Reviewer: Don aka Tattoo Chef
watch was purchased for personal use/review
Watch Being Reviewed: Maranz Bangla Titanium Blue California Dial No date
Company Website: http://www.maranez.com/
Contact: [email protected]
Our focus is affordable and reliable watches with a timeless design.
We hope our creations appeal to you and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
Movement: Seiko NH35 automatic
Case diameter: 47mm excluding the crown - lug to lug 58mm - height 15.5mm - weight on rubber strap 146g
Case material: Blasted titanium
Bezel: Blasted titanium
Crown: Screw down titanium crown 11mm
Crystal: Sapphire, inner AR coating
Dial: Black or blue, Super Luminova C3
Strap: 24mm leather and 24mm rubber strap.
Buckle: Blasted stainless steel
I got 17mm thick, so not sure where 15.5mm comes from on the website.
Crown is 11mm
35mm dial opening
Price $349 plus shipping
Blown away. Yep, that was my first impression of this Maranez Bangla. I couldn't wait to strap it on and wear it.
The packaging is the same used by Helson an Armida and a few others, a plastic tube with screw lid that houses two pieces of cut out foam holding the watch, extra strap, warranty card, extra lug bars and screwdriver. I have always liked this packaging, as the watch is housed safely for shipping, and these tubes don't take up a lot of room in the closet.
This example is the blue California style dial. The dial and hands are similar to what we have seen of other micro brand divers. This is the no date version. The dial is very clean with only the Maranez name located below the 12 position and nothing else. Normally I am not a fan of dials that are this sterile but for some reason with this example it just seems to work. The minute and hour hands are stainless steel thin sword style hands with a somewhat ladder design. The second hand is also stainless steel with a round lume tip. The hands do seem a little thin from the side, but otherwise I like the look of them against the cali dial.
The blue dial itself is like a cobalt blue under direct light as seen below, but in dimmer lighting appears more of a darker blue. Ive been into blue dials more and more lately and really like the shade of the Bangla blue.
Case, Bezel and Crystal:
The 47mm titanium case is no doubt an homage to certain Ennebi models. But I am not going to compare this $350 watch to a $2800 Ennebi. But I will say I absolutely love the style and that the Bangla is extremely well machined and finished, not just for the price point, but in general is a solid, well finished case.
The entire case is done in a matte titanium finish, which I enjoy as it is a large watch and I think this finish allows it to not be as flashy as it could be if it were done in a satin finish.
The large domed crown is easy to grasp and unscrew and is well protected by the large crown guards. No sticky crown issues or scratchiness while adjusting the time or winding.
The smooth ratcheting bezel might be one of the best bezels I have handled in the under $500 category in recent years. It has no movement or play at all and turns smoothly with precise and audible clicks. I was honestly very impressed with how well the bezel was constructed. The bezel is also easily removed by the 3 standard screws placed on the "fan blade" sections of the bezel as I like to call them. You can see the picture below with the bezel removed. This I think is a very good option as if you are diving with it or at the beach etc and get sand or dirt in the bezel, it is very easy to clean yourself in only a few minutes.
The lug to lug length is 57mm which is very long, but the lugs have a severe curvature to them, which makes the case not feel as long as its specs would imply. The lug width is 24mm which makes it a great strap watch and are attached via standard one sided screw bars. In the past few weeks since I received this model, I switch out straps frequently and it has been a breeze. No issues with stripped screws and the bars unscrew and screw down with ease and stay securely in place.
The flat crystal is sapphire and has a great AR coating, making telling time a breeze from all angles.
The screw down case back is solid titanium as well and features an engraved female scuba diver. I think this is the first time I have seen a female diver logo on the back of a watch, and I like that is different than the norm. The case back is relatively flat, which, considering the case is already 17mm thick, this aids in the watch sitting low on the wrist.
Leather and Rubber Strap:
Included with the Bangla Titanium is two straps: a rubber Cuda strap and a very nice 4.5mm thick distressed brown leather.
The Cuda strap as many know is as close to a isofrane as you can get, thick, pliable and good looking, and this one has a blasted buckle with an engraved female diver logo.
The distressed leather strap measures in at 120/80mm, which is a touch short for my liking, but the hole placement is done well so that it fits me just fine. It has black stitching and one very large keeper, something I very much prefer. The buckle is a blasted stainless steel submarine buckle which matches the case perfectly and is an extra added touch in my opinion. Nice to see something beyond a standard Pre V or thumbnail buckle.
(2/18 update) One thing I want to say if you put it on the Cuda strap...Leave it on their for quite awhile. The cuda strap is very thick, and it is a PIA to remove the screws because they "stick" to the strap, and you have to use pliers to end up pulling the screw out. Leather straps are no issue as I have switched between 4 different types of custom straps and the included leather from Maranez and no issues. The issue is the cuda sticking to the screws and not the screws or lugs themselves.
Wrist shot on my 7 1/2" wrist:
The movement used here is the Seiko NH35 automatic movement, which is basically the same as the NH25 but with hacking and hand winding features added. I have had this movement in a few watches and its always performed well. While it is not as smooth as a Miyota 9015, when it comes to budget movements I far and away prefer the NH35 over the Miyota 8215. This example has been fairly accurate, losing about a minute a week.
The lume is superb. The hands and markers are slathered with C3 superluminova and glow very bright and last for many hours after charge or with just regular wearing with indoor or outdoor lighting throughout the day. Many of the budget divers I have purchased or reviewed, always seem to be a great value for the price overall but lack in the lume department. That is not the case here.
As I said in the beginning of the review.... Blown Away. I honestly can not believe that the Maranez Bangla Titanium only sells for $349 plus shipping. By the way, shipping is $50, but is shipped Fed Ex 2 day, so you will have this in your hands before you know it after your order is placed. Mine was shipped on a Friday an I had it in my hands at 10 am Monday Morning.
But back to the watch itself, the all titanium case is extremely well made. Almost scary well made for the cost, so much so that it really sets the bar in my opinion. Not just for budget or value micro divers, but micro divers in general. Sure the design is not original, but how often do you see this case design? As usual with an homage watch such as this, the point is to make an affordable option. I understand not everybody likes an homage watch, and that is okay. But for the people who do, and are looking for an affordable alternative, not only is this a great option, but one that is just flat out well made. The sole reason I purchased this watch is because I love the Ennebi designs, but wanted something with a budget in mind.
For $350, an all titanium case, excellent lume, sapphire crystal, solid movement, and two quality straps, is almost unheard of. At least until now.
It is no doubt a large and thick case, but if you like the design, you can't go wrong. I've been switching out straps like crazy, changing up the look, and have gone back to the provided leather and Cuda strap as well, as they are solid choices.
If I were to nitpick at all, it would be that the hands do seem a little thin, but really that is grasping at straws in my opinion.
The Maranez Bangla is an extremely well made and stylish diver at a very affordable price.
You would not be disappointed in checking one out. I have reviewed a lot of affordable dive watches over the past two years and while most of them are great values, there have been always one or two things that fall a little bit short. The Maranez Bangla is in a different category as far as quality and construction.
Design and style wise, I leave that choice up to you. But if you were wondering if you can get a quality diver at a budget price point, Maranez has hit the nail on the head here.
The Bangla is also offered in Brass for $299 and both case materials offer different dial colors and choices.
Thank you for reading, please take a look at the video review in the post below.