Today, we’ll have the first of two reviews on models from Edouard Lauzieres, courtesy of the folks over at Doc C Custom Clothier. Before we get into the watch, though, we’ll dig a little into the company as this is our first look at the brand.
While you’ve probably not heard of EL before, they’re actually not a new company. It was founded back in 1932, focusing on the Brazilian, and other South American, markets. After the 70s, they dropped into very low-volume production, until 2005. At that point, the great-grandson of the founder decided to put some life back into the brand, and brought forth new watches over the last 7+ years.
The first watch we’ll be looking at is Naples, which is one of the bolder red three-handers I’ve had cross my desk. As to that color, I won’t give it away – you really need to go to the product page to see why it has the color it does. In terms of styling (color aside), this is most definitely a sport watch, in terms of case shape and overall presentation. It does have a more refined appearance with the surface finishes (and the bracelet), so it would work just as well in the office.
The movement is a ref. EL-18 based, which is based off of the Claro 888-2 (nope, I hadn’t heard of it before this review). The movement is an automatic with various decorations added to it to upgrade it. This is housed in a 39mm stainless steel case, which itself is set on a three-link (solid) bracelet, which can be sized up to 9″.
Covering the dial you have a sapphire crystal (and another one around back so you can see the movement), which is surrounded by a unidirectional timing bezel. This insert is (surprisingly for a higher-end piece) just the normal sort of metal (aluminum, I’m guessing) insert, without any lume or texture to it.
And that sort of sets the tone for this watch. While it’s a perfectly serviceable watch (and really, no major flaws that I picked up on in my time with it), it’s a fairly plain piece. To be sure, there’s a segment who want a watch that lets the color of the dial speak for it, and leave the rest of the details to slide. Here, it works against the watch in my way of thinking. As my friend put it (when he first saw the piece), it looks not too terribly different than the Fossil he had in high school.
Yes, there’s a level of fit and finish here that you simply would not see in your department store special, but those first impressions definitely count for something, especially with a luxury brand. However, if you’d prefer something that walks a more tried and true path in watch design, and want to go high end, the EL Naples may be for you. At the moment, the Naples can be picked from Doc C for $1350 (here).
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