Blue in the face
Timekeeping: Marvin M119 Cushion
A healthy watch collection is a diverse one. Okay, so many of you are still in the fledgling stages of collecting (you’ve at least started, haven’t you?). But those a bit more established in their horological treasure troves probably have one or two big brands and well-known makes (like the Omega Speedmaster or a much-coveted Rolex Sub) and one or two tool watches. What about a timepiece that is unique, built to last and a bit more colorful? Well, last year we covered our first Marvin watch and we came away truly impressed with this “under the radar” brand. Carrying on the theme of their fantastic M120 Cushion design is the new Marvin M119 Cushion — the perfect “I haven’t seen that one before” piece for your collection.
Full review and photos after the jump.
The M119 Cushion sports the same case as the M120, but adds a dash of color and a new black PVD case. Utilizing the same Panerai-homage style case, the M119 amps up the flair, but not so much that you consider socks that match the watch’s palette (no one will judge you if you do).
As part of its colored Malton Cushion line, the M119 tester we reviewed flashes a vivid blue (but thankfully not quite turquoise, as they claim — it’s Switzerland, not New Mexico, after all) 24-hour inner ring on the dial with matched stitching on the leather strap. With all the monochromatic timepieces out there, the hint of color is a welcome change. The 42-millimeter case is sizable but avoids the recent niche trend of being obnoxiously large. The watch’s silhouette mirrors the M120 we reviewed in 2011, but the coloring, the partially perforated strap and the PVD finish change the tone to something altogether more sporty and vibrant without being gauche.
Marvin’s signature red-backed strap (that also includes Marvin’s ingenious finger tab for manual removal of the springbars from the lugs) isn’t visible while on your wrist, but certainly adds a unique aspect to the watch’s aesthetic. Though Marvin makes no claim that the M119 is tied to anything of automotive racing derivation (Marvin happens to sponsor World Rally Driver Sebastian Loeb and sells a line with his name), the dial and colored ring echo racing gauges, a look we easily enjoy.
The M119’s movement is the reliable Swiss 26-jewel Sellita SW 200 self-winding mechanical movement, essentially a clone of the well-known and ubiquitous ETA 2824-2 Swiss movement. Since the Swatch Group will soon stop selling the ETA outside of its own stable of brands, Sellita is quickly becoming the mechanism of choice for many watchmakers. It’s reliability should hold up well, if the movement after which it’s modeled is any indication.
The M119’s crystal is high-quality anti-reflective and shock-resistant sapphire glass, something horophiles have come to expect from watches that exceed the $1K mark. The three-handed watch has a power reserve of 38 hours and a water resistance rating of 50 meters. We doubt anyone will ever try to use this as a diving watch, but if you do go in to the drink by accident, your Marvin will survive — unless you drop like an iron sarcophagus, in which case you probably won’t be needing a watch much longer.
We salute Marvin for taking some design risks in order to amplify their cushion line-up. Typically, when robust color is added to a timepiece (aside from orange), the result isn’t positive. Here, Marvin does a solid job of adding highlights in the right places for a different look that deserves attention without begging for it. The Marvin M119 is not an everyday watch, but it will surely add the right dose of drama to your growing collection.
Buy Now: $1,580