I checked out the quirky Mancheront Pacer and its unique featuresBorna Bošnjak
With more and more microbrands on the rise, the idea of creating your own brand is something that’s become easier to stomach, whether through a melange of ready-made parts or a single factory custom-making an entire design. The path that Dilon Wong, the founder of Mancheront, took to get there, was pretty much the polar opposite. To create his first-ever watch, the pulsation scale-equipped Mancheront Pacer, he not only hand-selected each component that makes up the watch, but also personally made the pilgrimage to every single factory that manufactures them. On top of plenty of accrued frequent flyer points, he was rewarded with a unique proposition that promises plenty of functionality in a covert design, slated as a watch for the modern athlete or medical professional suffering from a case of mechanical watch nostalgia.
At first glance, there’s plenty going on here. Whether you opt for the white or black dials, the monochromatic colour scheme ensures great contrast, and despite five hands, a date window and two sub-dials, everything is pretty legible. Sneaking in just below the truncated marker at 12 o’clock, you’ll find the power reserve hand that sweeps across the indicator that takes up most of the dial real estate above the pinion. Keeping the dial balanced with a bold sub-dial surround circling very minimal branding is the 24-hour indicator, both courtesy of the Miyota movement inside the Pacer – more on that shortly. Finally, simple fencepost hands and a slender needle seconds hand are tasked with timekeeping, while an un-framed white date wheel nestles in at 3 o’clock.
The real appeal of the Pacer is in the bezel, as it sports a 30-base pulsation scale in its insert. Available in either steel or IP-coated black, the design relies on rotating the bezel to match its oversized triangle with the seconds hand, and count 30 heart beats. The number that the seconds hand is indicating on the bezel at that point is the heart owner’s approximate heart rate over 30 beats. Relegating this function to a rotating bezel rather than relying on a more complex and costly chronograph movement pointing at a fixed scale is not only smart, but a rare way of looking at this feature.
Looking closer, the printing is very crisp, which is especially important on a dial that’s fully printed and admittedly quite flat, save for the clever integration of the power reserve. Dilon’s architectural beginnings are clearly on display here as well, as the design omits a printed movement spec sheet that clutters the dial unnecessarily. For any brand to relegate their name to a tiny font hiding in a sub-dial is a brave move, especially one that’s launching their very first watch, and is a sign of confidence that the design speaks for itself.
While the bezel function and dial layout serve never-seen-before combinations, the case design is a lot more familiar. With broadly brushed upper surfaces and polished sides, its inspiration is clearly that of a Rolex Submariner, confirmed by the brushed three-link bracelet that it’s mounted on. The dimensions match what we’ve come to expect from a 21st century sports watch. It’s worth keeping in mind that the Pacer’s measurements are somewhat ambiguous across the board – the case comes in at 39.5mm, but the bezel extends to 41mm, while the lug-to-lug of 48mm grows to an effective 52.3mm due to the protruding end-link of the bracelet. Even though the mid-case is very slim, the height extends to 14.2mm due to the unusually tall bezel and protruding caseback. While it does mean fitting the Pacer under any cuff, dress or otherwise, will be difficult, it does make the bezel very easy to grip. You may be initially surprised to hear and feel the amount of feedback from this bezel – fair warning – it’s clicky, and it’s loud.
When it comes to build quality, it’s clear that a lot of thought went into making sure the watches feel solid, which they do. There is no flurry of finishing, with a simple transition between the brushed and polished surfaces and a dimpled, unsigned, screw-down crown. Combined with a screw-down caseback, the Pacer guarantees 100 metres of water resistance.
Despite the Pacer being a sports watch targeting athletes and medical professionals, its three-link Oyster-style bracelet features a button-operated butterfly clasp with a security fold-over, rather than a traditional double folding clasp and its micro-adjustment you’d expect. Aggressively tapering from 20mm at the lugs to 16mm at the clasp, any bulk coming from the bracelet is eliminated, though it does mean the watch wears quite top-heavy. All the links are brushed and secured by screws, with half links available to help you get as close as possible to the right fit.
Other than its looks, perhaps the most curious choice Dilon made for the Pacer is the movement, opting for a high-beat Miyota 9132 hidden behind a solid, though by no means uninteresting, caseback. The Miyota 9000 series of movements will be familiar to most microbrand fiends, as it is a mainstay of the category and a great alternative to entry-level Swiss offerings like the Sellita SW200. Here it features a 40-hour power reserve, hacking and the two aforementioned complications of a power reserve and 24-hour indicator.
A quick note on the caseback – its design was conceived as one helping wick away moisture and warm air when on the wrist. How much these flower-like grooves really help with that, I’m not sure, but I’m really quite fond of its design and execution – it’s some lovely machining work.
The Mancheront Pacer is undoubtedly a labour of love. Don’t get me wrong, I love travelling as much as the next person, but more than 50 international flights to 32 different factories across Europe and Asia may sour the experience somewhat. And yes, I’m perfectly aware of the fact that watches are an antiquated piece of tech, and that any serious performance athlete or medical professional will rely on purpose-built products – but if we all thought like this, watches would be obsolete and I’d be out of a job. The Pacer’s suite of features is an unlikely one, though one executed to a high degree – there’s really nothing quite like it out there. I’d love to see Mancheront experiment further with a unique case design, while focusing more on the visual interest of the dial rather than the number of complications. If the brand’s next model has even half the love poured into it that the Pacer did, it’s looking good for Mancheront.
Mancheront Pacer pricing and availability
All three references of the Mancheront Pacer are available from the brand’s website, being the following – ref. 77000W (white dial, steel bezel), ref. 77000CN (black dial, black bezel), ref. 77000AC (black dial, steel bezel). Price: A$950
|Case Dimensions||41mm (D) x 14mm (T) x 48mm (LTL)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Water Resistance||100 metres|
|Dial||Black or white|
|Strap||Three-link Oyster-style steel bracelet with butterfly clasp|
|Power Reserve||40 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve, 24-hour indicator|