Last year we wrote about the Peren Hintz, an intriguing Swiss-made watch with a Transylvanian soul. In this article we share our hands-on review of Peren’s newest iteration of their Peren Nera Rogue dive watch, the Peren Nera Rogue BW. Overall, we recommend this watch if you are looking for an understated, limited edition yet affordable dive watch with a Swiss mechanical movement that can be worn daily.
Review: the new Peren Nera Rogue BW
The Peren Nera Rogue BW is priced at CHF 595 when you opt for the water-resistant standard strap, the NATO strap or the vegan silicone strap. The price is CHF 665 when you opt for the stainless steel version. So you only pay 70 swiss francs extra for the stainless steel version. Peren Watches guarantees delivery within 5 days after placing your order. The Peren Nera Rogue BW has a limited edition of 100 pieces, individually numbered.
The story behind a watch is often as important to collectors as the watch itself. Peren Watches aims to differentiate itself by designing and developing watches based on the Perennial philosophy. As you may have read in the article about the Peren Hintz, the word Peren stems from “perennial wisdom” and focuses on harmony. The word Perennial refers to a lasting state without beginning and end. Time is relative. The desire to represent perennial beliefs in artful representations has always been important in Transylvanian cultures and also in Peren Watches Founder and CEO Andy Bica-Popi’s goals for the company and its watches. Andy was born and raised in the area before moving to Switzerland. To repeat Andy’s statement in the Peren Hintz article: “It is my intention to continue this heritage and reflect it in the Peren Watches collection”.
The Transylvanian perennial heritage in the Peren Nera Rogue BW
No, it is not the fang symbol on dial and crown that makes the Rogue BW a perennial watch. The use of generic markers instead of numerals illustrate Peren’s “Time is relative” (design) principle. Peren Watches: “the Time Is Relative cycle started with the SOD’s moonphase where the lunation equals 29.5 days instead of 29.53 and continues with the Nera’s rotating bezel that does’t have a starting point marker to read elapsed time”. Obviously time is not relative during a dive. Therefore the 12H markers helps set the begin time of your dive or your safety stop. Balancing minimalism and functionality as well as harmonising colours are other perennial design principles.
The aesthetics of the Peren Nera Rogue BW
Although Peren’s website mentions that “the Nera watch originates from a declassified abandoned Tornek-Rayville TR0900 tribute project gone rogue”, the watch has its own signature. It shares the baton hands, arrow seconds hand, cushion-shaped lugs and stick-dial (without numerical indicators). However, the 5-minute markers are square instant of round and positioned at the same line as the minute markers.
The biggest difference is the bezel. While the T-R’s bezel – as well as the bezel of many other dive watches – is large with minute indicators and numerals, the bezel of the Peren Nera is adapted to accommodate the smaller diameter of the watch, resulting in a well balanced design. Peren Watches describes the shape as fluted conical. It consists of an oblique, rounded hand-knurled rotational disc for a solid grip and a flat insert with subtle etched markers. The two parts seem to be separated by a silver/stainless steel coloured sheet metal (foil).
Materials, colours and sizes match well: the – bead-blasted/circular brushed/hand-polished – 316L stainless steel case, the – unidirectional black PVD plated – bezel with knurling pattern, the bezel insert of stainless steel with one layer of titanium nitride and the black dial. It has no large minute markers, just some subtle 5-minute markers. The size of the screw-down crown is just right, also with gloves.
The strap(s) of the Peren Nera Rogue BW
The regular water-resistant and NATO straps are what you expect them to be: solid and functional.
The brushed oyster stainless steel bracelet is equally well made. The oyster bracelet is widely seen as the iconic metal bracelet from the 20th century. We think it is a good choice for a dive watch compared to mesh bracelets. The safety deployment clasp adds a layer of protection (note: a safety deployant clasp has an additional flap that seals the folding clasp functioning as a reliable double lock). Such safety mechanism keeps your watch on your wrist. Very useful, especially underwater and when riding a bike. Bravo Peren, for opting for this clasp! Whether you want to use the bracelet in salt water is another matter. If you do, make sure you carefully rinse the watch to get rid of the salt!
The new vegan silicon strap is my favourite strap. This strap looks great and is super comfortable to wear. I really like the pattern as well. Highly recommended!
The movement of the Peren Nera Rogue BW
All Peren Nera Rogue models feature an automatic Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement. The Sellita SW200-1 is viewed as the alternative to ETA’s 2824-2 workhorse movement. Caliber Corner writes: “In fact, it is considered to be a 2824 clone. The SW200-1 is an update to the original caliber SW200. Many reputable watch companies are using this movement as an alternative to the ETA mechanism due to it being more economical and readily available”.
Wearing and using the Peren Nera Rogue BW
Its 39mm diameter makes the Peren Nera Rogue BW rather small for a dive watch. The downside is that its legibility underwater may be less compared to larger models. On the other hand, it feels very comfortable on the wrist and leaves a more understated impression. Without diving goggles and muddy water, it sure is very easy to read, also when it is dark. The scratchproof flat sapphire glass has 3 anti-reflective layers. Markers and hands feature BGW9 Swiss SuperLuminova®. As said already, especially the vegan silicon strap wears very comfortable and matches well with the watch.
