Fonderia Navale Stella | Hands-on Review

Fonderia Navale Stella

Fonderia Navale Stella

One thing I have learned over the many years I have been part of the watch media is to try and never judge a book by its cover. Up until recently, I had no interest in a larger watch for my personal collection. I was in that 42-43mm range, more thin than thick and had really boxed myself into a corner as far as what to buy and enjoy. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own way and a Raven Defender did that for me. What does that have to do with today’s review piece, the Fonderia Navale Stella? It allowed me to appreciate it a little more and realize just because on paper it is larger than I normally would wear, does not mean I shouldn’t give it a second look. I think many reviewers like to portray themselves as experts in all things and the reality is, I am just like every other watch collector. I have weird quirks and go through phases just like everyone else.

Fonderia Navale Stella

Fonderia Navale Stella Specifications:

Case diameter: 44 mm excluding the crown – lug to lug 53 mm with fixed bezel.

Movement: Miyota 9015 automatic

Case material: CuSn6 Bronze for heavy-duty applications

Crown: Tin Phosphor Bronze screw down crown 10.5 mm to avoid Galvanic oxidation

Crystal: AR Sapphire single Domed 3.5mm thick

Dial: 32mm diameter grained Enamel with applied indexes.

Water-resistance: 200 meters / 660 feet / 20 ATM

Case back: Stainless Steel

Strap: 24mm brown leather 24mm Flourorubber strap. Screw lug bars.

Buckle: Tin Bronze Buckle

Shock resistance: Citizen Miyota Parashock

$490 USD

https://www.pontvswatch.com/purchase-1/

Fonderia Navale Stella

Let me be clear though, this is not a watch I would personally wear on a regular basis. There are a few reasons for that, mainly the fact that bronze and my skin is a no go. The Fonderia Navale Stella is unapologetically a big and bold bronze watch, with only the case back being stainless steel, and every other part of the watch that touches your skin is bronze. I also wear a decent amount of silver jewelry and bronze and gold is just not my thing these days, though I still appreciate the look of it. That is why I still review these types of watches. I even wore this watch off and on as much as I could, turning my wrist very green, which leads to vigorously scrubbing my wrist in public bathrooms, something that does catch the attention of others.

Fonderia Navale Stella

Who is Fonderia Navale? They are the sister brand of Pontvs Watches, a brand I reviewed here early last year. I am not 100% sure why they have two different brands that produce, at least in my opinion very similar looking watches, but what do I know. Both brands seem adamant about producing bronze and brass pieces and proving that bronze is not a fad, rather it is here to stay. I think they are right by the way. I have been hearing since 2010 that bronze is just a fad, and here we are in 2019, closing in on a decade of people saying that. I am not sure why people care really. Sure, I have seen a few watches over the years offered in bronze that I would have bought if they were in steel or titanium, but it’s not like there isn’t a crazy amount of choices out there when it comes to buying a watch. Bronze (and brass) is also unique in that every watch will patina (age) in a different way. There are many different factors involved with how a bronze watch will patina, including the composition of the metal itself.

Fonderia Navale Stella

The Fonderia Navale Stella is obviously not your average bronze watch either. The design can be polarizing with its fixed bezel and stainless screws, the massive 10 o’clock crown and just overall appearance of this watch. To me, that is what makes this watch stand out. Even if this watch was in titanium, it would still probably not make the regular rotation for me but it is something I would wear occasionally, as it is a rugged looking watch that has a fun quality about it. So yeah, if you are a little more conservative, this watch is probably not going to be for you, especially with the bright colored dials it is offered in.

Fonderia Navale Stella

Speaking of the dial, the Fonderia Navale Stella comes in two color choices, the bright vibrant blue you see here, and a green hue that I do not think I can describe properly, it is a very intense green, almost a pea green if you will. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, only the green is available. I do not have confirmation if the blue dial will have another run or not, so if you want one you might have to search the secondary market. Beyond the bright colors, the dial has a grained enamel texture, similar to stucco paint almost, and adds another unique element to this watch. Both options have the orange accents on the dial and hands as you see here.

Fonderia Navale Stella

Even though the bezel is massive, which does take up some dial real estate, I had no issues being able to read the time at all. The hands and markers are large, but not oversized and the bright colors aid in readability as well. When it comes to wearability, Stella was surprisingly comfortable. While this watch is on the larger size, it is not massive and not very thick either. This watch really sits flat against the wrist and is very comfortable to wear, either with the Isofrane style strap or the leather, both included at no extra charge.

