LEBOIS & CoLAB

Join us in the development of our Heritage Chronograph

Welcome to CoLAB

Lebois & CoLAB is our collaboration initiative that brings together watch enthusiasts from around the world to collaborate on the development of new watch models. Our first project is Lebois & Co’s Heritage Chronograph; the long awaited and much requested re-issue of our 1940’s chronographs.

Each watch development process has different phases; design, technical development, prototype and final production. Together we will go through all of these phases, step by step. The most extensive phase, the design phase, will consist of different steps such as the choice of movement, case and dial design, and of course bracelets and/or straps.

agsdi-hand-watch

A unique watch

An opportunity to collaborate on an exclusive watch

agsdi-gift

Perks & Benefits

Contributors enjoy interesting perks and benefits
agsdi-world-heart

For watch lovers

For and by watch enthusiasts all over the world

agsdi-calendar

Priority ordering

Contributors will have the first right to order

Heritage Chronograph

The revival of an iconic watch

Chronographs are an important aspect in the history of Lebois & Co. Since the revival of Lebois in 2014 we have found and collected several interesting timepieces that function as an inspiration for the new Heritage Chronograph models that Lebois & Co plans to release.

The last remarkable find was a ‘Big Eyes’ Chronograph in mint condition that we were able to acquire from a US based collector. The dial was sharp and barely showed any patina. The movement, a Valjoux 22, was working flawlessly and smoothly.

We are excited to start the journey of our third watch model; the long awaited and much requested re-issue of our vintage chronograph. It is only logical, therefore, that we want to develop such an important watch together with our community of fans and watch enthusiasts.

History

How an auctioned chronograph led to the revival of Lebois & Co

Lebois & Co’s beautiful chronographs lead to its return in 2014. At that time, Tom and his wife Eveline came across a chronograph auctioned by Christie’s on 14 May 2012, which they found very special. So special even, that they printed the watch and stuck it on their fridge. Tom started his research on this forgotten brand and contacted the original founders. The rest is history

It didn’t stop there. In the meantime, a lot of information about chronographs reached us. Different versions and variations, but their interesting stories too. Like the one of the Swedish Air Force pilots who were given Lebois & Co chronograph watches when they came to Italy to collect and fly home their new Caproni Ca 313 reconnaissance bombers (see vlog episode #3).

There are also many individual stories such as the one of Mr. De Zanguitu. He inherited his uncle’s gold Lebois & Co chronograph, which was originally given to the uncle by his brother (Mr. De Zanguitu’s father) as a birthday present when they were on a skiing trip in Switzerland. In 2019, our company had the honour of coordinating the restoration of this watch (no. 9 in the voting contest). With success; at the end of 2020, the beautifully restored watch was returned to its happy owner.

Interesting fact: in the past, not only ‘Lebois & Co’ was printed on the dials. We’ve seen versions where ‘Lebois & Cie’ (the French name) and simply ‘Lebois’ were used as well. As far as we are concerned, this provides enough inspiration to decorate the dial. Do you have a preference? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

Image: © Christie’s

Cast your vote: choosing the right inspiration

Help us choose from the vintage archives

Over time, quite a few different variants and models have been released. Since we cannot reissue all of them, we need your help in choosing the ones that deserve to be brought back to life.

Are you ready? Great! Take a look at the 9 beautiful vintage Lebois & Co chronographs we pre-selected. Then, vote up to 3 watches you like best. Feel free to use the comment section at the bottom of this page to explain your choice.

Vote up to 3 watches you like best:

FORGOT YOUR DETAILS?

Salmon dial, blue hands, applied hour markers, tachy and telemetre scale

301 Votes

Black dial, steel case, white/cream print, tachy and telemetre scale

126 Votes

White sector dial, steel case, black print with red tachy scale

45 Votes

Gilt sector dial, gold leaf hands, gold case, telemetre scale

29 Votes

Cream dial, blue leaf hands, steel case, black print, multicolored scales

200 Votes

Off-white sector dial, blue leaf hands, black print, blue tachy scale

182 Votes

Cream dial, blue leaf hands, lumed indexes, blue tachymeter scale

82 Votes

Cream dial, blue hands, gold case, black print, multicolored scales

30 Votes

Silver dial, blue hands, gold case, black and blue print, central tachy

101 Votes

Images provided by: Christie’s (5), @lorologiese (3), @bench.03 (6), @andreasalgau (7), @privateeyes_co (2), @notaroaugelli1 (1)

Cast your vote: which movement fits best?

Choosing the engine for the Heritage Chronograph

In this first step, a very important choice must be made right away; the type of movement. There are two solid options; the first (named LC-250) is a cam-actuated chronograph movement based (with improvements) on the ETA 7750 architecture, like Sellita’s SW 510. This movement is produced in larger numbers and used by multiple other brands. Option two (named LC-450) is a column wheel chronograph (just as the Valjoux 22 and 72 movements used in the original Lebois & Co chronographs) developed and made by Manufacture La Joux-Perret (LJP7773). Our sister brand, Airain, uses a similar movement in the new Type 20 Re-Edition.

The column wheel makes the second option more historically accurate, which is a plus for us. Also, a column wheel movement, which is comparable to a castle’s turret, is more exclusive. Where the cam consists of two layers of metal, the column wheel is a single piece, and very difficult to manufacture because of it. Since it takes more skill and patience to be made, it can normally only be found in high-end timepieces. In addition, it is generally agreed that a column wheel chronograph feels more precise when operated.

All of this results in a column wheel movement being more expensive than a cam-actuated movement. So, what’s your opinion? Vote for the movement of your choice below.

FORGOT YOUR DETAILS?

Caliber LC-250

Pros

  • Lowest price option

Cons

  • Movement is being used by many other brands
  • Cam-actuated chronograph is more common so less exclusive
  • Not historically accurate

Estimated retail price for the watch: € 1600 / US$ 1930

16 Votes

Caliber LC-450

Pros

  • More historically accurate
  • More exclusive; can normally only be found in high-end timepieces
  • More precise feel when operated

Cons

  • Price will be higher

Estimated retail price for the watch: € 1850 / US$ 2220

343 Votes

Project timeline

 

April 22, 2021 Project launch and choosing inspiration + movement
June, 2021 Choosing the right design (dials and cases)
July/August, 2021 Presentation of 3D designs, choosing colors and straps
September, 2021 Zooming in on the technical details
November, 2021 Presenting the first prototypes
December, 2021 Pre-orders and start of final production

The above timeline is an estimate and will be adjusted if necessary.

Virtual Coffee Catch-up

Talking watches and project progress: register for our virtual coffee meetings

Don't forget to brew your own cup of coffee beforehand 😉

Join in

Join the discussion; subscribe and comment below. No account required.

We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to comment, ask questions or share your ideas. Your e-mail address will not be published.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
43 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Join CoLAB

Stay up to date on new CoLAB developments. Sign up for our Newsletter.

{"cart_token":"","hash":"","cart_data":""}