Meccaniche Veneziane Nereide GMT “San Marco” – Detailed Review

What time is it on the beach in Venice?

If you’re not aware of the Meccaniche Veneziane (MV) brand at this point I would suggest you go and read my previous review of the Nereide (2.0) “Ardesia” as it is a similar build as the Nereide GMT.  TWC strives to not repeat what you can watch or read else where and to represent those who are either poorly represented or simply not represented at all.  With this in mind, I will, within reason, not repeat anything previously covered by our review of the Nereide (2.0).

The Nereide GMT “San Marco” was my first introduction to the MV brand when I found it on KickStarter (KS) last October 2018.  It has been a long a trying campaign for MV, but they’ve finally rolled out the final product you see here. 

I am excited to FINALLY bring this detailed review of the 2019 Meccaniche Veneziane Nereide GMT and hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Who’s it for?  The Nereide GMT is for the jet-setter looking for a larger, diver styled watch that will look great during any occasion and still survive hitting the beach as well as it did the airport!  If you can afford airport cocktails but aren’t reviewing pre-meeting briefing notes while checking your Rolex, then you can afford the premium MV is asking for here over the standard Nereide 3.0 and can rest assured that you won’t see another one of these in the airport lounge like you will Submariners.

TWC Paid:  $845 CAD (exchanged from Euro 559) incl shipping + $130 CAD Duties

Meccaniche Veneziane  
Model: Nereide GMT “San Marco”  
Reference: N/A  
Origin: Italy  
Case: 42mm 316L Stainless Steel            
Height:14mm           Length: 49mm   Lugs: 22mm              
Bezel: 120-click Uni-Directional Rotating, Enameled Aluminum Insert  
Movement: Caliber MV297 (modified Sellita SW-330-1), 25J (28,800 BPH), 42 Hour Power Reserve, hacking, Quick adjust GMT  
Crystal: Anti-Reflective Domed Sapphire  
WR: 20 ATM – 20 Bar – 200m – 660ft  
Lume: Yes, C1 Swiss Superluminova®  
Strap: Hand-made Italian Leather / Mesh Bracelet  
MSRP: $1,249.00 Euro + Tax  
Website: MeccanicheVeneziane.It

Finding this watch…

In Canada there is current a single “AD” for MV and they currently advertise that the Nereide GMT will be releasing for spring 2019.  Note that I don’t know Azury’s at all so if you have any dealings with them please share in the comments. Having talked to other regional “AD’s”, it seems like the demo models are out to show the public, but inventory has yet to be distributed so a spring release seems unlikely, especially since it’s mid-June now… As always use caution when buying on eBay or Amazon as e-stores won’t have actually stock likely and individuals may misrepresent somehow what they are selling.  I reported an eBay user selling a Chinese Nereide 1.0 as a Swiss 2.0; of course, eBay did nothing… again, buyer beware…

eBay “Meccaniche Veneziane Nereide GMT”           Azury’s Edmonton, AB, Canada

The Cross Shop:

Costco.ca – $79.99 CAD – Timex Expedition Scout Men’s Watch – At the time of writing Costco doesn’t have anything close, and rarely carries GMT’s anyways.  So here is a great simple offering from Timex!

Rolex – $11,450.00 USD – Rolex GMT Master 16753 – As always there are no “Root Beer” GMT’s in Canada that you can easily find so here is a US sourced GMT with “Root Beer” bezel.  This example has been verified by eBay, features gold and steel accents and body and was produced in the 1980’s.  As these are all going to be vintage stock, do your research and, if it matters to you, be aware of what to expect with polishing, fading aluminum bezel inserts, refinished dials, bracelet stretch and authentication.

The Details…

I am going to write this review as though I paid the asking MSRP of $2,000.00 CAD compared to what TWC actually paid, $975.00 CAD, as this disparity bumps the Nereide GMT into a much different price point.

Much of what you will see here has been lifted directly from the Nereide (2.0 & 3.0) diver series and you will shortly realize that the GMT is really a GMT movement, GMT bezel insert GMT hand and GMT letters on the dial all within what I’d wager is a Nereide 3.0 case, dial, hands, bezel, case back and strap.  My thought here is that in the past 8 months or so since the end of the GMT’s KS campaign, that MV has likely been nailing down and standardizing the logistical and assembly processes required to enable their long-term viability.  This lengthy process has of course angered their KS backers but I think that if they successfully break out in the retail market that we will never see another KS campaign from them and I doubt that KS supporters are the types who will follow a brand outside of the discounts and awards KS campaigns offer.

