Meccaniche Veneziane Nereide 3.0 – Line-up Review

How much more improved is version 3?

I am very excited to share with you this comparison of the newly released (June 2019) Meccaniche Veneziane Nereide 3.0.  We are going to look at all the differences between it and its predecessor and see if the long wait and new changes have all been worth it!  If you aren’t caught up on the Nereide line, make sure to read my detailed review of the Nereide 2.0 “Ardesia”

This is my third direct order from Meccaniche Veneziane, and I bought in early because I do enjoy the brand and of course to secure a discount.

Who’s it for? A lover of dive style watch who intends to spend the majority of time seaside rather than in said sea!  If you love the look of the Hulk or the Sub but aren’t prepared to either wait 2 years to forever on an AD’s list or pay the hefty pre-owned mark ups then the Nereide is a unique take on this class style that you are going to love!

TWC Paid:  Each $777.00 CAD (exchanged from 510,00 Euro) shipped + $115.00 CAD duties

Left: Nereide 2.0 “Ardesia” Center: Nereide 3.0 Right: Nereide 3.0 “Doppio Drago”
Meccaniche Veneziane  
Model: Nereide 2.0 “Ardesia”  
Reference: Discontinued (New Model 1202014)  
Origin: Italy  
Case: 42mm 316L Stainless Steel, PVD            
Height:14mm  Length: 49mm  Lugs: 22mm                
Bezel: 120-click Uni-Directional Rotating, Enameled Aluminum Insert  
Movement: Caliber MV135 (modified Seagul ST16), 21J (21,600 BPH), 40 Hour Power Reserve, hacking, solid brass rotor  
Crystal: Anti-Reflective Domed Sapphire
WR: 20 ATM – 20 Bar – 200m – 660ft  
Lume: Yes, C1 Super LumiNova
Strap: Hand-made Italian Leather / Silicon
MSRP: $599.99 Euro + Tax  
Website: MeccanicheVeneziane.It
Meccaniche Veneziane  
Model: Nereide 3.0  
Reference: 1202002 (Green) / 1202007 (Black)   Origin: Italy  
Case: 42mm 316L Stainless Steel
Height:14mm  Length: 49mm  Lugs: 22mm              
Bezel: 120-click Uni-Directional Rotating, Enameled Aluminum Insert  
Movement: Caliber MV285 (modified STP 1-11), 26J (28,800 BPH), 44 Hour Power Reserve, hacking, brass rotor  
Crystal: Anti-Reflective Domed Sapphire  
WR: 20 ATM – 20 Bar – 200m – 660ft Lume: Yes, C1 Super LumiNova  
Strap: Hand-made Italian Leather  
MSRP: $829.00 Euro + Tax  
Website: MeccanicheVeneziane.It
Note the optional jubilee bracelet of the Nereide 3.0 “Doppio Drago”

Finding these watches:

I ordered the most recent Nereide 3.0’s direct from Meccaniche Veneziane and unless you’re in Europe you’ll likely have to do the same.  MV ships direct from Italy using FedEx express and had the watches to eastern Canada within 5 calendar days due to the weekend.  Now MV isn’t a brand that posts regular discounts on their watches so unless you find a used example on eBay the only way to get a discount off the MSRP will be to go into an AD and haggle a 10% or so from them.

MV Australia did reach out to me and although they’re not a brick and mortar they are an excellent way of importing a MV into Australia.  They have been very pleasant and if I were in the area, I would definitely be ordering through them.  

The Cross Shop:

Costco – $499.99 USD – Raymond Weil Tango Black Dial Men’s Watch – At the time of writing this was the closest watch appearance wise that Costco has online.  It’s all steel and quartz but does still have a rotating bezel, 300m / 1000ft WR and clean look to it.  If it’s got to be Costco, then here’s your option.Rolex – $15,150 USD – Submariner “Hulk” 116610LV – If you can get one from an AD then you can knock another 25% off the resale value but good luck with that.  If it has got to be Rolex, then the Submariner “Hulk” is the original with all the normal Sub features but with a green bezel and dial.  Note that the new maxi-case is much more dominating than older Sub models and the Nereide line-up as well.  Don’t forget that if you’re importing this from eBay that you’re going to not only pay the mark-up over retail but also another roughly $2,000.00 CAD in duties as well!  Personally, I still can’t justify the $8k CAD or so mark-up from the MSRP but that’s just me. 

