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Le Forban Sécurité Mer has an exciting watch in its collection, the Malouine, which combines French elegance with high-quality workmanship. And it does so at a very moderate price. Sounds impossible? It is not! But find it out…
Why we should be interested in French watches!
Le Forban Sécurité Mer is a French watch brand that many watch fanshave never heard of; in my opinion, unfairly. Because while the great masses are mainly interested in the Swiss market, French watches sometimes get out of sight. A look at the timepieces of the Swiss neighbors is worthwhile, however. Here, after all, there are brands like Le Forban Sécurité Mer. The company was first established in 1969, but went bankrupt in the 1980s due to the quartz crisis. It was not until 2019 that Le Forban Forban Sécurité Mer was successfully revived by Jean Sebastien Coste. Coste had already achieved this 5 years earlier with the Triton watch brand. Le Forban Forban Sécurité Mer is based in Paris.
Here, the watches are assembled, tested and adjusted in the workshops of the French watchmaker Christian Plantin. What kind of watches are we talking about? Mechanical diving watches for real enthusiasts who especially like classic ones with a certain vintage charm. Le Forban Sécurité Mer promises first-class quality along with the best materials with sapphire crystal, stainless steel and much more. The fact that they have been able to gather a lot of knowledge over the past decades is made clear by the fact that even the French Navy has been officially equipped with Le Forban Sécurité Mer divers.
Now I am even more excited. Because the Malouine I’m testing for you promises yet another advantage. With a price of just 490 euros, it is incredibly cheap and undercuts any of its competitors. This price ranking is also typical for Le Forban Sécurité Mer. There has to be a catch somewhere, right? I’d like to find out.
High Expectations for the Le Forban Sécurité Mer Malouine
The Malouine is the first watch from Le Forban Sécurité Mer that I’ve ever had on my wrist. My expectations are nevertheless high. Le Forban Sécurité Mer sent me two models of the Malouine, which you can configure easily and quickly on the homepage of Le Forban Sécurité Mer. I may test the watch once with blue dial and blue strap as well as in the black version. There are no other differences. So my test impressions apply to both models.
Each Malouine comes in a chic, dark blue fabric case complete with button closure and black lining. The Le Forban Sécurité Mer anchor logo immediately makes it clear what content it houses. Along with the watch, it always comes with the warranty card, which you should definitely keep. The Malouine’s warranty is two years. All other details are handwritten on the warranty card. The warranty card is attached with a fabric ribbon in the national colors of France. Overall, I like the presentation very much! As we all know, the first impression counts.
This also applies to the Malouine itself. I free both model variants from their packaging and place them side by side on the table. The Malouine is an incredibly elegant dive watch. My timepiece has a classic look that is so well received by fans of the brand. The domed watch glass, the diving bezel, the dial… Everything looks fine and completely satisfies my initially quite high expectations. Now that the watches are side by side in black and navy blue, I couldn’t tell right off the bat which variant I would keep if I had to choose one. After much deliberation, perhaps for the blue, but that is known to be a matter of taste.
Hands on! The Le Forban Sécurité Mer Malouine on the Wrist
For a diver’s watch, the Malouine is rather small. Graceful is probably the more appropriate word. In recent years, diving watches have become increasingly larger and more bulky. The Malouine is a pleasant counter design. The case diameter is 39 millimeters, so it looks harmonious on any wrist. Le Forban Sécurité Mer has noticeably not gone for sheer size, but opted for understated elegance. This looks extremely good on my wrist. The Malouine only catches the eye at second glance in a stylish outfit. The design is pleasantly restrained and very variable. Whether it’s a business outfit for the office, sporty casual for leisure or for festive occasions – it doesn’t matter with a Malouine. The gender is also irrelevant. The Malouine is unisex and therefore interesting for both men and women. For everyday life, the watch seems to be suitable with it. Whether it is also a good diving watch?
The name Malouine, which is both unusual and catchy for a watch, has a meaning. The name was taken from the small town of Saint-Malo in Brittany. Saint-Malo, port city, has a history marked by shipping and the military, which also fits the watch brand Le Forban Sécurité Mer.
The Malouine: a real diver’s watch
That the Malouine appears suitable for everyday use, I have seen. Now it’s a question of whether it also cuts a good figure as a diver’s watch. This becomes clear with the case. As with all Le Forban Sécurité Mer watches, it is made of 316L stainless steel. Its ergonomic shape makes the Malouine particularly comfortable to wear on the wrist. A harmonious case thickness of 12.75 millimeters, in addition to its diameter, also contributes to its pleasant compactness.
For special protection of the dial, Le Forban Sécurité Mer gives its Malouine a domed sapphire crystal. The curvature is particularly pronounced compared to competitors and is reminiscent of classic diving watches of the 20th century. Sapphire is the hardest watch crystal. Especially on dives, it protects the watch from pointed or sharp objects. However, it is not useless in everyday life either.