We have a lot to consider here with the Nereide GMT today. 

We need to look at the value proposition presented; is it worth more or less than the MSRP?  Has the QC issue of past been resolved?  How does the GMT compare to previous and future MV products and the Nereide line-up?  Does the introduction of the GMT to the MV line-up signal to you that MV has the potential to go mainstream?

1.         Packaging / Presentation

MV uses the same packaging for all of their product lines, so you’ll likely be impressed by the presentation overall.  I do think that at the $2k price point that this level of presentation is expected versus at the sub-$1k price-point where it’s much more of a pleasant surprise.

There is a running conspiracy of sorts currently, that, simply stated, says that the advertised walnut wood box has in fact been replaced by a pine wood.  This may be something or nothing and I’m not a wood-ologist but I have 3 of these boxes and they all look similar enough to me. 

Original KS stock photo Meccaniche Veneziane TM

Unlike my other MV models, the Nereide GMT I received came with a certificate that someone couldn’t be bothered to fill out with anything other than check marks… even if it is because it’s a KS watch and it was missed in their haste to get the product out the door this is still not acceptable… once again QC is still an issue here…

Strangely enough, and I admittedly just noticed this, there is no manual with any of the MV watches… it can’t be assumed that one knows how to operate their new watch and think what you will but you should have an operating manual SOMEWHERE, whether it’s online or in print.  Let me ask you this; if I don’t tell you that the watch is only water resistant if you keep the crown screwed in and you get water inside the case because you didn’t screw the crown in who is liable? 

2.         Case

I had to measure the case to be sure as a few of the lines didn’t quite look the same, but I can confirm that the Nereide GMT case is the same as the last generation Nereide 2.0 and, I presume, the upcoming 3.0.  A couple of the lines on the back of the case are slightly different here but otherwise these cases are one and the same.  This similarity is a good thing as the case features gently brushing and a soft touch finish all around and it still reflects the light nicely.  Everything is proportional as well, but it’s interesting to see the Nereide in all steel vice black PVD as it makes the dial look massive but the bezel tiny.

In keeping with the Nereide line-up of past and future, it is important to note that the GMT features a 42mm case which means it is slightly larger than the current industry norm.  I feel like it would have been best if MV had made the Nereide 3.0 a 40mm reference and the GMT a 42mm, or vice-versa, but I entirely understand why they didn’t and maybe 42mm is the new 40mm?

3.         Bezel & Rehaut

With any diver style watch, the bezel is a major aspect of the watch.  Yes, the bezel insert used here is aluminum *gasp!*, and, if you think you need them, MV will be offering replacements for 15 euro’s each.  The numbers used here are much smaller than the Nereide dive bezel, and the surrounding steel bezel makes the insert look very thin when compared to the PVD black on black. For such a large watch I feel like I would have preferred a thicker bezel.

Using the bezel in this version is perfect, not too tight and not too loose.  When you action the unidirectional bezel, you are rewarded with distinct and satisfying clicks with no excess play.  Because this isn’t a diver’s watch though, I would have much preferred a bidirectional bezel, but I get the cost efficiency of interchangeable parts.  I would caution that I haven’t yet received the new 3.0 models and MV’s QC record is not the best so don’t be shocked if your bezel is a bit tight, though I personally would be surprised if you were to ever receive one that was loose.

Hard to photograph bubble in the lume pip

I did quickly notice a little black spot between the insert and the steel bezel and when I took a close look and rubbed it, I realized that it was the insert adhesive that had squished out.  I’ve got the visible goo out but if I run my thumb nail along the insert, I can still pick up more goo.  Along with this, the 12 o’clock lume marker has a little dark spot, maybe a bubble, that is noticeable within a 1’.  As with my previous MV reviews, the QC at MV still needs some improvement…

Glue along the bezel insert

The 12 o’clock lume marker has been changed for the GMT and is now a high standing tube versus the rounded marker used previously on the 2.0.  Run your finger over it and you’ll realize that it will likely catch on any loose fabrics that get in its way.  Not a big deal but something you should note.

Finally, the rehaut looks massive here, maybe it’s just the domed edge of the crystal but it’s one of the first things I noticed when I unboxed the watch.  Personally, I think MV should take advantage of the space and laser engrave space with at least the serial number like Rolex does but that’s just me.

