Valachio is launching their first automatic watch, the Avantiam, with the tag line, ‘classic meets modern.’ So let’s talk a little about what’s classic here.
What do you get if you back the Valachio Avantiam on Kickstarter? For starters, it’s an automatic with a double-domed sapphire crystal. We’re already off to a good start. Suppose you like to look at the movement? Enjoy nothing more in life than the simple pleasure of seeing a rotor spin, storing up energy in a mainspring? The Miyota 90S5 is safely guarded behind a sapphire exhibition case back. All of this for a project with early bird pricing that begins at $380 CAD, or about $290 USD.
That’s a decent value for money, so let’s talk about what you’ll be looking at on your wrist. The dial and hands are an interesting design, with the hands, dial, and dial font all being heavily influenced by circles. The minute and hour hand are a classic shaped Breguet style, with circles in their teardrop shaped hands set back from their tips. The second hand is a straight stick, with a circle as the counterbalance. The hands are properly long, with the minute hand reaching the dots on the minute track, and the second hand doing the same.
The dial uses a modern sans-serif font, with numerals counting the even numbers and circles at the odd hour marks. Dots form the minute track and are numbered every ten minutes apart, with the count starting at 5. Colors appear to be a blue hand/marker option for the black dialed watch in a silver case, with a red-second hand/markers-on-white-dial option housed in a PVD gold case. This is Bauhaus, but with a little fun. It also reminds me a little of some of George Nelson’s clocks. It doesn’t have the geometric elements they do, but it’s sort of a muted playful watch in spirit.
In all cases, the lugs are wire-like, using springbars. The crown has diamond-shaped knurling on it, and is signed with a V on the end. Because the watch uses the 90S5, the dial is an ‘open-heart’ type, with the balance wheel showing through. I know Patrick is a little worn out on open heart movements, but one of the reasons to wear a mechanical watch is to feel a connection, a sense of wonder, with the mechanism. Straps are brown or light gray in suede, or black or brown in alligator grain leather.
This a fun watch. It’s not the usual thing we see when people set out to make a classic or minimalist watch. It’s got a modern font, but it doesn’t look out of place; it looks like it’s right at home in the atomic age, and I like it. It will be limited to 500 watches, available for pre-order now. Avantiam on Kickstarter
- Brand & Model: Valachio Avantiam
- Price: Earlybird pricing starts at $291 USD
- Who we think it might be for: You like a classic watch, but also are a fan of Charles and Ray Eames, or George Nelson wall clocks.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I have to admit, I like the black dial combination, and the white dial isn’t bad, either.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Increase WR. I wish there were something non-sport watch that could take a little water.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The mid-century modern character of the dial, meeting the classic hands.
Tech Specs from Valachio
- Case size: 37.5mm, 43.5m lug to lug, 10.5mm height
- Case material: steel (polished or gold PVD available)
- Crystal: double domed sapphire
- Strap: suede and leather, pin buckle clasp
- Movement: Miyota 90S5
- WR: 50 M