Fonderia Navale Stella

I have often knocked brands for offering multiple straps, as usually they are not of very good quality and I think quality over quantity is always the way to go. That is not the case here. Both the Isofrane style rubber strap and the leather strap are well made and ones that I feel most would purchase if available for individual sale. The massive bronze buckles are not exactly my taste, but I know some like that massive belt buckle look and the buckles are not a standard design either. Straps and buckles are so often overlooked by so many brands, both mainstream and micro and I am glad to see they just didn’t slap on thin leather or rubber with the usual thumbnail buckle.

Fonderia Navale Stella

Fonderia Navale Stella

From the Pontvs website: 

“Stella is the guiding spirit of the sea that is represented with Polaris the brightest star in the Ursa constellation. Polaris is notable for currently being the closest bright star to the North Celestial Pole. The pole marks true north, which makes the North Star important in navigation.

I am not sure if I would wear this watch for navigating, but I do like that they gave some thought to naming this model and that it is depicted on the case back.

Fonderia Navale Stella

Some nice lume as well 

Fonderia Navale Stella

The Stella really is one of those watches that you can say offers a lot of bang for your buck. At $490, you are getting a very industrial looking bronze watch that offers a good movement, sapphire crystal, 2 quality straps, and very striking dials. When you look at all the watches reviewed here or available on the market, it is hard to beat the value this watch offers. Style and design are subjective, and as I stated, this will not be one that would be on my wrist on a daily basis, but I appreciate what it offers and feel it is a great watch for the under $500 price tag.

Fonderia Navale Stella

Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale Stella Fonderia Navale StellaThe post Fonderia Navale Stella | Hands-on Review appeared first on WatchReport.com.

#watches

UNDONE Type XX Watch

When you really want to make a statement with your choice of watch and truly make it your own, watch brands like UNDONE are a godsend and their latest release, the Type XX Watch, will give you not only an extremely striking and cool looking watch but also the opportunity to customise the dial with your own design. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a Type XX with a Coolector logo on the dial and this does a great job of showcasing the customisable potential of this cracking range of timepieces.

The UNDONE Type XX Watch is an aviation styled timepiece where the sky really is the limit in terms of the design potential on offer and making this ace accessory unique to you. The original Type XX was created as a pioneering flight instrument for the French Air Force and Naval Aviation personnel in the 1950s and this new release from one of our favourite watchmakers, UNDONE, is a modern and customisable celebration of the original Type XX: an embodiment of the intrepidness and innovation that propelled aviation to new heights this past century. And ours has The Coolector logo, which is nice.

Aviation Awesomeness

We’ve got a particular soft spot for aviation style, vintage looking timepieces here at The Coolector so it likely comes as little surprise that we’ve fallen pretty hard for the Type XX Watch from UNDONE – especially given the extra bit of customisation that makes it unique to us. This first class timepiece is incredibly lightweight, as is the norm for aviation watches, and it is constructed from 316L stainless steel, and weighs in at just 52 grams. It’s light, agile, and nimble, with great body rigidity for those daily knocks and bumps that you’ll put it through on your life’s adventures.

With prices ranging from £235 up to £265 for the UNDONE Type XX Watch, it doesn’t break the bank but you’ll be getting a high quality watch for an incredibly reasonable price. It is available in three different styles – Classic, Panda and Special Edition – this devilishly dapper timepiece is one of our favourites to date from UNDONE. Designed to be worn day in, day out, the Type XX is built on the chassis of UNDONE’s best-selling Urban range. An elegant, well-balanced presence at 41.5mm in diameter and 12.5mm thick. Lug-to-lug length is 48.5mm and lug width 20mm, which allows it to wrap comfortably around your wrist and make a real style statement that is impossible to ignore.

Boasting quality components throughout, the UNDONE Type XX Watch has a classic body with a modern engines as it is powered by the industry-trusted Seiko VK64, a hybrid mecha-quartz movement that combines the heritage of a mechanical 60-minute sweeping flyback chronograph with the low-maintenance reliability and precision of quartz.​ This daily wear watch won’t let you down whatever your adventures whether they be up in the sky or on terra firma.

Cool Customisations

Whilst our customisation entailed getting The Coolector logo on the dial, there are so many different ways in which you can customise the Type XX Watch from UNDONE to make it unique to you. Some of the stand out ways in which you can customise the watch are choosing from two case options – either silver or satin black – and no fewer than 15 different strap options which means you’ll be able to get an aesthetic that’s right up your street. Last but no least, you’ve got your choice of three different dials with the Classic and Panda both being inspired by the original and racing era of watchmaking; and the Special Edition being a marriage of soft, white sub-dials with sky blue numerals – a union of classic styling and contemporary colouring.

