AM1 40mm Black Automatic
March LA.B is a brand I’ve had my eye on for quite some time now, not least because they make some seriously cool looking watches. Touting themselves as a Swiss-made luxury timepiece brand with headquarters in Los Angeles, California and Biarritz, France, the men’s and women’s collections represent a unique blend of modern L.A. style and French heritage detailing. The focus is on simplistic design with a decidedly vintage feel, a mix that has seen the brand quickly gain a worldwide following amongst the style elite. Today I’m taking a look at two of my personal favorites from the men’s collection; the AM1 and the AM3.
There are three key names behind March LA.B; CEO and Founder Alain Marhic, Creative Director Jerome Mage and mystery-man Joseph Chatel. I say mystery-man because no information is provided by the brand about Mr. Chatel and his is face partly obscured on the brand’s website, adding to the mystique.
Both Marhic and Mage spent significant time in the areas of product and brand development in the fashion industry before the launch of March LA.B, and it really shows. The brand has a clear mission and direction, namely to pay tribute to the timeless elegance of vintage watches with a modern twist, whilst at the same maintaining a strong focus on quality and reliability. The three collections – the AM series, the JC series and the JM series – are all distinct in their own subtle ways but remain complementary to each other overall, providing a real sense of cohesion to the brand.
Enough about March LA.B though, let’s talk about the watches!
AM1 40mm Black Automatic
The AM1 Automatic
The AM1 was one of the first timepieces to be launched by March LA.B and in my opinion remains one of the coolest. Embodying the style of the Sixties – namely refined elegance with a touch of swagger – the AM1 is presented in a 40 mm round 316 L stainless steel case complete with a Swiss Made automatic ETA 2892-A movement. The dial is attractive in its simplicity and the touch of green really draws the eye. On the reverse side a green tinted exhibition case-back gives an interesting view of the movement.
The AM1 Automatic is offered in three variants; Platinum, Gris and Black. Depending on the day my preference oscillates between the Gris and the Black, although I have to say that I really love the color scheme of the Gris complete with matt brown genuine Alligator strap with green leather lining.
AM3 Black Automatic
The AM3 Automatic
Although designed in a similar vein to the AM1, the AM3 collection is much more in your face and indeed is described by the brand as its ‘boldest timepiece to date’. Inspired by muscle-car culture, the AM3 is decidedly masculine although surprisingly the stainless steel cushion case is somewhat smaller than the AM1 at just 38mm. To be honest though I find this somewhat refreshing in this modern era of oversized timepieces and I think it only serves to make this vintage-inspired timepiece feel all the more authentic.
As with the AM1 collection the AM3 is powered by an automatic ETA 2892-A movement, complete with ETACHRON regulator system and regulator corrector. Again there are three different alternatives to choose from; the Maroon Automatic, the Black Automatic and the Gris Automatic. A personal highlight for me is the stainless steel bracelet and matching retro-styled buckle on the Black Automatic but I also love the perforated Alligator leather strap, particularly on the Gris. So many choices…I might just have to get one of each!
AM3 Gris Automatic
The Final Word
March LA.B is a brand with a big future in front of it in my humble opinion. Cool design coupled with reasonable pricing (none of the above will cost you more than US$4,000) and Swiss quality make their timepieces incredibly attractive, especially for those looking for something a little different without wanting to resort to the outrageous. Keep an eye out for new releases from the brand in the coming year as I am sure they have a few more surprises up their sleeve.
In the meantime please visit their official website to view the full men’s and women’s collections and also to shop for your own timepiece through their integrated e-SHOP: www.march-lab.com
Category: Watch Reviews