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Maven MUS+ Khaki P Auto

The Modern Classic Field Watch

As a self-proclaimed tool watch specialist, I relish getting my hands on the latest utilitarian creations from micro/independent brands. As you might have heard me say before, this is so because these brands are free to do whatever they want. There is no legacy they are obligated to honor, no heritage they need to preserve. They start with a blank slate and, therefore, can create something different, fresh, and unique. For example, take a classic genre of watches like the field watch and imbue it with a different soul. Or revisit the concept of dive watches all together by mixing in different time periods of horological design. And that’s what we have here today. 

As it is often the case, I didn’t know about the brand we’re going to talk about before they reached out. This in itself doesn’t indicate whether a brand is worth your time or not. It just shows the reality of the independent watch market today: there are thousands of brands out there and one needs to offer something different and new in order to be successful. (I’ve said that before as well.) Oh my, I just turned 40 and I’m already repeating myself like an old goat that should go to pasture. In any case, today we’re going to take a look at Maven’s minimalist field watch called the MUS+ Khaki P Auto. 

Without further ado… 


Who says “field watch” means “utilitarian” and “robust.” The utilitarian aspect of a field watch both comes from the way it looks and how it’s made. And what makes it robust is, evidently, entirely dependent on how the watch is manufactured and with what components. I honestly don’t know what a modern field watch is supposed to look like anymore. How big or small it should be. What I can tell you is that the Maven MUS+ Auto comes with great, universal dimensions: 38mm in diameter, 47mm lug-to-lug, 14mm thick, and 20mm lug width. Seen from the top, the case has the stereotypical appearance of a 1970s CWC field watch. And I like it. 

14mm in thickness can indeed seem like a lot for this type of watch. And this can be explained by two simple facts. First, by looking at the movement powering the MUS+, the Miyota 8215 (21,600 BPH/42 hours of power reserve) which is rudimentary, robust, and 7.4mm tall—which is a lot compared to the 3.9mm of a Premium 9015 caliber. But the former is much more affordable than the latter. Second is the fact that MUS+ boasts 200 meters of water resistance thanks to a screw-down case-back. However, the crown is of the push/pull variety which, in itself, doesn’t preclude a watch from having good water resistance. 

Further explaining the thickness is the double-domed sapphire crystal which comes with the added benefit of creating delicate distortions at its edges. The stainless steel case received a full sand-blasted finish to give the MUS+ a distinct air of utilitarianism, however a small crown which is nevertheless easy to grab and operate. I personally don’t mind small crowns as they won’t dig into your wrist and—to be real here for a minute—I never saw the utility of having a large crown, however cool and vintage it might look. There is no denying, therefore, that the MUS+ is a tool watch. Lastly, there is lume in generous quantities but only on the hands. 


Visually, the MUS+ looks quite interesting to me. I’d immediately point at the unique combination of the sandblasted, beefy case with the modern dial layout (which I wouldn’t qualify as being “minimalist” as the brand indicated on its website,) as well as the soft and light Marine Nationale strap that comes stock with the watch. Honestly, it’s one of the best MN straps I’ve come across as it is particularly light and comfortable. (Much more so than a $80 model made by a popular strap maker whose name will remain unsaid.) And I really appreciate how well the strap goes with the case and how much the dial contrasts with the latter two elements. I know, this sounds contradictory and I will now explain what I mean by that. 

I wouldn’t have said yes to taking a look at this Maven if the brand had opted for the typical field watch layout we’re all too familiar with: a full stack of large Arabic numerals, a 24-hour military scale in the center, a black dial with yellow-toned lume. This would have made for a boring review. However, I do appreciate the fact that the brand adopted what I could consider being a modern dial design to a tried-and-tested field watch case design. Here the Arabic numerals are printed in small and fully laid out, in the sense that 1 o’clock is written “01” and not “1” which endows the dial with a great symmetry. As you might have gathered by my obsession with the Praesidus A-11 Type 44, I love it when brands use modern typefaces for the Arabic numerals. 

Why make them look old-school? 

Furthermore, I appreciate how the port-hole date aperture is integrated as its size matches that of the hour markers and that the date-wheel is color-matched to the dial. (The latter is not mandatory but a nice touch.) I also thoroughly enjoy the sand-blasted pencil-style hour and minute hands and the white seconds hand complete with an orange counterbalance. Orange can also be found at the 12 o’clock on the minute track printed in dark gray (just like the hour markers) in small. Note the indication of the 5-minute increments which is reminiscent of the A-11. Lastly, the triangles at the 3, 6, and 9 positions contribute to the legibility of the watch. 

The Heart of the Matter

At the heart of the matter is the fact that Maven managed to reinvent and modernize what we know as being the stereotypical field watch. And, I would add, it was quite a risk to take as the design codes for this type of watch were cemented many decades ago. And brands rarely attempt to revisit it. Here, Maven combined the case of a 1970s field watch with a modern dial layout and paired it with a quality Marine Nationale strap that matches the case. I find this to be quite audacious and it is well-executed here. It was a big gamble for the brand to attempt this unusual combination and they nailed it. 

Obviously, I love being surprised by new brands and this is definitely how I feel looking at the Maven MUS+ Khaki Auto. 

Furthermore, it’s interesting to see what the brand decided to put in this watch and what it decided not to. For example, one could expect a large, screw-down crown to go along with the 200 meters of water resistance. And although I’m not a watchmaker or an engineer, it seems possible to obtain that level of water resistance without the need for a screw-down crown. Although many will hate it, I love how small the crown is because there is no need for it to be much larger in order to be functional. And being that small, it guarantees that it won’t dig into your wrist because, after all, the MUS+ is still 14mm thick. 

Speaking about the choice of movement makes me want to bring up the price of this model. Regular MSRP is $368 USD although at this very moment, the brand is running a sale which brings the cost down to $313 USD. Should Maven have chosen a more premium movement, the price would have increased. Or, the brand would have had to forgo something else in order to keep the final price tag reasonable. I’m honestly so happy not to run my own watch brand as I would definitely get a migraine trying to figure out the perfect quality/price ratio. Given all of that, I find that the MUS+ makes for an excellent field watch. 

And if you are budget conscious, know that the MUS comes in quartz variants, available in 34 and 40mm case diameters, that currently retail for $168. (Though they come with “only” 50 meters of water resistance.) And whichever mode of powering your field watch you may choose, the MUS comes in four dial colors: Khaki, Navy, Black, and Olive. And each color can be had with one of two straps. The brand was kind enough to send along an orange/white MN strap that adds an air of playful vibrancy to the MUS+. (By the way, “+” in the model name references the automatic caliber within.) 


After divers, I bet that field watches are the most popular style of watches people buy. And I would argue we have many options to choose from nowadays. From re-creations of historical models by the legitimate brands to a myriad of modern interpretations created by one of the hundreds of micro and independent brands that currently exist. Therefore, and again, a brand must offer something different, unique, or wild in order to stand out from the crowd. And I would say that Maven managed to do just that with the MUS+. It looks different, it’s well-made, and priced right. Maven gives you the opportunity to own a proper field watch at a good price—as it should always be. 

If you like what you saw today I recommend checking out the brand’s website to learn more about Maven and the MUS collections. 

Thanks for reading.


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