“Just to sum it up one last time, I’m very confident to say that I would recommend the Mustonen M-1 collection to you, especially the Launch and Bespoke Editions.”
For those of you wondering why I didn’t post anything for the last 3 weeks, it was because I enjoyed a very long overdue, 3-week holiday in the beautiful country of Iceland. By the way, if you are a fan of scenic landscapes and pure nature, Iceland is a fantastic place to spend your holidays. Just as a side note before we get into today’s topic.
Speaking of which, today, I want to introduce you to the Mustonen M-1 watch, which, in light of recent events, is all about Mars and space exploration. But before I will go any further, let me give a short explanation on why I’ve decided to introduce this watch and brand to you. The seasoned reader of this blog surely knows that I’m all for complete transparency in the watch industry, especially when it comes to sponsored posts and affiliate deals. Therefore, I want to inform you that the founder of Mustonen watches, Martin Mustonen, reached out to me during my holidays and pitched me the Mustonen M-1 and the idea behind it. And because his company is rather new and is only now starting to sell watches, I decided that I won’t be taking any payment for this post. I loved the idea behind the watch and how the watch looked. And since I’m all about supporting small microbrands and celebrating the innovation they bring into the industry, we agreed that I wouldn’t take any money for it. Nevertheless, I’ve included an affiliate link to Mustonen’s website here, which gives me a provision in case you click on it and buy a watch from them. No extra costs for you. And that’s basically it, and now, enough from me and my affiliate deals, let’s get straight into today’s article about the Mustonen M-1!
As mentioned earlier, today’s watch that I’m going to introduce to you is from Mustonen watches. Namely, their Mustonen M-1 Limited edition. The founder, Martin Mustonen, is from Finland and decided that it was time for Finland to enter the watch business. Below you will find the press release with all the information needed.
After considering various options for the theme of the first Mustonen timepiece, Martin Mustonen, the founder, and designer of Mustonen watches set his choice on Mars exploration. This theme was chosen due to his passion for studying For the design of his watches, Martin Mustonen found inspiration in spacecrafts of various NASA missions as well as from fighter jets. Precision machined from 316L stainless steel with 3-5 microns of tolerance, the case measures 39mm in width, 10mm in thickness and has a 52mm lug-to-lug distance. The mirror polished finish of the case is treated with plasma coating process resulting in 700HV surface hardness which is highly scratch resistant. Thickness of the coating is 0.1 microns. For the bespoke edition Mustonen also offers Brushed finish and Black DLC coating for the case and clasp.space and the opportunity to commemorate with the first Mustonen timepiece the achievements reached by people working in Mars missions of the present and the past. The most recent major achievement was the successful landing of the Perseverance rover in Jezro crater on Feb. 18, 2021
After over a decade of working in the jewelry industry, in 2016 Martin Mustonen began studying watchmaking independently so he could eventually realize his dream of starting his own watch brand. After accumulating experience in watchmaking, design, finishing processes, and making connections with craftsmen and suppliers in Europe, Martin was ready to start working on the first timepiece under the Mustonen brand and after eighteen months of invested efforts the first Mustonen watch was born, M-1.
The M-1 collection features three Made in Finland Limited editions with Swiss movements: Launch edition, Bespoke edition, and Apex edition (Tourbillon) each limited to 999, 500, and 15 timepieces respectively.
For the design of his watches, Martin Mustonen found inspiration in spacecraft of various NASA missions as well as fighter jets. Precision machined from 316L stainless steel with 3-5 microns of tolerance, the case measures 39mm in width, 10mm in thickness, and has a 52mm lug-to-lug distance. The mirror-polished finish of the case is treated with a plasma coating process resulting in 700HV surface hardness which is highly scratch resistant. The thickness of the coating is 0.1 microns. For the bespoke edition, Mustonen also offers a Brushed finish and Black DLC coating for the case and clasp.
The M-1 models features an exceptionally rare Martian meteorite (NWA 6963 Basaltic Shergottite) on the side of the case covered by sapphire glass that is set on an 18k gold sheet. A Martian meteorite is a rock that formed on Mars, was ejected from the planet by an impact event, traversed interplanetary space, and finally landed on the Earth as a meteorite and is one of the rarest materials on earth.
