Let me first sat that this Favre-Leuba watch is what the Vacheron Constantin Quai de l’Ile should have been. This attractive looking A. Schild Limited Edition of 101 pieces watch uses a vintage manually wound movement from 1967, and looks likes a design cross between a new Omega De Ville and the ill-fated (in my opinion) Vacheron Constantin Quai de l’Ile. Compare the images of the two watches, see if you agree with me. While Favre-Leuba makes well use of semi-transparent materials and retro styling, the Vacheron Constantin feels ‘vertigo inducing’ (to me). There is a sober looking seriousness with the A. Schild watch design. It feels like a politician’s watch out of the Cold War era, but in a good way. Something makes me think that I’d want to drive around in an classic polished black, chrome gilded Cadillac while wearing this watch.
The A. Schild movement inside the watch is highly polished with micro perlage and is all original (aside from finishing). This relates to a current trend in making new watches with vintage movements. Something I first noticed from high-end brands in the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite watch that was recently announced, where a vintage movement was also used. The A. Schild movement inside the watch has a high beat at 36,000 bpm, and has a 42 hour power reserve.
Going back to the Favre-Leuba A. Schild dial, you have an assortment of textures, planes and materials. It is mechanical art in a very chic and masculine form. The middle of the dial is reserve for hazy view into the movement – just enough to remind you that it is there, but not enough to distract you (as in the Vacheron Constantin). The hands of the watch look like tapered versions of the hands on a classic Rolex Daytona or Date-Just. This is a good thing of course as such hands have legendary legibility. Thankfully Favre-Leuba made the hands long enough, with the minute hand riding along a well-placed minutes ring. While there is a lot going on in the dial, the major things which stand out are the most important things; namely the hour indicators and hands.
Looking at the movement you see what I would call a throwback to the design progression of totally round cases to a more ‘lug integration’ look that we started to see a lot of in the 1970s. As the movement from this watch is from 1967, I would say the design of the case fits in well with any nostalgia from the era. The crown, similar to a large polished gear is designed to be easy to manipulate as this is a manually wound watch. The case polishing is very interesting. The top of the watch is brushed to appear more serious and help keep focus on the watch face. Turn the watch over, and high gloss polishing frame the view of the movement. Use of screws with the Favre-Leuba logo is a nice touch on the transparent caseback. The A. Schild limited edition line from Swiss Favre-Leuba is an excellent collection from the watch maker this year. Look for the official release at Baselworld soon. To learn more about the watch, contact Favre-Leuba here.
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