4.         Lugs

Just like the Nereide 2.0, the lugs here are well thought out and proportional to the rest of the case.

5.         Crown

Just like my review of the Nereide 2.0, I can only confirm that there are no rubber gaskets on the threaded tube, and I can only hope that there is one inside the crown itself.  The crown used here is cut a little bit sharper than the 2.0 and screws in and out confidently.  Unlike the 2.0, the GMT’s crown does not have a loud winding sound when used to wind up the movement and doesn’t pop out nearly as aggressively as well.  I like that the GMT function is nearly fool proof as it features a quick set GMT hand which when compared to my Rolex Explorer II makes setting MUCH easier!

Now that MV is offering screw down crowns on 2 of their 3 watches I’d like to see them make it standardize the entire brand with screw down crowns for added security and durability.

6.         Crystal

The sapphire crystal is softly domed and is well enclosed by the bezel, all of which should protect it from dings over the long-term and is identical to the previous Nereide 2.0.

7.         Dial

The dial here is once again almost identical to its predecessor so I’m only going to say that the gold trim looks great, the unique font is uniformly applied, and the date wheel is still white but now all of the hands are filled with white lume so it at least has something else to match.  I would have liked it all to have been done in the off white used for the indices but maybe that’s just nitpicking…

8.         Hands

The hands still look great in gold trim but have been updated and now feature two-piece lume for the hour and minute hand.  The new minute and second hands now sweep along the outside edge of the hour indices, but the hour hand is now slightly too short and sweeps a few mm away from inside edge of the indices.  The longer second hand does look good I should add but the minute hand looks a tad too long. 

As previously mentioned, the GMT hand here features a white arm, while other versions offer a red hand and red writing on the dial.  I would have preferred gold here, but you can be the judge of whether or not this matters to you.  Outside in the ambient daytime lighting you’ll notice the white lume of the hands and it noticeably contrasts the off-white lume of the indices.

9.         Lume

No change here, the C1 still charges quickly and looses it’s peak brightness quickly but I’ll note for you that if you choose the white dial version that you will receive “Old Radium” vintage colored lume which looks like it would be a nice touch.

Left – ETA 2824 based MV285 / Center – Sellita SW330 based MV297 / Right – Seagull ST16 based MV135

10.       Movement / Functions

The change of movement from ETA to Sellita was a huge issue during the KS campaign but for anyone outside of this you should be happy with the softly modified Sellita SW330 GMT movement.  How well it functions will depend on MV and how diligently they tune it, but the potential is here.  From the viewing port in the back the MV297 isn’t as sexy as it’s ETA equivalent but it certainly looks heavy duty and durable, and I’d wager that this movement will last you a very long time.  Even though the Sellita is designed specifically to fit any where the ETA can, it stores the majority of the parts in the middle and I presume this is to maximize room for modules.  Problem with this is that it doesn’t leave much for MV to fancy up and it hides most of the beautiful jewels behind parts and covers so other than the custom rotor there really isn’t much to see back here.

One thing you won’t know unless you’ve had both old and new Nereide’s on your wrist for longer than a day is that unlike many ETA movements, the new MV297 doesn’t have a noticeable rotor whir sound and feel.  If you’re not aware of what this is, it’s basically that while you raise and lower the watch you can feel and hear the rotor spinning.  It’s an effect that can be found in ETA driven watches of all kinds and just last year I had a Valjioux 7750 powered Tudor Tiger Prince Chronograph 79280P, freshly serviced by a Rolex Service Center, and even with the servicing the felt rotor spin when it was on the wrist was extremely aggressive. 

It should be noted that although this current version of the Nereide GMT is powered by a Sellita based movement, the upcoming Nereide 3.0 will be powered by an STP based movement so there is no guarantee that future Cal.297 movements will be Sellita based…

11.       Case Back

Same as the Nereide 2.0, I like the raised lettering and since my wrists aren’t sensitive to such things it sits comfortably. 

12.       Strap / Bracelet

Like the rest of the line-up, the main strap offered here is top notch!  Keep in mind that it is a 22mm that tapers to a 20mm end, so it wears big.  But even though it is wide and thick, the leather is just so supple that it fits comfortably right out of the box.  I’ve noted on my other models that the leather does crease where the clasp rests very quickly.  I can happily say that MV has changed the buckle engraving from “NEREIDE” to the MV cross which looks much nicer.

