There are many causes to start out a watch model — some grandiose, others prosaic — however pure, unalloyed ardour will at all times yield essentially the most attention-grabbing outcomes. Working example: the Bohen Mille-Mer. A cursory look on the Mille-Mer makes it clear that this was not a watch sketched up in a board room and refined by focus teams to attraction to the broadest potential viewers. Certainly, it’s fairly probably that the Mille-Mer, with its massive case, aggressive traces, and semi-integrated bracelet, goes to attraction to a relatively restricted subset of patrons. However that’s precisely the purpose. The Mille-Mer was conceived and delivered to life by Blaise-Dominique Giuliani for the only function of making the very best model of the watch that he wished to put on. One factor is for certain, this can be a watch that’s totally and utterly its personal.
The Mille-Mer was impressed by ridiculously overbuilt and over-engineered watches just like the Rolex Sea-Dweller. Typically, after we hear the phrase “impressed” in reference to a watch, the result’s a homage undistinguishable from its inspiration and not using a shut inspection of the title on the dial. That’s positively not the case with the Mille-Mer. As an alternative, think about the Mille-Mer as being impressed by the identical design transient as a watch just like the Sea-Dweller: Design a luxurious watch with finely executed particulars and ending, however ensure it might probably stand up to something in need of Armageddon. For Rolex, with its Swiss character and extremely constrained design language, the outcome was the Sea-Dweller (to not point out Deapsea and Extremely Deep). For Bohen, the Mille-Mer is an unabashedly aggressive and distinctly French tackle the identical design transient.
In dealing with the Mille-Mer, the very first thing you discover is the dimensions. It’s a giant watch, no getting round it, however that’s nearly solely all the way down to the case peak of 17.5mm. The 43mm diameter (50mm lug-to-lug) is cheap given the watch’s intentions and, with the bullhead crown at 12 o’clock, the watch wears fairly properly on the wrist (mine is 6.75”). Nonetheless, there’s no getting across the case peak. Certain, a few of that peak is as a result of domed sapphire crystal, however principally it’s all the way down to how overbuilt your entire watch is to achieve the 1000m water resistance. In carrying the watch, it appears that evidently 1000m is probably going an underestimate — the watch feels bombproof. No shock that, with these dimensions, you additionally get some heft on the wrist (195g on bracelet). And that’s with a Grade 5 titanium caseback. In case you’re the sort that equates weight with high quality and likes the sensation of heft on the wrist, you’re all set.
Given the load and dimensions, it might sound just like the Mille-Mer is ungainly to put on, however in actuality, that’s removed from the case. Largely, the surprisingly comfy match comes all the way down to the stellar bracelet. The bracelet begins at 24mm on the lugs, however remember the fact that you may’t simply swap on an aftermarket 24mm strap as a result of bullhead design that necessitates a proprietary endlink. Nevertheless, for individuals who favor a rubber strap, Bohen added tool-free fast launch to the end-links to will let you shortly swap in its silicone strap.
Again to the bracelet, because it deserves some consideration. Bohen’s opted for a design that’s a little bit of a hybrid between a ladder bracelet and a standard three-link design that enables loads of airflow. Add within the deep taper all the way down to 16mm (20mm clasp), and the result’s a bracelet that feels and appears glorious, doing an awesome job of balancing the heft of the watch head. The development and ending of the hyperlinks on the bracelet are very good. The middle hyperlinks are black polished, whereas the outer hyperlinks are brushed, all constructed with flat surfaces that bevel on the interior edges. All advised, the bracelet is kind of refined and probably the most comfy, enticing, and well-finished bracelets I’ve come throughout shortly. Given how well-executed the remainder of the bracelet is, it’s no shock that the clasp is simply as properly thought-out. The Mille-Mer makes use of a milled push-button clasp that features a tool-free micro-adjust. It’s not the best micro-adjust to make use of, nevertheless it’s useful and works properly when you turn out to be acquainted with how one can squeeze the pins to regulate the clasp.
A fast look from above and the Mille-Mer might seem to make the most of an ordinary case form, with squared-off lugs paying homage to a skindiver. Tilt the watch to the facet and the Mille-Mer’s distinctive case design turns into obvious, the lugs abruptly transitioning from onerous traces and brushed surfaces to softer, full-polished surfaces that come to a degree at 3 and 6 o’clock. It’s as if the case started its life at 46mm however was then minimize and polished, like a gemstone, to disclose the jewel beneath the floor. It’s a pleasant impact that helps scale back the visible weight of the watch and provides an attention-grabbing design ingredient. Notice that the case additionally includes a helium-escape valve close to 1:30. Obligatory? Positively not, however then once more, neither is 1000m of water resistance. If we return to the design transient, nonetheless, it is sensible that Bohen would come with a helium escape valve. Fortunately, if you happen to don’t take care of an escape valve, it’s tucked away in an unobtrusive spot. On the again of the watch is a titanium screw-down caseback with deep engravings. Titanium was a pleasant contact to scale back the load — albeit solely barely. A full titanium model of the Mille-Mer could be welcome for people who favor lighter, easier-wearing watches.
