Watch collectors either love or hate designs from Franc Vila. No other watch has a face that loosely resembles a cobra head—set into a case that looks like an egg sitting on its side. The reptilian look is furthered by the segmented scale style of the rubber strap (a separate crocodile strap is also included). With an almost ominous look, the famed FV Evos 8 Cobra watch is in all black and blue here; a special limited edition set reserved for the U.S. only. Eighty-eight people will be able to enjoy the look of this timepiece.
While technologically speaking there is nothing about Franc Vila watches that are absent in other timepi eces—his unorthodox designs capture the imagination in a way that other more classic timepieces often fail to do. At 55-mm wide, the size of the case (300 meters water resistant) sounds intimidating, but wearing it isn’t unwieldy. This is because the cases are wider than they are tall. Being just 42-mm tall, the watches won’t take over your wrist. The oblong shape is also flattering to one’s wrist—helping to visually elongate the arm. This special version of the Cobra is the Blue Bandido with a variety of materials for the case. You’ll quickly notice the wealth of carbon fiber all over the case, surrounding the bezel, and on the crown guards. The watch also uses a black toned allow called DieHard Extreme steel (for the bezel), as well as titanium used on other parts of the case. The thick rubber strap forms a flowing shape with the watch and grows thinner around your wrist, while its thick end pieces help the watchcase preserve an elegant unbroken line.
Using a large barrel style crown and hefty chronograph pushers, the FV Evos 8 Cobra is also a highly functional timepiece. Reading the dial is a charm due to Franc Vila’s excellent contrast between black and blue. The electric blue colors for the hands, and hash marks on the dial and applied wonderfully (like a rich lacquer) giving the watch a reassuring luxury presence. Carbon fiber is once again found on the dial, with a textured black metal decorative element in the center of the dial. While complex, the arrangement of elements on the face and dial of the watch are well balanced given their awkward proportions.
While Franc Vila sources high-end mechanical movements, the watches are fitted with a custom automatic rotor that the brand calls their “Gold Concept Rotor.” Using gold for weight, the rotors are meant to resemble the shape of the watchcase and dial—a design decision that may be a first. The automatic chronograph movement also has a big date indicator below the 12 o’clock position. While Franc Vila designed the chronograph subdials nicely, the date indicator discs would have benefitted from arriving in a color to match the black and blue theme of the timepiece. Limited to just 88 pieces and available only in the U.S., the watch is priced at $28,000. www.francvila.com
- 55-mm wide x 42mm tall case size
- Black DieHard Extreme steel bezel
- Carbon fiber used on the case and dial
- Arrives with segment style rubber strap as well as crocodile strap
- Face has time, big date indicator, and 12 hour chronograph
Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.