The movements for each edition were chosen with care, the most impressive of the movements being the Tourbillon movement by Concepto manufacture-installed in the M-1 Apex edition.
For the M-1 Bespoke edition, the customer can choose either Soprod A-10 with exceptional precision of +/- 4 seconds per day or the classic 2824-2 movement by ETA. For the movements of Bespoke and Apex Editions Mustonen offers a bespoke service for unique rotor design. STP Calibre 1-11 was chosen as the movement to be fitted to the M-1 Launch Edition.
Martin Mustonen being a second-generation watch aficionado himself knows that for the watch to represent truly the style of the wearer, it needs to be bespoke. Therefore he was determined to bring to his clients a truly bespoke timepiece service in the form of M-1 Bespoke Edition which has been made possible by his extensive network of master craftsmen and hiring an in-house designer for bespoke features with over two decades of experience in various areas of watchmaking and design.
Martin Mustonen elaborates “the concept for M-1 Bespoke edition is to offer customers a truly bespoke timepiece with no-limits approach on bespoke options and on the Mustonen website the bespoke options are only partially listed.
For one-off requests I recommend consulting Mustonen’s in-house designer, he’s available to consult regarding even the most demanding of design requests” The M-1 Bespoke Edition is limited to 500 timepieces.
As for the concept of M-1 Launch Edition, Martin Mustonen explains: “The concept for M-1 Launch Edition is to offer the M-1 with a reliable Swiss automatic movement for under 600 euros, without compromising the impeccable craftsmanship that goes into each M-1 timepiece so that as many watch aficionados as possible would be able able to afford and therefore enjoy the first Mustonen timepiece” This was made possible with a steep 60% discount off the future MSRP for pre-orders and producing larger amount of timepieces for the Launch Edition totaling 999 watches.
The M-1 Launch edition has an abundance of features:
Aventurine or Onyx dial with rhodium-plated hands and indices polished or brushed finishing on the 316L stainless steel case which is intricately machined with 3-5 microns of tolerance in execution, premium nylon or crocodile leather strap with material and stitching color of choice, Swiss-made STP 1-11 automatic movement, Double AR sapphire glass, deployant clasp, BGW9 Superluminova, Scratch resistant coating of 700HV hardness and more… For the fans of NASA Mustonen offers a NASA insignia pad printed on the dial below the cannon pinion with official permission by NASA to implement the insignia on the dial.
The M-1 Apex edition is a true Haute Horlogerie timepiece that features exceptional Tourbillon movement by a well-known manufacture Concepto, located in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Concepto caliber 8950-A has 27 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 60-hour power reserve. Apex edition will be limited to only fifteen watches and each timepiece’s bespoke design specified by the customer is processed by our in-house designer and includes bespoke features such as hand engraving on the caseback, custom rotor design, and more without additional charges.
I must admit that usually when I get requests from microbrands, I have to think twice if I should feature them. Because I want to give you, my readers, the best possible selection of watches. And let’s be honest, sometimes, those watches just aren’t part of that. But when I’ve seen the detailed request from Martin Mustonen, the person behind today’s watch, and the attached press release, I knew that this wasn’t your ordinary request. I started to do some research on Mustonen’s website and was immediately hooked by the design of the watch. And I’m not saying that to sell you anything. I truly mean it. As I stated in countless previous articles, I love when watch brands decide to do things slightly differently, especially when it comes to microbrands. And with their M-1 model, Mustonen did things differently. The following description of my impression is mainly based on the Mustonen M-1 Launch Edition, just because I think this is the watch that you as my reader would like the most. Not to say the other models aren’t equally good, but I think that with its 595 euros (706 US dollars) price tag, this model offers the best value for money.