MV does advertise that the retail version comes with a “mesh bracelet” that you won’t find a photo of anywhere on the MV site…  Even though the stock leather strap is amazing I already have several watches now that are all styled similarly so I’ve been wearing the GMT with the provided Milanese steel bracelet which I can report is very good.  It really is the steel equivalent of the leather strap and I’ve been surprisingly pleased with it considering it’s not usually my style!

Because this was a KS campaign it also came with a jubilee bracelet, a second leather strap and a fabric mesh strap.  The jubilee bracelet is well made and heavy, but the other 2 straps appear like last minute add-ons and are so cheaply made that they do nothing but undermine the legitimacy of the brand.  Just look at the bonus leather strap compared to the stock strap, they’re not even comparable!  I would wager that both these items are one off’s and will end with MV’s participation with KS…

Old man Milanese

13.       Gravitas / On the Wrist

The Nereide GMT wears comfortably right out of the box thanks to the beautiful leather strap but it is noticeably heavier than the Nereide 2.0 and I’m curious how heavy the upcoming 3.0 will be considering it will be featuring a STP based movement.  The two-tone bezel definitely stands out and the overall effect is a very warm look.  With the Milanese bracelet on I feel like I’m a wealthy old Italian; that’s just me but I quite like it for some strange reason!

The thing with colors outside of black, grey and white are that they tend to be polarizing and subject to greater personal preference.  Kevin O’Leary says he loves red Rubber B straps on Rolex’s and while every else says that this looks absolutely ridiculous if he love’s the look then that’s all that matters.  Personally, I really enjoy blue color trends while my wife prefers silver and gold mixes.

14.       The Wife Check

The very first thing she said was that the red of the bezel looked like ketchup!  She also noted the raised lume pip at the 12 o’clock within a few seconds of handling it.  Sufficed to say she does not like the style and color scheme of the GMT.  So, while personal opinions may vary I would definitely encourage you to buy the GMT based on YOUR own love of the style and potentially not that anyone else…

If a female perspective is important to you make sure to read my wife’s full take on the Nereide GMT!

Final Thoughts

MV seems to be setting themselves up with a core line-up of 3 offerings ranging from 40-42mm and hopefully the development of more interchangeable parts and a stable supply network will enable MV to bring costs down for us end users.  I say this because at $2,000.00 CAD ($1,490.00 USD) the GMT does not strike me as a compelling offer when compared to the beautiful Nereide 3.0 diver that is visually almost identical but comes with an MSRP of $1,350.00 CAD ($1,000.00 USD).  I’m just not seeing an almost $500.00 USD difference between the two models, but maybe that’s just me?

If you really love the two-tone bezel, and a GMT function is of practical use to you, then I’ll say that the Nereide GMT is a wonderful watch that will serve you well between flights.  Do I think it is appropriately priced when compared to the 3.0? No; not even close.  I would guess that as MV becomes more mainstream that you’ll find that 15% off discounts will be dropped periodically to move old stock and raise capital, and I personally would not pay more than $1,200.00 CAD for the GMT.  That’s just how I feel, and you get to be your own judge of the value proposition here.  Once things at MV have calmed down, I would love for them to expand the line-up with a two-tone addition like Rolex has done as I think a gold bezel here would look phenomenal!

This all said, I am in the market for a “Topazio Crema” version, but I’m waiting until I can source one around the $600.00 USD price point; I know I’ll find one eventually at this price point just as I finally did with my patient acquisition of a Swatch Tresor Magique.

Example of the Topazia Crema
Topazia Crema photo from Kick Starter Meccaniche Veneziane TM

On each separate occasion that I have reached out to MV, they have replied within 48 hours and have been both polite and helpful.  If you decide to join the MV club just be conscious of their current QC issues and that although any company can ship out a lemon on occasion, see my upcoming review of the Spinnaker Hull California line for an example of this, that MV is still struggling to fully get a grip of this aspect of product.  My two Nereide 3.0 dive watches have now shipped so we will get to see what their latest efforts looks like shortly!

I’ll end by saying that if you love the “root beer” Rolex GMT Master but aren’t going to be getting one anytime soon, I think that the Nereide GMT is true alternative without being a homage or looking, or being, cheap somehow.

While we wait to receive our order of Nereide 3.0 diver’s check out our other reviews and post your thoughts and requests in the comments!

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