What makes a watch appealing to you? Perhaps it is the case design. Do you prefer a more traditional case or does the unique & unusual speak to you more. Does case size matter to you? Maybe it is in the material used for the case that draws you in, such as stainless steel or bronze. Are you a movement person? Automatic, manual wind/mechanical, or quartz? For me it is the dial that initially draws me to a watch. If the watch has a dial that truly speaks to me, all of those other details become secondary to me. But the dial has to have a flow with the case and overall design that is cohesive. The dial on today’s review watch definitely is what grabbed my attention. My first 24hr dial was a Chronoswiss Timemaster. 24hr watches make you feel like you have all the time in the world. That is exactly how I felt when I first saw Lesablier’s Aviateur VQ dial.
What I find absolutely fascinating about 24hr dials is that the hour hand makes one, slow ass trip around the dial in 24hrs where your typical hour hand travels around the dial twice. This is what always gives me the feeling that I have more time than I actually do because when I look at the time the hour hands seems that it hasn’t moved much. The dial on the AVQ has a great symmetrical feel to it which reminds me of something I would find on the instrument panel of an older style plane. The dial is separated into ‘Yin and Yang’ style with the day time hours located within the white portion of the dial and the evening hours located within the black portion of the dial. The semi-skeleton hands are a nice addition to this dial in terms of both style and size. The AVQ has a quartz movement inside so I like that there isn’t a second hand because is a smooth, sweeping second hand, as opposed to the jerky jump that is typical with a quartz movement.
Keeping with that balance, Lesbalier’s white printed text is done in symmetrical fashion bordered nicely with a white railroad style minute track. Though the numbers are printed on the smaller side, they are still relatively easy to read. I really like the vintage feel that this dial puts off and how Lesablier kept the balance throughout the dial. I absolutely had no issues reading/seeing the dial both in day and night. The 41mm 316L sandblasted stainless steel case with polished crown and fixed bezel complements the dial and complements the overall aesthetics. I love the case design and shape without a doubt and even the 41mm dimension works for this piece. I do have to complain a bit about the size of the crown. It’s extremely undersized in my opinion. I had a hard time gripping it to pull it out and operating it to set the time. Aesthetically it does nothing for the overall look of this piece. In my opinion one of appealing features of those vintage pilot watches were the oversized crowns.
The case back on the AVQ is brilliantly and beautifully done. It reminds me of my grandfathers pocket watch engraving and my great uncle engravings that he did on many rifles, both of which for me it gave the AVG even more of a vintage charm appeal. Another detail that I like here is how the case back is held in place by a series of flathead screws. The watch wears extremely comfortable and has a nice pressence on the wrist. Normally my preference is 42mm and above, but several things come into play here that makes the old size doesn’t matter expression come into play. The dial design is awesome in my opinion, unique yes easy to read. The domed sapphire crystal with the blue AR coating allowed for easy photographing of the watch and easier legibility. The sandblasted case gives the AVQ that tool watch feel that looks much better than a polished stainless steel case would look for this watch.
The AVQ comes in at $295 USD. I love the box that the watch came in, it would be even more awesome if it was done in wood. It’s one of those boxes that I like to keep on display. I really like the overall design and look of the AVQ. As I mentioned before the crown is my only area were this piece could have went from cool to awesome by one change of detail. That detail isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but know that it’s a difficult crown to operate. Had the movement been mechanical and would have to be hand wound, then I would consider the crown size a deal breaker in my opinion. There are plenty of great details that made me forget about the undersized crown though. The curved lugs are beautifully shaped which allows the AVQ to hug the wrist comfortably for all day wear. I would definitely recommend this piece for anyone looking for their first pilot style watch, especially if that person appreciates vintage charm. It’s a fun watch to wear for sure. The 24hr dial is nothing short of awesome and the case can definitely withstand those outdoor weekend adventures.
As always thank you all for reading this review and please feel free to ask any questions below.
Thank your Lesablier.
Production – Limited production, 250 units of each strap color per production series.
Dial – High-contrast gloss black dial indexed for 24 hours with 8-hour lume on all white elements. Each dial features your watch’s unique, individual production number.
Case – 41mm 316L sandblasted stainless steel case with polished crown and bezel.
Movement – Swiss Quartz, 24-Hour scale. 45-month battery life.
Straps – 22mm padded genuine leather with polished and engraved tang buckle.
- Midnight: Jet black leather with black stitching
- Terracotta: Rich red-brown “weathered” grain leather with off-white contrast stitching.
Water Resistance – 50 meters/5ATM
Crystal – Domed Sapphire Crystal with blue Anti-Reflective coating
Packaging – Our unique “Aviator” box, warranty card and instruction manual.
Warranty – One year warranty on any movement-related issues.