With prices starting at £235, the UNDONE Type XX Watch represents fantastic value for money and we were delighted with our special edition offering bearing The Coolector logo. This supremely stylish timepiece has got some thoroughly impressive features which set it apart from the competition and if you’re after the sort of aviation style watch that will turn heads everywhere you go, look no further. A definite two thumbs up from us at The Coolector.

#watches

Watches, Stories, and Gear: Are All Chronographs Created Equal, The Voice of Game of Thrones, and More

#Watches, Stories, and Gear is a weekly roundup of some of our favorite watch content, great stories from around the web, and cool gear that we’ve got our eye on.

This week’s installment is brought to you by the Windup Watch Shop.


Before Heritage Was Cool – An Overiew of Seiko’s Incredible Historical Collection from 2000

Catalog scans courtesy of Stefan Molin (mollewatch.com)

In this article from 2017, ZQ recounts the story of Seiko’s awesome historical collection from 2000, long before the heritage craze took the watch world by storm. This highly limited set included seven historically-important watches from Seiko’s huge catalog. 

Learn more about it here.


Watchmaker’s Bench: Are All Chronographs Created Equal? Integrated Versus Modular Chronographs

Have you ever wondered about the differences between integrated and modular chronographs? You’re not the only one. Seasoned watchmaker Ashton Tracy breaks it all down in this article.

Read it here.


The New York Times – A.I. Took a Test to Detect Lung Cancer. It Got an A.

Voisin/Science Source via the NYT.

Lay conversations around AI almost always end on a dystopian note, but the real-world applications are far more positive. A recent study by researchers showed that AI was as good — or in some cases even better — as doctors in spotting small lung cancers on CT scans, which is certainly much more hopeful than killer robots.

Read the full story here.


The Ringer – The Man Who Spoke Game of Thrones Into Existence

Art by Jason Raish for The Ringer.

With Game of Thrones having come to a divisive close, it’s likely that many fans of the show will now turn to GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (if they haven’t done so already) for their fix of Jon, Dany, the White Walkers, and all that good stuff. Those tuning into the audiobooks will meet Roy Dotrice, the voice actor who spoke all of Martin’s characters into life (and even had a cameo as a pyromancer in the show’s second season). For many people, Dotrice is as significant, beloved, and divisive as Martin himself, and The Ringer profiled the late actor a week before the show’s conclusion.

Read that article here.


Warby Parker – Tate Sunglasses

If you’re looking for a pair of shades for the summer, then be sure to check out Warby Parker’s current catalog. This pair, dubbed Tate, has a fun, mid-century vibe, and the color nutmeg crystal is warm, casual, and a nice departure from your classic black and tortoiseshell.

$145-shop here


Huckberry – Vintage trainer

These light, summery sneakers from Huckberry are a recreation of a pair of vintage Italian military trainers from back in the day. The two-tone uppers are accented with gray suede and are fitted on a gum-sole sewn to the uppers. The colorway shown here is currently on sale and available in most sizes.

$138-shop here

The post Watches, Stories, and Gear: Are All Chronographs Created Equal, The Voice of Game of Thrones, and More appeared first on Worn & Wound.

Introducing the Fortis PC-7 TEAM Aeromaster Chronograph and Day-Date

Fortis has announced their first big product launch since an ownership change in September of last year, and it’s perhaps not a surprise at all that the new release places a strong emphasis on brand heritage and a longstanding partnership with a component of the Swiss military. This is a brand that has produced rock solid tool watches of all sorts over the years, and the new PC-7 Team Aeromasters are right in their wheelhouse: hearty, purpose-built aviation watches. Let’s take a closer look. 

The PC-7 Team is an aerobatics team of the Swiss Air Force that has its roots in the 1982 introduction of the Pilatus PC-7 plane. These watches, a #chronograph and a three hand model both with day-date indicators, celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the official establishment of the PC-7 Team in 1989.


