BND Watches: an inspired French brand at the right price
A French brand with an English name? Not really, because BND is simply a contraction of the surname of its thirty-year-old founder: Vincent Bonnaud. The word “watches” simply categorizes the product, which is also useful internationally. With only three watches in the catalog (let’s hope this evolves), the brand aims to pay tribute to the golden age of watchmakingan era populated by heroes who left their mark on history, both in the cinema and in real life, from pilots to explorers of all kinds. The whole while remaining affordable but without compromising on finish quality. The result is a archetypal diver’s watch but with a brushed steel bezel and a pad-printed dial inspired by the great classics. Especially the Submariner, let’s face it. It’s not a tribute watch, far from it, because BND Watches has tried to put its own stamp on it – and thankfully so! And as for the name of the model we held in our hands, it’s easy to imagine that “MN” stands for “MN”. a nod to the French Navywhile BLA echoes the color “black” (BLU for “blue” and BRO for “brown” in other references).
We’re the big boys in love with diving girls. Our purchasing history bears witness to this: Tudor Pelagos, Tudor Black Bay and Rolex Submariner have mostly graced our wrists for almost 10 years. With a smaller diameter of 39.5mm – one of our new favorite sizes – as well as a horn-to-horn length limited to 47mm and a thickness of 11.3mm (13.4mm including the glass), this MNBLA ticks all the right boxes. On appreciate its all-steel bezel reminiscent of the Explorer 2, but here circularly brushed, as well as the eggshell-colored markings with Super-LumiNova Old Radium for a vintage touch (just like its double-dome sapphire crystal). Full brushing, even on the hands, is a notable feature of this watch, making it an ideal “tool watch” with 20 ATM water-resistance and a automatic movement by SeikoA NH35A caliber recognized as a true tractor. And thanks to its 20mm lugs, the most standard size on the market, the choice of straps is immense. Visit through pumps they’re certainly more of a hassle to fit/remove, but it’s a much-appreciated attention.
What we regret
As always, it’s a matter of taste. While we appreciate NATO braceletsespecially in summer, we can’t see ourselves wearing them all year round. Especially those with stripes, even if some will appreciate the proximity to the James Bond bracelet. It’s worth noting that the bracelet is 20.3mm wide, which makes it more difficult to install, but also keeps it firmly in place (which is useful because it’s only one layer thick under the watch). We’re partial to extreme simplicity, especially in plain tones, so let’s hope that the brand will come up with a new design for the watch. more options in the futureat the time of purchase as well as in addition. So we mounted the watch on a black Tropic, more logical in time given the birth of diving watches, and the result was superb! Next, let’s talk about its minimalist design. Even though we like the simplicity of the watch, even the buckle is not engraved, we’d have appreciated some basic mentions instead of the anchor on the dial, which is more reminiscent of a boat than of diving, and why not an engraving between the lugs. And finally, with its tool-watch style, a more imposing crown wouldn’t have done it any harm, quite the contrary.
Our opinion on this BND watch
This is a very interesting watch. Let’s put the church back in the village: at 546€it’s an excellent watch! That’s another advantage of using a Japanese movement, when you focus on the little details that make all the difference. It’s almost our watchmaking credo: there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, a good classic is more than enough. The recipe is so simple that it makes you wonder why BND Watches only makes three references (black, blue and brown). We strongly encourage them to vary the colors, as the model really lends itself to this, and very easily too. Add to this more bracelet choicesand we’ll certainly be customers! Given the nod to the French Navy, a must would be to add the emblematic combat swimmer’s bracelet in parachute straps! So there you have it: we love it, and we love it even more because it’s French.
FEATURES – BND WATCHES MNBLA
Case : 316 stainless steel – brushed finish – 39.5mm wide x 47mm long x 13.4mm thick (11.3mm without crystal) – double anti-reflective sapphire crystal (5AR/1AF) – 120-click unidirectional bezel – screw-down crown – 20 ATM (200 meters) water resistance
Dial : black, blue or brown background – matte finish – printed indexes – brushed hands – indexes and hands with Super-LumiNova Old Radium coating
Movement mechanical self-winding – Seiko NH35A calibre – Frequency 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) – Hours, minutes and seconds function – 40-hour power reserve
Strap : NATO in nylon – straight cut – 20mm wide – brushed steel pin buckle
Informations : in permanent collection – available on the official website and from authorized dealers – 2-year warranty – 546€ incl. VAT