Have you had enough of the vintage reissue watch trend yet? Not so fast. Even if you're starting to feel jaded about all the retro style, something like Lebois & Co's Heritage Chronograph is sure to draw you back in. With just the right combination of size, design, execution and price, we just can't help but get excited about this 1940s-inspired piece.
Lebois & Co. was started by the French watchmaking family Dodane and existed between 1934 and 1972. The same folks who brought you the compelling Airain Type 20 Re-Edition (reviewed here) were inspired to resurrect the brand in order to bring a chronograph from the 1940s back to the market. Now, having produced a number of watches in the meantime, the Heritage Chronograph is the company's modern take on that watch.
Lebois & Co. took an approach sometimes seen among small independent watchmakers and asked its audience to help design the watches by voting on various design elements. The result is a series of models with a relatively modern case and different executions of a charming dial style featuring telemeter and tachymeter scales, as was commonly seen in chronographs of that era.
Inside, the watch is powered by a hand-wound La Joux-Perret movement with a column wheel (an enthusiast-favorite feature for the smooth operation it offers). The manually wound movement helps keep the case nice and thin at 10.9mm (not including the domed sapphire crystal), and at 39mm wide in steel, we're talking about a chronograph that's going to wear like your typical automatic dress watch — and far more easily than the vast majority of chronos out there, which tend to be bold and chunkily dimensioned.
The project is still in its production stages, but the brand will begin taking pre-orders on December 14th. For a Swiss-made chronograph with the specs and level of quality expected of the brand, its preorder price of $2,518 packs some strong value. Add to that the captivating design and proportions, and you've got a proposition without much competition in the modern market.