Mercer Watch Company (MWC) is a great example of a microbrand done right. The company was started by Scott Vuocolo in central New Jersey. The company mission is clearly defined to produce quality time pieces at a fraction of what many of the big names charge for their watches without scrimping on design, components, materials, finish, attention to detail and quality control. Essentially, Mercer sells directly from their website.
Mercer is not new to MBWW, you may recall Nick’s interview with Scott last year. The Mercer name comes from the county the company is located in, named after Brigadier General Hugh Mercer of the Continental Army. A close confidant of George Washington, he died at the Battle of Princeton, just a few miles from MWC.
The current line of watches from MWC include the Airfoil, the Voyager II, the Brigadier and the Brigadier Chronograph. The Brigadier Chronograph is available in four versions; navy, rose, slate and white. The watch in this review is the rose, finished with a white face. The other models are all polished stainless steel with navy, slate and white faces. The 42mm 316L case is a very good homage to the new 43mm Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar, a 21 jewel manual winding timepiece of impeccable pedigree (price not disclosed). Both the VC and the Mercer are beautiful designs, in my opinion.
All of the minute/second markings, the tachymeter markings and the two subdial markings are perfectly executed in black. The 6 o’clock date window is also black on white. What really stands out the most to me are the various levels of the dial face, starting with the tachymeter numbers, going down to the beveled second and 1/5 second markings, the subdial markings and the date window, which carefully cuts through two layers of the dial. In addition the guilloche concentric circles on the two subdials and the guilloche squares on the lowest portion of the face, really add a rich finishing touch.
The movement in this watch is the same Seiko VK64 Meca-Quartz movement as I previously reviewed in a Helgray Silverstone watch. Seiko says this movement should be accurate to +/- 20 seconds per month. The hybrid of a quartz movement with a mechanical chronograph is just a great idea, because it allows the chronograph to work in 1/5 second intervals, rather than one second intervals as in a standard quartz chronograph movement. When the chronograph is reset to zero, the second hands snaps back just like a mechanical chronograph should. I only wish Seiko offered this movement with a running second hand or a small seconds subdial, but it would likely shorten it’s estimated 3 year battery life.
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.