Méraud are a Belgian watchmaker who made their debut back in 2018 with the Bonaire and now they’re back with their latest project, the Antigua manual chronograph. It’s named after the iconic Antigua Classic Regatta, a yacht race that oozes luxury and refinement. In order to replicate a similar sense of vintage luxury, Méraud have sourced a New Old Stock (NOS) movement for the piece in the form of the Landeron 248.
Aesthetically, the Antigua sits somewhere between a traditional chronograph and a dive watch, which makes sense because it actually falls into a sub-category of both, the Regatta Timer. The Regatta Timer is a watch designed for boat racing, and as such it requires the durability and resilience of a dive watch mixed with the precision timing of a chrono.
Which is evident in the Antigua’s design through its 39mm stainless steel case with serrated 40mm unidirectional rotating bezel, giving it a classic diving watch appearance. Although with 100m water resistance, it’s a watch more at home near the water, such as on a racing yacht, rather than actually taking a swim in the wet stuff.
The stepped dial, available in Miho Black or Soft Sand, is then pure chronograph with a peripheral tachymeter, central chronograph seconds hand and a 45-minute timer at 3 o’clock with regatta markings (5-minute indications timing 15-minutes up to the start of a boat race). Interestingly, the regatta subdial is larger than the small seconds subdial opposite, at 9 o’clock, which means the display is known as a big-eye chronograph.
Beneath the dial is the vintage Landeron 248, a NOS movement from the 60s, a golden period for Swiss chronographs. Like all NOS movements, it’s been given plenty of love and a modern update, including a fresh Méraud engraving across its bridge. It’s a beautiful movement and it’s visible through the Antigua’s exhibition caseback. It also has a solid power reserve of 41-hours, decent for a vintage manual wind calibre.
For the leather strap, Méraud have worked with fellow Belgian compatriots Molequin, a well-known strap maker in the watch industry. They’ve gone for a French nubuck with a soft, silk-like texture with a less-is-more design. Alternatively, the Antigua comes with a rubber strap and steel bracelet.
The Antigua is priced at €1,750 (approx. £1,565) and is limited to 200 pieces, 100 in Miho Black and 100 in Soft Sand. Of the two colourways, I prefer the khaki tones of the Soft Sand, it emphasises the vintage flavour of the watch. Although that’s not to say the black isn’t cool too, it really makes the coloured elements of the dial pop. Pre-orders are available now with delivery expected in September 2023.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Méraud Antigua
- Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 13.5mm thickness, stainless steel case, double layered Miho Black or Soft Sand dial
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: Swiss made Landeron calibre 248, manual winding
- Power reserve: 41h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, tachymeter, 45min timer/regatta timer
- Strap: Molequin leather with additional tropic rubber strap
- Price/availability: €1,750 (approx. £1,565), limited to 100 pieces each colourway