MAEN Watches New Hudson 38 MK4 - Heritage

MAEN Watches New Hudson 38 MK4 - Heritage

7 min read
Richard Brown



Richard Brown



Breaking into the stainless steel dive watch genre it's not easy nor is it a task taken lightly.

There are plenty of pseudo-dive watches available but if you want to enter the 300 metre professional category you do have to take the project seriously. And it's not just a question of creating the watch because, to user liquid term, the market is saturated with such models. So not only do you have to build a technically capable machine you also have to come up with the design that is contemporary and innovative and will actually make people want to buy your product. 

One company that has achieved this elusive professional mix is MAEN watches, specifically with their new Hudson 38 MK4 Heritage professional dive watch, which is available for pre-order on 22 June 2023 and will retail at €599.20. 

First let's have a little bit of background on MAEN. 

Founded in 2017, MAEN are relatively new to the watch world. The company is the inspiration of the collective minds of Sebastiaan Cortjaens and Jules van Helvoort who met while living abroad and decided to form a watch house. MAEN is the old Dutch Spelling of the word MOON which draws inspiration from a constant in all our lives synonymous with the passage of time. 

Sebastiaan and Jules had a simple vision; to offer the best quality watches they could make but at a reasonable price. Naturally this would necessitate making some excellent contacts and careful management of final products to achieve the objective. 

Hudson 38  MK4 - HeritageHudson 38  MK4 - Heritage - Credit MAEN Watches

The business model was to sell directly to customers therefore retaining as much control as possible of both the product and the narrative behind the watches. Fast forward to 2023 and MAEN now have an already enviable reputation with the release of six successful collections and sales to over 90 countries. 

Which brings us neatly to their latest release – the Hudson 38 MK4 Heritage 

The new Hudson 38 Heritage is based on the standard Hudson 38 dive watch. The clue to the watch diameter is in the title and with this size choice MAEN has already broken the norm. There just are not that many 38 mm dive watches on the market. Most are normally made bigger, 40 mm and up,  so to have a well made and capable dive watch in what is more typically a Field or Watch diameter already makes it an interesting proposition.  

The more you think about it having a 38 mm dive watch makes complete sense because first, the smaller diameters are more on trend, and second, the watch with its slightly reduced dimensions will appeal to a wider demographic of buyers.  

When you look at the original Hudson 38 online there appear to be six fairly similar versions however it is only when you look at them very closely that you realise these are actually six fundamentally different models, each one offering subtle design alterations.  

Hudson 38  MK4 - Heritage - Credit MAEN WatchesHudson 38 MK4 - Heritage - Credit MAEN Watches

The dials are available in black, blue, grey, with no date and the watches are available with automatic or quartz power. Each one of these watches has subtle accent colour changes to give them individuality such as splashes of red or green at the cardinal points of the minute track. The dial of the Hudson 38 is the star of the show as it is sandblasted and manufactured on multi levels with the name MAEN and Hudson very slightly sunken, yet the minute batons are prominently raised. The overall effect is intriguing and draws the eye. 

The rehaut has been utilised with the minute track transferred to it rather than on the dial itself. This of course is a very clever design aesthetic which makes the 38 mm dial look slightly bigger than it is.  

So given the clear ethos of the watch, and the 300 metre water resistance capability, you could be forgiven for thinking we're talking about a watch that's going to nudge somewhere around the €2000 point however you would be wrong because the standard Hudson 38 comes in at just €559 for the automatic movement and an astonishingly low €319 for the quartz on a rubber dive strap. 

With such a great base to work from it is not surprising that MAEN have decided to bring out a special edition of the Hudson 38 in the form of the stunning Heritage range. 

The new watch is most certainly an evolution of the original model with several design changes. The indice batons have been replaced with old radium X1 Super Luminova points. X1 is Super Luminova 's most advanced luminescence and it is very easy to activate by all light sources and glows 60% brighter than the previous top specification Grade A. Old radium has been specifically designed to replicate the vintage patina brown which is so sought after on vintage dive watches yet this is thoroughly modern technology and glows with an intense green in low light. 

