MICRO MONDAYS: The Peren Nera Rogue is a future-proof take on a mythical 60s diverThor Svaboe
Gone rogue: UK / US /adjective: “Behaving in ways that are not expected or not normal.” You might think this a tough-talking opening pitch, but when you add the back story of the Peren brand and the new Peren Nera Rogue, it makes sense. The owner Andy Bica-Popi hails from Transylvania (yes, the logo does wilfully resemble fangs). Throw in some highly competent Swiss watch production and things become very interesting. And not only that, Bica-Popi has chosen to go fully transparent with his production, showing the step-by-step process of creation through this link from his website.
What you might not expect to come out of all this is a quite formal, clean and minimalist tool watch. The Peren Nera Rogue is an understated dive watch that’s inspired by a legend. The Tornek Rayville TR-900 is one of the rarest diver’s watches ever made, with only 1000 pieces made by Blancpain for the U.S. Navy SEALs – alas there are only about 30 known pieces today (you can read more about in our story here). Peren were exploring a Tornek-Rayville homage project, that subsequently mutated into this watch instead.
While recognisable from its distinctive Fifty Fathoms-style case, the identity of the Nera Rogue is its own. With the exception of its skindiver case and clean white sword hands, it’s delightfully free of cream lume and mid-century design cues, instead being a contemporary take on what we perceive as a diver’s tool watch.
A stand-out feature is the delicate balance of vintage style and contemporary looks. The sand-blasted slender-lugged case of 39mm with its three-link steel bracelet is exactly what we want in a cool everyday sports watch, and the rest is resolutely modern in style and maturity. From the tough black PVD coating to the hand-knurled conical bezel, this is an elegant and considered interpretation of a dive watch, right down to its large, fang-logoed grip friendly crown.
Out of the dark, blue-green dial colour, the embossed soft-square markers pop resolutely, and the modernist outlook is clearly present in the lean font of the logo at 12. Both markers and hands should be perfect for a dive, as the BGW9 Super-Luminova is a powerful sign of optimal legibility.
The movement inside the 12.8mm thick case is the solid Sellita SW-200 automatic, in-house regulated, and with a power reserve of 38 hours. There’s a sapphire crystal as we’ve come to expect, but this has been three times AR-coated, and believe me that makes a difference. Being anti-reflective is a great USP for any brand, but there is a big difference in chemicals used, the application process and coats. The slender case has a dynamic sweep with a 48.8mm lug to lug length and drilled lugs. And yes, it’s depth-rated to 200m to assure you that it’s a fit-for-purpose diver’s tool.
My favourite dial detail might just be the unexpected orange pop of the Nera model designation above 6 o’clock. That aside, the crispness of a pure white hand set with a needle and arrow seconds hand provides a superb blend of functionality and clean-cut looks, with a tidy date window at three.
For a perhaps even stronger emphasis on a technical tool – have a look at the second version with a brushed steel inlay and 12 hour markings. This doubles as a travel watch, with what is the world’s easiest twistable second time zone GMT alternative. Both versions come on a choice of steel three-link bracelet, leather and nylon NATO straps. With those drilled lugs and the watch’s sleek style, these will be proper strap monsters – I’d love to see the Nera on a soft tropic rubber strap.
The overall feeling I am left with is one of considered intent and a judicious use of vintage design cues to re-interpret a mythical tool watch. And for the price, it delivers very good value for money. For less than 500 CHF you won’t find much wristwear with Swiss movements – more likely a run-of the mill Miyota or a Seiko NH35. There’s nothing wrong with those, but as perceived value goes, the Peren Nera Rouge has a Swiss regulated movement from Sellita that you’ll usually find in watches four times the price.
The Peren Nera Rogue, price and availability:
The Peren Nera Rogue is launching at CHF 412, for more details, visit Peren Watches right here.
Made in partnership with Peren Watches. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.