If you recall, not that long ago we told you about the Kickstarter campaign for the Yonger & Bresson Le Singulier (you can see that here). That campaign exceeded it’s funding goal (and there was a brief Indiegogo InDemand campaign after), so these are watches that should be getting onto peoples wrists. We recently spent some time with the watch, and are here to give you our thoughts on the Yonger & Bresson Le Singulier.

As I mentioned in the prior article, the Yonger & Bresson Le Singulier is an interesting animal because of the fact that we don’t see these slender tonneau-style cases as much these days. This can allow for a taller (when looking lug-to-lug) watch that doesn’t overwhelm the wrist, as the side-to-side is narrower. In this case, it’s just 36mm wide, but I still felt it look correct on my wrist, whereas a round 36mm case would have been underwhelming.

The case profile of the Yonger & Bresson Le Singulier puts one in mind of a dressier setting, particularly with it’s gently rounded sides and curves continuing on the domed mineral crystal. Our review loaners were on the silicone strap which isn’t the dressiest option; fortunately, they’ve got a leather strap you can opt for as well, which fits the dress look so much better. Or, you know, pop your own 20mm strap on there, and away you go. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the rectangular profile for you to dress up with.

Then again, the cutout on the dial of the Yonger & Bresson Le Singulier reminds you that there’s a round movement inside the watch (in this case, it’s a Miyota 8N24). That still leaves some of the dial blank in place, which is a very good thing, as it gives a spot to give your eyes a break. Not so much for printing anything, as the hour and minute marks are on the chapter ring, and the logo is actually printed on the mineral crystal.

Then you have the stylized, polished decorations going over the movement, showcasing where the jewels in the movement are. This is neat, from an artistic standpoint, and I enjoy how it riffs on the movement underneath. What I’m less of a fan of is the fact that it does rather make the handset difficult to see. Now, this is a problem I have with many skeletonized or open dial watches. You get a lot of visual noise coming from the movement, so you need to rely on the handset to have something done on it that causes it to stand out, perhaps via color, a contrasting finish, or even a generous stripe of luminous paint.

While one version of the Yonger & Bresson Le Singulier does have blued hands, the other two are color-coordinated to their case and movement finishing, which just allows them to be swallowed up. Now, if this were a regular dial, and not open, I think the hands would be just fine, and sized appropriately. However, with the open dial, they really should have been enlarged a bit to give them more visual weight, and a bigger foundation for that contrasting color and/or finish.

Now, you could say I’m just being a curmudgeon, and perhaps that’s the case, and my middle-aged eyes are having problems on the dial that you may not have. Still, my opinion (and statement) stands – unless a brand is careful with how they treat their handset on an open-dial watch, there’s going to be troubles, and reading the time (you had one job!) is going to be difficult, and have you playing with light angles to see the hand. Unfortunately, that’s something that’s afflicting the Yonger & Bresson Le Singulier. The version with the blue handset is the best of the bunch with regards to that, but I think it still needs some rework.

Then again, if you hadn’t gotten in on the crowd-funding campaign, you can’t pick up a Yonger & Bresson Le Singulier just yet. They’ll be building those for their backers, and then I presume open up for general sales down the road. If you’re like me, though, I’d say wait for the next version, that either makes the hands more visible or gives you an option for a regular (closed) dial. In the meantime, you can sign up to be notified over at yongerbresson.com

Tech Specs from Longer & Bresson

  • CASE: Brushed 316L stainless steel 
    • Size: 36 x 49mm
    • Thickness:  12 – 15mm
    • Lug: 20mm
  • CROWN: Screw-down crown with YONGER & BRESSON logo embossed
  • CRYSTAL: Scratch resistant domed K1 mineral glass 
    • Automatic
    • MIYOTA 8N24
    • Self winding with ball bearings rotor, 21 Jewels, 21 600 A/h, regulated at -20/+20 sec/day by our watchmakers.
    • 42 hours power reserve
  • FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes, seconds
  • DIAL: Mirror-effect wheels, skeleton dial 
  • HANDS: Polished stainless steel
  • STRAP: 20mm black silicon or leather strap