MICRO MONDAYS: The Manime La F is a watch dedicated to the theme of friendshipFergus Nash
The most popular watches at the moment are often surrounded by a contextual suffering. Military watches have quite a dark theme, and you could make the argument that dive watches are also the embodiment of surviving harsh conditions. In practice, most watch fans use their watches as extensions of their own tastes instead of life-or-death tools, so there is definitely room for a little more joy in the watch world. This week’s featured microbrand aims to put smiles on your dials with the Manime La F, an elegant watch based around the theme of friendship.
These watches originally began as a limited run specifically for brand owner Édourd Paris’ friends – the ultimate friendship bracelet you might say. But after realising that the general population could benefit from physical manifestations of happy memories and connections, he decided to make it available to the world.
It’s unclear if this was the reasoning behind the Manime La F’s case, but the label of “cushion case” does imply a friendly and comforting shape with plenty of softness. While the stainless steel itself definitely isn’t soft, the edges of the 40mm cushion case are nicely bevelled and all four corners come to pleasing points. The fine brushing on the front and sides helps ground the watch while the polished chamfers, lugs and slim bezel add just enough hints of glamour to remain dressy.
It’s incredibly wrist-friendly too, with a total thickness of 10.2mm despite an automatic movement and a double-domed sapphire crystal, and a lug-to-lug of only 45mm. The waterproofing is only 50m, but this style of watch isn’t exactly designed for swimming or diving.
When you hear that a watch is based on friendship and happy memories, you may expect the dial to go overboard on bright colours and maybe some kind of tacky message, but the Manime La F plays things subtly. The only direct reference to the watch’s theme is visible as the brand’s letter-less logo — a stylised rose symbolising friendship placed within l’Hexagone that represents the borders of France. Otherwise, the clean applied indices and the sleek silver dauphine hands all just serve to transmit class.
There are four variants of the Manime La F to choose from, each taking on a different colour for the brushed ring that traverses the hour markers. The first is a deep navy blue for the ‘Normandie’, then a sumptuous forest green for the “Cap Ferret”. Next is a precise black for the “Paris” model, and finally a blood red denotes the “Montreal” reference. The minimal approach to design does help you impart more of your own emotion and creativity into its composition, while the colour choices just nudge you in the right direction of your choice.
Powering the Manime La F is a Miyota 9039, one of the Japanese manufacturer’s premium calibers that still remains affordable. It offers an accuracy between -10/+30 seconds per day, and beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour over a 42-hour power reserve. Of course you get hacking, hand-winding, as well as the automatic winding which is much less noisy than some of Miyota’s lower-end movements. The movement is visible through a sapphire caseback, which is also decorated with a grey rendition of the Manime rose logo once again.
Milanese bracelets are renowned for being versatile, effortlessly moving between casual and formal occasions thanks to their complex yet uniform appearance. The polish adds a bit of sparkle, and the 1.9mm thickness feels reassuringly high quality. It also features a fully milled butterfly clasp which removes that annoying inner-slack most Milanese straps suffer from. If you want to change out the strap for something aftermarket, you’ve got plenty of options with a 20mm lug width and drilled lugs for easy tool-insertion.
The Manime La F pricing and availability:
The Manime La F will be available for pre-order at their website, with shipping expected in April 2023. Price: $339 USD (Pre-Order) / $399 USD
|Case Dimensions||40mm x 45mm x 10.2mm|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Water Resistance||50 Metres|
|Crystal(s)||Sapphire front and back|
|Dial||White and red, green, black, or blue|
|Power Reserve||42 hours|
|Availability||Available for pre-order at their website, with shipping goals in April 2023|
|Price||Price: $339 USD (Pre-Order) / $399 USD (RRP)|