Winding is smooth for a watch in this price range and setting time and date is easy. Time was too short to test accuracy in real-life circumstances but the movement choice and in-house regulation should suffice.
A nice touch is the Individual serial number engraved in the caseback with the “contact perenwatches.com if found” message.
Production, distribution and service
To ensure an affordable price, Peren Watches sells watches directly to the end-consumer who wears the watch. The “Swiss Made” remark on the dial assures that 60% of all parts of the Peren Nera Rogue BW are from Switzerland. The company partners with Fashiontime, also located in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. Assembly and testing is done in-house by certified watch makers. Peren works with a highly skilled watchmaker in the old town of Biel/Bienne, who is a certified watchmaker for well-known brands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Omega, Rolex and others. A watchmaker assembles the watch, does a visual inspection and tests accuracy and magnetism using the OneOf Accuracy2 device. Water resistance is checked with a Sigma device.
Each watch is sent directly in a sustainable, good-quality cardbox to the customer.
The watch comes with a two-year warranty. You will have to send the watch directly to Switzerland when you experience problems with the watch.
Local servicing should not be a real issue with this type of movement but if you want, the watch can be sent directly Peren for servicing.
Peren for Planet
Peren Watches aims for a sustainable production line by 2030. By that time, all components purchased should be made from recycled materials, except for the movement. Shipping via Swiss Post should be carbon neutral. For now, packaging and papers (customs, invoices, watch-related information) are made from recycled materials. By the end of 2023 the same should apply to straps. In addition, a percentage of each watch sold will be donated to the Carpathia foundation, which intends to conserve and restore the wilderness in the Fagaras mountains in Transylvania, one of the last ancient forests in Europe.
The Peren Nera Rogue BW is a wonderful value-for-money dive watch. It features an automatic mechanical movement from Swiss-based Sellita, which is regulated in-house and costs only CHF 595. It is a watch for daily use. The new black dial combines well with the bezel and the watch fits well on the wrist, especially with the new vegan strap. When you buy the Peren Nera Rogue BW watch, you can be certain it is a rare watch. Production is limited to 100 pieces. We can recommend this watch.
- Value for money: you get a classic, reliable watch with traditional Swiss movement for less than CHF 600.
- Balanced, classic dive watch design but also a watch for daily use.
- Rugged, smooth running movement. Note: we did not test accuracy.
- Comfortable straps.
- The watch can be worn by men and women above water and underwater.
- Microbrand, so you are assured it is a rare watch
- Perhaps a bit small for those of you who are used to larger watches.
- The vegan strap is a bit short when you wear a dive suit with long sleeves.
- There is a slight colour difference between the case and the stainless steel bracelet. Peren told us they are working on a solution.
- Lack of a dealer structure for servicing. Given the production volume as well as the use of the Sellita SW200-1 movement, you should not face problems to get this watch serviced.
- Microbrand, so longevity is uncertain.
The photographs of the Peren Nera Rogue BW were made in our studio with the Leica SL2 and the Leica 90mm APO lens at f16 and occasionally at f11. Shutter speed 1/250. ISO 100. I used 2 Elinchrom One lamps with rectangular soft boxes. The photo with the Christmas tree was the only photo made with the Ricoh GRIIIx (at ISO 2500).
It is a whole new experience to shoot at f16 without a need for focus stacking. Every slight move started the power train so I was quite happy to make only one shot. Post-processing was basically limited to removing dust particles and cropping 😉 No need to change shadows, highlights or curves. Obviously for more detailed(movement) shots focus stacking and a macro lens would be required.
Case sizes: 39mm (diameter); 12.80mm (height); 48.80mm (lug to lug).
Case material: three-tone Marine Grade 316L stainless steel, bead blasted, circular brushed, hand polished.
Bezel: Steel, black PVD coated. Hand knurled for grip. Etched markers. Unidirectional rotating. 120 clicks.
Bezel Insert: Stainless steel with one layer of titanium nitride.
Case-back: Bead blasted stainless steel, individual serial number.
Crown: Screw-down, embossed logo.
Crystal: Anti-reflective coated Sapphire (3 layers).
Dial: Metal, embossed indexes, Date window, Black.
Hands: Steel, white, diamond cut. Lume: BGW9 Swiss Super-LumiNova®.
Indicators: BGW9 Swiss Super-LumiNova® on indexes.
Movement: Swiss automatic Sellita SW200-1. 26 Jewels.In-house regulated in 3 positions. Power reserve: 38 Hours. Frequency: 28’800 A/h (4 Hz). Date at 3H. Hacking seconds. Nivaflex® mainspring. Anti-Shock. Color-matched date wheel. Stainless Steel encasing construction.
Strap: Four options: water resistant, NATO nylon, steel bracelet, vegan Silicone.
Buckle: Stainless Steel, laser engraved.
Water resistance: 200m/660ft.
Edition: Swiss-made, 100 pieces, individually numbered, assembled in-house.
Warranty: 2 years.
Packaging: Sustainable premium cardboard box.
More information can be found here:
Peren Watches: https://perenwatches.com/
Sellita SW200-1 movement: https://calibercorner.com/sellita-caliber-sw200-1/
Carpathia Foundation: https://www.carpathia.org/
DISCLAIMER: This article is based on information provided by Peren Watches and seeing the watch. No visit has been made to their premises to see the actual work done.