Wondering about this interesting watch? Read on for more info on the Mitch Mason Maelstrom!
Mitch Mason is a microbrand founded by Benedict Ong. The brand’s name reflects two things: the first is breaking the rules because Mitch means truant, and the second is creating timeless watches because Mason means a skilled builder.
They launched their first flagship collection, called the Chronicle, in 2020, and their second release will be the Maelstrom line. Timepieces from the 50s and 60s inspire their designs, so both watches have real vintage aesthetics with plenty of originality.
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“Super compressor” is a watch case design patented by Ervin Piquerez S. A. (EPSA), that can become more watertight as the pressure grows, thanks to the spring-loaded caseback.
Super compressor watches also have another special feature: the inner rotating bezel with a dual crown set-up. You can operate the bezel via the crown at 2 o’clock, while the other crown has conventional functions, like winding the movement and setting the time and date.
Several brands used EPSA’s classic case design, like Jeager-LeCoultre, Hamilton, Enicar, Longines, and so on. More recently, in the era of neo-vintage watches, lots of brands have come out with super compressor-style divers, including Maelstrom.
Maelstrom’s versions of the super compressor are easily recognizable from their ancestor’s classic traits, the internal bezel, and the dual crown system.
With all that in mind, let’s see what Mitch Mason can offer us for $599.
The Maelstrom Collection
The Maelstrom collection from Mitch Mason is a big hit. It is a supercompressor-style watch with plenty of vintage vibes. It has the characteristic dual-crown system but without the spring-loaded EPSA case.
Nevertheless, the 300m water resistance is impressive, so you don’t have to worry about water damage in case you screw back the crowns.
The original meaning of the word maelstrom is a powerful whirlpool in the sea or river. I hope this watch can give a bit of a refreshing twist to the world of microbrands.
The watch arrived in a hard paper box. I opened it, and I could see a pleasing leather watch roll. This roll has already developed a nice patina since I have been using it.
As I unfastened the roll, I got out the Mitch Mason Maelstrom watch. It was as gorgeous as in the photos.
My choice was the grey dialed version, which seems black in some environments. The case is robust as a beater watch’s, and the strap is well built as the case, so the whole watch has an unbeatable aura. The Maelstrom made a good first impression.
The diameter of the watch is 40mm, but it feels bigger because of the case design and the dual crowns.
The lug-to-lug size is 47mm, which is not small, but it fits on my 17,5 cm wrist.
The height is 12mm, which can cause a problem if you want to slip it under the cuff of a dress shirt, but it’s a great size for a sturdy, everyday watch.
I also have to mention the proportions of the strap. It’s tapered, which means that the size between the lugs starts at 20mm, and it tapers down to 16mm at the clasp.
Case and Crystal
The case is robust and has a screw-down caseback with a 3D artwork, which is surprisingly not disturbing on the wrist.
The strap and the case are also made of 316L stainless steel; there is nothing special about it.
The crystal is made of sapphire and has a super anti-reflective coating on the underside. I think this feature makes the watch extremely photogenic in every situation.
Hands and Dial
In this case, the dial is the place where the magic happens.
It is a sandwich dial, which means there are two dials layered on each other. The upper dial has a sunburst effect in every color option, and the 12, 3, and 9 indexes are cut out, while the under-dial has strong luminescent paint.
The internal rotating bezel, the hands and the other indexes, and also the date display got a Swiss Super-LumiNova®, so the watch is intended to light up in the dark, as they wrote on their website.
The hour hand grabbed my attention at first sight, as it looks the same as their previous watch, the Chronicle. Maybe it can become the trademark of the brand.
Inside the case, there is a premium 24 jewels automatic, high-beat movement, the Miyota 9015.
I have been wearing the watch since I unboxed it, and I haven’t experienced any problems. The 42-hour power reserve never runs out of breath. It’s hackable, so the second-hand stops when the crown is fully pulled out.
Miyota claims the accuracy of the caliber to be within 10-30 seconds per day, and believe me, it runs like a workhorse.
As I mentioned before, the strap tapers from 20mm to 16mm. It’s comfortable and does not catch on your arm hair, which is a good feature for a metal bracelet at this price point.
The strap attaches to the case via double-sided quick-release spring bars, so the strap removal only takes a few seconds. However, the spring bars still hold the strap tight to the lugs when it’s on the wrist.
If the bracelet is too long/big, you or your watchmaker can remove the unnecessary links with a small screwdriver, which is almost as simple as changing the strap.
The brand’s signature is on the buckle on the safety clasp, which is a nice touch and makes the watch feel more premium.
Pros and Cons
This watch instantly caught and held my attention. I have rarely worn another watch since I got it.
This watch might just be the perfect everyday watch for me. It’s robust, and with a sapphire crystal and 300m water resistance, I can wear it without worrying even a bit. It’s not flashy, and it’s not particularly eye-catching in public. That said, it still has details I can dive into when I’m bored or on the tram when I commute.
The only negative feature I can think of is the size. Unfortunately, it’s not as versatile as the other 40mm watches I have tried.
While It fits on my wrist, it wouldn’t look right if I had half an inch smaller wrist.
However, be careful if you have a tiny wrist because it may not be the best fit for you. If that’s the case, keep searching, there are plenty of amazing timepieces for slender wrists out there!
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!