One of my favorite parts of doing these reviews is watching a company progress from the starting line and improve with each release. Pontvs is exactly one of those brands. Each one of their watches that I have reviewed has improved since the previous release. It sounds easy, but it really isn’t. Keeping a company alive and well is a feat in and of itself. Finding a balance of watch designs that appease potential customers is a real struggle. Going too unique and you will lose potential customers and the flip side of that is going towards the homage route can also be a potentially unwise move. Pontvs has done a good job of maintaining a balance in their releases. Their latest watch, the Marino is a beautiful bronze beast.
The bronze case is large but refined because it’s Italian inspired cushion style case. I really can’t say enough good things about this case and before I get into the positives, I want to get the negative out of the way first. The drilled lugs are a preferred style as opposed to solid lugs where the spring bar lock into place on the inside of each lug. To improve upon what Pontvs did with their drilled lugs/bar choice is instead of using a spring style bar, they should opt in on using screw in style lug bars. I had a difficult time getting the spring bars to pop out into the holes in the lug. Using a screw in style would easily solve that issue. I am like most watch enthusiasts, we like to “change the shoes” on our watches. The easier that is, the better and with ease comes the less likelihood is of scratching the lugs/watch.
I now want to point out what I really like about the Marino’s case starting with the bezel. The 120 click, unidirectional bezel on the Marino is easy to grip and each click is smooth. It scratches my nitpicking itch because not only does it line up perfectly with the dial, but it also each click is precise without any extra play. Depending upon how a watch design is overall, a sterile bezel can work well and the same can be said about a bezel that has detail. Pontvs designed the bezel of the Marino with some great detail that starts with the oversized lumed pip and continues to the raised markers.
We all know that stainless steel and titanium are great materials to make cases out of but they both have an Achilles heel. A lot of watch lovers out there definitely get upset when the get that first ding or dent on their watch. What I like about bronze is that the scratches, dents, patina just add to the details of the watch. Take a look at the area around the raised markers on the bezel. Do you notice how the patina accentuates the raised markers? The patina on the bezel actually allows the markers to become more legible instead of the bronze just blur/blend against one another. I want you to also take notice of the oversized crown. The space in between the grip on the crown is forming some nice patina which adds depth allowing the for a more distinguishable detailing. At this point I am sure that you have noticed Pontvs himself on the crown. What appears to be an engraving with formed patina within the crevices, but in actuality the crevices of the engraving are filled with lume. Check out the pic below to see it’s glowing action in full force. The oversized crown is very easy to grip as one would except considering it’s size and design, more importantly it’s smooth function when winding/setting the time is flawless. I didn’t notice any extra wiggle that plagues a lot of crowns.
I’ve said it a hundred times before that a dial can make or break a watch purchase for me. Whether it’s poorly proportioned hands, or markers that don’t quite make sense with the overall design aesthetics, the dial is undeniably the focal point of the watch from a strictly functional point of view. Unless it’s marketed as a unique/unusual way of displaying time, a dial has to be legible otherwise you are just wearing an overpriced bracelet. There’s not a single question of doubt about the legibility of the dial on the Marino. The large applied markers, along with the properly proportional hands, make this dial one of the most legible dials I have experienced. I’m not just referring to daytime legibility either, because the generous application of lume allows for the same amount of legibility in lowlight/dark environments. With minimal text and no date window, this dial is simple and clean, adding to the overall legibility.
I don’t usually write in depth about the movement inside of a watch because what can I write about a movement that hasn’t been written about in exhaustion already. The reason I want to bring up the movement in the Marino is because it’s the first watch I have reviewed that contains the PT5000. It’s basically a clone of the ETA 2824-2. It’s made by Chinese manufacturer H.K. Precision Technology. The 28,800 VPH allows the second hand to glide extremely smooth around the dial. The Marino is keeping an average of +4 seconds per day. I was quite impressed by the PT5000. I am looking forward to seeing how this movement holds up overtime. I will definitely keep you all updated.
Like I mentioned earlier, it’s not as easy as one may think to keep progressing in a forward motion, especially in a finicky and highly opinionated community. I’m not saying that those things are a bad thing, unless you are a watch snob, if that’s the case you can kindly fuck off. For those of us who enjoy a variety of watches from a variety of brands, we know that there are going to be watches we love and others that we won’t. We are going to go out on a bashing spree, we either will buy it, ignore it or offer our opinion for why we don’t like it. Watch companies have the hard task of trying to offer a product that people are going to purchase, progress to reach new customers but also keeping their previous customers. It’s a grueling and exhausting balancing act which is why I am impressed by Pontvs latest release.
The cushion case pulled me in, the bezel and oversized crown grabbed ahold of my attention closer and then the dial surprised me. I never preferred a glossy dial nor a sunray style dial like this Marino dial. Green isn’t my first choice of dial colors either. That is why I was surprised by how much I like this dial and that is why I am impressed by Pontvs progression. They added details that as a previous customer I like, infused it with details that I typically wouldn’t go for, but merged them into a well thought out overall design that absolutely works. It’s a combination that is enough that made me want to add another bronze watch to my collection. That is a great and applaudable accomplishment. I highly recommend the Marino to bronze watch owners and to people who want to add their first bronze watch. The Marino has phenomenal wrist presence, wears comfortably despite it’s size and is beautifully executed.
Thank you all for reading. Thank you Pontvs.
The Marino is available at for an affordable $450 usd.
Movement Automatic Caliber PT5000
Hand winding Yes
Glass Single Domed
Width (without crown) 47mm
Lug to lug 57mm
Water resistance 200m
Dial Applied indexes with BGW9
Case material German Bronze CuSn8
Band material Leather*
Buckle Material German Bronze CuSn8