A young company, Franc Vila emphasizes the production of a timepiece which respects the traditions of artisanal watchmaking, but with an emphasis on freshness, contemporary design, and significantly – the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
Make no mistake, in regard to that last point; Franc Vila watches cannot be mistaken for anything else. The striking ovoid case shape makes an immediate impression in several ways. As suits a modern timepiece, the thickness of the case is considerable, giving each watch a lot of presence. Secondly, finish is exquisite, with an emphasis on a variety of bevels and angles which show off the always pleasing contrasts between brushed and polished metal surfaces. The fineness of finish on Franc Vila watches also invariably draws the eye to the uniquely shaped dial and sapphire crystal, which to my eye is reminiscent of a skull. (Perhaps Franc Vila is getting philosophical about time and existence here?) Franc Vila dials themselves are worthy of their own commentary – whether rendered in classic silvered metal or mother of pearl, or something exotic like carbon fiber, you cannot help but be drawn in by the amazing amount of three-dimensional detail and exacting workmanship. To see one in the metal is to instantly understand my enthusiastic proclamations.
The Franc Vila watch collection offers up a tremendous amount of variety in terms of the range of horological complications. If you prefer to keep things comparatively simple, you can choose such models as the Master Quantieme, with its classical complete calendar, or Chronograph Grande Date, which gives you a handy large date in addition to the ever-popular chronograph function. Travel frequently? Then have a good look at the Franc Vila Universal Timezone model, which gives you the ability to change timezones – and corresponding world cities – with the ease of pressing a button.
If you are a seasoned watch collector, and prefer the heaviest hitting complications, then Franc Vila is a great brand to peruse. Many of the most prestigious horological achievements are present, including a range of tourbillons which feature a very sophisticated spherical differential winding system that drastically reduces winding time. Another beautiful model is the Tourbillon Dial Side Column Wheel Monopusher Chronograph, which exposes its intricate chronograph mechanism through the dial. The “Queen of Complications” – the minute repeater – gets some very fine treatment from the house, as well. Equipped with a particularly sonorous cathedral gong, the Franck Vila minute repeater with tourbillon shows off an “Absolute Isolated Sound System” which the manufacturer claims has eliminated regulator noise.