New watch Alert! Based on the roots of an 80 years old brand, a new crowdfunding project involving watches is about to rise and to launch. Founded in 1934 by Raymond Dodane – that was member of the Dodane family, best known for these watches – Lebois & Co sold watches until 1972 before stopping its production. Back in 2014, Dutch entrepreneur and watch enthusiast Tom van Wijlick decided to start his own watch brand. Because creating a brand from scratch is requiring a lot of funds, he decided to start a Kickstarter project and to re-registred the name Lebois & Co again.
The story behind the resurrection of Lebois & Co started in Tom van Wijlick and his wife’s minds a year ago. Both watch enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, they came across a photo of a beautiful vintage watch, a Lebois & Co Chronograph (the one photographed here). Fascinated by the beauty of this watch, they made some researches about this unknown brand. Lebois & Co was founded in December 1934 by French watch manufacturer Raymond Dodane who belongs to the third generation of the Dodane family. After WWII, in 1947 to be precise, Lebois & Co was handed over to Italian importers who outsourced production to Dodane as well as other Swiss watch manufacturers. Watches are sold mainly to the Italian Market. However, in 1972, the brand ceased to produce timepieces and the name disappeared.
2015 – rebirth and inaugural watch: the Lebois & Co Avantgarde Date
This eventually lead to the re-registration of the brand name and the re-launch of this forgotten watch brand: Lebois & Co. Exactly eighty years after the original company was founded, the brand is resurrected. However, creating a brand and launching a collection of watches from scratch is something extremely complicated and highly expensive. In order to help him to launch its project, Tom had just started a crowdfunding with a Kickstarter project – the Lebois & Co project page can be found here.
In order to be able to print the Lebois & Co name on a dial again, Tom and his wife created a simple, robust and sporty watch with an elegant dial and a reasonable price. The Lebois & Co Avantgarde Date is the first model of a future collection. This inaugural watch will be only made in 100 pieces, all numbered on the caseback. The crowdfunding process is limited to this ‘re-launch edition’ only and the Lebois & Co Avantgarde Date will be later available in a non-limited classical edition – if the project proves its viability.
The Lebois & Co Avantgarde Date is a stainless steel watch, with a reasonable 40mm x 10.5mm case. The case comes in a mix of satin parts on the top and polished surfaces for the casebands and the bezel. The design is simple, however with pleasant details such a crown guard and curved lugs that go slightly downward. The dial shows two tracks, one for the hours with applied faceted indices and one-minute markers and another inner track for the minutes, with roman numerals. The Lebois & Co Avantgarde Date is powered by a robust ETA 2824-2 Automatic with date feature. It comes on a genuine alligator strap.
The Lebois & Co Avantgarde Date Re-Launch Edition is, as we said earlier, part of a Kickstarter project in order to fund the production. For those who are helping the project to rise (by backing up this project), the watch will be priced at 975 Euros. You’ll have to hurry as the deadline to participate to the Kickstarter Project is March, 14th – follow this link to visit the page. After that, the price will remain reasonable at 1.695 Euros. The production is expected to start in April 2015 and the watches are expected to be delivered in September 2015.
More details on Lebois & Co here.