Paris, Le Grand Palais, the end of summer. What better way to brighten a day already announcing the coming autumn than reviewing and taking for a walk the latest creation of Alexander Meerson? Let me introduce you to the D15 Meerson MK-1 GMT.
If you know a little about Alexandre Meerson (Meet with him in french here), the values and codes that he strives for, you will not be surprised by this model. It certainly is much sportier than his previous creations but truly remains uncompromising in terms of design and craftsmanship and hides extremely pleasant subtleties as you take time to have a closer look at it.
As usual, Alexander Meerson offers a multitude of finishes, materials and colours to offer semi-customisation. The D15 model is available in 3 dial colours: Blue (True Blue), White (White Silvered) or Black (Black Eternity) and 3 different case finishes: Titanium, Grey Gold and Titanium with ADLC coating (Black).
Talking about strap options (yes, we do love strap options), they are custom made to the wrist size of the owner in a choice of leathers that we also do like a lot: You can either stay elegant and discreet with a Barenia calf leather, a Mississippi alligator or a stingray « Galuchat » leather strap or make a much bolder statement by going exotic with a strap in Nile perch, salmon or wolf fish: It’s up to you!
But let’s go back to the two references in between our hands and on our wrist today. Both models in our possession have titanium cases. One dial is blue and the other is white.
First things first, will you? To power this beauty, Alexander Meerson chose a beautifully decorated calibre from the Vaucher Manufacture (Manufacture Parmigiani Fleurier partly owned by Hermès) to which he added a Dubois-Dépraz complication plate for the GMT function. To put it in two simple words: Proper horology.
An alloy chosen for its lightness (60% the weight of the steel), the work done on the grade 5 titanium alternating polished and satin finish is just fantastic. The shape of the asymmetric case is very « Art Deco », a source of inspiration very dear to its designer while the flattened curves of the lugs are as many details that allow this sporty timepiece to also be very stylish and elegant.
Regarding the case size, it shows a diameter of 44mm. That may sound impressive on paper but the size is really easy to forget once on your wrist. Don’t get me wrong, it is a rather big watch especially when considering today’s trend to go smaller, but not only the short lugs are well built to follow the shape of your wrist and the case back slightly concave to work as a second-skin, but with a thickness of only 10.05mm, the D15 knows how to gently hide under a cuff even while wearing your most fitted suit or sports jacket. (You can rely on us for this one – we’ve tried).
The dial and hands
As one would also expect, the dial as well as the hands are both extremely well designed. What could at first glance appear to be a sandwich built dial (two layers whose top layer cut to show the colour, texture and properties of the lower layer. Yes, just as a Panerai), is actually built in one piece to reduce the thickness of the case. The attention to detail and the construction does again match very high standards of quality.
The proportions of the different elements composing the dial are very harmonious and well balanced and we greatly appreciate that the length of each hand perfectly matches its counter to allow great readability (no, this is unfortunately not always the case). The hands of the D15 are covered with a light blue, almost invisible photo-luminescent coating. Extremely discreet during the day, it turns out to be extremely bright in low lights.
You probably also noted on the pictures the difference in texture between the 24H GMT counter (matching the hand with the red tip) and the rest of the dial. What might seem at first glance as a purely aesthetic fantasy (fairly discrete I agree) actually hides a real functionality as it isolates the 24H graduation to improve the readability of the second time zone.
The hidden feature
I know, for a 3 handed wristwatch with a GMT function, a date display at 6 o’clock and a small Day / Night indicator at 9, you’re certainly asking yourself : “Wait, what are the pushers for? This is not a chronograph is it?” That’s correct, and your question totally makes sense. Mr Meerson actually uses chronograph like pushers to offer us a wonderfully smart and quick time adjustment function when the lucky owner of his watch is traveling. You only have to use the 2 o’clock pusher to add one hour to your current time zone and the 4 o’clock pusher to go back an hour, making time adjustment a breeze. Clever? Handy? I agree.
An elegant watch with a sporty heart? A sports watch with class? Regardless of your point of view, I must admit that this Meerson D15 knows how to play on both grounds. Whether you are about to catch a plane in Manilla, or invited to a diner organised by the Ambassador in Vienna (we will then recommend to wear it on either the alligator or the stingray strap, matte obviously), your Meerson D15 will discreetly make a difference… except of course to meet the eye of another man of great taste, who will certainly not remain indifferent to such a level of classiness and attention to detail.
The only possible catch, starting at a cool €15,900, this latest addition to the Alexandre Meerson collection is clearly not for all pockets… Is this the price of fine craftsmanship?