As you would expect, the Malouine has a true diver’s bezel. A diving bezel is a unidirectional bezel. The 120 clicks engage cleanly and precisely. On dives, you use it to set “countdowns” that show the diver how much time for oxygen is left. 120 clicks correspond to a maximum dive time of one hour. At the same time, the dive time can be set to within 30 seconds.
The case back
With a screw-down crown, the Malouine is water resistant to a pressure of 15 bar. The resulting 150 meters of water depth to which you can dive to a maximum is solid and should be quite enough for most of you. The fact that the crown is located between two protrusions on the case means that it doesn’t interfere with the back of the hand in everyday use. This further improves the already very good wearing comfort.
My personal favorite part of the Malouine, however, is the case back. For its design, Le Forban Sécurité Mer has come up with something very special that is almost unique among diving watches. The circular, inner part of the caseback lies deeper in the case than the rest. Here is an engraved diver’s helmet, which can be touched and experienced due to its three-dimensionality. Moreover, it is not stylized, but has many small details, even rivets. This attention to detail deserves high praise!
I have seen something like this very rarely before. With the diving helmet, the Malouine underlines its attachment to the diving watches of the past.
No risks with the movement of the Malouine
When it comes to the movement, Le Forban Sécurité Mer takes no risks. Inside the diver works a reliable Japanese automatic movement. To be more precise, it is a Miyota 8215, which has been manufactured in Japan since 1977. The fact that it has been popular for so many years is a testament to its great reliability and longevity. The lifespan of your Malouine should be sufficiently high with the Miyota 8215.
Elegant and functional: the dial
Regardless of the color of the strap, when you buy the Malouine you can decide whether you want the high-contrast black or the blue sunburst dial. The workmanship is great on both watches. The best way to describe the design would be: reduced to the essentials, clear and yet very elegant. As one of a few diving watches, the Malouine manages, in my opinion, not to lose elegance with good functionality. This is mainly ensured by the characteristic silver ring that structures the dial.
Above 6 o’clock and below the model name, we find – how could it be otherwise – the colors of the French flag. Le Forban Sécurité Mer is just proud of its origin. The indices are easy to read. There are no other scales and numbers. On dives, it’s the essentials that are important. And that is the time. Even in stressful everyday life, you would prefer it to be clear and uncomplicated, wouldn’t you?
So that the wearer of the new wristwatch can find enlightenment even in the dark, the indices are filled with luminous material. The special SuperLuminova C3 is currently the brightest, strongest and therefore best luminous material available on the market. The results are impressive. At night, the time is perfectly readable.
A Tropic bracelet
The bracelet takes you back in time to the 1960s. To be precise, it is the legendary Tropic. The Tropic was the bracelet par excellence that adorned the diving watches of that decade in the 60s. However, the Tropic of the Malouine does not come off the shelf, but is manufactured by the French watchmaker itself. This is most noticeable in the high-gloss stainless steel clasp with engraved Le Forban lettering.
Unlike the historical divers of the 60s, however, the Tropic is no longer made of rubber, but of silicone. Silicone has the advantage that it is lighter and more flexible. This increases the wearing comfort noticeably. The fact that you can choose between black and blue Tropic, together with the dial colors, results in a total of four color design variants. Everyone will find what they are looking for.
My conclusion about the Le Forban Sécurité Mer Malouine
Le Forban Sécurité Mer promised us a lot in advance. The combination of tradition and modernity, functionality and French elegance, suitable as a diver and in everyday life and all this at an outrageously low price. What did the Malouine prove ? Actually, everything, to be honest.
This Malouine is a diver’s watch worth taking a closer look at. The timepiece with the sonorous name is a real gem, especially for beginners. The watch has the genes of a real diver, whose functionality and quality is impeccable. On land, the Malouine then becomes a chic companion for everyday business or the evening. All this in a moderate size and with a design that is elegant and pleasing. Whether in black or blue. But also every die-hard watch lover will have fun with the French timepiece.
490 euros is a fair price, considering how “much” watch you get with the Malouine. If you like the watch, you should take a closer look at Le Forban Sécurité Mer. The other timepieces also have a similar concept.
All the facts and figures about Le Forban Sécurité Mer la Malouine
Case diameter: 38.4 mm (39 mm with the bezel)
Length: 45 mm from lug to lug
Case thickness: 12.75 mm
316L steel case
Unidirectional aluminum bezel (120 clicks)
Domed sapphire crystal
Screw down crown
Water resistant to 150 meters depth
Tropic strap in 100% silicone (lug width: 20 mm)
Mechanical movement Miyota 8215
Price: 490 Euro