The Laventure Transatlantique GMT Watch Elevates Brand To New Level Things just got serious… by Rob Nudds June 29, 2020 MIN READThe Laventure Transatlantique GMT Watch Elevates Brand To New Level
I’m on holiday. I shouldn’t be writing this. But social distancing measures on trains mean my travel partner is sitting a row in front of me and more concerned with the bag of cherries we stashed for the journey than my company. And, more to the point, this is the release I’ve been building up to all year. Today, the Laventure Transatlantique GMT hits the shelves. Move quickly. With just 100 pieces available, I don’t think this one will hang around for long…
I am the proud owner of the first two Laventure watches. I have the Marine (with a green dial), and the Sous-Marine (with a bronze case and a black dial). Had a blue or brown dial been included in the Transatlantique’s debut I would own one of them too. As it is, I am still vacillating between the choice of another (darker and more solid) green or an interesting cream dial.
But the dial color comes down to personal preference. With only 50 of each available, I am sure founder Clément Gaud will have no problem finding enough personal preferences to align with his choices to sell-out this range in record time. Because beyond the dial colors, there are some very tangible upgrades to this model that make it the best Laventure yet.
The integrated bracelet
Let’s start with the obvious. The bracelet is a thing of beauty. In an era where new integrated bracelets are desired but so rarely delivered, Gaud does just that. The center links (in every instance but the first) cleverly mimic the silhouette of the brand’s old-school logo. The brushed surfaces harmonize expertly with the polished and the chamfering on the outer edges of the links follows the line of the case exactly. On the underside of the bracelet, we see a clasp that has been thoughtfully designed. It integrates (and executes) the logo into the design in a way I am not sure I have ever seen done better.
Yes, I am a Laventure fan-boy. No, I am not on the payroll (I wish). Would I love to work with Clément one day in an official capacity? You bet I would. Touches like this buckle are exactly why. You may not love it as much as I do, but I think it is hard to deny the satisfaction of seeing that repeated outline riddled through the design pop up on the buckle in a way that looks entirely natural.
Other winning touches
I must be quick. The snack cart is approaching. I would dearly love to go hands-on with this piece but unless I move quickly enough and buy one for myself I will have to wait until a (potential) follow-up emerges. The first thing I would like to compare on this model to my existing pieces if I had it in hand would be the crystal. Originally, on both the Marine and Sous-Marine, the crystals were sapphire. Here, they are Plexiglass.
Gaud has chosen this to add warmth and genuine vintage appeal t the design. Some will balk at this addition on a travel watch, but it certainly makes more sense here than it would have done on the out-and-out diver that preceded it. Perhaps the first model — the Marine — could have carried it off but I love it here. I love it even more because of the amazing vintage-inspired bezel that encircles it.
A bezel from heaven
This glossy, bi-color ring has real depth. The lume performance of numerals that seems to float within it is impressive. When it comes to intelligent component sharing between models, Gaud has knocked this one out of the park. The dark and sage greens mesh perfectly with the dials and the beautiful handset (with a nicely painted GMT hand), as well as matching with FKM rubbers straps in the same color.
…roll with the rubber when taking to the skies.
It would be sacrilege to drop the bracelet in favor of the rubber UNLESS you own one of the previous models. Then the smart thing to do (in my opinion) is pick up the Transatlantique with the dark green rubber strap (a bit more versatile than the handsome sage in my opinion) and stick the bracelet on the Marine (preferable) or Sous-Marine steel (second choice) and roll with the rubber when taking to the skies.
The case back
The Marine’s case back was open. Through it, one could see a barely-decorated 2824. It looked cool. It fit the vibe. I liked it. What was far, far better, though, was the closed and delightfully drawn case back of the Sous-Marine showing a maritime scene above and below the waves. With the case back of the Transatlantique, Gaud has surpassed himself. The design is crisp, timeless, and, once again, exquisitely executed. If I wear buying watches on case backs alone, this one would be top of my list.
The retail price for the Laventure Transatlantique is CHF 3,350. That’s quite a hike on previous prices, but when you consider the addition of the bracelet, the evermore complex case back engraving, the new handset, dials, and bezels, the price makes a bit more sense. It would be crazy of me not to mention how this price does put the Laventure Transatlantique in a seriously competitive bracket. It will have to fend off Tudors and Omegas and Longines/Hamilton tag teams from all sides.
Will I try and make that argument for the Laventure from an investment perspective? No. There is no telling how any young brand, however desirable its products are, will fare further down the road. But the track record so far is good. These small-size runs are selling out (the green dials go especially quick). People that really know watchmaking are impressed when they get these pieces in hand. And while on paper, Laventure ticks a lot of the boxes to be qualified a microbrand, I think this release might push it into the “small independent” category.
[I] can attest to the emotional returns.
Shaking that start-up label will help if people are to acclimatize to this higher price bracket. But there can be no substitute for getting one on the wrist. I have bought two. I’ve never looked to sell mine and can attest to the emotional returns. Whether this is the watch that convinces you to join the Laventure party or not, the brand has proven that it is heading in the right direction and remains one to watch for the long haul. Learn more here.
Brand Laventure ModelTransatlantique GMTDialEither green or creamCase MaterialStainless steelCase Dimensions40.8mm diameterCrystalPlexiglassCase BackLaser-engraved decorationWater Resistance200mStrapIntegrated stainless steel bracelet, color-coded FKM rubber also available.FunctionsTime, date, and GMT.PriceCHF 3,350Special Note(s)Limited to 50 pieces of each color. 100% Swiss Made. Watch of the Week
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About the author
Rob’s first exposure to the watch industry was a part-time retail role for the Signet Group at the age of 17. An obsession with watches soon developed. Following an ill-advised BSc in Archaeological Science, he applied for sponsorship to undertake… read more
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