What is an Italian Cocktail Watch?
I have to preface this premier review with the fact that I am “all of the English” and as such I constantly have to go back to get the spelling for the brand name of this watch, Meccaniche Veneziane. Which leads us into our first euro foray into watch reviews starting with a micro-brand and KickStarter (KS) native from Venice, Italy.
For this detailed review I imported the Meccaniche Veneziane Redentore Burano direct from the company in Italy using their website.
Special thanks to Elf Becker for taking the time to point out the unedited version that had been posted and for the suggestions made on the format. With this help I’ll be updating all of our content one article at a time.
Who’s it for? The Burano is for a consumer who wants to make a bold statement in a kind of classic fashion.
TWC Paid: $988.75 CAD (exchanged from Euro 629.00) + $75 CAD Duties
| Meccaniche Veneziane |
Model: Redentore “Burano”
Case: 40mm 316L Stainless Steel
Lugs: 20mm Bezel: High Polished Steel
Movement: Caliber MV285 (modified ETA 2824), 26J (28,800 BPH), 40 Hour Power Reserve, hacking, solid brass rotor
Crystal: Anti-Reflective Domed Sapphire
WR: 10 ATM – 10 Bar – 100m – 330ft
Strap: Hand-made Vintage Italian Leather
MSRP: $629.99 Euro + Tax
The Cross Shop:
Costco.ca – $799CAD – Concord Mariner Anthracite Dial Men’s Watch – similar price but quartz movement, steel bracelet, not much at the same level currently at Costco
Amazon.ca – $949.60 CAD – Hamilton Navy Pioneer H78465553 – Great example of a classy auto from an established player with a classy white dial and sweet blue hands!
Anything – $4000 CAD – Omega De Ville Hour Vision – I think these are both similar though the Omega is much more subdued. I feel like you could cross shop a lot of the Omega line here.
Rolex – $4580 CAD – ROLEX 1981 DATEJUST 16013 – a classic but you have to be okay with the 36mm case diameter, though it does wear large due to case height.
Welcome the Meccaniche Veneziane Redentore “Burano” limited edition. Limited to how many you ask? According to the PR email, and nowhere else, it’s 100 units, and I’ll assume that’s 100 units of each of the 3 styles available. Named after a supposedly colorful little Venetian island, the Burano features a strikingly bold dial within a sporty package. It is an interesting spin on a men’s cocktail watch for certain. Want to read the story behind it? Well it won’t be anywhere near the product page itself but rather hidden away in either your email or their “blogsite.”
The entirety of the Redentore line-up varies from bold solid colors to more classic, muted combinations, but if you compare the Burano to the Redentore 1201008 model you’ll see that it’s the small things in life that create exclusivity.
What do you think? Do Limited Editions even matter?
If the Burano were to be a gift from you, or if you are into the entire presentation of a watch, then MV has put together a compelling package for you. The Durmast wood box is well finished, and all of the included materials feel high quality. I feel MV hits above their price point when it comes to packaging and presentation. The only aspect that I feel lets this down a bit is the foam they use. It just comes off as a bit cheap for my taste. Thankfully the rest of the presentation covers it up well.
As I discovered recently this is a men’s cocktail watch and not a dress watch, an expression I only discovered after writing my follow-up article, “The Seiko Presage vs MV Redentore Burano”; regardless, this means no screw down crown and no lume of any sort on the dial.
When I first unpacked the Burano the first thing I noticed was the very sharp lines of the case and the brushed steel sides. My first impression of this was that it made the case look much too rough. The bezel and the top of the lugs are high polish like perfect mirrors and contrast the brushed 2/3rds of the watch. Having worn the watch for some time now I’ve found that the brushed finish has grown on me, especially when the brushed and polished features contrast between the lugs. Overall, I think it will wear well over time, but we shall see.
3. Bezel & Rehaut
A REALLY big thing I appreciate with the Burano is the proportions of the bezel. My biggest gripe with the latest 39mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual was the high polished bezel on them. My first Rolex OP 114300 was out on the street for no more than a day before the bezel got its first marking. The issue here is that the high polished bezel is so prominent on these models. That’s not the case on the Burano however which, despite its dressy guise, features a high polished bezel that is much thinner than that of the Rolex’s. It really works, and makes the bezel look much bigger than it’s 40mm case really allows. It’s a great effect and really makes this size work.
