In this classically-inspired watch design, New Jersey-based Mercer Watch Co. has combined a number of uncommon features. If an enamel dial weren’t exotic enough for its price range, the use of vintage mechanical movements makes the new Mercer Madison watch stand out as rather interesting among its peers. With the specs of a modern watch, its three-figure price offers a strong value.

The France Ebauches 233-68 movement is manually-wound with a power reserve of 40 hours, and is hidden under a solid case back stamped to commemorate the brand’s fifth anniversary. France Ebauches was a significant manufacturer of movements before the Quartz Crisis, later absorbed by other watch and movement makers — and these are new-old-stock (“NOS”) movements, meaning they’re of a vintage age but in new condition, having never been used. Mercer’s other watches have used various mechanical movements of Japanese, Chinese, and Swiss origins, but this unusual French movement adds a layer of interest to the watch’s story.

In steel with a 40mm-wide, 11.5mm-thick, 50m water-resistant case, the Mercer Madison offers modern construction and materials such as sapphire crystal. Most notably, the watch features an enamel dial, popular for its aesthetic qualities, but usually a premium feature — even Seiko watches with enamel dials or watches from this Scottish brand are significantly more expensive that what Mercer is presenting. Naturally limited by the number of movements available, only 300 examples of the Mercer Madison will be made in both black and white dials, but their price of $549 each should provide little barrier to those attracted to the aesthetic and who can appreciate its unique attributes.

Gear Patrol also recommends:
Melbourne Portsea Watch (~$422)
Seiko Presage Cocktail Time SRPB77 Watch ($450 $360)
Anordain Model 1 Enamel Dial Watch ($1,363)