Throughout life we are invited to complete various forms which endeavour to pigeonhole our responses into specific categories. Our age, gender, marital status and household income can all be summarised with a series of ticks in boxes.
Likewise, fashion watches are often categorised based on complication, type of movement, case material and, most pertinently in this instance, shape. Round, tonneau, square and rectangular are popular options which vie for the affections of the watch buying public. However, recently I wore a watch which embraced an unusual mien, sidestepping the usual categories employed to describe appearance.
The extremities of the DuBois et fils DBF002-002 resemble a ‘cushion-shaped’ form, but the profile of the dial is resolutely round. These two distinct shapes might sound disparate in character but they successfully fuse to deliver a striking appearance which is refreshingly different from the majority of watches available.
DuBois et fils has employed several textures on the dial, each heightening visual interest. Indeed, I would liken this to a fine painting where the artist has manipulated depths to grant charming interactions with light. For example, snailed subdials sit comfortably with the basket weave motif on the main dial. In addition, the elongated applied hour markers are rhodium plated, incorporating orange Superluminova which further augments the sense of dial depth.
It seems strange that I do not possess one item of orange clothing and yet I always appreciate the presence of this shade when applied to a watch dial. This vibrant colour also features on the small seconds display at 9 o’clock and partially along the hour and minute hands. It proves highly legible and eye-catching.
Aligned along a north-south axis, a 30-minute chronograph register sits above a 12-hour chronograph register. A day and date display are positioned adjacent 3 o’clock, imparting information with slender, neat text.
It is the circular perimeter of the dial which delivers an interesting juxtaposition with the cushion-shaped case. The sapphire crystal is of the glass box variety, but is relatively shallow in height, not unduly protruding and according a tidy appearance. Moreover, the anti-reflective treatment on both sides of the crystal prevents any annoying glare.
The pushpieces are rectangular in profile providing a distinct contrast with the circular crown. This is a trait repeated on numerous facets of the case where arcing lines and straight edges are paired together to deliver a high quotient of eye-appeal. Indeed, this is a case design which delivers joy wherever you choose to look. I particularly like the short, angular lugs which draw the rubber strap close. Moreover, I also appreciate how the horizontal plane of the dial surround falls away, gracefully merging with the caseband.
The is freely disclosed via an exhibition caseback. The oscillating mass is nickel plated and adorned with the ‘DuBois et fils pattern’. This decoration exhibits a brushed appearance and the rotor is open-worked at various points.
The case masterfully plays with light, delivering sumptuous pockets of light and shade. Moreover, the dial harnesses various textures and depths to further enhance the appeal.
In its pursuit of individuality, DuBois et fils could have created a watch with an appearance that might have been challenging to love. However, rest assured this is a shapely form with a handsome face which I doubt few, if any, could take issue with.