PC-7 Team Aeromaster Chronograph

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Blue
  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull
  • Movement: Valjoux 7750 / 48 h power reserve / 25 jewels / Certified C.O.S.C Chronometer
  • Strap/bracelet: Steel bracelet & blue cordura performance strap
  • Price: CHF 4,450
  • Expected Release: June 2019

PC-7 Team Aeromaster Day-Date

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Blue
  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull
  • Movement: ETA 2836-2 / 42 h power reserve / 25 jewels / Certified C.O.S.C Chronometer
  • Strap/bracelet: Steel bracelet & blue cordura performance strap
  • Price: CHF 2,450
  • Expected Release: August 2019

The watches themselves are a product of Fortis consulting with PC-7 pilots for input on their design. Not surprisingly, these professional aviators requested timepieces with a focus on legibility and precision. To that end, each of the 300 pieces for each model is a COSC certified chronometer, and the dials are expansive and use generous amounts of lume on the large applied Arabic numerals. The deep blue color of the dial is a natural choice for a watch worn by pilots who fly above the clouds, and the 42mm Aeromaster case has a completely brushed surface to minimize the risk of unwanted reflections in the cockpit. 

Never a brand to skimp on useful watch tech, Fortis has added a bunch of additional mostly unseen features into the PC-7 Team editions. The sapphire crystal is double domed and uses Fortis’ AR027 anti-reflective coating to ensure legibility in any lighting condition, and even though the crown does not screw down (which would be counterintuitive in real life flight scenarios) these watches each boast 200 meters of water resistance thanks to the brand’s “In-crown-double-gasket-system.”

A close inspection of the dial reveals a variety of finishing techniques you wouldn’t normally expect on such a pure tool watch, but there is some very subtle circular graining in the subdials of the chronograph, and each model uses sunken elements in the rehaut for visual interest and to create a sense of depth. And, naturally, each watch features applied miniature representation of the PC-7 aircraft flying in a V formation at 9:00, making this a suitable collectible for anyone who has been associated with the team over the years, or those who are just fans of their impressive aerial acrobatics.

Both watches will be available this summer, with the Chronograph delivering in June, and the Day-Date following in August. Fortis

#watches

Nove Trident Watch Review

If you were asked to name the “thinnest non-specialised diving watch in the world”, who would you say? Piaget, JLC, Bulgari? According to Nove, it’s them.

The key in the statement is “non-specialised diving watch”. Whilst those other brands have created world-changing thin timepieces, they only have 30m water resistance, so not really suitable for the water.

The Nove Trident is a crazy thin 6.8mm tall and has a very unique style too – and when you consider it’s Swiss Made and costs a pretty impressive $320 / ~£245, it’s definitely worth your consideration. Let’s check it out.

The specs

The video review

The case

What else can I lead in with apart from the insanely thin height of 6.8mm? It’s certainly the thinnest watch I’ve come across that’s this affordable at only $320, with a working bezel and 150m water resistance (which has since been upgraded to 20ATM / 200m, so anyone who buys one now will have the upgraded resistance). So first and foremost, Nove must be commended for that.

That being said, the diameter is pretty huge at 46mm. It’s a bit of a conundrum really; as it wears beautifully thanks to the height – but visually it does look like a dinner plate on the wrist if yours is below average in size.

Because of the slender height, there’s not a lot to the case, but they’ve still managed to make it interesting. For the most part, it’s hidden away underneath the large flat bezel, but the sides demonstrate some decent attention to detail – for instance, polished shoulders next to brushed top and sides, and a chamfered bottom corner. The crown guards also follow suit.

Another very interesting element of the case is the 3-point ratcheting system of the bezel, which is specially created to ensure the thinness. It works really well, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen anything like this before. It’s not a gimmick; the spring-loaded ratchets provide no backwards play whatsoever and the action is firm but smooth. The level stoppers are all rose gold plated, which catches the eye and works well with the other accented elements. The design of them is also meant to reflect the points of Poseidon’s Trident which I can see.

The exposed element is definitely intriguing, however, I do find that it can pick up dust and fluff – I suppose that’s the downside to the open channel where the stoppers reside.

The bezel itself is definitely on the large and bold side – they’ve definitely made it a key feature. It exaggerates the thin height of the case, as the entire top of the watch is just so insanely flat. The bezel has a frosted finish, with the numerals and markings raised and polished accurately. The grip is huge and easy to grab, with a protrusion every 10 minutes, housing the larger numerals.

The crown is rose gold plated, delightfully angular, and to my surprise screw-in. It definitely looked to be too small to contain a thread, but lo and behold – it works really well and feels good in the hand. The logo is lightly engraved on the end.

The Nove Trident is fitted with a flat sapphire crystal, which has an evident anti-reflective coating that works well.

