When a man and a watchmaker love each other very much, they get together and make beautiful watches. That’s exactly what happened in the Netherlands. Willem Kamerman and Till Lottermann wanted to create a system for creating and selling excellent, high-end dress watches on-line. Thus, Blancier was born.
We were lucky, very lucky indeed, to receive a Blancier sprung fresh from the workbench this week. After a year or so of handling heavy, sporty divers and chronos, the Blancier Coin Edge, which we’ll call this piece until we can think of something better, is a breath of fresh air. And, best of all, it was built and designed to our very own exacting specifications and came out beautifully.
The Blancier website is a marvel of simplicity. The process is simple: drop in, create a watch, order it, and wait three weeks. Willem forwards the order to Till, Till builds your watch by hand and takes pictures of the process, and you receive your beauty in a leather, felt-lined case designed to fit two watches. The real magic, however, is in the production.
We chose a standard movement with blued screws, a white face with arabic numerals, and exquisite blued Brueget hands. The resulting timepiece, while a bit understated, is a cross between the spare elegance of a Cartier Santos and the heft and utility of an Anonimo Militare. Yes, folks, this watch was worth writing a cheesy, wine-tasting-esque sentence about. I don’t mean to wax Sideways on you, but it’s the truth.
What’s there not to love? There’s a high beat, full sized mechanical movement, a sapphire rear and front crystal, and a tulip crown. The face is finely crafted. Our piece did have a slight imperfection at the 2 marker, but it is imperceptible except to one who stares adoringly at it for hours at a time. After all, even Cindy Crawford has that big wart on her face and nobody’s complaining.
The hands and movement screws are a beautiful gloss blue. Blancier tests each timepiece for accuracy and even includes a timing sheet describing the tests performed. The movement is a Lottemann & Sohne original and fills the entire case. How do we know this? Well, the rear window is almost as big as 40 mm diameter of the watch, allowing an uncluttered view of the entire movement. Blancier also offers gold cases with more ornate movements, but the spare, cold steel look of this piece was excellent.
The strap, though not signed, is made of thick, waterproof leather. The buckle is quite fetching and the entire strap supple and ready to go right out of the box. Generally, Blancier is not skimping on these pieces.
Ultimately, we were very happy with this watch. It is elegant, understated, and big. Because there are no apparent plastics in the piece, the clockwork ticks like a bloody grandfather clock, which might drive those used to quieter watches a bit batty. That is the only caveat.
Blancier offers a fine and rare service in this fast food world – real custom timepieces at an affordable price. By melding online interactivity and old-world craftsmanship, Blancier brings the human back into the watch equation, creating timepieces that are as unique as their owner.
Blancier custom watches start at about $500 and are available here.