For a writer there are many watch fairs to cover in the space of any given year. Unless you actually have endless resources it is near enough impossible to attend each event personally. For that reason journalists tend to focus on one or two major shows like Baselworld or SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie). However the SIHH is dominated by members of the Richemont Group and doesn’t offer anything like the diversity of Baselworld. Another exhibition that is gaining an enormous amount of recognition is Salon QP. This is a more intimate affair, which is located in the highly prestigious Saachi Gallery in London.
Late last year I featured a new brand called the Valour Watch Company. The business is owned and operated by the dynamic Mark Daniel. Since I published the article (October 13th) Mark has exhibited at Salon QP with established watchmakers like Kari Voutilainen, Konstantin Chaykin, MB & F, Stepan Sarpaneva and Vianney Halter to name but just a few. From recent discussions with Mark he said the event was successful and gave the company a lot of positive exposure.
A few weeks ago (just before the Christmas holidays) Mark Daniel very kindly sent me a Sopwith Aviator to test. I have to say that even the glossy images on the company’s website don’t do the watch justice. Dimensionally the 54mm (excluding crown) diameter case of the timepiece won’t appeal to the fainthearted. Nevertheless I feel these proportions are integral to the success of the watches design. Generally I found the watch sat comfortably on my wrist and was actually surprised at how light it felt. I also feel that in this instance 316L stainless steel (rather than titanium) is the correct choice of material.
When I wrote my previous article about the Sopwith Aviator I was using 2-dimensional images for reference. Now that I have closely inspected the actual timepiece I realise that I’ve missed a lot of subtle features. Mark explained that once people saw the watch they were astonished at the attention to detail. You can tell that an engineer has designed this timepiece because the façade has a superior industrial quality. Elements like the screws and pistons give the illusion of a structural framework supporting the delicate dial. Other sublime details include an ornate crown, ergonomic lugs, sapphire crystal and a high quality brown calf leather strap. Certainly this is one of my favourite Pilot Watches especially considering the attractive price point (approximately $5,702). Hopefully we all can expect big things from the Valour Watch Company in the future.
To purchase this exquisite watch or for general information about the Valour Watch Company visit their website: https://valourwatchcompany.com