I was very excited to meet Franc Vila for the first time. I am a huge fan of the watch brand and an owner of the Franc Vila Cobra myself. He immediately realized that I was a client and fan interviewing him to understand his vision and where he planned to take the company in 2012. All of Franc’s pieces are very cool, with some of the best technology I have ever seen. Plus, he himself is very cool with a great sense of style.
He immediately impressed me with a ladies’ tourbillon watch in black and red. Unlike most ladies tourbillon pieces at Basel, the Fvt #1 Planetair is very sporty and edgy. The model retails around $195,000 and is one of the coolest tourbillon pieces I have ever seen, let alone one for a woman. Equipped with a flying tourbillon with a five-day power reserve, this movement made history adopting an aesthetic shape for the first time.
Next, Franc showed me the men’s tourbillon piece called the Tourbillon Intrepido. Limited to eight pieces, this piece is a Ferrari in a watch. Its composition is titanium and is one of the lightest pieces I have ever seen, featuring a tourbillon with day and night three-dimensional indication and 96 hours of power reserve. One of the sportier pieces I saw at Basel, I could tell Franc is very proud of this unique watch.
Another piece I was drawn to was the SuperSonic 5-Minute Repeater, Superligero Concept. A very cool watch, the timepiece features a five-minute repetition complication and is a new watch introduced at Basel World. The main characteristic is the lightness of the watch. Franc’s favorite quality is the complication, which is high-tech due to the mechanism needed to convert time to music. He said in a press release “For this reason, I think it is the most poetic complication.” I am sure that the high-end watchmaking aficionados of minute repetition will love this contemporary repeater because of its mechanical beauty and the crafted assembly process, including the fine tuning of the sound, which is crafted one-by-one with extreme care.
Franc then showed me the new Cobra, an upgrade of the piece I have. When I complimented the leather straps of other watches, he gave me a brown strap for my Cobra which he felt would give it a different look.
Next he showed me another piece he introduced at Basel World, the Superligero Automatic Big Date. This dynamic model is limited to only 88 pieces.
All in all, Franc Vila was as innovative and cool as I had expected him to be. His brand came out with a lot of great pieces for Basel World and I hope his passion, along with my own affinity for his watches catches on worldwide.