In its heyday TechnoMarine made some of the coolest timepieces going around, attracting an audience of young, hip consumers hungry for something new and a little more daring from a typically conservative industry. They were one of the first brands to really push the boundaries of the fusion concept (i.e. combining various materials into a single timepiece) and really pioneered some unique design concepts.
Unfortunately though, as is all too often the case, the company lost its way and retreated into relative obscurity in the ensuing years. That all changed at the end of last year, however, when industry wunderkind Vincent Perriard (read our exclusive interview with him here) stepped in to take the reins, after re-inventing a flagging Concord.
And that’s right around the time we started to take notice.
TechnoMarine is not typically the type of brand we tend to focus on here on The Watch Lounge, through no fault of its own it simply just doesn’t cater to our target audience. However, as avid industry observers we were nonetheless very keen to see what magic Perriard would work this time as he attempted to to restore the brand back to its former glory.
We didn’t have to wait long.
After only a few months at the helm Perriard unveiled the new TechnoMarine Cruise Sport collection at Basel World 2010. The response to these new pieces was very positive and finished products began to hit the market in the middle of this year.
Our curiosity piqued we decided it was time to get our hands on one and have a closer look. After speaking with TechnoMarine’s ever-accommodating Director of Public Relations, Betsy Kroll, a brand new model was on it’s way, the color however, would be a surprise.
On The Wrist
Our first impressions of the Cruise when it arrived were very positive. This was a good quality, affordable sport’s watch which could really satisfy the needs of consumers within the target market, especially those who might be looking for something other than the more traditional Japanese offerings. It was versatile, it was functional and above all it looked cool.
The model we reviewed was from the Chrono range priced at around $US425, and at 45mm it’s a lot of watch for the money. Featuring chronograph functionality and date display, the watch is powered by a Japanese made Miyota FS20 quartz movement and presented on a surprisingly comfortable rubber strap. The collection is available in five bold colors and every watch comes with a second black strap as standard and so you really do have the option to choose between subtle highlights or an all out color explosion, or a combination of both.
The straps are interchangeable and thanks to the clever technology employed can be snapped in and out at will by the owner without the use of any tools. Although a tool is provided by TechnoMarine for this purpose, we found it was just as easy to do by hand.
A very handy feature if you don’t always feel like rocking out with a brightly colored band.
Best of all the whole process only takes a couple of seconds, so conceivably you could carry around the spare strap in your pocket and switch them over on the fly as the mood dictates. Say for example you have an important meeting with clients before meeting your friends for a night out on the town.
The case itself is made of stainless steel, however, it is wrapped in vulcanized black rubber, evidence of TechnoMarine’s continuing love affair with the art of fusion. Not only does it look good but it also it means that the case is very comfortable on the wrist plus you don’t have to worry about it getting scratched. This is also a very clever alternative to the use of outrageously popular PVD or DLC treatments, which would have increased the price significantly.
As we mentioned before the Cruise Sport Chrono collection is available in five different color schemes and the brand has also recently introduced the Cruise Ceramic and Cruise Camouflage series.
The Final Word
TechnoMarine, and by extension Perriard, have taken a good long look at the brand’s identity and its strengths, as well as where their rightful position in the market should be, and in our opinion produced a watch that adequately reflects their findings. It’s funky whilst staying functional and achieves versatility through clever design. Most importantly it represents good value for money and demonstrates TechnoMarine’s commitment to manufacturing good quality watches.
If you’re looking for something a little different, or want something casual to add to your collection that’s going to look good without the four or five figure price tag, then perhaps it’s worth giving the new Cruise Sport collection a second look. They also make great gifts for young people who want something that will reflect their unique sense of style but who may also need a watch that can take a few bruises and bumps!
To find out more check out Technomarine’s official website at: www.technomarine.com
Category: Watch Reviews