“Swiss made” is commonly seen on the dials of all types of Swiss watches, however Mauron Musy is the only one that uses the words “Swiss Crafted” on theirs.
The words “Swiss Crafted” are used because the 200 (or so) parts that make up each of their watches are manufactured within a radius of 60km from their head office location – the brand have self-proclaimed it as their regional and eco-responsibility ethics.
A relatively young manufacture, Mauron Musy was conceived by Eric Mauron and Christophe Musy in 2013 in the Broye valley, at the heart of the Three Lakes region, which runs along the foot of the Jura. It also proudly calls upon its ancestry in the crucible of the Régis Mauron precision mechanics workshop, which was founded in 1968 – this heritage has played and continues to play the role of an incubator for innovation within watchmaking.
The Armor series have been around for a few years now, however, the newest release comes in an unlikely partnership; this time with the Swiss Red Cross. The dial showcases this alliance, with the project ultimately aiming for a positive charitable contribution (more details to follow below).
Mauron Musy explain the concept behind this Henry Dunant release:
Mauron Musy was founded on extremely Swiss values which are the very bedrock of the Swiss Crafted label and represent essential precepts upheld by the Fribourg-based Manufacture. It is these shared values that gave rise to the collaboration and development of a limited edition of seven watches, each unique and stamped with one of the seven fundamental principles of humanitarian organisation; humanity, neutrality, impartiality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity.
Face & case
Mauron Musy’s Henry Dunant shares the same design of 44 mm multi-part constructed case as the other references in the Armure/Armor range. As in most of the others in the series, this version is in grade 5 titanium, with both brushed and highly polished surfaces.
A relatively wide bezel frames a deep rehaut, with a highly polished finish, leading towards the dial, whose base is in a bead-blasted matte finish, which appears more like a satin black; appearing quite simple and understated at first glance, there is actually a lot going on when looking closer at the detail under the sapphire crystal.
The outer area of the dial is on a curved inwards concave, the same depth as the chunky hour markers, with embossed squares for each minute between the hour indeces, which are tucked neatly inside the rehaut. The hour markers from 1 through to 11 have polished edges with champlevé enamelled centres; all but one are white, the 9 o’clock marker being red, with the word Dunant inside it. Although in white, 6 o’clock also has a hidden message – “1866”, which is the date of the formation of the Swiss Red Cross. 12 o’clock sees the brand’s double micro logo “μμ”, in highly polished appliques. The colour matched date can be seen through an aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock (white on black).
Moving inwards, the remaining area of the dial is flat and features a guilloche pattern of equidistant parallel rings, going from the centre out to the hour markers. This is broken by the small seconds subdial, which is circular and recessed slightly deeper at 9 o’clock; with a similar, but tighter ringed guilloche pattern. Each 5 second interval has a marker in a similar shape to the main hour markers; most are in white, however 15, 30 and 45 are in red, which finishes off a visual representation of the Red Cross.
2 plaques can also be seen on the outer edges of the central dial area – at the top, “Mauron Musy” and at the bottom “Swiss Red Cross”.
Sitting above it all, the polished hands are a wide design with a unique almost “paddle” like shape.
The crown is big from any perspective, with deep ridges for easy changing of time and date, and features a 3 sided shape embossed into the end.
On the reverse, it is obvious how the case has been constructed in modular sections. On each of the 4 areas, there is a different stamped inscription; at the top is “MAURON MUSY”, at the bottom is “SWISS CRAFTED”, on the right is “THE ONE OF SEVEN” and finally on the left is one of the Red Cross’s 7 principles, in this example shown, it is “UNITY”.
Underneath the sapphire crystal window, the attention to detail continues. The winding rotor is skeletonised and has polished chamfered edges, with the brand’s name stamped into the bottom section. Beneath it, the movement appears more industrial looking than many dare to deliver, however, it is clear a lot of consideration has been taken in the presentation, as there are many different surface finishes, messaging and logos, as well as skeletonised areas of the bridges, with excellent finishing.
Powered by the Caliber MM01, which was developed in collaboration with the Manufacture La Joux-Perret, it beats at 28,800 vph. (4 Hz) and features a Swiss lever escapement.
The bidirectional automatic winding rotor provides a power reserve of around 55 hours once fully wound.
Each Mauron Musy watch is shipped with a choice of 2 straps; a natural HNBR rubber strap and a raw Timberland calfskin strap, both of which you have a colour choice of. In the images shown, you will see the leather strap which has an almost nubuck feel to it and it is notably thick in relative terms to “standard” leather watch straps.
The straps are secured by a sandblasted grade 5 titanium folding clasp with push-buttons, which has the brand’s logo and name engraved across it.
Did you know that all Mauron Musy watches are water resistant to 300m?
This is thanks to their nO-Ring® technology, which is so precise that there is no requirement for a rubber seal to be waterproof and therefore no specific maintenance to change them.
