The Mauron Musy GMT Sport reference MU04-203 is a luxury timepiece made entirely in Switzerland. We don’t want to shatter anyone’s bubble, but a frighteningly big percentage of Swiss luxury timepieces couldn’t (and don’t) make the same claim. This five-man team has been in the game for eight years, fine-tuning their wares slowly but steadily with a solid engineering background and a selective selection of Swiss suppliers. Let’s take a look at where they are right now.
To cut to the chase, the Mauron Musy GMT Sport watch is priced between $12,900 and $13,900, which is audacious not because it lacks the necessary hardware (it does, and we’ll get to that shortly), but because it’s a lot of money for a tiny business. However, consider this: It’s extremely conceivable that, three decades into the resurgence of Swiss luxury watchmaking, there are more disillusioned or simply bored luxury watch purchasers than ever before. Some of them had spent three decades getting to know all of the big names they cared about – whether or not those big names “cared back” is another important consideration. As a result, in recent years, a swarm of high-end tiny brands has sprung up, confidently aiming for the high four-figure, low-tens of thousands market of watches. What are their hopes? To provide something that would prevent bored watch collectors from making another erroneous buy in a duty-free shop as soon as things opened up. Message in Advertising Message At The End Of Advertising
“The two met in the late 1990s when Eric was the managing director of Régis Mauron SA, a company that specialised in the machining of mechanical parts, and Christophe was serving an internship as a mechanic,” according to our first review of the origins of Mauron Musy, founded by two engineers, Eric Mauron and Christophe Musy. It wasn’t until 2012 that they decided to start something fresh, and the Mauron Musy firm in St. Aubin, Switzerland, was established. That ‘something new’ was to be built on their enormous precision engineering expertise and experience – a prowess that you can literally sense and feel when you take up the Armure…”
300m WR and nO-Ring Technology
Check out that review to learn more about their innovative “nO-Ring technology,” which eliminates the need for O-ring gaskets entirely in Mauron Musy timepieces. To cut a long tale short, the two-man machining team (Eric Mauron and Olivier Cantin) have used their knowledge and experience in high-precision parts manufacture to create case components that are so precise in their fit and quality that they don’t require gaskets.
Furthermore, the nO-Ring technology eliminates the need for clamping screws, reducing the possibility of the case components’ flat surfaces being deformed. As a result, satellite springs placed around the entire perimeter, squeezed and tensed by the closing of the case-band, bezel, and hinges, clamp down the front and back. In essence, the technology is built on the surfaces of the components being machined and fitting together with extraordinary precision, with the springs and hinges providing controlled tension. End Of Advertising Message (Advertising Message) (Advertising Message) (Advert
The crown was completely removed. There are no threads and no O-ring gaskets.
When wearing the Mauron Musy GMT Sport, how much do you see, feel, or experience from this? The GMT Sport has a major advantage over other 300m WR watches in that, despite the lack of a screw-down crown, it stays waterproof when winding the watch or even setting the time. This addresses a common issue raised by audience members: that a watch without a screw-down crown is vulnerable to water incursion if the crown is unintentionally pulled out while in the water. The firm claims that Mauron Musy’s perfectly constructed gasket-free construction provides peace of mind while eliminating the need for a screw-down crown.
The absence of a screw-down crown removes the danger of snagging threads in a careless moment and gives an extra level of comfort by making winding and setting the watch quick and simple. A benefit of a GMT watch suited for frequent travel — when life permits it. However, the idea of setting the time on a $13,900 watch underwater gives me the wrong kind of chills, so I’d prefer think of this as an extra layer of protection rather than a toy to play with.
Is there anything more the nO-Ring technology can tell the wearer? There are no peculiarities in the way the crown appears, feels, or functions. In fact, the crown is surprisingly easy to wind and jumps into well-defined notches – albeit these are more a function of the movement than the gasket-free design.