Model Comparison…

To celebrate the release of the Nereide 3.0 we are going to have a friendly competition between old and new to see which one, if any, has an edge over the other.  To help differentiate the new releases I have also replaced the leather strap of the green model for a MV made Jubilee originally featured with the Nereide GMT.  You may be asking yourself, “self, where is the Nereide 1.0?”  And that would be an excellent question!  The original Nereide was a limited production KickStarter (KS) release that was highlighted by a Miyota movement and was of course not “Swiss Made.”  I’ve been trying to track one down, but they’re not easy to come by and the one time I did it was being sold at a ridiculous premium along with being misrepresented as being the model 2.0.  Sufficed to say the 1.0 was just a pre-production 2.0 and so we won’t be discussing it further.  I will however be referencing the GMT occasionally as it has many features of the 2.0 but also many found in the 3.0.

Since MV has I have also decided to name the green Nereide 3.0 the “Doppio Drago”, or “Green Dragon”, as MV has ceased to name all their different color combinations now.  With this in mind lets enter the dragon and look at the list of changes made to this new series.

– New “Maxi-Case”
– New Crown
– New Bezel Grooves
– New Bezel Setting for Insert
– New Bezel Lume Pip
– New Screw in Exhibition Case-back
– New STP 1-11 based Movement
– New Font Matching Date Wheel
– New Hour and Minute Hands
– New Font Color       

Now there are a few questions for you to answer here to today,

“How much difference is there really between the 2.0 and the 3.0?  How much do you feel the Nereide 3.0 is worth?  Is the Meccaniche Veneziane a competitive alternative in a market flooded with micro-brands and main-stream brands alike?  Is the Nereide 3.0 a compelling alternative to all the other Submariner inspired dive watches out there?”

1. Box / Packaging:                       Tie

Current marketing says that MV watches come with a durmast oak wood box, whereas the KS release of the Nereide GMT, for example, was advertised to come with a walnut box.  I have 5 of these boxes from 3 different generations now and whether they’re pine, maple, walnut, oak or magic wood they look good.  I did have an arborist look at it at initially asked if it was pine as I was handing it to her.  Upon closer inspection though I told her that it was supposed to be a European oak and she said that she could believe that as it didn’t match the color and patterns of pine.  Regardless, even at the MSRP you are receiving an excellent presentation for you and especially as a gift.

2. Case:                                             Nereide 3.0

In my review of the recently released KS version of the Nereide GMT I observed that the cases used in both the GMT and 2.0 “Ardesia” were almost identical.  I am very happy to report that the Nereide 3.0 does not follow this trend of interchangeable parts.  In fact, the new case follows the design trend started by the Redentore line, with a noticeable brushed finish and sharply cut lines.  When compared to the soft features of the 2.0 and GMT case the new 3.0 case is much more aggressive and I feel like MV has taken this angular approach to give the 3.0 a bolder tool watch look in a fashion similar to what Rolex did with the release of the controversial “maxi-case”.  From the side the new components give the 3.0 a bulkier look and reminds me of the difference between the Rolex Submariner when compared to the Yacht-Master.  My feeling here is that the new case best suits the Nereide dive series overall, though I like the softer lines of the old case for the GMT series.

3. Case Back:                                  Nereide 3.0

The 2.0 featured a screw down case back that created a tapering effect due to their small diameter.  The new 3.0 offers a massive, domed case back that is held in place by 6 screws and adds to the hefty appearance of the 3.0.  I think for the dive series this style of case back is perfect but for the GMT line the older screw back helps give it a slimmer look.  The engravings around the exhibition have been better recessed as well and are no longer rough to the touch.

Screw back vs Screwed Back

4. Movement / Functions:            Nereide 3.0

Now many “yester-folk” are going to complain about the lack of an ETA here while purists will decry anything that isn’t fully developed and built in-house.  Now presently I don’t have any experience with STP built movements so this will be my first, but if you want to know more about of the STP 1-11 movement that has been used here then check out this really good independent review of the movement.  If you don’t want to read what has written then the nutshell is that the STP 1-11 is, like Sellita has been doing, an improved ETA 2824-2 design, featuring a longer power reserve, more jewels and a ball bearing winding mechanism.  Personally, I like the improvements Sellita has been implementing to already good ETA designs and look forward to testing out what STP brings to the table under real world conditions.

The decoration of the displayed components of the movement are done to the same standard as other MV watches but the new movement shows the viewer much more than previous ones.  It has a layered depth to it and in doing so you can see more jewels and more parts that are in colors other than steel.  Unlike previous generations of MV movements the manufacturing stamps, in this case the “STP / 1-11 / Swiss Made / TwentySix (26) Jewels”, remain.  The stamp has been printed in yellow and regardless of if you care I think that it doesn’t detract from the overall appearance in the slightest.

Personally, I think this is MV’s best looking movement to date.

