Balmont… (B)+(A)+(L)+(MONT)RE. There you go… but that will need explaining. Behind this new brand, which specializes in adventure-themed instrument watches at a fair price, are three men: Benjamin Chamfeuil, founder of Vasco Watches; Aurélien Cram, founder of Horel, an online watch shop and Parlons Montre Youtube channel; and Ludovic Barrois, founder of blog lepetitpoussoir.fr. Their friendship gave birth to a new project focusing on classic sports watches… But it is also a brand with a rather cool background story. The first collection will soon be available, so let’s discover that shall we?
Remember the golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…? Well, there’s a bit of that with Balmont. Indeed, there’s a treasure hunt behind each collection. “Balmont is an adventure to live. Each year, our team will travel the world to bury or even submerge an airtight time capsule containing a model guaranteed for life, only available to those who are not afraid. A mission briefing which will analyze the topography, climate, fauna and flora, will be delivered in each watch box with the precise GPS coordinates of the capsule. The latter will, of course, contain the watch produced in an ultra-limited series at the rate of only one per mission, but also with instructions to contact our mission manager so that the story of your adventure will be shared with our community,” explain the founders. Mission Alpha in 2024, cold mountains. Mission Beta in 2025, a hot desert. Mission Gamma in 2026, a desert island. Mission Delta in 2027, the jungle. Mission Epsilon in 2028, a salt desert…
Let’s talk watches. The first collection launched by Balmont, named BDX, has been designed to be time-proof and adventure-proof. Classic, timeless designs on one side, solid specs on the other. A traditional recipe that has been used on multiple occasions but that has also proven efficient. The watch, whatever the dial, comes in a 40mm stainless steel case with a 12mm thickness and a 48mm length – nothing to complain about here. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal with AR coating, the crown screws down, the caseback has a see-through crystal and is also screwed to the case, and the water resistance is a solid 200m. One nice small detail: the drilled lugs add to the instrumental look and make strap changes much easier.
The Balmont BDX will be available in four different colours, once again classics of the industry. The solid white (BDX004) and black (BDX001) versions have a ceramic coating, while the silver (BDX003) and grey (BDX002) models are sunray brushed. Applied baton-shaped markers are riveted to the dial and filled with Super-LumiNova. The same is true for the hands. A precision seconds track sits at the periphery of the dial, and, wise choice, these are no-date watches.
But there’s a fifth version, probably the most attractive model. Released as a limited edition of 100 pieces, the Balmont LAX001 features a black, ceramic-coated dial with riveted markers in a classic California style. All the elements are filled with cream-toned Super-LumiNova, and the dial has a gilt effect on its printings and railroad minute track.
Inside the case is a Swiss-made Soprod P024, an alternative to the ETA 2824 and Sellita SW200. It runs at a 4Hz frequency and stores 38h of power reserve. It’s a reliable movement known to be easy to service. It’s offered here with a -7/+7 second/day accuracy. All watches come on a leather strap (colour depending on the dial) with an additional washable black fabric strap – a good option for adventure…
Offered at EUR 790, the Balmont BDX and LAX models offer great value for the money. Pre-orders will be possible from late September 2023, with deliveries expected in April 2024. For more details, please visit balmont-watch.com.