Luxury Watches: This year, at Baselworld, the timepiece industry saw a great deal of innovation, with designers integrating the 21st century into both the aesthetics of their timepiece design, and the technology of their movements. Franc Vila is at the forefront of this, using his expertise and experience with both art and science to create watches that are the best of both worlds.
Franc Vila introduced his first collection merely four years ago at Baselworld 2005, and very quickly saw an intrigued following that was drawn to his sporty, contemporary quality standards and immaculately executed complications.
Most striking about Franc Vila watches are the entirely unique case shape, which has now become known as the "esprit unique" shape. A combined circular and elliptical bezel carefully pushes the dial off-balance, with two distinct sections of the watch.
The new FVa N˚ Cuatro Tourbillon Chronograph SuperLigero Concept draws its inspiration from the strongest molecular structure currently known to man, emphasizing Vila's background as a biochemistry investigator and his knowledge of materials.
Graphene, a recently discovered material, boasts a strong, hexagonal atomic structure and is just one atom thick, making it six times less dense and anywhere from 10 to 100 times stronger than the best steel. It is the only material known that is capable of supporting its own weight infinitely, thanks to the hexagonal disposition of its atoms. While the SuperLigero already utilizes Lightnium, an aluminum-lithium based alloy, Vila wanted to take the SuperLigero concept one step further to create an even more resistant tourbillon.
The new watch features a new movement, entirely constructed of Lightnium, which is used in state of the art aeronautical engineering, and brings it together with the strength of the hexagonal structure of graphene. Its lightness in combination with its high-tensile strength makes it an ideal material for complicated timepiece movements. Lightweight and low-density, while rigid enough to endure the stress of very robust movements, means you are ensured perfect performance and a watchcase that sits comfortably, not heavily, on your wrist.
All the innovations already present in the FVa N˚ Cuatro have been included in the new FVz N˚ Cuatro Chronograph Tourbillon SuperLigero Concept as well. With 262 components and a 33-ruby movement, the timepiece features a power reserve of five days (120 hours) and is completely handmade and hand-decorated. The action of the movement is perfectly visible through the dial with every push of the chronograph button. Nearly blending into the complicated dial are 60 seconds at 2 o'clock, 30 minutes at 10 o'clock, and a power reserve indication at 9 o'clock.
While the technical aspects of the watch are impressive, the impact of the watch is visually striking, with a watchcase unlike other watches currently in the luxury timepiece market. True to Franc Vila's desire to create exclusive timepieces and alter the luxury watch industry, the new FVa N˚ Cuatro Chronograph Tourbillon SuperLigero Concept is available in an ultra-limited edition of only 8 pieces and is sure to become a milestone in Haute Horlogerie.
For JustLuxe Kate Prihoda