Baselworld 2014 preview…
I’ve long been a fan of small, independent watchmaker Franc Vila and it was a great pleasure to meet with him at Baselworld last year. I’d guess the number of watches he makes in a single year numbers in the hundreds, so he is not widely known, but man does he make some great watches. For this latest version which is of the typical Franc Vila aesthetic, the watch caliber is cased-up in total suspension, stabilized by a clever system of springs (see closeup pic below). This somewhat gives the impression that the caliber is levitating in the dial-free structure. Nice. This “suspension” concept reminds me of something similarly employed by Richard Mille in the RM027 Rafael Nadal.
by Kyle Stults on April 05, 2013
Baselworld 2013 preview…
This year Geneva-based independent watchmaker Franc Vila adds a new model to his Intrepido collection. First launched in 2011, the Intrepido is the one of two official collection’s offered by Vila. This particular piece features a hand-wound tourbillon movement with Lightnium bridges (aluminum/lithium alloy) and silicon escape-wheel and lever. The elliptical case and bezel are done in a combination of pink gold and DLC-coated titanium. The dial is openworked with nice symmetry.
Of course watches like this will not appeal to everyone, not that it really matters — always a brand of ultra-exclusivity, this new Intrepido Tourbillon from Franc Vila will be limited to just 8 pieces.
If you want more background on Vila check out his (not-so-user friendly) website at http://www.francvila.com/
Or get lots more info in my past articles on Franc Vila watches here>>> (and a hands-on Franc Vila review I did in 2011, here>>>)
Limited Edition 88 pieces each
A pair of new pieces from Franc Vila, model name “FVi17 Chrono Bicompax Intrepido.” If you are thinking these watches look somewhat different from prior Franc Vila pieces, you are correct. That is because these chronographs are done in the style of Vila’s new collection, the Intrepido, which quietly debuted in 2011. Though I may be mistaken (possible, but unlikely), I believe that these are the first new models with the Intrepido line that have been introduced since the 2011 Intrepido Tourbillon and FVi9 Chrono Intrepido debuted. While I am very much a fan of the new style, and Franc Vila in general, there are a couple aspects of these new pieces that I do not like. I’ll give you the full rundown, below.
Read the rest of this entry »
Last week in Basel, FRANC VILA introduced a new timepiece in its SuperLigero Concept collection, the FVa61 SuperLigero Automatic. It’s a cool looking piece, and with a simple dial (in the Franc Vila style) — hours & minutes, small seconds dial, and a big date at the top. If you want to see what a Franc Vila looks like on the wrist — much like this one would — check out my earlier review of his a8 Big Date Chronograph.
But now I’ve got to take some issues with Franc Vila’s press release this time around (actually most of his PRs are like this): for example, we are told that “The common element in all the timepieces introduced under the SuperLigero concept is the use of Lightnium, an aluminium-lithium based alloy used in state of the art aeronautical engineering.” OK fine, except that the watch case is later stated to be made of titanium (no mention of Lightnium). Then, according to the brand, “it’s main characteristics are lightness combined with high-tensile strength, allowing structural weight reduction and an increase in the elastic modulus performance.” “Elastic modulus performance” excuse me but what the heck does that mean? I can tell you that in the context of wearing a watch, it means nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Franc Vila (see my extensive prior coverage of the brand), but the man (or his PR firm) need to step out of “chemistry and engineering world” and into the real world with these press releases. OK, my rant is done — here’s the watch:
Franc Vila SuperLigero Automatic Titanium
limited edition 88 pieces
titanium case with elliptic and circular bezel, automatic mechanical Franc Vila movement, smoked sapphire crystal; comes with rubber strap and croc leather strap
Deep NanoTube Titanium Carbon-Graphene Composite…
Baselworld 2011 – FRANC VILA unveiled a new collection named “Intrepido” which introduces the second evolution of its very characteristic “espirit unique” watchcase design. The new Intrepido collection is features a tourbillon watch as well as a chronograph with complete calendar — both built in new titanium-based nanotechnological materials. This evening I will cover the Tourbillon Intrepido model, including a short “hands on” video, courtesy of Franc Vila.
The FVi Nº 7 Tourbillon Intrepido is an extremely light timekeeper thanks to the use of state of the art high-end performance materials in the movement and case. The Tourbillon Intrepido is a mono-block watchcase made of either “NanoTube Titanium” (35% less dense than regular titanium) or “Deep NanoTube Titanium Carbon-Graphene Composite” material, as are the movement base plate and bridges, while all the screws are made in NanoTube Titanium. I’ll forgive your for thinking this “nanotechnology” stuff is gimmicky, but bear in mind that Vila is a trained chemist who has a great passion for developing and working these case materials — which is why I give him the benefit of the doubt.