The hands are wide and have full length X1 deep filled strips which will provide supreme legibility both above and below the surface of the water.  

Hudson 38  MK4 - Heritage Hudson 38  MK4 - Heritage - Credit MAEN Watches

The case of the heritage is unchanged from the original 38 however it still has eminent design qualities such as the unprotected crown which gives a truly vintage diver look.  

The bezel has the same tactile feel with strong ridging around its edge to give an excellent grip with gloves on. The shaping on the bezel has an almost industrial look and it is highly effective both operationally and aesthetically. The Heritage model however is equipped with a different bezel to the 60 minute dive unit which we find on the original Hudson 38.  

The heritage model has a 12 hour bezel which allows you to monitor two international time zones simultaneously without the need for a dual time complication within the watch movement. 

All Hudson 38 Heritage models are assembled in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Full waterproof testing to 300m, entrance inspection and final quality control is also performed in Switzerland so both quality and lineage are taken very seriously.  

Hudson 38  MK4 - HeritageHudson 38  MK4 - Heritage - Credit MAEN Watches

The Heritage comes supplied as standard on a quality stainless steel bracelet with five piece links and alternate polished and brushed finishes. With micro adjustment and screw thread link pins the technical specifications of the bracelet reflect those which are generally seen on Tier 1 watches. The clasp itself has a double push button release to avoid accidental opening and is MAEN branded which is a nice touch as we do like 360 degree branding. 

Powering the Heritage is a lesser known movement but one that is certainly gaining traction within the watch industry as old workhorse models like the ETA 2824-2 become unavailable. The Heritage is powered by a Ronda R-150 Automatic Movement with Incabloc shock protection. This is the only automatic movement in Ronda’s portfolio and beats at a respectable 28,800 bph with a power reserve of 40 hours. Ronda state accuracy of between +/- 12 to 30 seconds per day.  

We have saved the star of the show to last and this is the Fumé dial which is the principal elevation from the standard Hudson 38. There are two colour options, brown and black, and both of those are in a highly sophisticated honeycombed pattern with a Fumé effect. Fumé dials were first seen in the 1960s and have remained popular ever since, representing a first step into higher horology design.  

Fumé dials (or smoked as it literally translates to) generally start off darker around the outer edge of the watch dial and get lighter as you approach the centre. This creates effectively a blurred sunburst finish. However with the honeycomb design on the Hudson 38 Heritage the Fumé design creates a fascinating landscape which plays with the light as it catches it from different directions. At no given time in the day will the watch look exactly the same. 

Hudson 38  MK4 - HeritageHudson 38  MK4 - Heritage - Credit MAEN Watches

To summarise the Hudson 38 Heritage we come full circle back to the observation we made at the very beginning of this feature, that it is really hard to break into the 300m steel dive watch market unless you're prepared to come up with something that stands out from the crowd.  

And this is exactly what MAEN have done with this new model. They have created a dive/sports watch which is a thoroughbred tool watch yet has beautiful design features that really allow it to stand tall amongst the many the brands that have been making such models like this for years.  

Here at WatchGecko we are always fascinated to see smaller brands that are really giving some of the giants a run for their money. We have gone on record to state that 2023 will be the year of the micro brand.  

And it is manufacturers like MAEN who are elevating what smaller brands can do and most important pushing this trend forward. If you are in the market for high-quality, high design, 300 metre steel watch which will give you all the technical characteristics you expect, yet stands out from the masses, then you should definitely put the MAEN Hudson 38 Heritage on your short list.  

The full range of MAEN watches can be found exclusively on their website 

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Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

I truly believe one of the best partners in exploration and adventure is a fine watch. Over 30 years of collecting, my fascination with the technical capabilities of both vintage and modern timepieces has never abated and it is a privilege to be able to share this passion through writing.

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