Chevalley Le Bris’s limited-edition timepieces combine their founders’ love of sailing and Swiss precision to create watches of distinction
It is apt that a timepiece born from adventure should also become an homage to exploration through its design. That is what happened when two watch designers and sailing enthusiasts formed Chevalley Le Bris. Naming the brand after themselves, Laurent Chevalley and Raymond Le Bris, who first met on an industrial-design course in Geneva, decided to create the Armada Collection, a limited edition of men’s watches with a sailing design theme.
“Laurent and I are creative thinkers and adventurers, and the modular concept at the heart of Armada reflects this,” says Raymond of the collection, which is presented in ‘Tomes’, the first of which was released in 2022. “Inside each Tome are two timepieces, our unique, interchangeable circular clasp system in two different terminaison, a choice of wrist straps and a pocket-watch chain, all giving the wearer the freedom to tailor their watch as they wish.”
Renowned Swiss watchmaking specialists Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier (VMF) crafts the self-winding movement in both Tome 1 timepieces. Element No 4 is a classic stainless-steel timepiece with intricate mahogany and teak face detailing that evokes a yacht’s deck, while Black Sail is a contemporary black ceramic watch with face detailing that recalls a racing sailboat. “We source exclusively from Swiss suppliers as they’re among the finest in the world, and we want to support and preserve local skills and traditions.”
The impeccable craftsmanship extends to the leather-bound wooden Tomes resembling ships’ logbooks, in which the timepieces, clasp systems and accessories sit securely. Like the watches, the Tomes are made to order in Switzerland. “We nurture sustainable, trustworthy partnerships with artisans who share our pursuit of excellence,” says Laurent. “With his team at MACLEF, Emmanuel Bouchet helped us in many steps of our project, such as the development of complications, the assembly and control. Bastien Chevalier crafts the wooden face detailing, and Benjamin Carrat is the bookbinding talent behind the realisation of the Tomes.”
The Armada Collection also received significant interest from women, sparking the creation of a women’s timepiece to feature alongside the men’s. “We have many ideas for the future, including the development of our own calibre,” says Raymond, “but Armada will remain exclusive, limited to three interchangeable volumes, each of which comes in only 15 numbered pieces – compact enough for collectors to stow on their yacht, with the freedom to tailor their timepieces no matter where their adventure takes them.”