Just like the case, the dial of the Mille-Mer hides loads of surprises. Beneath the sapphire crystal is a deeply recessed dial with utilized indices that start on the dial and angle steeply up onto the angled chapter ring. It’s a cool impact that gives a number of depth and dimension. The indices and fingers are all crammed with X1 Tremendous-LumiNova gel, with a novel twist to the system that provides extra uncommon earth parts for even stronger luminosity that glows inexperienced in the dead of night; nonetheless, the minute and seconds fingers use blue lume. This can be a good contact in the dead of night, or whereas diving. Additionally, as a result of the minute hand is pure white in pure gentle, as in comparison with the greenish tint on the hour hand and indices, it’s simple to shortly inform the time. This was a sensible choice by Bohen, because the semi-skeletonized hour and minute fingers (a pleasant match to the Bohen H emblem) share the identical form, simply differing in measurement.
The primary batch of Mille-Mer watches, which at the moment are all offered out, was launched with a deep black dial, however Bohen has now launched two restricted variations (80 items every) with blue and grey dials. The grey dial, reviewed right here, is a matte slate, however with the slight inexperienced tint of the fingers and indices, the grey can tackle an olive complexion, giving it a little bit of a army vibe. General, it’s a hue that works fairly properly with the aggressive look of the watch and contrasts properly with the black rehaut and bezel.
The dial options Arabic numerals at 6 and 9 o’clock, which needs to be unbalanced with out the three however works as a result of date magnifier at 3 o’clock. That mentioned, dropping the 6 and 9 would open up the dial, particularly in a no-date model. The design of the date magnifier is proprietary and patented by Bohen. Basically, the model has added a double bridge that’s located between the crystal and fingers relatively than gluing a date magnifier to crystal. In case you’re going to incorporate a love-hate ingredient like a date magnifier, may as properly go all-in and switch it into an integral a part of the watch’s design. Bohen went with a 60-click unidirectional bezel with a ceramic insert for the bezel. There’s no lume pip on the insert, however the modified Bohen H emblem at 12 o’clock is luminous. The bezel has a pleasant, optimistic motion, with minimal play, and the sides are simple to grip.
To energy the Mille-Mer, Bohen opted for a Soprod M100 automated motion, modified with rhodium plating, an anti-magnetic cage, pearl bridges, and a rotor completed with Côte de Genève. Extra importantly, the motion passes Chronofiable A8 testing from Laboratoire Dubois with +/- 4 seconds/day accuracy in 5 positions. The Soprod M100 is a pleasant various to ETA and Sellita choices, however you’re nonetheless restricted to 42 hours of energy reserve. Setting the time and date with the outsized crown at 12 o’clock is a bit more difficult than utilizing a typical crown, as a result of working across the modified end-link, nevertheless it’s loads simple when you get used to it. The crown itself is clean and safe and a pleasure to screw and unscrew.
The Mille-Mer’s measurement, weight, and aesthetics aren’t going to be for everybody — nor ought to they be. That is the watch that Blaise-Dominique Giuliani envisioned as his splendid luxurious dive watch. The aesthetic is aggressive, it’s French, and it’s one thing all its personal. If this imaginative and prescient resonates together with your tastes, then you definately gained’t be dissatisfied with the execution. From the case to the dial to the bracelet, the watch is properly completed all through, with little particulars that add as much as create a powerful total bundle. The Mille-Mer grey dial is proscribed to 80 items and priced at €3,000,00 (excluding tax). For extra info on the Mille-Mer, please go to the model’s web site.
>Worth: €3,000,00 excluding tax
>Dimension: 43mm diameter, 17.5mm peak (15.9mm with out crystal), 50mm lug-to-lug, 24mm strap width.
>When reviewer would personally put on it: Once I’m within the temper for an apocalypse-ready watch that may deal with rather more than I can and look good doing it.
>Buddy we’d advocate it to first: Somebody who likes huge, burly dive watches however is on the lookout for a watch with a novel fashionable design and glorious ending.
>Finest attribute of watch: Improbable bracelet and distinctive design language.
>Worst attribute of watch: Case peak and weight. I’d like to see this similar watch in a slimmer bundle (e.g., perhaps 13mm case peak, 40mm diameter), for individuals who favor smaller, lighter watches.