In recent times, watches with blue dials have become de rigueur with no signs of demand waning. In this article from his online magazine Escapement, Angus Davies reviews the DuBois et Fils DBF003-02, equipped with a very striking blue dial and delightful design details.
In recent times, the appeal of blue has led to it appearing on an increasing array of watches. A few years ago, I wondered whether the color would prove to be a passing trend, but this now appears unlikely, with many watch companies offering a blue dial option to complement staple shades such as black and white.
Recently, I had the opportunity to place a blue-dialed watch upon my wrist: the DuBois et Fils DPF003-02. In this instance, the blue has an unusual, vibrant shade and its eye-catching appearance is accentuated with the inclusion of a brown calf leather strap. Its appearance drew me close to its striking form and a journey of discovery ensued.
The blue, high-gloss, lacquered dial provides a cheerful canvas on which the various functions are presented. This is contrary to the perceived notion that blue is a conservative color.
Applied, rhodium-plated Arabic numerals are employed for the even-numbered hours, with applied batons used for odd-numbered hours.
A small seconds display features at 6 o’clock, in a gray circlet printed on the dial.
The hour and minute hands are rhodium-plated and lined with luminescent material. Interestingly, the minute hand is openworked near its fulcrum, a trait shared in common with the DBF001-02.
Encircling the dial, a chapter ring consisting of slender strokes and circular dots, aids the interpretation of time. The inner flange includes a guilloché motif that delivers charming pockets of light and shade.
The glass-box sapphire crystal allows light to flood onto the blue lacquered dial, accentuating its glossy appearance.
As well as being stylish in look, the dial is also eminently practical and simple to read.
The 40-mm case of the DPF003-02 is constructed of 316L stainless steel and successfully blends polished and satin-brushed surfaces. The polished surfaces are confined to the bezel and the caseback, while the remaining surfaces are satin-brushed. The restrained disposition of the case provides a well-judged foil for the bold dial.
The satin-brushed case band steps down along its mid-section, revealing a greater amount of the highly polished bezel. The crown is fluted, tapering as it emanates from the case band, and features a polished vertical flank which is adorned with the brand’s fir tree logo.
Four screws retain the caseback which includes a sapphire crystal center-stage, revealing the self-winding movement within. Each screw head holding the caseback in position features the brand’s logo in relief.
The brown calf-leather strap has a delightful feel to its outer surface. The inner surface of the strap is lined with protective rubber and the pin buckle is satin-brushed. An aspect I especially like is the broad, straight-edged profile of the pin, which engages with rectangular shaped holes, causing less distortion of the strap and proving very handsome. Once again, the brand’s logo is charmingly depicted on the strap.
The self-winding caliber DBF-CAL-100 is made by the Swiss company Revue Thommen. The movement has a frequency of 19,800 vph (2.75Hz), contains 27 jewels and has a power reserve of 42 hours.
Some aspects of the movement finishing are very traditional such as the blued screws, hand polished chamfers and perlage on the main plate. However, the bridges and oscillating mass exude an air of modernity; in particular, the NAC gray treatment is highly attractive.
While blue-dial watches have become increasingly commonplace, the shade of this model is very striking.
DuBois et Fils has imbued this timepiece with some charming details and the design of the model reveals much consideration to small elements. Indeed, I found that studying the watch revealed subtle features that I anticipate will enhance ownership delight and elicit long-term admiration.
- Model: DuBois et fils DBF003-02
- Reference: DBF003-02
- Case: Stainless steel 316L; diameter 40 mm; water resistant to 50 meters; sapphire crystal front and caseback
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds
- Movement: Caliber DBF-CAL-100, self-winding; frequency 19,800 vph (2.75Hz); 27 jewels; power reserve of 42 hours
- Strap: Calf leather strap presented on a steel pin buckle
- Price: CHF 6,250 (as of Jan. 15, 2015)
- Limited edition: 99 pieces