The caseback is fixed via 4 screws and is very flat – which is expected. It’s polished for the most part, with a frosted centre disc with details and the logo raised and polished against that backdrop. It’s not particularly exciting, but there are certain things that need to be forgone for such a thin case.

The dial

In reality, to keep the height of the case so thin, the dial has to be kept as flat as possible. I’m pleasantly surprised to find applied indices to provide a subtle bit of depth.

The hour and minute hands are a simple, bold sword shape with polished rose gold borders, and filled with lume. There are no seconds hand, so that saves a fraction of a millimetre. They’re well proportioned – providing excellent legibility at a suitable size. They’re subtly pitched too, with either side catching the light in different ways.

The green SuperLuminova lume is reasonably bright and charges effectively.

The applied hour markers are small, simple polished rose gold pips. It’s good to see these reflective elements as it ensures the watch isn’t just about an outrageous case with a comparatively plain dial. The logo and the words “Swiss Made” are both technically applied, however they’re more of a thin sticker than anything substantial. They don’t look as good as the hour markers which is a shame, perhaps they would have been better printed.

The bracelet

The svelteness of the case follows through into the bracelet. It’s good to see that there are screws either side of the lugs for easy removal, however, the shape of them means you’ll be unable to find an aftermarket strap that’ll fit without chopping some of it away. The screws are rose gold to match the other accented elements which is a nice touch.

The links are 3.5mm tall and have an interesting base. The brushed top ensures they’re resilient to scratches, whilst the polished sides provide flashy reflections when the light hits them right. Whilst the bracelet measures 48.7mm wide where it meets the case, it does reduce down to a more regular 22mm wide at the butterfly clasp.

The butterfly clasp is comfortable and easy to use thanks to the side pushers. The Nove N logo is deeply stamped to an impressive degree, plus I really like it when the logo folds over the other half as it does here.

The movement

The quartz movement powering the Nove Trident is the Ronda 1062 Slimtech. It comes in two grades; Swiss Parts and Swiss Made – the latter is used here. It has 4 jewels, is gold plated, 1.9mm tall, and has a rather impressive 6-year battery life. Some may be put off by the fact that its quartz, but if you want a watch this slim with a mechanical movement then be prepared to spend thousands and thousands instead of only $320. The fact that it doesn’t have a seconds hand makes it virtually impossible to tell anyway.

Final comments

Nove describes the Trident as a watch of versatility, as well as the thinnest non-specialised diving watch in the world. Clearly, they’re incredibly proud of what they’ve created – with good reason too.

I think the design might be a bit “too much” for some; the bezel is a key feature of the watch which you cannot ignore, which will go down to personal preference if you like it or not.

The fact that the Nove Trident is only $320 is rather staggering really. Such a custom watch that is Swiss Made with a bezel system I’ve not come across before at that price is mightily impressive. The design won’t be to everyone’s taste, that’s for sure. But, apart from that, it’s the kind of watch that I love to review: affordable, different, with unique features.

#watches

Christopher Ward Trident Launch Event

I had the privilege of attending the launch event of Christopher Ward’s brand new Mk3 Trident. Hosted in a small event venue on Short’s Gardens in Seven Dials, just a short walk away from Covent Garden in the heart of London, it reflected well what Christopher Ward is about: quintessentially British.

The event itself was between 6-9pm, and I arrived at the venue half an hour early – just enough time to nip around the corner to the local Costa and enjoy a coffee with James from Watch That Sweep – a great guy who has been running his watch blog and review site for just over a year now – so go check him out.

At 6 we headed off back to the venue. I was immediately warmly welcomed by Chris from the PR company, and a glass of Prosecco swiftly found my hand.

There were two main displays demonstrating the new range: a very cool waterfall, with the models directly under the cascading liquid, lit up in blue. Whilst this was an eye-catching display, it was actually a little bit wet right up close, a pain to photograph the watches, and therefore difficult to see the watches in detail. It was certainly more style over function, but that’s not to say it wasn’t welcome.

The other primary display was a fish tank full of water, with a pebble bed and some plantation. The Tridents were on stands within, showing off a small level of their underwater capabilities. This was a much more effective display, although you still couldn’t get your hands on the new watches. What were we to do?

Thankfully, further in and manned by Declan, the showroom manager at CWHQ, was a case full of the range available for handling.

Along the furthest brick wall was a collection of tasteful posters to set the scene.

The Prosecco kept flowing, and I managed to have a good chat with many. Of course, it was great to speak to many of the people from Christopher Ward – the man himself, co-founder Mike France, head designer Adrian Buchmann, and others who work behind the scenes.

