Founded by French industrial designer Armand Billard in 2015, Sartory Billard specialises in affordable, time-only watches equipped with elaborately-finished, hand-made dials and hands. While its best known product features a flame-blued titanium dial offered in a variety of colours, the brand also offers dials of meteorite, mother of pearl, and pattern-welded, or Damascus, steel.
Sartory Billard’s latest watch, the SB04 ‘The Horophile’, has a dial in an incredible, brilliant purple – created by heating titanium to create an oxide layer on the metal’s surface – the result of a collaboration with Amr Sindi, better known as The Horophile in the world of watch collecting.
A Saudi national who now lives in Switzerland, Amr is a longtime watch collector – particularly of independent brands – and industry insider, whose resume includes a stint as the social media manager at Hublot. Purple is his favourite colour, explaining the theme of the new wristwatch, which is priced a little over US$3,000.
The purple rabbit
Amr’s creation is based on the Sartory Billard SB04, but with customisation of the case and movement. Made in-house by Sartory Billard, the dial is a mirror-polished titanium disc that’s been heated over a flame to create its striking purple finish.
Similarly, the open-worked chapter ring carrying the hour markers is produced by Sartory Billard. It’s wire eroded from a steel sheet and sits a hair’s width above the dial disc, a trademark feature of the brand’s dials. And the hands are also steel, and likewise produced in-house.
While the standard SB04 case is titanium with a brushed or polished case finish, The Horophile edition is sandblasted for a grained, matte finish. Size- and design-wise, it is identical to the ordinary model, meaning it’s 40 mm in diameter and fitted with a domed sapphire crystal. The outer components, namely the case, crown, and crystal, are produced in Switzerland.
Inside is an STP 3-13 – a clone of the ETA 2824 produced by Swiss Time Products, a subsidiary of American watch group Fossil – that’s been decorated significantly more elaborately than the average watch in this price segment.
To start with, the rotor is attached to a fluted titanium ring that’s been heat treated to give it the same colour as the dial. Additionally, all of the screws – and more unusually, the swan’s neck regulator – have been heat blued.
Another notable detail is the rabbit on the case back, a personal emblem of Amr. Based on the White Rabbit illustration in Lewis Carroll’s original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland published in 1865, the emblem arose from Amr’s predilection for punctuality, which led to his wife likening him to the waistcoat-wearing rabbit.
And SB04 ‘The Horophile’ is price at €2,800, which is about US$3,000, exactly the same as the standard SB04. According to Amr, the par pricing is because he is forgoing any commission from the sale of the watch, which is only available from its maker, Sartory Billard.
Key facts and price
Sartory Billard SB04 ‘The Horophile’
Case diameter: 40 mm
Case height: 11 mm
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: STP 3-13
Features: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 44 hours
Limited edition: 20 pieces (10 pre-sold to “friends and family” and another 10 available to the public)
Availability: Now, direct from Sartory Billard
Price: €2,800 (equivalent to US$3000)
For more information and online purchase, visit Sartory-billard.com.
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