The Maen Manhattan 39 takes its ’70s inspo bigger and slimmerFergus Nash
- The Maen Manhattan 39 simultaneously increases diameter while drastically reducing thickness.
- At just 6.9mm tall, the case profile is incredibly tasteful thanks to an ETA 7001 movement.
- It’s available in four colours, and maintains 100 metres of water resistance for swimming.
When Maen released their Manhattan 37, it was pretty much unanimously agreed that they were producing a watch well beyond its price point. Well, with the Manhattan 39, they’ve taken the next step of refinement and improved upon almost every aspect. Despite being a couple of millimetres wider, there have been a host of changes which actually make it wear better than the smaller version, while keeping the design spirit the same.
Originally based on the Vacheron Constantin Royal Chronometer from the 1970s, the case of the Maen Manhattan is definitely not a shape that we see everyday. Lying somewhere between a rectangle and a tonneau with the wings of a Patek Philippe Nautilus, the silhouette manages to be sporty and sophisticated simultaneously. That’s a theme which Maen run with, and is accentuated by the vertically brushed finishing and high-polish bevelled edges. The 39mm diameter perfectly blends vintage style with modern tastes, and yet it’s modified the overall proportions from those set out by the 37mm version. The lugs are a bit more tightly-clipped leading to a 47.8mm lug-to-lug width, and the major highlight is the ultra-slim profile of just 6.9mm. Even at this thickness, and with a sapphire display caseback, it retains a swimmable 100-metre water resistance.
The dial of the Manhattan 39 has been simplified to account for its flatness, however the essential character is maintained. The côtes de Genève texture instantly gives it a high-end feel, while the availability in four different colours allows you to choose between a spectrum of casual to dressy. The Forest Green MHU.01 and Ice Blue MHU.03 are definitely more summer-loving, while the Midnight Blue MHU.2 and Ghost Grey MHU.04 play things with more stoicism and versatility. Maen’s printed logo is unobtrusive as is the rest of the dial text, while the minute track and luminous hour markers maintain easy legibility across the non-circular shape.
You may have noticed the lack of a seconds hand on the dial, and that’s partly due to the ultra-thin movement which Maen chose for this model. The ETA 7001 is the epitome of a workhorse movement, with minimal opportunities for things to go wrong increasing reliability and efficiency. It’s hand-wound, with a 42-hour power reserve and a 3Hz beat rate. The Elaboré grade means that it’s been fully decorated as you can admire from the display caseback, though keep in mind its budget-oriented intentions.
If you were a fan of the Manhattan 37, you’re likely to enjoy the slightly larger, though much more refined Manhattan 39. It’s a great show of the progression even a microbrand can have, and that sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to strive for evolution, rather than revolution.
Maen Manhattan 39 pricing and availability
The Maen Manhattan 39 will be available for pre-orders from December 21st 2023, before they close on January 2nd. Watches will be delivered from the end of May 2024. Price: US$950 (pre-order), US$1,120 (RRP)
|39mm (D) x 6.9mm (T) x 47.8mm (LTL)
|Côtes de genève green, dark blue, light blue, or grey
|Stainless steel integrated bracelet
|ETA 7001, manual winding
|Pre-orders open between December 21st 2023 and January 2nd 2024