The really cool-looking hinges in the four “corners” of the watch are the sole apparent reminders of the nO-Ring technology. Despite their static nature (you can’t open them for obvious reasons), what makes these components “cool” is that they resemble tension-closed latches in hermetically sealed doors, such as those seen on ships or submarines. When one looks at them, one can see how the lug structure and case profiles are pushed together, closely enclosing the bezel and caseback, as well as the sapphire crystals within.
You can look inside the case for yourself. It is quite uncommon for a watch wearer to be given any insight into the inner workings and manufacturing of a watch case. The inside case is visible just by those four hinges, and this is even more evident on this black-cased edition than on the gray-cased version. On the caseback side, one can even see the “double” crystal, which is highlighted in blue in the image below: it’s a thin top set on a broader base, and it’s the broader base that’s clamped down to the perfectly flat metal surface of the inner case by the outer flanges.
A Closer Look At The Case Quality
Although the reality is different, every watch case on a $13,000 watch should ideally be a thing of beauty and high intricacy, something to enjoy with a finer mechanical movement. As I stated in my initial Mauron Musy review four years ago, this brand’s quality of case manufacture is eerily similar to the precision found in high-end watch movements. A big (and beneficial) distinction is that with a case as opposed to a hermetically sealed movement, things are blown out to higher dimensions and you can truly touch, view, and appreciate them at a larger scale.
When compared to most of the competition, such as the potato-like titanium cases from Panerai or Breitling (I have a titanium-potato Breitling, so I speak from experience – and with great fondness), the casing is made of lightweight titanium, machined to a level that is simply exceptional. You’ll probably appreciate the case quality here if you have a developed taste and eye for clinically well-made stuff. It doesn’t have the same romantic appeal as high-polished casings or long, sweeping polished edges. However, there is a tactile beauty to highly precise components fitting together with almost uncanny precision.
Although nearly all luxury timepieces are machined and assembled with incredibly tight tolerances (5-15 microns, on average), the human eye and hand nevertheless seem to be able to detect a difference gained by microscopic improvements. It just works that way, and Mauron Musy’s precision engineers seems to know how to get there. Picking up the GMT Sport and feeling its sharp (but not too sharp) edges and a plethora of unusual-for-a-case angles and shapes is enough to convince you that this isn’t the kind of titanium case quality you’ll find anywhere in the four-figure bracket.
I’ve gone on and on about the case for far too long — but only because it deserves it. The problem with timepieces with a distinctive component face is ensuring that the remainder of the components are in good working order. It’s a distressing sight to see dials, movements, straps, and buckles that exhibit traces of financial constraints. I believe the Mauron Musy GMT Sport could have been significantly less expensive if it had a lower rent dial and movement, allowing it to compete in the sub-$10,000 range rather than the mid-teens. However, it does not have low-cost parts or a low(er) price tag, so let’s see how the rest holds up.
Legibility & Dial
Up close, the textured dial resembles melted lava. From a distance, the rougher texture complements the overall design better than a slick black lacquered dial. The texture is acceptable but not outstanding when viewed up close. The overall dial quality, however, is maintained thanks to a combination of floating islands (which hold the inscriptions and indices) and what automotive designers refer to as “negative spaces” – which you and I would most likely term to as “holes.” These apertures are well-made and can be found at the 1, 5, 7, 9, and 11-hour positions, revealing the date disc beneath.
From afar, it’s impossible to tell what was used to create the texture/fill inside these openings, but a closer examination reveals fractions of the digits printed over the date disc. The “texture” of these oblong indices changes every 24 hours as the date disc advances, adding a minute playful element to the dial — a classier way of playing with the date than the fully exposed date discs on TAG Heuer 01 models or the oddly extended date apertures on some Parmigiani (and other) watches. This is an amazingly beautiful way of playing with watch design features for a business that is only releasing its second series of watches.
A prototype bezel was said to be included in the review unit. The rest of the case, the dial, the movement, the strap, and the buckle are all final quality.
While the daylight readability is excellent because to the clever use of large, glossy hands on a matte dial, the luminescence isn’t quite up to par. Advantages