Franc Vila FVi Nº 7 Tourbillon Intrepido
Ultra-limited to 8 pieces
“Intrepido” case shape, FV Nº 7 calibre (automatic mechanical), tourbillon with day & night three-dimensional indication (at 9 o’clock), on a black rubber Franc Vila strap
Franc Vila FVi Nº 7 Tourbillon Intrepido Hands-On
Finally, if you have not already seen it, be sure to check out my review of the Franc Vila A8 Big Date Chronograph watch, here.
by Kyle Stults on October 09, 2010
20-year old Mexican GP2 driver Sergio Pérez announced on October 4 that he will debut in F1 next year with the Sauber team. Pérez’s ascension to the highest level of global auto racing was quickly rewarded by Spanish-born Swiss watchmaker Franc Vila, who created a special edition watch for the rising star. The watch features the colors of the Mexican flag to celebrate the bicentenary of the independence of Mexico and the dial shows the initials of Sergio Pérez instead of the numbers 1 and 11 to acclaim his victories in this year’s GP2 championship.
Franc Vila Official Watch for F1 Driver Sergio Pérez
Strap is black or white crocodile leather strap with red and green stitchings (rubber sport strap also included) . Also available with double side crocodile leather straps (inner part in red or green, outer part in red or green).
The timepiece is equipped with an automatic movement with chronograph functions and a “big date” calendar in a double window, and is available in a limited edition of 28 pieces.
Sergio Perez receives the watch from Franc Vila (right)
I am excited to have finally gotten my hands on a Franc Vila watch. While this particular model was not my favorite color scheme, I really enjoyed reviewing it. The construction is rock solid. The design is unique. Great strap, too. As you will see it is a massive watch with a massive wrist presence — it would make an excellent wrist weapon if you ever got in a pinch (seriously). Price will be somewhere near $20,000. In other words, this is not a watch for discerning individuals in any sense. All in all, reviewing this watch has really cemented my appreciation for Franc Vila and his watches, and I definitely would like to own a Franc Vila watch one day. Here is the video review and some pictures below. Thanks for watching.
Franc Vila a8 Big Date Chronograph Video Review
Franc Vila a8 Big Date Chronograph Photos
Thanks to Luxury Montres for loaning me the timepiece. If you are interested in purchasing this watch, just holla and I’ll get you hooked up.
All the watch news that’s fit to print….
It goes without saying that for each watch featured here daily on the Perpetuelle.com Blog, there are several more we are not able to write about.
So — here is the news for the week of August 23, 2010 (in no particular order) that was not already featured here on the blog – click through if you are interested in full details on any of these:
- Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo & Le Mans Series
- Hysek Opens Flagship Store in Singapore
- Jaeger-LeCoultre Book: Extreme Watches for an Extreme World
- New Swiss Brand: Codex
- Franc Vila FVa35 SuperSonico 5 Minutes Repeater, Superligero Concept
- Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Tourbillon
- The Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad
- BALL Trainmaster Worldtime COSC
- Romain Jerome honoured by India’s prestigious Watch World Awards 2010
An extreme looking minute repeater…
It was in 2008 that Franc Vila launched his Superligero Concept collection. The common element in all the timepieces introduced under this collection is the use of Lightnium, an aluminium-lithium based alloy used in state of the art aeronautical engineering — generally speaking, the alloy is super light but super strong. According to Vila, Lightnium also offers good “sonority” aka it makes the 5 minute repeater mechanism sound very nice. Like all Franc Vila watches, these watches are very extreme, but cool, looking (have you seen the EVOS 8 Estrella Roja?). But for the right personality (and bank account–prices start around $15,000 and up from there), they will be a perfect match. This particular model is the FVa35 SuperSonico 5 Minute Repeater. It has a gnarly looking skeletonized dial that chimes every 5 mins. Not sure on price, but probably well past $30,000. Limited to 88 pieces.
Be sure to check out my other coverage of Franc Vila watches, here. I hope to one day meet Franc Vila the man — he seems like a very passionate watch guy.
Also — stay tuned for my video review of the Franc Vila FVa8 Chronograph — Dog days of summer and other activities have it on the backburner for now, but just as soon as I allocate the time to edit the video I will get it posted.
Now here’s a commemorative piece!
Spanish-inspired, Swiss-made brand FRANC VILA today announced a special edition of its successful “Cobra” collection to celebrate the first Spanish football World Cup win. It is an awesome looking watch! Christened “Estrella Roja” (red star), this release is limited to 88 pieces (as are most of FV’s models) and features the Spanish squad colors and a star at the 1 o’clock position commemorating the triumph.
Franc Vila EVOS 8 Cobra “Estrella Roja”
“Esprit Unique” shape case/bezel in steel and carbon-fiber, chronograph with big date, water resistant 300 meters, carbon fiber dial; comes on a black crocodile leather strap with red + yellow stitchings (rubber strap also included)
The Spanish founder of the Swiss brand Mr. Franc Vila himself went on the record:
I am extremely happy with the achievement of the spanish football squad in South Africa. This victory has been a dream for a long time in Spain and I am very proud of the football players that have made this dream a reality. I decided to create a special collection commemorating our first football championship with a star in place of the number one, and I hope to add more stars in the future.
Very nicely done, Mr. Vila!
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