Canadian independent watchmaker Bradley Taylor impressed us last year with his refined and elegant Paragon. The Paragon was a time-only watch with incredible attention to detail. Bradley’s eye for tradition is paired with excellent craftsmanship and a touch of creativity, and he has repeated this formula with his second creation. Presented as the Bradley Taylor Lutria, this is again an expression of a rising star on the indie scene and one who might well put Canada on the watchmaking map.
When we first learned of Bradley Taylor’s work, we reached out to cover the Paragon and also to find out more about Bradley Taylor, the person. Where did he come from, how did he learn his craft, what’s his vision on watchmaking, his past experiences, et cetera. Starting as one-half of Birchall & Taylor, Bradley Taylor ventured out on his own during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Lutria is the second creation by Bradley Taylor and is a play on the design codes set by the Paragon. It uses the same compact 39mm by 9.8mm polished stainless steel case, topped with a scalloped bezel and Art Deco-style lugs. These dimensions surely make for a very comfortable watch to wear, and it’s good to know the water-resistance is rated at 120m thanks to a screw-down crown. Bradley Taylor was adamant his watches be worn on a daily basis. No corners are cut, not even when using third-party suppliers, as Bradley tries to find the very best partners to work with.
The dial and hands are where the Lutria really makes a statement, much like the Paragon before it. While the Paragon might have been a bit more restrained in decorative flourishes, the Lutria goes all-in with colour and style. This time around, we see a full-guilloché decoration with a modified barleycorn pattern that gives it a wave-like feel. Originally the Lutrai is inspired by the turquoise tones of the sea near Bradley Taylor’s hometown of Vancouver, Canada. This explains the ocean turquoise dial tone, which is joined by an iridescent blue/green version and a salmon-pink dial.
A new set of hands have been crafted for the Lutria, which shows the hours and minutes only. Each is entirely handcrafted and can take between 12 and 20 hours to finish. The hands are constructed with two components, which are polished to perfection before being heat-treated to a deep purple tone. The colour purple is notoriously difficult to achieve even when heat-treating components, as the window in which purple appears and shifts into the eventual and more common blue tones is minimal. The hands are complemented by applied dots and numerals, the latter designed by Canadian typographer Ian Brignell.
Like the Paragon, the Lutria is powered by the Vaucher 5401/32, but it has given up its small seconds indication this time. The movement measures 30mm in diameter and a very slim 2.6mm in height, mainly due to the inclusion of a micro-rotor. It uses 29 jewels, runs at a frequency of 21,600vph and provides 48 hours of power reserve. The movement is modified with reworked bridges which are hand-finished with anglage, Côtes de Genève and a 22k gold rotor with guilloché finishing. The sapphire crystal caseback is held in place with square-headed screws, which we first saw on the Paragon.
Bradley Taylor will produce only 24 pieces of the Lutria and presents it on a navy blue beavertail leather strap, with bespoke options available upon request. The Lutria is priced at USD 25,500, and for those interested, Bradley Taylor also offers bespoke options for the hands and dial. Certainly a lot of money, but in return, you get a carefully crafted and expressive piece of independent Canadian watchmaking, which we don’t get to see too often.
For more information, please visit BradleyTaylor.ca.