Valimor is an up and coming brand founded in 2018 who have a very unique approach to watch design, their main influences are the great artworks and dramatic tales of the Medieval period. Their passion for historic aesthetics can be seen in the brand name, an amalgamation of the words Valiant and Armour. Their latest timepiece, the Caliburnus II is inspired by the legends of King Arthur and The Sword In The Stone.
Let’s get stuck right in. The case design is taken from the original Caliburnus and it’s as awesome now as when we first saw it – a dragon scale pattern that is patented by Valimor in 27 countries. The pattern is intricately engraved into the 42mm diameter stainless steel case and given a PVD coating to complete the look and increase its durability. However, what makes the Caliburnus II different from the original and special are the new dial materials that have been used and the new movement at its heart.
When it comes to dial options, the Caliburnus has five, each made from exotic materials that have been carefully shaped, ground and polished. The styles are very distinctive and each of the references evokes a different aspect of Arthurian legend, making for a great collection that’s very thematic.
The first version is the CAX01-A, which has a Lake Opal dial. The opals used are synthetically grown in a lab by Valimor to create consistent but individual patterns, making each timepiece a one of a kind. The green and blue tones from the Lake Opal have the appearance of stained glass and clearly represents the story of Lady of the Lake and Excalibur.
Reference CAX01-B is another opal dial, crafted in the same way as the Lake Opal with some adjustments that produce a Flame Opal. It swaps the aquatic colours for bold blacks and reds that seem to glow like embers. The palette screams dragon and it could easily represent the fire of one of the mythological beasts slain by The Knights of the Round Circle or it could be the crest of the Pendragon family – Uther and Arthur.
Third up is a darker dial, the CAX01-C, which is known as the Black Knight. It uses the smoky hues of Mother-of-Pearl to create a more sinister aesthetic that’s in keeping with the dreaded knight that gives this piece its name, also making it my favourite. The raw material is obtained from natural shells, continuing the trend of each dial having a unique pattern.
The Blue Northern Light variant, CAX01-D, also has a Mother-of-Pearl dial but is much lighter in colouration than the Black Knight. It’s also incredibly thin at 0.2mm thickness giving it a translucent quality that is then laid over a base of Super-LumiNova®, meaning the whole dial glows in the dark while maintaining its natural texture during the day. It gives the piece a sense of magic and wonder akin to the aurora or Merlin’s spells.
Last up is the CAX01-E, the majestically named Sword of the Light version. It’s the most simple and refined dial consisting just of a layer of Super-LumiNova® giving a clean white design in the light and a mysterious green glow in dark. Of the five versions, this is most emblematic of the story of The Sword in the Stone, the semi-polished, sword-shaped hands of the Caliburnus II appearing stuck in the block colour dial.
Powering all five versions is the Japan made Miyota Cal.8315 automatic calibre with 60-hour power reserve. It’s an improvement on the original Caliburnus’ movement and has some impressive specs for a watch at this price range. It means this the most practical and durable timepiece Valimor have produced to date.
Rounding everything out and really nailing the aesthetic home is the choice of strap or bracelet. The rubber strap is new for the Caliburnus II and has been designed in collaboration with Arkadiy Welesov, a Celtic and Viking pattern specialist, it also features Valimor’s signature sword hilt buckle. The stainless steel bracelet was created as part of the brand’s 2018 Kickstarter and uses a version of the dragon scale pattern from the case and bezel.
The collection captures the romance and mystery of Arthurian legends in a timepiece that is both simple and beautiful. It’s also incredibly accessible for watch enthusiasts and collectors at €389 EUR for the versions on the rubber strap and €439 EUR for the bracelet.
Price & Specs:
Model: Valimor Caliburnus II
Ref: Ref. CAX01-A “Lake Opal” (green and blue toned dial)
CAX01-B “Flame Opal” (black and red toned dial)
CAX01-C “Black Knight” (black smoky Mother-of-Pearl dial)
CAX01-D “Blue Northern Light” (Mother-of-Pearl dial)
CAX01-E “Sword of the Light” (white dial)
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter x 12.65mm height, aged stainless steel
Movement: Japan Miyota 8315, automatic, 21 jewels
Water Resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power Reserve: 60h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Aged stainless steel or Japan NBR rubber
Price/Availability: €389 EUR (Japan NBR rubber) and €439 EUR (stainless steel)
More details at Valimor.