5. Lugs:                                             Tie

Unlike the controversial Rolex maxi-case’s wide, stubby lugs, the new case for the Nereide 3.0 has noticeably longer than not lugs.  For those with particularly narrow wrists the 3.0 will likely fit quite larger due to the long lugs.  Continuing the long trend of small QC issues, the lugs of my black bezel steel 3.0 came with two small marks from something with a ball point.  It’s unfortunate to see that these little issues are still being missed prior to being packaged and shipped.  Although I think the new lugs work better than the old ones, I also believe that they are going to be too long for many potential buyers.  If you think this might be you, I would suggest that you look at the Nereide GMT.

6. Crown:                                          Tie

Like the previous crown, the new one is cut to match the look of the new bezel.  I wouldn’t say it looks any better or worse than the previous one, just different.

7. Bezel & Rehaut:                         Nereide 3.0

When side by side, the 3.0 appears to have greater depth between the crystal and the dial while gives the rehaut a noticeably greater width to it.  As always, I’d love to see this laser engraved for posterity, especially now that there is so much room. 

Unlike the new GMT, the lume pip at the 12 o’clock has been given a rounded edge making it less sharp to the touch, especially when compared to the GMT.  The 3.0 has however stuck with the new surround for the pip and so, as with the GMT, it is prone to catching on fabrics, much more than the 2.0’s. 

The rest of the bezel insert remains the same and you are again forewarned that the aluminum inserts look great but will be prone to scratching, especially the non-black versions.  The bezel itself has been modified and is now much more aggressive, featuring full length grooves all around the bezel.  The bezel also rises slightly above the outside of the bezel insert to help protect it and to give you that little bit extra material to grip onto.  These little changes help to differentiate the more rugged 3.0 from its more gentlemanly brother the GMT.  Note that in comparison the 2.0’s bezel is much tighter and difficult to rotate than the better tuned 3.0’s, and the old half cut 2.0 bezel doesn’t help this either.

8. Dial:                                               Nereide 2.0 & 3.0 Black Dial’s

In addition to the beautiful gold accents of previous models and the black 3.0, we now get an all-white-gold accented dial.  The white dial accents look amazing and compliment the green features of the MV “hulk” very well.  Speaking of the green dial, I had originally ordered a PVD black 3.0 but decided last minute after talking with MV Australia to switch my order to an all green steel model.  I have to say that the “perfect” photos used on the website really don’t represent these watches well at all and once you meet them in person, you’ll realize that they are actually much more attractive than MV advertises.  Aside from the green I was also hesitant to order anything but the yellow gold accented dial as the rich warmth you get from the yellow is very alluring and I didn’t think I would get that from the white gold styles.  Thankfully, I am very happy that I took a chance on the all green 3.0 as it really is a stunning piece in my eyes and everything about it works in a cool and cohesive way.  Like many have said about the Rolex “hulk”, the 3.0 doesn’t necessarily look green from all angles.  This is accentuated by the fact that the outer ring of the dial is in black as well as the slightly domed crystal.  If you are on the fence about the green on green, then my recommendation is go for it!

As with the 2.0, the dials here are both well-appointed and the yellow gold accents used for the black bezel models look fantastic.  Personally, I think that the gold accents look best when fully contrasted by an all-black back drop like that found in the PVD cased models, but I’ll let you decide if that is true or not. 

MV must have heard someone because they fixed the font on the date wheel; bravo MV for using one font universally, it looks great!  The color used for the black dial has been darkened as well and I can only guess that it was to make the print look a little more “gold” than tan. 

9. Hands:                                          Nereide 3.0

The hands used here are identical to the recently released GMT’s and fit the 3.0’s dial well.  Despite past QC issues both 3.0’s came with properly aligned hands just as my GMT did which was good to see.  Read my review of the Nereide GMT for a detailed break down of the new hands but the short of it is that the hour hand is slightly narrower, and the minute and second hand now reach the edge of the outer ring.  The end effect is a better proportioned dial when compared to the 2.0’s.

In the same fashion as the 2.0, the hands of the black 3.0 are whiter in the middles than the dial indices but in the green 3.0 the hands and the indices are the same shade of white.  My feeling on this is that it is a simple effect caused by the gold trim, but it is noticeable and because of this I feel that the Doppio Drago has a more congruent look overall.

10. Lume:                                         Tie

As can be expected for this price point, the C1 lume works as well as any application of C1 lume should and there is no visible variation between 2.0 and 3.0 models.

