry points there are in a watch case, the higher the chance of them being breached.

The Regattare houses the Japanese made Miyota 8215 with 21 jewels. An automatic movement with hours, minutes, seconds and a date function. The 8215 is non-hacking, which means that the second hand continues to sweep even when the crown is extended. The Regattare is a new model for Magrette, so I was surprised that they had not gone with 9015, which has a hacking feature. No biggy really as the 8215 is rock solid movement, but the 9015 would have been the better choice in my opinion.

The Regattare came on a lovely black textured leather strap with a sporty red underside. The leather is soft and supple, making it extremely comfortable to wear. Because of its suppleness the strap doesn't suffer from the kind of cracking and creasing that is usually caused from the bending of thicker leather. The additional divers strap is of a soft rubber making it comfortable to wear. It can be worn to give the Regattare a sportier feel.

BUCKLE The Regattare comes with a solid brushed stainless steel buckle, signed with Magrette's emblem. Magrette have used screw pins to secure it to the end of the strap rather than springs bars.

Hours, mins, secs, date, internal timing bezel with elapsed dive / race time scale. Superluminova applied hands and markers, AR coated glass and a clean dial layout. Both the 12 o’clock bezel marker and second hand are lacking any lume.

The Regattare has a solid 316-L stainless steel case construction, double domed sapphire crystal, screwdown crowns and caseback. It houses a Japanese made mechanical movement. The case has been both brushed and polished, which are easily maintained. The crystal is scratch resistant. The overall build quality is excellent, the watch will go many years without any need for maintenance.

The hands and markers of the Regattare have been applied with green C3 Superluminova. The lume isn't 'burn your eyes out' bright, but you know it’s there. However the double lumed markers at 3, 6 and nine are quite intense. The lume is also fairly long lasting. I would rate it, average to good.

545USD plus 30USD for worldwide shipping. The Regattare 2011 will be produced as Limited Edition of 2011 pieces, which is more than four times the amount of the Moana Pacific Diver, so not quite as exclusive. I would imagine that there's fair bit more involved in making an internal bezel diver, too. There's an additional crown system to start with, this might factor into the 125USD price increase over the Moana Pacific Diver. The watch still offers great value for money and when compared to other divers of a similar caliber it's a great buy.

ALSO CONSIDER Its older brother the Moana Pacific Diver or a BENARUS Moray II

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS One of the things I really admire about Magrette is how cohesive their collection of watches are; their designs and styles complement each other, reflecting shared traits and working in harmony with each other rather than jumping all over the place with conflicting aesthetics. I’m never confused, when I see a new watch from Magrette; each new addition seems to fit in with their story and sits well with other models of their collection. The Regattare is no exception; it takes its DNA from other watches in Magrette’s collection, but brings something new and unique to the table with the inclusion of its internal bezel system.

© OceanicTime

The other wonderful thing about Magrette is that I'm left wanting more not because the watch hasn’t hit the spot, but because I’m enthused by what they are doing and am keen to see what else they are capable of. This young New Zealand watch company have a great point of view, they have very quickly gained a large following, which is because of models such as this, which give that ever so desirable Italian nautical look at a fair price.

This is their second divers model I have reviewed now, both watches price-wise could be considered entry level watches, so what I want to see from Magrette now is a new diver that utilizes their elaborate engraving and with the inclusion of a Swiss movement.

My thanks again to Dion, looking forward to the next time, mate . . .


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