Hidden gem of French horology - Michel Herbelin, Charquemont
Dear readers, in the world of French know-how, we can count from wine to perfume making, then from couture to leather-goods with our ten fingers, but there is one category which has been neglected most of the time, is the French watch-making, in a way it is pretty fascinating to me as we tended to recognize the horology excellence from Switzerland much more, but as the matter of fact, the legacy of French watch-making is also as significant and noteworthy as the rest of the French know-how in their nation. That is the moment when I came across the quintessential French watch-making house, Michel Herbelin, that opens up a new way for me to look into French horology differently.
The legacy of Michel Herbelin’s timepieces began back in 1947 from a small town in the eastern France called Charquemont, which the Founder, Mr. Michel Herbelin, opened his own studio on the top floor of his parent’s house to create high quality watches in his late twenties, with his passion, ambition and sensibility on making elegant French timepieces which made his name as a success. Currently still run by the family and celebrating their remarkable 70-years of French watch-making legacy, the Maison Michel Herbelin stays true to their motto on creating elegant and high quality French watches, at the same time, bringing the remarkable history of French horology to our time.
For the Men’s collection, I have my eyes on the sophisticated navy color Epsilon watch, a classic and minimalistic design which looks absolutely elegant and luxurious, with its distinguish and innovative color, the French navy blue, used in both the circular dial and leather straps, contrasting with the silver case and hour indicators, which whispers the modern classicism and sophistication about French style for gentlemen; innovation wise, the extra-thin case shows the combination of the Maison’s watch-making history, and the advanced technology that brings the handsome gentleman into modern days, makes it a perfect piece of French timepiece to go with your pinstripe navy suit during your executive meeting.
While for the active side, the latest Automatic Trophy diving watch offers another dimension of experience, the new look of this automatic watch caters for water sports enthusiasts. Water-resistant to 300 metres, with a durable and smart appeal including the circular stainless steel case fitted with a black, unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel, contrasting with gold-colored graduated scale, and complete with indicator triangle with a white luminescent coating, which provides the optimal visibility during dives and decompression. Powered by a Swiss-made automatic movement (Sellita) with 26 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve, this timepiece literally expresses the active side of a gentleman, a chic, sporty and adventurous look that goes with a more casual attire in a leather bomber jacket and a pair of aviator sunglasses.
In the end, French know-how is more than merely high fashion and wine, just when you look at your French-made timepiece on your wrist next time, you’ll understand.
Image courtesy of Michel Herbelin French Watchmaking Studio