For those who aren’t aware some modern brands have moved to engraving the rehaut, some for fun and some for a purpose. Rolex does a “rolexrolexrolexH41233483” and Panerai with California dials (ie: PAM00424) have “California” at the 12 o’clock. Meccaniche Veneziane, if you ever read this, just laser engrave the rehaut with “Burano” or ‘Burano Limited Edition” at the 12 o’clock and “xxx/100” at the 6 o’clock and you’ll dramatically increase the perceived value and exclusivity of your ltd ed models. It’ll be relatively cheap to do, and you may actually sell out of your next ltd ed series with direct sales! (and without having to sell them to grey market dealers!)
Because of the duality of the Burano, its lugs are more bulky, like that of a sport watch. I feel like this works given what MV has set out to accomplish with the Burano however.
After a couple days I feel like I WANT a screw down crown. I feel like for the price that MV could at least use threaded tubes and a threaded crown and source a rubber gasket. I’d even bet that they already have an open contract for rubber gaskets with their Nereide dive watch (looking back on this the Nereide 2.0 lacks any evidence of having a rubber gasket so…). The crown is nicely finished with the MV Venetian cross and the crown has an overall brushed look to it.
The crystal is almost fully recessed and rises out of the bezel in a tapered, domed fashion that looks good and in hand feels like an acrylic crystal (read “plasticy”). I should note that the MV crystal is “domed”, but just only along the outer edge. What this does, other than help prevent chipping along the edges, is when you look at the Burano head on from at least 8” away the minute markers around the outer edge disappear and the gold indices and “Swiss Made” are reflected in their place. It’s a cool effect and if you don’t get what I’m talking about just take a look at the photos. Along with this the domed edging will hopefully save you from chipping the edge as well!
Red, blue and gold all on a bed of red-ish off-white, all of these colors on one dial and somehow it just works. I feel like the vibrant, shiny blue hands are what really make the whole thing pop! The indices here are gold diamond cut markers and stand in stark contrast to the rest of the Burano’s all steel finishing’s.
We now come to the date wheel. It’s a different script atop a typical white background and it’s noticeable because it is clearly true white being presented along side the off-white dial. I would have liked to have seen the bold font used for the brand name also used on the date wheel. I recognize that forgetting the date wheel is a fairly common practice, but life is all about the details. At least the red “Automatico” is printed in the same font as the brand.
The hands are finished such that they appear to be much thicker than they really are. The gold hour hands are diamond cut so that they shine at any angle while the second hand is a strong medium red.
One of the things you might never notice is that when the hour hand finally reaches the “top” of the hour the minute hand is already twenty-five minutes ahead… So, at 6 o’clock the minute hand will have reached the 12 but the hour hand will still be only 4/5ths of the way between the 5 and the 6. It isn’t until the minute hand reaches the 25-minute mark that the hour hand finally lands mid-way on the hour marker. Now this isn’t a tool watch or even a daily watch for me so it’s not worth have this corrected until it needs servicing… BUT… I feel like as a young brand MV really needs to reign in their quality control (QC). From the recent news on the Nereide GMT the QC issue is clearly on the side of the many tendered contracts they have for parts and if they really want to transition away from KS campaigns and stand on their own as a company, they’ll have to clear these issues up. Since writing this I’ve discovered that the hand misalignment issue is not an isolated one so buyer beware… I’ll be contacting MV and I will report back with their answer.
10. Movement / Functions
Inside we find the caliber MV285 which is a bedazzled ETA 2824. This caliber can also be found in the upcoming Nereide 3.0 dive watch with one major difference being that the Nereide 3.0 will have an STP, not ETA, based MV285.
11. Case Back
The exhibition case back is well sized, and the brand has moved from raised lettering to engraving which some may find more comfortable. The Burano’s brass rotor is cleanly executed, though I feel like some of their previous models were even better. Compared to their other movements and their professionally taken photos, I don’t quite find the appearance of this movement as striking as their others when witnessed in person. There are no visible spacers and MV has ensured that you only see what they want you to. In the end, it is nice enough to show off to someone who appreciates the face enough to ask you if they can see the back.
