When a brand issues several iterations of a watch it signifies something positive: the brand cares to make a good watch better by listening to the feedback from its fan base. Maen, a Stockholm-based watch brand, has gone back to the drawing board three times to improve its diver, the Hudson, and the brand actually just announced a Mark IV. Each version of the Hudson comes with better finish, better construction, and better materials to make of it a great everyday watch, and as I see it, a very affordable Rolex Submariner or attainable Oris Diver 65.
More than anything else, what makes a watch a great everyday watch are its proportions. Having ideal proportions mean that the watch wears neither too small nor too big, as is the case with the Hudson Mark III. Coming in with a case diameter of 38mm, a lug-to-lug distance of 46mm and a thickness of 12.5mm (including the crystal), you can immediately picture how good this watch would fit on most wrists. What makes the watch comfortable to wear—in addition to its superb dimensions—is its bracelet. With a dramatic taper from 20mm at the lug to 16mm at the clasp, the bracelet wraps around the wrist perfectly, making the Hudson comfortable to wear all day long (another key requirement for an everyday watch).
From a more technical standpoint, the Hudson is powered by a Ronda R-150 automatic movement, a newcomer in the world of Swiss-made automatic movements. Beating at 28,000 BPH (4Hz), the R-150 has 25 jewels, bi-directional winding, and offers a power reserve of approximatively 40 hours. Not the highest-end Swiss movement for sure, but a solid option nevertheless. What’s more is that the case and bracelet are made of 316L stainless steel, the crystal is of the double domed sapphire variant and the lume is X1 grade Super-LumiNova. Did I mention the watch is Swiss made?
When it comes to finishing, the Hudson alternates fine brushing on the case sides, top of the lugs and on the bracelet, with polished chamfers on the side of the mid case and on the edges of the center links. I do appreciate a good finishing on a watch and the Hudson doesn’t disappoint. The high polish accents give the watch a sense of being more luxurious than the price tag would suggest ($645 on the bracelet), and it is the high quality finish coupled with the great specs and dimensions that make the Hudson qualify for an everyday watch, and even perhaps for a one-watch collection.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
46mm Lug to Lug
12-Click Uni-directional Bezel
Screwed Crown & Caseback
200m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Double-domed Sapphire /w AR|
Modified Pencil Handset
|Movement||Swiss Ronda R-150|
40-Hour Power Reserve
|Strap||Stainless Steel Bracelet|
There’s a lot to like about the Hudson. First and foremost, there is a lot going on in the dial and bezel, and I mean it in a positive manner. While the Hudson can be had with a blue, grey, or black dial—only the black variant comes with a no date option— here we are looking at the black dial version with date. This particular version is endowed with cool pops of color as in the 12 o’clock marker on the bezel, the lollipop seconds hand, the tip of the hour hand are painted red, so are the cardinal makers on the minute track. This red accents give the dial a sporty look that contrasts nicely with the refined overall design of the case and bracelet.
The second point of interest—and this is very personal—is what this watch could replace what I wouldn’t be able to add to my collection otherwise. This watch reminds me the most of the Oris Diver 65 in the thin, fully-graduated bezel, date window, and great proportions. To me, a diver is the most usable with a fully-graduated bezel so that we can time things more accurately, and having a date window is a must as well. Not that I’m going to be diving every week, but when I do go dive (yes, I’m actually a scuba diver) I find this type of bezel and a date must-haves for an actual diver.
So, I guess that my last point of interest here is the fact that the Hudson Mark III is a complete package. For much less than $1,000, you get a Swiss-made diver, actually made with Swiss parts (especially the movement and lume), that is well-proportioned and well-made. That’ a lot of watch for the price you pay, and it makes dive watches cool again by being accessible and well-rounded.
Finding quibbles on a watch is not my favorite part of writing a review but it does help the prospective buyer to see the watch for what it truly is. One of the quibbles I have with the Hudson is the hands. They are flat and fully polished which makes them disappear from the dial when looking at the watch straight down. Luckily, the hour hand has a the red color accent; however the minute hand doesn’t (we should note that the hour hand on the blue dial and black dial with no date variants do not have this pop of color). Seeing the the hands is therefore easier at an angle, and I recognize that this could be a deterrent for some. I do prefer the hands of a watch to be easy to read from all angles.
The second quibble has to do with the date window. More specifically, the font on the date wheel. One of the many design elements that had attracted me with the Hudson, all the way from the very first iteration of this model, was the font used on the bezel and minute track. I loved how modern and minimalist it looks, and the font on the date wheel in the Mark I & II versions of the Hudson matched it. However, when Maen decided to switch movement, going from the STP1-11 to the Ronda R-150 for the Mark III, the font on the date wheel no longer matched. I realize this is a small detail looking at the overall package, but it does bug me a bit.
Setting aside my two little quibbles, the Hudson Mark III presents amazing value for the money. Its thoughtful design evokes fine watchmaking and its Goldie Locks dimensions make it a great daily wearer. The team at Maen clearly spent a lot of time designing the Hudson, their first and so far unique diver, and looking at the entirety of their catalogue, one can tell that Mean is headed in the right direction by regularly releasing original designs that hit many of watch collectors sweet spots: good price/quality ratio, original designs, and good proportions.
The Maen Hudson MKIII retails for $645USD. For more information, please visit the brand website.
Vincent Deschamps is a museum professional, originally from France, with more than 10 years experience as a researcher, producing visitor experiences for national and international organizations. He is also the founder of mainspring.watch. You can follow Vincent on Instagram.
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