Lebois & Co.’s Heritage Chronograph project was first announced in April 2021 and it’s finally time to look at the results. There are four references, each with a unique dial inspired by vintage Lebois & Co. chronos and housed in two different case designs.
They were developed through a process of crowd sourcing with Lebois & Co. asking their community of collectors to vote on design elements. The models pictured here are prototypes, so there will be a handful of updates on the final production pieces. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look.
Lebois & Co. Heritage Chronograph Ref. 324.478
First up is the Lebois & Co. Heritage Chronograph Ref. 324.478, a salmon dialled model with the collection’s signature bicompax chronograph display with peripheral telemeter and tachymeter. In fact, the tachymeter along the right of the dial is one of the elements that will be tweaked before sale in order to make it more legible. The salmon tone of the dial and gold coloured indexes definitely live up to the ‘Heritage’ aesthetic, giving it a strong vintage vibe.
As for the case, like all four references it has a 39mm diameter made from stainless steel. Its round shape is emphasised by a combination of brushed and polished surfaces, which is particularly highlighted by this model’s stepped bezel.
Lebois & Co. Heritage Chronograph Ref. 324.497
If you’ve ever looked at a vintage Lebois & Co. chronograph (the brand was active from 1934-1972 prior to its revival in 2014), you’ll instantly recognise the elements that have influenced the Ref. 324.497. The use of red and blue scales on a white dial is incredibly evocative of those original watches. It also has full Arabic numerals instead of the bar indexes seen on other references.
This reference is housed in the same case as the salmon model above, with the stepped bezel. Interestingly, one element on all four cases that will be updated is the crown. It’ll retain its overall shape and embossed Lebois & Co. shield logo but the finishing will change to a combination of sandblasting and circular graining instead of the polished finish here.
Lebois & Co. Heritage Chronograph Ref. 324.442
Ref. 324.442 has the most distinctive dial out of the four as it’s a sector dial, giving the display a more structured look split into sections. It’s also sans telemeter, which helps to make it a little less cluttered. Another element that helps it feel like a clean design is the fact that it has a bevelled bezel, giving the case more of a sweeping appearance – the second case design variant.
Flipping any of the references over reveals a sapphire exhibition caseback through which you can see the calibre LC-450 column wheel chronograph movement. The movements in the final versions will be fully manual winding – in keeping with the heritage theme – but the prototypes currently contain a few mechanical elements designed to accommodate automatic winding that will be removed. It’s a pretty impressive movement with a 60-hour power reserve and a wealth of fine finishing including Côtes de Genève.
Lebois & Co. Heritage Chronograph Ref. 324.472
The final version of LeBois & Co.’s Heritage Chronograph is a pulsometer edition, foregoing both the tachymeter and telemeter in favour of a rarer chronograph scale that allows you to measure someone’s pulse rate. It’s a scale that was originally developed for doctors. Aesthetically the Ref. 324.472 feels like a mix between the Ref. 324.478 and Ref. 324.442, as it has a salmon dial and there are sector dial influences in its layout.
All four watches come on straps of different colours. This reference has an Aegean blue strap in suede with the others on hickory brown and charcoal grey suede or navy leather. Each of the references will be available for pre-order from October 14th at prices of £2,150 – £2,250 depending on international shipping and VAT etc.
Of the four watches, my preference leans towards the Ref. 324.497 due to its similarity to historic models. I feel it lives up to its name of Heritage Chronograph the best.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Lebois & Co. CoLAB Heritage Chronograph
- Ref: 324.478 (salmon dial, hickory brown suede strap)
324.497 (cream dial with multicoloured tachymeter, charcoal black suede strap)
324.442 (silver sector dial with blue tachymeter, midnight navy leather strap)
324.472 (salmon dial with pulsation scale ‘Gradue Pour 30 Pulsations’, Aegean blue suede strap)
- Case/dial: 39mm x 10.5mm thickness, stainless steel case, stepped bezel (ref. 324.478/324.497) or bevelled bezel (ref. 324.442/324.472), salmon dial (ref. 324.478), salmon dial with pulsation scale ‘Gradue Pour 30 Pulsations’ (ref. 324.472), cream dial with multicoloured tachymeter (ref. 324.497) or silver sector dial with blue tachymeter (ref. 324.442)
- Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
- Movement: Lebois & Co. calibre LC-450, manual winding, 23 jewels
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 60h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
- Strap: Hickory brown suede (ref. 324.478), charcoal black suede (ref. 324.497), midnight navy leather (ref. 324.442) or Aegean blue suede (ref. 324.472)
- Price/availability: £2,150 – £2,250