12. Strap / Bracelet
Although growing on me over the past few days, I feel that the watch would be better suited with a darker strap. It is very comfortable and soft, and it is clearly made to a high standard and with the best materials. I get the selection of a light color strap to match the vibrant colors, but I don’t think it works here, even for an Italian watch. Note that in the future I discover that the Burano pairs best with blue leather! The strap also tapers from a 20mm to 16mm width, more common for a dress watch, culminating in a high polish clasp with a nicely engraved MV cross. My issue here is that if you wear this watch frequently the buckle is obviously going to get quite scratched up. Thankfully it has pin holes for easy change out.
I would LOVE to have the ability to purchase more of their straps, and straps that only taper to 18mm, but unfortunately, they currently haven’t expanded into that segment of the market… YET. Thankfully I have some more selections coming with the upcoming Nereide GMT San Marco.
13. Gravitas / On the Wrist
My take on this “limited edition” (ltd ed) series is that it’s a ploy to normalize sales as the company attempts to transition away from now three very successful KickStarter (KS) campaigns. Now I won’t complain about this, as the release of the Burano was the tipping point for me to decide to purchase a Redentore as up until this point the line had failed to convince me to.
The issue here is that the Burano 1201007 sold out within a few days of its release indicating that there is a dedicated customer base, likely from all the KS campaigns, that keeps watch of the brand… or it could be that they sold them to grey market dealers… impossible to say… Meanwhile the other two models in this release remain available and, within a few weeks of the Burano’s release, the company released a second ltd ed production named the “Forte Marghera” to celebrate Basel World 2019. Great, but the changes to this production run are even MORE minimal than the Burano’s, offering only minimal changes to the watch hands and straps that barely differentiate them from the regular. Ltd ed production runs are fine as they minimize a company’s financial exposure to holding stale stock, but this move seems awfully like the company was trying to capitalize on the Burano’s immediate success. Regardless it appears clear that there is potential for the company’s ltd ed models if they present a dynamic enough offering like the Burano 1201007. I had looked at the regular stock version, ref 1201010, but it didn’t make a big enough splash for me to pull the trigger on what for me would be close to a dress watch, and in the future a cocktail watch. There are currently 10 different models that range from neutral to very colorful.
14. The Wife Check
My wife prefers a less aggressive, more classic look and the Burano does not speak to her as it does I. I would wager that she would feel differently if given one of the other versions of the Redentore.
With regards to the MV brand… MV recently reported to KS participants waiting for the much anticipated Nereide GMT that the massive request for movements MV tendered out came back with stale stock ETA stock and that too many would not reliably keep time. The company made the executive decision to replace the movements with what they say are higher grade Sellita models. At the same time, MV announced that the end product of the jubilee stretch reward that they received from their manufacture were of such a poor grade that they could not release them to their many buyers. The big issue with this is that MV made the executive decision to replace the bracelets with additional leather straps without any consult with the consumer. This currently has people FURIOUS. Since the time of this writing there is an ever-growing group of dissatisfied KS supporters, almost 15% now, angry at MV’s handling of the entire situation and with KS hands-off take on the whole thing.
When I consider all the aspects I enjoyed about the Meccaniche Veneziane Rendentore “Burano”, I always come back to the gorgeous colors of the dial. There is something playfully attractive about how the blue and gold are always shining while they sit contrasting the redish hue of the off-white dial.
I feel that what was done well here has been done VERY well. From the details in the dial to the proportions of the case and crystal, the Burano has been put together thoughtfully and it shows. I doubt we will continue to see the current ETA 2824 movement be used considering the logistical troubles the company has been having with ETA supplies and with the Nereide 3.0 dive watch being advertised with an STP movement and the Nereide GMT having a last minute Sellita I would expect future MV movements will be STP based and it will be interesting to see how these new movements perform.
I would still buy the Burano given the choice but because of their QC issues I would caution any perspective buyers of what they could be in for and I could not recommend this specific watch as the hands simply aren’t set correctly.