Not only that, but I also had the pleasure of meeting up with some other highly influential people. It was inspiring speaking to Adrian from Bark & Jack, who has gone from strength to strength since starting his channel.

Armand from Armand The Watch Guy was someone else I enjoyed speaking to. He’s young, determined, and he has very impressive knowledge. What he does is remarkable.

Nicholas from Fears Watches was great to meet in person at long last. He was wearing a Brunswick, which is beautiful – and the amount of work that he does and that goes into each of these watches is impressive.

All in all, it was a successful event from Christopher Ward. The PR agency did a good job of organising a few different reviews to go out on the day of launch, and before that, we were asked to publish some “sneak peeks” to increase anticipation. It certainly worked, and judging by the reactions from forums and Facebook groups, I’m fairly certain the new Mk3 Trident has been flying off the shelves.

After handling the entire range (I had early access to the Elite 1000 for my review here), I can honestly say that they are fabulous watches for the money and they all have impressed me greatly. The 40mm version, in my eyes, is the perfect size – it’s a shame that initially it’s only available in black, but once sales start coming through the more colourways will become available.

I also had a chance to check out the new highly anticipated and redesigned quick-release bracelet, which allows simple and fast removal when usually it can be quite painful.

I look forward to getting my hands on the other models for an in-depth review – so keep your eyes peeled in the coming months!

#watches

Hands-On with the Voutilainen 28 TE in Enamel

The Voutilainen Vingt-8 is available in an endless variety of dial styles, perhaps too many, almost anything a client desires can be done. Inevitably some dials work better than others, but the 28 TE happens to be particularly attractive.

And it is also unusual, being a combination of guilloche and enamel, something Voutilainen has mostly, but not exclusively, used for one-off watches made for special events, as he did for a Singapore charity in 2016. Earlier this year, however, #Voutilainen unveiled the 28 E that has a full, grand feu enamel dial.

The dial is beautifully crafted, with a barleycorn guilloche chapter ring in silver for the hours, and the dial centre and sub-seconds being separate pieces made of solid gold and covered in rich blue enamel. Most Voutilainen dials, in contrast, are entirely silver and engine-turned.

Voutilainen Vingt-8 blue enamel 6

Voutilainen Vingt-8 blue enamel 5

“The gold plate is engine turned and then there is transparent enamel added on. It is done gold base, as it is not possible to do translucent grand feu enamel on silver,” says Kari Voutilainen, “and it has to be a special gold alloy to remain clean in heat.”

While the dial is engine-turned by Voutilainen – the company owns dial maker Comblémine – the enamel is done by a specialist.

Voutilainen Vingt-8 blue enamel 4

The hands are solid gold with blued steel rings

The look is slightly more contemporary than the average Voutilainen, helped by the bright colour of the enamel.

The hour markers are the usual Voutilainen style, but sit vertically on the dial, instead of radially, which looks a bit odd, at least to my eye. But a custom dial with repositioned hour numerals is easy done.

Inside is a first generation cal. 28, with a large barrel bridge and a cock for the third wheel, making it a bit more elaborate in style and finishing than later generations.

Found in newer watches like the 217QRS, the second generation cal. 28 has “one big bridge that takes the barrel, centre wheel and third wheel” according to Mr Voutilainen. Put another way, the first generation cal. 28 has an extra component that requires finishing.

Voutilainen Vingt-8 blue enamel 3

Voutilainen Vingt-8 blue enamel 7

The cock for the third wheel at bottom left

Even though the movement is now well known, it’s still worth revisiting because it is extremely well executed. It is not beautiful in a classical manner; the bridges are functionally shaped to show off finishing and mechanics, but it is a thoroughly impressive movement.

The extra-large, 13.6mm balance wheel takes pride of place under a long, rounded steel bridge, with the direct impulse double escape wheels right below.

Voutilainen Vingt-8 blue enamel 9

Voutilainen Vingt-8 blue enamel 2

All of the bridges are in German silver, and gleam in the light. The tops are finished with Geneva stripes, and all edges are bevelled and mirror polished, right down to the cocks under the balance wheel.

Naturally the spokes of the wheels – which are all 18k rose gold – are also chamfered, while the screws and jewels sit in polished countersinks.

Voutilainen Vingt-8 blue enamel 8

The case is the standard Vingt-8 case, 39mm wide and 11.5mm high.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

The 28 TE in enamel and guilloche is priced at 86,000 Swiss francs, while the full enamel 28 E is 83,000 Swiss francs.

#watches

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