Watches are subjective. Do you want the latest smartwatch telling you to take a relaxing breath? Or do you want a timepiece with understated elegance guaranteed to start a conversation? I know, how about having both?

Welly Merck falls on the latter end of the spectrum. It’s not a smartwatch, but it’s damn sharp looking. You’ll need something else to count your steps or notifications for the call you’ll ignore. The company sits comfortably in the affordable luxury watch space. Take the multi-thousand dollar brands and put the same attention to detail into a watch for a max of $258.

Welly Merck Bern Specs

Let’s get the specs out of the way. A 42mm case with a great 6mm thickness. If you’re not a fan of clunky wristwatches, you found your brand. I have a smaller wrist, so I prefer sleek over bulky.

The straps are interchangeable, but in the pictures, you’ll see the Milanese Stainless Steel mesh strap. Spec junkies will want to know it has a width of 20mm. Again, stylish but not overbearing.

Each Welly Merck has a Swiss quartz movement, with the Bern enjoying a Ronda 762 movement. The face is covered in sapphire crystal, and I’m not the nicest person to a watch, and it held up under normal wear.

Unlike some of the smartwatch and fitness wearables, the Welly can dip in the water. I didn’t go swimming with it on, but I tossed it into the tub, and there were zero issues with the 3ATM water resistance rating.


It’s a gorgeous watch. Plenty of people asked and complimented the watch day to day which is the whole idea. Changing out the straps takes a matter of seconds and you can choose from a variety of colors on the mesh, leather or nylon bands. My preference leans towards the stainless mesh, but it’s a personal preference.

My two favorite design touches are it’s not loud and the 4 PM position of the crown. It’s not loud. The logo is simple and doesn’t overpower the watch. The crown position is easy to access and less likely to bump or snag on the side of a desk or clothing. Compare it to a 3 PM position and you’ll immediately appreciate the difference. At 3 PM, the crown will bump and snag depending on wrist positioning. I’ve reviewed other watches which have had this issue and you quickly appreciate the slight move down into your wrist.

Welly Merck Styles

I went the monochromatic route, but men and women can choose from a variety of styles, colors and straps. Everything from a blue watch face to gold accents adorning the watch to leather, nylon and additional stainless steel strap colors.

$258 Line. Choose from the Classic Basel, Geneva, Zurich or Bern. Each comes with a mesh strap.

$209. Classic Roma, Paris, London, Madrid Amsterdam and Berlin are paired with a leather strap.

$189. Classic Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York rock the nylon straps.

Once you settle on a style, additional bands are priced at $68 for the stainless mesh, $55 for leather, and $35 for the nylon.

Final Thoughts

I’m a minimalist fan, and Welly Merck is a minimalist company. The sleek and modern design gives off a luxury look without breaking the bank. Having the crown position further down on your wrist makes it a winner for daily wear. The watch pairs well with anything in your closet, and there are enough strap choices to match any personality.

The company is from Kickstarter, so it’s a success story out of the crowdfunding world. And they have one hell of a story behind the name. It’s worth a read over at Welly Merck. And the watches are worth a purchase. The Bern has earned a spot in my daily collection.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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