Things I love about micros is that they are often willing to try out ideas that more established companies wouldn’t do. Case in point, the Maranez Undercover. Maranez is best known for their automatic dive watches. They are well made, well priced, and can be a tad off-beat, like the brass and stone Layan, or the mighty 1000 meter Bagala 47 Bronze. Now, they have released their first quartz model, and it is not something you see every day! So I contacted the company, and they were kind to send me one for a review!
The Undercover is a Miyota quartz in a massive hexagonal case. It measures a whopping 50mm wide to the crown, 48mm lug-to-lug, and 16.5mm thick. The other protuberance hides a hinge. “What for?” you ask. Why, to access the secret compartment, of course.
With more common features like the AR-coated sapphire crystal, 120-click dive bezel, and C3 SuperLuminova, you get a hidden 34x8mm storage compartment under the dial. Maranez suggest it might be useful for “some [medicine] tablets, folded bank notes, small usb sticks, sim cards or micro SD cards.” the watch is rated for 100 meters water resistance, but that only applies to the watch movement case, not the stash box, so don’t stash any medicine there if you go underwater. That compartment reminds me something “Secret Agent”. From first look I imagined it on young Sean Connery wrist in some James Bond movies where he dives after bad guys.
The dial is conservative and classic, just unadorned black with stick markers and baton hands, although it does boast the tiniest little nub of a second have ever seen. It does not seem particularly useful, but there must be a story behind that. It has Super Luminova C3 so when the night comes, it becomes a torch! It’s super bright. I went to cinema with it, and had to take it off, because it was too bright. The bezel is nice quality and is easy to set in right place.The AR-coating on crystal works very well too.
Watch overall looks a bit vintage to me, and I really like that. It wears really light, and it doesn’t feel big. I don’t know how I could use that secret compartment, but it’s a neat little feature that is just saying “BUY ME”. Overall I like this watch, it’s a conversation piece for sure!
The Undercover is available at maranez.com in blasted stainless steel ($179) or IP black ($199), on a 22mm CUDA rubber strap. Also has 12 month warranty!
Movement: Miyota quartz
Case diameter: 50mm including the crown – lug to lug 48mm – height 16.5mm – weight on rubber strap 137g
Case material: Blasted stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire with inner AR coating
Dial: Black indices with Super Luminova C3
Strap: 22mm rubber strap.
Buckle: stainless steel