Méraud Watch Co. was founded by vintage watch collector Stijn Busschaert, a leading member of the Belgium Watch Club, back in 2018 after he struggled to find brands that brought his favourite mid-20th century vintage look to their timepieces.
The company’s first watch, launched five years’ ago, was the Méraud Bonaire dive watch, named after a Caribbean island know as Diver’s Paradise and inspired by classic tool watches from the 1960s.
The dive watches come in comfortable 39mm steel cases — smaller than the over-40mm sized tool watches commonly sold at the time — and housing modified Caliber STP1-11 automatic Swiss-made movements.
Their vintage styling is most apparent in unidirectional bezels made to look like the Bakelite versions used in dive watches in the 1960s, but protected using by scratch-resistant sapphire.
They were an instant hit after launching on Kickstarter for €635 to €655.
Méraud Watch Co.’s team has dug even deeper into the archives to research its latest watch, a hand-wound chronograph watch with refurbished to new Swiss Landeron 248 movements that launched earlier this year.
The Antigua chronograph (another link to the Caribbean) will be unveiled to the British public for the first time at next month’s WatchPro Salon.
Méraud says it took three years to develop the Antigua, which is being made in a limited run of 200 pieces.
Like the Bonaire, Méraud Antigua chronograph was inspired by designs from the 1960s and the Landeron 248 caliber movement used in the watch was widely in use at that time by the likes of Heuer-Leonidas, Nevada and Ardath.
Each movement comes with a unique Méraud engraving on the bridge and is presented via an exhibition case back on the watch.
The Antigua is designed not for the diving community, but for competitive sailors who can use a subdial at 3 o’clock as a countdown clock to the start of a race.
There are two variations, one with a black dial, the other in cream.
“This watch represents a historical movement in the watch world, as well as my connection to the coast and eternal love for the open sea,” says Méraud founder Mr Busschaert.
Méraud’s aim with the Antigua is the fusion of vintage classic design with modern innovations.
A two-layer dial is referencing the past while subdials have a distinct modern look.
A tachymeter on the outer step features Art Deco numerals and returns in the “big-eye” 45-minutes subdial.
The 40mm Antigua has a slim profile with a heigh of 13.5mm and the case is finished with a mix of linear, circular, high-polished and brushed finishes.
The watch was unveiled earlier this year with a limited run of 100 pieces priced at €1,750.