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With the LOUIS XVI Mirabeau, the Swiss manufacturer also has a classic diver’s watch in its program. It is henceforth responsible for the sporty orientation of the brand, which usually attracts more attention with more opulent chronographs. How does LOUIS XVI fare this time?
The diver’s watch par excellence…
True to the values of “functionality and timelessness” (as LOUIS XVI describes it in the enclosed letter), the Mirabeau presents itself with simple yet confident elegance. Ever since the first divers’ watches appeared in the 1950s, it has been clear: this is what a typical diver must look like. A circular case that curves into the lugs. Made of stainless steel like the bracelet and finished with a mix of polished and matte finishes, so you don’t have to fret about inevitable micro-scratches on the very first day. Add to that circular indices, a reduced dial, a typical diver’s bezel and there we have the perfect diver for everyday wear!
Too good to be true? Okay, at second glance, the Mirabeau has to deliver what it promises at first glance. One thing is certain: an uncomplicated, sporty diver’s watch for any occasion is always good to have. No, it is even a real must-have.
A design that can be seen
For this watch review, LOUIS XVI sent me a Mirabeau 1400. Visually, it looks something like the classic among classics. If stainless steel in combination with a black dial is too basic for you, you should have a look at the somewhat more “royal” sister models with yellow gold PVD coating (references 1401, 1403 and 1405). However, they cost a bit more than my test watch, which I consider to be quite affordable at a price of just 725.00 euros. The price-performance tip among the diving watches?
Possibly – first of all, it’s time to unpack. First of all, I must praise the new box from LOUIS XVI in which the Mirabeau was delivered and which I like much better than the old box in which I still unpacked the models LOUIS XVI La Vauguyon and LOUIS XVI Palais Royale. By the way, all LOUIS XVI watches are now delivered in this new box. If you are interested in these two models – feel free to check them out! The lid of the box is emblazoned with Édition Limiteé under the brand logo. All references of the Mirabeau collection are limited to 1000 models each. Manufacturer’s certificate and warranty card are of course enclosed. As LOUIS XVI reminds us of the monarch of the same name before the French Revolution (and his love for mechanical watches), we can look forward to lovely details. The Swiss brand elegantly stows his papers in a letter with a seal!
By the way, Mirabeau is primarily a French masculine given name or family name. A French commune in the southeast of the country, a station of the Paris Metro and two philosophers who lived at the same time as King Louis XVI also bear the name.
The LOUIS XVI Mirabeau on the wrist
But let’s rather dedicate ourselves to the wristwatch and my first impression, after I freed it from protective foil and now wear it on my wrist. Sure, if you’ve unpacked several hundred watches in your life, the Mirabeau seems anything but revolutionary. But that doesn’t mean anything! Diver’s watches with a classic design have always been in demand and always will be. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, or rather the watch. Having a Daily Rocker in the model range, on the other hand, is a must.
Once flipped, my premonition is also confirmed. Diving watches like the LOUIS XVI Mirabeau 1400 have a decisive advantage over other timepieces. They are insanely flexible. I can always wear this diver – really always. Whether it’s for sports, a business lunch, the beach, or a wedding. The Mirabeau is sporty, but not too much so. It is technical-functional, but never undercooled. And it’s elegant, but never seems dusty – arguments you can’t argue against.
Details of the case
Let’s briefly talk about the hard facts. With a diameter of 41 millimeters, the Mirabeau remains quite compact. I would rather place visually comparable diving watches in the 42 to 44 millimeter range. Thus, the watch also fits people who have a rather narrow wrist. The lugs, whose curved shape slopes downward, are important for everyday wearer comfort. In this way, the Mirabeau nestles closely against the skin and fits snugly. With a height of 13 millimeters, it also lies quite flat. Nevertheless, those who like to wear stainless steel have to be prepared for a considerable weight. The Mirabeau weighs in at a hefty 175 grams.
LOUIS XVI manufactures all its watches from high quality 316L stainless steel, which guarantees scratch resistance, corrosion resistance and thus longevity when used properly. Especially for contact with salt water on dives, stainless steel is therefore still a material that is gladly resorted to. Only titanium could bring real advantages, but then also at a significantly higher price, as is customary in the industry.
The finish of the processed stainless steel is quite respectable. The LOUIS XVI Mirabeau 1400 does not have to hide from watches in the premium segment. I particularly like the interplay of the satin and polished surfaces. The bezel is made of ceramic.
Especially when you live an active lifestyle, you like it uncomplicated. Then you want to avoid having to stare at the dial several times under a blazing sun to read the time. The sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, which makes the Mirabeau even more functional, provides a remedy. The high-quality sapphire crystal is also particularly scratch-resistant.
Rondas R150 – an alternative to ETA and Sellita?
Let’s take a look at the simple, yet quite striking back of the case. In the middle of it is a crown. On the edge of the six-fold screwed case back, you can also see the production number and thus know which of the 1000 pieces you own.
In fact, LOUIS XVI states a water resistance to a depth of 300 meters. I would have expected here only the minimum standard of 200 meters, to be able to call the timepiece still “diver’s watch” – another plus point.
Behind the solid steel caseback, a Ronda R150 automatic movement is at work, which made me particularly curious in the run-up to this test. The new alternative of the Swiss manufacture has only been on the market for a few years. So far, the caliber is mainly found in the entry-level segment. Unlike the Sellita SW200, however, it is not another clone of the legendary ETA 2824. Ronda specifies the frequency at 28800 vibrations per hour, and the power reserve at a maximum of 40 hours. The R150 drives minute, second and hour. There is also a date window.
Date, dial and bracelet
This was functionally embedded into the black dial at 3 o’clock. Otherwise, you can quickly find your way around the dial. All indices of the dial and the ceramic bezel as well as the hands are covered with SuperLuminova luminous material. Shining in a bright blue tone, the dial can thus be read excellently even in the dark or under water.
LOUIS XVI equips its Mirabeau with a three-link stainless steel bracelet including a folding clasp. The crown logo can also be found here.
My conclusion about the LOUIS XVI Mirabeau
Among all the timepieces that are currently on the market – not only in the field of diving watches – it is easy to overlook the Mirabeau. Wrongly, as the reference 1400 proves in the test. In any case, I could not find any weaknesses worth mentioning. On the other hand, the LOUIS XVI Mirabeau has a few highlights. These are perhaps more something for a second glance.
On the one hand, there is the good quality of the materials and their workmanship. For a price of 725.00 euros, this is not self-evident. I was also convinced by the automatic caliber R150 from Ronda. Besides the almost ubiquitous movements from ETA and Sellita, this diver’s watch ticks a movement that brings a breath of fresh air into the market and remains inexpensive.
In conjunction with the Mirabeau, you’ll be wearing a combination on your wrist that definitely has to go on the notepad. The main target group will certainly be those who want to buy a classic diver’s watch with good quality while being easy on their wallet.
LOUIS XVI equips its watches with features like scratch-resistant sapphire crystal or stainless steel as standard. Also “standard” is the long warranty period of 5 years. As always, you can find all the other info linked below!