Peren Nera: Microbrand Watch from Transylvania

Peren Nera and the Transylvania Connection [Review]

Digging deeper than Dracula's fangs

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch

While working on this review, the word “Peren” was autocompleted into the word “Perennial”. Not by coincidence, the phrase Perennial Timepiece is inscribed on the long matte black box for the Nera, the second watch produced by this microbrand. Originally launched on Kickstarter, this limited edition piece gets its name from the Nera Gorges in Romania.

“Peren is a brand which does not have a beginning, nor an end, for it was not invented, nor was it conceived.” –Perenniality

Despite having “Transylvania” on the dial, the brand is not actually located in the Transylvanian region of modern day Romania. Peren pays tribute to Transylvania, but the company is based in Biel/Bienne Switzerland. This is also where these watches are assembled with a Swiss made ETA caliber 2824-2 automatic movement inside.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch 2824 2

The Transylvania connection is from Andy, the founder of the brand, who is a Transylvanian descendant with intern experience in the Swiss watch industry. In 2016, he ventured into making the Peren microbrand a reality and secured crowdfunding for a Dracula themed quartz chronograph. Although the Nera is not a vampire watch, “Transylvania” on anything conjures a mysterious vibe.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Moody2

At first glance of the dial, in office lighting, it appeared to be black. So much so that if the watch was listed before a proper photoshoot, it would have almost certainly (and incorrectly) been labeled as a black dial. But this is due to lighting type and conditions.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Limited

Walking over to the window, a circle of bluish-green reveals itself. It is a nice deep teal color when the light hits it, and you can’t unsee it once you catch a glimpse.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Wristshot2

The dial is inspired by a lake in the Transylvania region known as Devil’s Lake. This is not a gimmick or marketing ploy. Pictures of this lake really look like the color of the Nera dial!

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch 10

The rehaut, or inner bezel, is black with cutouts for the lumed white squares. It has a 3D effect at each hour marker on the dial. The datewheel is also matching the dial. This is a subtle touch that most watch brands overlook.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Handstack

The bezel is brushed steel with an outer black PVD layer with raised markers. It is a uni-directional rotating bezel, but without numbers or a lume pip, many enthusiasts will feel that it serves no purpose. The symmetry looks great, but if at least one marker was unique, like a different size or shape, then it would capable of more than just producing a clicking sound. It’s too bad because the bezel does have a satisfying click to it.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Lume

The Nera has lumed hands and markers, but it’s not the brightest layout compared to other divers out there. This, along with the bezel makes it a bit of a non-diver’s dive watch, but that’s OK! How many dive watches exist and how many are real tools actually used for diving? Put another way: when is the last time you went diving with one of the dive watches in your collection? Truth is, the lake themed dial on this watch gets closer to the water than most dive watches ever will IRL.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Lumeshot

That said, if you really want to take it underwater, the screw-down crown and 200m depth rating should have you covered.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Screw Down Crown

The crown is signed with Peren’s logo which is in the shape of a fanged watch strap buckle. This design is said to reference the mythology of Transylvania with an element related to watches.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Crown

Peren ships the Nera on a brown leather strap with a huge brushed steel tang buckle. After playing around with different strap options, it was clear that black is the way to go.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Leather Strap Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Leather Straps

If you want to change the strap yourself, the pierced lugs make it easy. Look for a strap of your choosing that fits a 20mm lug-width.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Lugs

The brown strap is OK, but the dial really stands out against the black strap IMHO. The vintage diver inspired 39mm diameter 316L stainless steel case really looks and feels more at home on the pull-through military strap.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Straps

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Crown Side

While we’re discussing measurement specs, the Nera stands 13.5mm thick on the wrist, with a lug-to-lug of 48.8mm.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Case Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Wrist

Since the launch of the Nera, Peren already announced their third watch: Hintz. Only 200 Nera watches were produced, and at the time of this review, they have 3 Nera watches left in stock. KeepTheTime also has the watch pictured available in our shop.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Watch Moody

In conclusion, the Nera is an enjoyable microbrand dive watch that can be worn every day, office or play, with various styles of dress. It’s a classy size, easy to tell the time, different than other divers on the market, and has a cool story. Dracula will no longer be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Transylvania, we’ll be thinking of Peren watches.

Peren Nera Transylvania Micro Box Strap

Update: There is something else that needs to be discussed here… the packaging. The Nera comes in a flat lay box with a foam insert to hold the watch in place. Flat boxes are nice because they take up less space in the closet and because the strap can be spread out to avoid creases. Pillow boxes are great for bracelet watches, but bad for straps. Even a brand new watch wrapped around a box pillow will get wrinkles from the strap being in use during transport and storage. Being a watch seller, this isn’t fun because it makes the strap on a brand new watch look like it has been worn. The problem with the Peren box is that they didn’t design the inner foam to match the watch – specifically the oversized buckle. This means you have to really push the buckle in to make it stay in place, which causes marks and indentations in the foam – another annoyance as a watch seller because the new owner will think they got a damaged box. Hopefully Peren is already aware of this, if not then the constructive criticism in this review should help them grow as a brand!

Update: Peren recently launched the Nera Rogue. Check it out in the KTT watch shop below…

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Steven Zuler
Steven Zuler
2 years ago

39 millimeters is the perfect size for a watch like this. I only wish more brands would keep it 40 and below.

2 years ago
Reply to  Steven Zuler

With Rolex supersizing all of their watches, there are probably going to be a lot more, not fewer, watches over the 40mm mark.

1 year ago
Reply to  Perry


2 years ago

I saw this Peren watch before but never like this. That dial is something else! Nice review and pictures!

Danny Koh
Danny Koh
1 year ago

Purchase the peren nera Limited Edition pay full till now 4 month I still haven’t received anything from tis company. Ask for refund they say I can’t refund is this fair to buyer just bcoz they can’t or lost my parcel. Tis the first time I encountered tis kind of supplier who doesn’t give refund if they can’t deliver. Can someone tell me how to deal with tis problem. I just need some help n… Read more »

1 year ago

Just saw the new Peren is on a black NATO strap like you talked about here. They took your idea. I sure hope they compensated you in some way for that or gave you credit publicly for it. The watch looked out of place on the leather band and now it looks like it was meant to be on the black NATO strap. I might actually consider buying one with this new look. If you… Read more »

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