Dutch watch enthusiast Tom van Wijlick has a weak spot for vintage watches. Combine this with a keen sense of entrepreneurship, and you can expect nice things to happen. After running off with an old but still attractive Lebois & Co. model, Van Wijlick rebooted Lebois with the introduction of two new watches, the Avantgarde and the Venturist. Yet, this man turns out to be a bit of a dreamer and when he found out that another great brand from the past was for sale, he immediately jumped on the occasion. Enter Airain… well-known for the Type 20 Flyback chronographs for the French airforce. And to make things even more interesting: you can become a shareholder!
Lebois & Co. was carefully crafted by the renowned Dodane watchmaking family, which also produced the now-legendary Airain brand. In its heyday, Airain turned heads with its extremely reliable Type 20 model, as one of the selected suppliers to the French Airforce – together with Breguet, Mattey-Tissot, Dodane, Auricoste and Vixa. Eight years ago, our contributor Max Reddick penned down the story of the legendary Type 20 and Type 21. Then, after the 1970s, the brand Airain silently came to a standstill. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it upped its collector’s status, and the Type 20 became a highly sought-after piece for military watch enthusiasts.
Van Wijlick must have had a pleasant chat with the family because he also managed to secure the trademark rights for Airain. He has united the two brands (Lebois and Airain) under the flag of his Compagnie des Montres Lebois & Cie. But it gets even better. The Dutchman has announced plans to create a whole family of historically relevant watch brands and is quietly eyeing other classics. To fund his plans, Van Wijlick has set up a crowd investment campaign, much like the ones we saw from Reservoir Watch and Czapek & Cie., a few years back. The campaign is now accepting pre-registrations on Eureeca, an equity crowdfunding platform for serious investors. There are some positive notes to 2020 after all…
If you want to learn more about how to become a shareholder in Airain, follow this link to the Eureeka investment platform.