This unique technology of direct mechanical water-tightness, without any gaskets, applied to watchmaking, is an innovative construction and extreme precision which makes it possible to provide complete water-tightness to 300 metres in any condition.
Mauron Musy revealed its nO-Ring® technology after three years of research and development. Presenting a disruptive innovation to the watchmaking world, this patented system of mechanical sealing, which is 100% Swiss Crafted, can legitimately be regarded as a “watch exterior complication”.
In simple terms, mechanical (or direct) sealing technology consists of securing two parts of a system together using strongly tightened bolts, without any gaskets. Used in mechanics for devices such as dam turbines
and nuclear reactors, this technology requires knowledge of physics and fluid dynamics and has been applied in order to miniaturise and adapt the device for the purposes of watchmaking. It requires hardening and then straightening, or grinding of the materials that are in contact with each other so as to achieve exceptional flatness and controlled roughness of the surface profile for gasket-free water resistance.
No less than 36 components are used within the nO-Ring® system, including tiny clamp braces and satellite compression springs.
Classic clamp braces hold cone-shaped surfaces together, converting horizontal force into vertical action – using such a method in watchmaking would create strong pressure inside the case, leading to potential deformation of components. In order to strengthen the various elements, Eric Mauron and Christophe Musy have developed a satellite compression spring. Representing the culmination of substantial development work, this domed ring is fitted on both the sapphire crystal and the transparent caseback – the result is that the ensuing vertical pressure, amounting to as much as 390 Newton, ensures perfect water resistance for the entire device, without any gaskets or glue. As a comparison, if a water molecule were the size of a golf ball, it would have to travel 430km and face 3m-high hurdles in order to infiltrate the case.
The concept of the crown is just as spectacular with regard to the water resistance. A shaft (also known as winding stem) pivots inside a bearing screwed to the case – these two perfectly adjusted components with their nanometrically accurate fit, ensure a gasket-free seal.
This patented nO-Ring® technology was entirely developed by the two brand founders.
nO-Ring® technology does not require any specific maintenance either – being very intuitive in its complexity, it allows any professional watchmaker to perform a service on any watch featuring nO-Ring®.
Before spending some focussed time with this watch, I didn’t actually appreciate how much attention to detail had gone into the design of the Armor – I mentioned the attention to design detail previously, but I am very impressed by the configuration of the watch as a whole. The case is big, bold and very unique; and the dial’s components are so well considered, providing an aesthetic which is pleasing to the eye, even with the amount of different elements and shapes of the parts.
Each piece within the Armor range feature the same case build and nO-Ring® technology, although most versions come in titanium, with solid colour dials, there have also been a few constructed of hard gold (which are all sold out) and few limited editions with skeleton dials (also sold out).
Looking at the Armor in it’s presentation box, it appears to be huge (and bulky) and even in my hand, it still feels chunky, however, once on the wrist, it’s proportions and appearance seems to reduce somehow, even on my relatively skinny wrist. Perhaps this is an optical illusion due to the relatively short lugs; and the wide bezel, which makes the dial almost appear smaller by default – strange how it only happens on the wrist though(?!)
The Mauron Musy Armor is actually surprisingly light too, thanks to the titanium case build, however, there is no getting away from the height from the wrist – at 14mm thick and with the angled edges to the corner of the case, it’s likely going to be on show most of the time. I doubt many shirts would button over it, but I expect the idea of purchasing one would mean you’d be wanting to show it off anyway!
The only other thing to mention is the patented technology, which allows for a wearer to submerge it to a depth of 300m. Whilst it is clearly an amazing accomplishment and I could be wrong here, but I doubt the capacity of its water resistance will be fully utilised by most owners – I am, however, confident it would be an assuring hidden feature.
Whilst most references in the Mauron Musy Armor series are not limited editions, only 7 pieces will be made of the Henry Dunant, each with it’s own unique name of one of the Red Cross’s 7 principles stamped on the back. That being said, the brand doesn’t manufacture more than 600 pieces per year regardless, so you will be in a fairly exclusive gang even if you don’t get your hands on one of these.
The Mauron Musy Armor Henry Dunant is available to purchase for £10,200 GBP (plus VAT if in UK). Not only is this great value for money, but proceeds from the sale of six watches will be used to support the “chili” programme, aimed at raising awareness among children from an early age about constructive conflict management and teaching them how to resolve their differences in a non-violent manner; the seventh watch, inscribed with the principle of “Humanity”, will be donated to the Red Cross Ball in order to support “mothers and children” projects, as well as various actions related to the fight against the pandemic.
So all in all, it’s come through as a bit of a dark horse in my opinion and definitely looking forward to seeing what comes next from Mauron Musy.
Available to purchase from us while stocks last – BUY NOW
Please also note that, like many of the independent brands, Mauron Musy are quite open to doing bespoke pieces, so if you have an idea based on what you see here, or on their website, please get in touch and I am confident we can help you realise your vision!!