11. Crystal:                                       Tie

The 2.0 and 3.0 may very well use the same domed sapphire crystal and that’s okay because it’s a great crystal that, from head on, is perfectly clear with no distortion of the dial.  At the same time when you look at it from the side, you’ll realize that it is domed a fair bit and I feel like you’ll have a heck of a time cause the edge any damage.

Heart of the Doppio Drago!

12. Strap:                                          Tie

The 22mm leather straps used by MV are comfortable right out of the box and coddle your wrist well.  The 2.0 offers a suede finished version of this phenomenal strap and the quality has continued into the 3.0.  The MV supplied jubilee bracelet is very comfortable and feels well-constructed, even if it is just a generic bracelet that has been laser etched.  If you do add the jubilee bracelet note that the direction of the brushed finish on the end lugs will contrast that of the actual lugs.  My opinion is that on the all green model that the steel bracelet is a better look than the provided leather strap.  My wife disagreed however, and for ease of photographing it she placed the leather back on it.

13. Gravitas / On the Wrist:                     Tie

All 3 of these watches fill a different role out in the wild and what you prefer is all up to you.  The original black and leather makes for a fantastic everyday watch with a vintage flair.  Flanking this is the more refined look of the jubilee bracelet that gives the all green model a much more substantial look, and feel, on the wrist and feels much more traditional than leather.  Finally, you have the black out version which is of course the most practical of all the models but also lets the contrasting gold accents of the dial pop so well.  The all black model really flies under the table while at the same time sustaining the charm that makes MV dials so attractive.  

I weighed all of the watches and there was a 1g difference between the 3.0 and 2.0 while the jubilee bracelet added an additional 55g which is a whole 1/3rd heavier.

14. Wife:                                                        Nereide 3.0 Black

Without surpise my wife chose the same watch as she did when I first placed my pre-production order with MV.  The classic tones and styling of the Nereide 3.0 steel and black appeals to her classic sensibilities and she said that it even photographed better than the other Nereide’s.  She was also generous enough to volunteer to do all of the photography and I hope in the future that she will be doing more of it!  Check out what she had to say about the 3 watches and her take on all of them.

Final Thoughts…

With the inclusion of the STP based movement to their supply chain I feel like MV is finally starting to bud as a brand.  The movement is from the Italian speaking region of Switzerland, the leather is sourced from Tuscany, the boxes from Friuli Venezia Giulia and the company ships from Marcon, which is in Venice.  These are all great steps towards marketing themselves as a truly all Italian brand and company.  I’ve read speculation that, boiled down, says that no one knows where the watches are assembled and QC’d, and claims that it is all done in Hong Kong and then shipped to Italy for final packaging with straps, boxes and distribution.  If this were true it would assuredly undermine the brand image that MV has been working so hard at establishing and I hope that in the future that MV will be able to gain enough corporate traction to be able to illustrate publicly that the key components of it’s operation are completed in Italy.   

My taste today is leaned towards green and steel but that’s just my personal preference.  If I were furnishing my wrist with just one watch it would be the classic black and steel on leather, but I would also tack on a jubilee, or other steel, bracelet to the purchase. 

The unfortunate truth here however is that, when purchased “sight unseen”, you might be buying a watch that has some sort of defect that was missed prior to shipping.  Every watch we have received through direct purchase from MV has had some small QC issue with it.  The Redentore Burano had misaligned hands, the Nereide GMT had 2 bezel insert issues and one of our two Nereide 3.0’s had damage to it.  Its extremely unfortunate and entirely unacceptable for new product direct from the manufacturer to suffer any of these issues.  Buyers outside of Europe have a 1-year manufactures warranty redeemable from whomever you purchased the watch through but there are many stories online of MV watches being sent back for repair only to come back with other damages.  I’ve reached out to MV and I’ll get back to you once I receive a suitable answer but at this time you are rolling the dice if you decide to order direct.

My love of the MV design language is tempered only by the consistently poor-quality control and although I still recommend the brand in entirety you can now consider yourself warned.  I hope in the future that MV can reign in their QC measures, develop the brand fully through their growing network of AD’s and expand the line-up through the use of ceramic or sapphire bezel inserts and dials as well as the creation of limited edition runs that include a laser engraved rehaut and special markings.

My vote is still firmly for the wonderful Doppio Drago but please Meccaniche Veneziane sort your problems out! [and give us all a ceramic bezel insert!]

Final Score…

Although each version of the Nereide has its own unique place on your wrist their can only be one and if you go by the points alone it is clear that the new Nereide 3.0 is hands down a significant improvement over the previous generation.

Check for my upcoming fun Match-Up! of a vintage King Seiko vs a modern Seiko Presage and make sure to post your review requests and other thoughts in the comments!


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