As you can see, Mustonen decided to go with a rectangular-shaped case, which, to me, looks like a nicely executed merger between the case designs of Richard Mille and Frank Muller. I particularly like the combination of the polished surfaces and the exposed screws on the lugs, which are quite noticeable when you first look at the watch. And when you remember the whole space and Mars inspiration behind the watch, those make even more sense, as they give the watch quite the unique and futuristic look. As some of you may know, I prefer watches that are smaller in diameter. And with its 39mm diameter, 51mm lug to lug distance, and 9mm thickness, the Mustonen M-1 checks that box for me.
Complementing the case quite perfectly, are the two dial options, Onyx and Aventurine. I personally would suggest the Aventurine dial, which with its dark midnight blue color and the silverish/white dots on it, resemblances a clear night sky. But if you want something that is a little bit more lowkey and more sophisticated, then go for the Onyx. Just something I want to add here, I really like how Mustonen thought that whole space exploration theme through. While the Aventurine dial resemblances the sky as we see it from the earth, the Onyx dial goes one further and resemblances the sky as you would see it when you are in space – pitch black. On top of the dial, you will find a pair of rhodium-plated, and luminous hour and minute hands, as well as a simple second hand. To be completely honest, I first didn’t know what I should think of the hands. My first impression was that they don’t really match the whole futuristic aesthetic of the case and the dial. But I now looked at it for a few hours more and I have to say that it grows on me. Maybe not on everyone, but on me it definitely did.
But as cool as the polished case, the night sky dial, and the sapphire crystal may be, let’s take a look at what’s behind it all. The movement. When I was doing some research about the watch, I saw that it is powered by the Swiss-made, automatic STP 1-11 movement. I was actually quite surprised, as I expected more something like a Seiko NH35 or something from Myiota. When I asked Martin Mustonen, CEO and Founder of Mustonen watches, about it, he answered the following:
“STP has great lead times and quality is reliable, so we decided to go with it.”
And I can only agree with him on that. But it gets even better. Thanks to the beautifully made open caseback, you can see the STP 1-11 in full action, which is something every watch enthusiast can appreciate, I think.
And that’s mostly it from my side. Just to sum it up one last time, I’m very confident to say that I would recommend the Mustonen M-1 collection to you. Maybe not the Tourbillon, since it costs more than $10k, which, honestly, I wouldn’t spend on a microbrand watch, but the other two versions are certainly worth your money.
And if you want to know, even more, I highly recommend visiting the Mustonen website and their Instagram account. By the way, Martin Mustonen told me, that the design process for his next timepiece has already begun and in Q1 2022, Mustonen will launch a limited edition that will feature a unique movement developed in collaboration with well-known manufacture. What exactly it is, he didn’t want to tell me, but if you stick around on horologisto.com, you will eventually find out…
The introductory pricing structure for M-1 pre-orders is 595 EUR for Launch Edition (-60% off future MSRP) , 765 EUR (-55%) for the Bespoke Edition (for bespoke options cost extra) and 9850 EUR for Apex Edition (-40%) The delivery of the timepieces will be in January.
Below you will find a short Q&A with the CEO and founder of Mustonen, Martin Mustonen, where he explains a little bit further what his intentions are and what thought went into his watches.
Q&A with Martin Mustonen, CEO & Founder
1. I understand that this is the first-ever watch you’ve created. What did inspire you to take Mars as the inspiration for this launch?
I have been always fascinated with space exploration and I wanted to have a unique theme for our first Limited Edition, and the reception for the theme has been positive.
2. In my opinion the watch has a little bit of both modern and vintage design aspects. For me, the dial of the watch is rather conservative and classic, while the exterior and the whole Mars theme seem more futuristic. Was that intended and if so, what inspired you to do that?
I tried various dial designs and this one was the final choice for the design that seemed to work best
3. I saw that the Mustonen M-1 is powered by a Swiss STP1-11 movement. What was the reason for this choice?
STP has great lead times and the quality is reliable, so we decided to go with it.
4. Can you tell me a little bit more about Mustonen watches in general? Are you a one-person team?
We have three persons on our team currently.
5. Would you consider yourself to be a watch enthusiast, and if so, when did you start to collect watches?
Yes I do, I think it was in 2005 that I started my modest collection
6. What is your favorite brand of watches (besides your own, of course)?
I would say Audemars Piguet and Konstantin Chaykin