As watch collectors and enthusiasts know, the devil is in the details – whether it’s a pop of color, a date window, or a line of text, we know that subtle differences can make significant impacts. Sometimes these details don’t necessarily make or break a watch; rather they bring out different characteristics or evoke certain emotions. In the case of the MAEN x Worn & Wound Manhattan LE and the regular production Manhattan, we get two (maybe even three) different vibes altogether.
A little context: The MAEN Manhattan is a stylish sports watch that takes inspiration from a very rare Holy Trinity Watch: the Royal Chronometer from Vacheron in the 1970s. Its distinct not-quite-round but not-too-angular case is paired with an integrated bracelet, and it can be configured with or without a date (the Worn & Wound LEs are no-date models). On its own, the Manhattan is a compelling sub $1000 sport watch with a distinct style. The most obvious differences between the Limited Edition models and the regular production references can be found...where else? The dial, of course.
The MAEN Manhattan 37
The standard Manhattan 37 Date is a balanced and middle-of-the-road option – it has full minute and hour markers, a vertically-striped dial, two lines of text, and a date at three o’clock. In a sense it’s the most practical layout, and having the date is undeniably convenient. You can configure the date (and no date) models in Midnight Blue, Anthracite Black, Ice Grey, or Salmon. Name four more iconic dial colors. Exactly. For symmetry-inclined purists, the no-date models can be purchased at the same price. As a whole, the Manhattan 37 is simply excellent. It works in both casual and dressier settings and is intended to be a go-to sport watch in the integrated style with a more unusual case shape than your typical octagon (which is just so passé, please).
The MAEN x Worn & Wound Manhattan 37
If the regular series Manhattan is buttoned-up, impeccable, and unimpeachable, the Teal and Burgundy Limited Editions created in partnership with Worn & Wound are simply spicy. The dial layout, colors, and color effect have been customized to give this watch a completely different personality. In lieu of the minute track and hour markers, we now have a dramatic fumé dial with a circular ring with simple batons at each hour. The hour markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 remain, however. The result of these tweaks is a watch that feels, in a way, mysterious. It leans a little heavier into the 1970s spirit and makes a statement that the regular models do not. One could argue that the LEs are a little less versatile, but they all share the same specifications and dimensions.
The choice is more difficult than it seems. Perhaps for the budding enthusiast without a sport-dress watch, the regular production Manhattan 37 is a safer bet. But for the collector looking for something a little more nuanced and off the beaten path, the LE is tough to beat. It’s a watch whose dial you will be staring at for days and days. Now the only remaining question is: Teal or Burgundy?