Inside the Grand Cru is a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement with the brass finishing (less common to see) that is viewable through a sapphire crystal caseback window. Unlike the front crystal, the caseback is entirely flat, which I think happens to help with wearing comfort. The case is water resistant to 50 meters.
Wearing the Sablier Grand Cru proves an interesting experience for an indy watch. The case and dial are distinct but also suitable enough to blend in. It offers a hint of being different without being the type of watch that screams for attention. Then there is the matter of the concave curved sapphire crystal. One small issue is that there could be a bit more AR coating on the crystal, as it often reflects a bit of light- though it isn’t a big deal. Something about the curved dial and crystal allows for a nice range of visibility from angles, but it isn’t extreme. So is there a benefit of having the inward curved crystal? It does, I suppose, help protect the crystal enough, but then again I am the type of person who is very careful not to hit my watch on things. So for me, the extra protection is more theoretical as this isn’t the type of watch that I would wear in a “G-Shock situation.”
The last interesting design element is the very thick lugs. They are an artistic choice but not something that I feel everyone will like. They help the watch make a bold impression and give the design a strong feeling. In fact, the majority of similarly styled watches would have ultra minimal lugs. So for Sablier to go in the opposite direction is really unique. For a bigger guy, I think the watch would work very well actually.
Attached to the Grand Cru is a leather strap with a deployant buckle. I actually swapped the strap for something more interesting that has some red in the color. I would be curious to know what novel strap choices people make with this watch as the stock strap might prove too ordinary. Having said that, other versions of the Sablier Grand Cru with different dials do have some more colorful strap choices, and I just learned that this specific model is now also offered on a red strap (someone listened…). Each version of the Sablier Grand Cru is limited to just 250 pieces, which is natural given the boutique production. It is an interesting watch that I think will appeal to the right consumers. Price is a bit on the ambitious side at $2,100. sablierwatches.com
>Model: Grand Cru
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Sometimes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Mature watch lover keen on supporting independent brands who happens to enjoy wine.
>Best characteristic of watch: Well-composed design and nicely finished for a brand’s first attempt.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Sometimes unclear value proposition and utility of signature concave crystal feature.