After two first editions, one with a classical silver dial and one with a striking blue dial (which we reviewed here), both successfully funded by community-based projects, Lebois & Co today announced their return to the Kickstarter program to raise funds for the 3rd Re- launch Edition of their Avantgarde Date. Besides coming with a nice black dial, there’s more to offer now “under the hood”… New dial and new movement for a great quality upgrading.
Without doing the full story again (you can read it thoroughly in Robin’s review here), Lebois & Co marks the revival of a brand formerly in existence, created by a member of the Dodane-watchmaking family. Long story short, the brand collapsed after the quartz crisis and the name ceased to exist… Until Dutch entrepreneur Tom van Wijlick and his wife Eveline came across an image of a vintage chronograph by Lebois & Co a few years ago and used this as inspiration to re-launch the brand. The name was once again registered and the first watches saw the light in 2015. Using Kickstarter to re-launch the brand, they introduced a first edition of 100 pieces with a satin silver dial, followed by a more original blue version of their watch, again limited to 100 pieces, the Lebois & Co Avantgarde Date. Today, the trilogy will be closed, with a third version, with black dial and a nice surprise for watchmaking lovers.
Again, for full details, take a look at our review, which will give you complete explanation about the Lebois & Co Avantgarde Date. Overall, the watch remains rather classical in terms of looks, proportions and choice of colors (silvery-white, blue and now black). Case-wise, it is slightly on the dressy side, with a 40mm diameter and stainless steel in both polished (bezel) and brushed surfaces. Yet, it has some more casual elements, such as the protected crown. The main attraction is the dial, showing quite some details. Several track (minutes and hours), all link to steps and recessed parts, applied and faceted markers for the hours, some discreet but original touches or red on the 60 mark or the second hand, a metal window around the date aperture… Overall, the dial seems quite busy at first but when looked closely, it is well organized, legible and stands out.
For their 3rd edition of the Avantgarde Date, now available on Kickstarter here, Lebois & Co went for what is certainly the most classical but always very desirable color in watchmaking; black. In this context, it offers nice contrast with the indexes and tracks, thus a great legibility, a rather sporty look, without loosing the basic idea of a timeless watch, and offers a the red accents some visibility. The watch isn’t transformed, yet it offers a certain class to the package. And if this dial might be the most visible evolution, it is however not the most important one…
Until now, the watches created by Lebois & Co were featuring an ETA 2824-2 movement (the so-called workhorse) in its standard version. A very good movement overall, rather precise and very robust, but not the best quality you can imagine though. And because the finishing was rather basic, Lebois & Co decided to hide it under a closed back. With this Avantgarde Date 3rd Re-Launch Edition, the movement becomes visible and makes a jump in quality, as it is now a Top Grade Swiss-Made Sellita SW200-1. Nicely decorated with Geneva stripes (Côtes de Genève), perlage, diamond cutting and blue screws, it is also adjusted in 5 positions and will run accurate, with an average rate of +/-4 seconds/day (which means possibly chronometer certified…) Not bad you’ll admit.
The Lebois & Co Avantgarde Date 3rd Re-Launch Edition will be delivered with two genuine Buffalo leather straps; brown (cognac) and black with matching stitching, with a steel folding clasp. The retail price, once the campaign is over, will be Euro 1,800. Still, for the early bidders who choose to go on Kickstarter, the price will be Euro 975 (limited to 100 pieces). The project can be explored and financed on the following page.