Massena LAB, the design studio run by industry veteran William Massena and specialised in collaboration watches, continues its expansion in either high-end or accessible watches. The new watch that is presented today marks his second partnership with an old, rather discreet brand known as Mathey-Tissot. The first collab brought back to life the watchmaker’s most emblematic model, the Type XX Pilot’s Chronograph. Today, William took one of his own vintage watches, the Mergulhador Skin Diver, and decided to recreate it. But under this rather complex name is actually a cool and affordable 1970s-inspired automatic dive watch.
As said, this new collaboration between Mathey-Tissot and Massena LAB doesn’t come out of the blue, and for two reasons. First of all, the watch is a recreation of a vintage model. The original Mathey-Tissot Mergulhador was released and produced in the 1970s for military and civilian use, mostly for the Portuguese market – in fact, mergulhador means diver in Portuguese. The watch itself is typical of this era, with an angular case and lugs that are almost an integral part of the design, and a funky dial playing on earthy colours and squarish shapes. The second reason behind the recreation of this watch, and the actual inspiration for this specific version, is a vintage Mergulhador from William Massena’s own, personal collection.
This recreation is clearly mixing vintage styling and modernized technical features. As such, the 41mm stainless steel case retains the shape of the original Mergulhador watch, a classic and often-seen design back in the early-1970s. Squarish and robust, it is finished with circular brushed surfaces on top (again a classic of the era) and polished sides. The top of the case, which is just under 13mm in height, features a bi-directional 60-minute bezel in polished steel with a black-filled scale and luminous triangle, and it frames a box-shaped mineral glass with anti-reflective, sapphire coating. The crown screws down, the back is solid steel and the water-resistance is rated at 200m.
The dial is what makes this Mathey-Tissot x Massena LAB Mergulhador special. In order to bring back the patina effect of William’s own watch, the sunray-brushed dial has been coloured in an amber tone, with a gradient effect. And to reinforce the 1970s look, the markers are big and bold, raised blocks coated in white SLN, paired with orange accents on the minute track and seconds hand. And yes, the date window sits under a magnifying glass, then again for the funky feel.
In order to maintain the price to an accessible level, this Mergulhador is powered by a tried-and-tested Sellita SW200, an automatic movement with 4Hz frequency and 38h power reserve. The watch is delivered with two straps, a black tropic-like rubber strap and a black calfskin strap.
Limited to 99 pieces, the Mathey-Tissot x Massena LAB Mergulhador Skin Diver is available as of now for orders at www.massenalab.com, and priced at USD 995.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.