The Andras is devilishly handsome as Makina hit their stride

The Andras is devilishly handsome as Makina hit their stride

Buffy Acacia

Makina are a truly fascinating microbrand. Founded by Danilo Villanueva and based in the Philippines, they name their models after angels and demons from various occult sources, and their niche audience is made even smaller by their extreme approach to watch design. But, a smaller appeal is always going to be a stronger appeal for a particular audience. Although I’ve already reviewed two of their watches in the past and enjoyed them, seeing the Makina Andras makes me think they’ve finally hit a fantastic stride.

Makina Andras 1

The case

Makina Andras 6

Makina generally don’t pull any punches from their eccentric designs, but the case is always what sets their character apart from the rest. We’re fairly used to strange dials in watchmaking, but an odd case will set off the uncanny valley alarms like nothing else. Whether it’s inspired by the shape of a tank or something a bit more classical, Makina’s cases will be the thing which pulls you in or puts you off. They’ve released a total of five case types prior to the Andras, but I think the Andras is what may finally put them on the map. With its rectangular silhouette accompanied by harsh bevels and devilish slopes, the Andras is utterly unique but undeniably attractive. It’s sleek, clinical, and modern but never at a loss for character. It’s exactly what Makina needs to win over people for whom the previous releases were a bit too out-there.

Makina Andras 2

The decision-making behind the case finishing is impeccable, as the polished flat bezel surrounds the dial with a perfect frame. It looks great in the natural steel finish, but it looks exceptional on the black PVD case, almost like a sci-fi monolith. The brushing along the case sides grounds its appearance, and enhances its sportiness. Wearability was clearly a priority for Makina as well, which is appreciated because rectangular, blocky watches often wear larger than round watches of the same dimensions. At 33mm across, 10.5mm thick and 44mm lug-to-lug, the Makina Andras should be comfortable on the wrists of most people regardless of size.

The dial

Makina Andras 8

I’m not sure to what extent Makina explore their occult names, but Andras is one of the 72 Goetic demons listed in the Lesser Key of Solomon. He is supposedly a particularly violent one, appearing with a winged body, the head of an owl, riding a black wolf and wielding a sword. Well, the watch hopefully won’t be sowing discord and bloodshed, but the dial is definitely executed sharply. Its multi-tiered arrangement almost feels like peering into some arcane puzzle box, each layer taking you deeper into metaphysical mystery.

Makina Andras 3

The upper surface of the dial displays the printed text, with the brand name at 12 o’clock, and the Andras_I and Automatic labels on either side of 6. One layer down houses the time-telling portion of the dial, with a printed minute track and bright, polished hour markers from 8 to 4. At the bottom, cutting into all levels, is a running seconds subdial with an oval shape that furthers the impression of ritual geometry. The hands are razor-sharp alpha shapes with a bright blue finish, contrasting well against the black or grey dial finishes.

The movement

Makina Andras 4

Flipping the watch over reveals not just the entirely-flat caseback, but also a sapphire display for the automatic movement within. Makina have chosen the Swiss-made Sellita SW260-1 for the Andras, which is pretty much the perfect calibre for a watch like this. Essentially, it’s a SW200-1 with adjustments made for the small seconds. It’s reliable both in performance and in durability, and it will be easy to service years down the line. It’s also slender enough to allow the watch’s 10.5mm thickness, even with an automatic winding rotor. The beat rate is a smooth 4Hz, with a 38-hour power reserve.

The strap

Makina Andras 7

With a 20mm lug width and shouldered lugs, any flat-end strap is bound to look wonderful with the Makina Andras. One of the great things about rectangular cases is the way they integrate with straps, and the standard sizing should offer plenty of versatility for third-party exploration. As standard, the black version of the watch comes with a thick, ridged rubber strap that kind of blends into the background when looking at the watch. The grey reference comes with a genuine crocodile leather strap also in grey, which is much flashier.

The verdict

I’m sure that like many of Makina’s releases, the Andras will have its lovers and its haters. However, I do believe it’s their best design to date. There’s not a hint of awkwardness in its unashamed originality, and every element is equally as statuesque as the last. If Makina can harness the same creative energy which went into this watch for future releases, I’m sure they’ll have no problem attracting more and more customers.

Makina Andras pricing and availability

The Makina Andras is now available from Makina’s website. Price: US$725

Brand Makina
Model Andras
Reference Number Andras_I
Case Dimensions 33mm (D) x 10.5mm (T) x 44mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 50 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and caseback
Dial Black or grey
Bracelet Black rubber or grey crocodile leather
Movement Sellita SW260-1, automatic
Power Reserve 38 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds
Availability Available now
Price US$725