Founded in 2015 by a young duo who cut their teeth at mainstream brands, Lundis Bleus makes watches that are thoughtful in design and detail – think date wheels that match the dial colour, with custom typography – while being priced affordably.
The pair behind Lundis Bleus have complementary backgrounds: Johan Storni was once watchmaker at Renaud & Papi and then Richard Mille, while Bastien Vuilliomenet was a designer at Corum and then private label watch manufacturer Roventa-Henex.
Backed by five-year warranty, notably longer than the industry norm of one or two years, the watches are essentially a single model, the ref. 1100, but offered a variety of hands and dial finishes, including fired enamel and hand-engraving.
Though simple at first glance, the watch case is an unusual and interesting construction. It’s steel, 40mm wide and comprised of a “basin-shaped” case band, with the lugs being attached to the case back, instead of the case band as is typical. The construction emphasises the curves of the case, and also leaves it looking slightly lighter, as the lugs are visually unconnected to the case band. While the case band is polished, the lugs have a brushed finish.
Its clean look is further enhanced by eliminating the bezel and installing a “box-shape” sapphire crystal.
While the cases are standard, the movements differ according to the price. The base models are powered by a Miyota 9105 automatic, manufactured in China by a subsidiary of Citizen of Japan, while the pricier watches have a Swiss-made ETA 2892 inside. Both are visible through the open-worked back that forms the Lundis Bleus logo, which is a stylised representation of the alcohol molecule.
The logo is a nod to the company name, which translates as “blue Mondays”. According to the company, Lundis bleus was a historical practice in Switzerland where freelance skilled workers took Mondays (and sometimes Tuesdays and Wednesdays too). This started in the 16th century, and endured until the early 20th century when industrialisation and regular hours became the norm.
With most parts coming from specialists, the founders of Lundis Bleus perform assembly, regulation and quality control, with a major exception: they produce the fired enamel dials themselves at their workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds
The base models are known as Essentielles, featuring dials characterised by two surface finishes on two levels. The chapter ring featuring a circular brushed finish, as well as applied baton hour markers, while the central portion is grained.
All the date wheels match the dial colour, with the numerals printed in the same font as the minute markers on the dial.
Because the chapter ring sits one level up, the dates ends up appearing relatively deep inside its porthole, though legibility isn’t affected.
Three dial colours are available, with the rose gold and silver finishes being particularly attractive. All have Miyota movements.
Priced at SFr1900, the Essentielles watches are fitted to suede calfskin straps, and have tinted windows on the case back.
Metiers d’Art is the top of the line range. Most watches within are fitted with fired enamel dial centres.
Made of sterling silver, central discs are hand-engraved with a a slightly irregular radial motif and then covered with enamel and fired in an oven. The result is glossy, bright and vivid.
Other options include aventurine glass or onyx discs for the central portion.
And then there is the “Fujisan”, which boasts a solid white gold dial with a view of Mount Fuji rendered in a style reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints. It’s engraved by Jean-Bernard Michel, an engraver whose studio works with names like Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin.
The famous flat-topped mountain is executed is exceptionally fine detail, along with native flora and the waters of Suruga Bay. The rotor is also engraved with stylised clouds.
The “Fujisan” costs SFr12,000, while the other Metiers d’Art watches cost SFr3500. According to Lundis Bleus, the entirety of the price premium for the “Fujisan” is due to the cost of the engraved gold dial. From that one can also infer the dramatic difference in cost for components and work done in Japan (where the enamelled dials are made) and Switzerland.
Price and availability
The Essentielles start at SFr1900, while Metiers d’Art starts at SFr3500. Prices exclude taxes.
All models are available direct from Lundis Bleus, with immediate availability for the base models and a four week wait for the enamel dials. The “Fujisan” has a lead-time of 10 weeks.
Correction July 24, 2018: The enamel dials are made in-house by Lundis Bleus, and not in Japan as reflected earlier.Back to top.