Bólido is 100% Swiss made
The new Federal Ordinance, in force since 1 January 2017 makes it difficult to launch a reasonably priced ‘Swiss Made’ mechanical watch. While movement and assembly always had to be Swiss, parts such as the watch cases that require expensive forging tooling and multiple labour-intensive operations must now have at least 60% Swiss content. The capacities of suppliers that use the usual production methods are absorbed by the big luxury brands which are able to afford their high costs.
The Bólido concept
We therefore chose to manufacture the Bólido case employing automatic lathing machines; in contrast to traditional case production, this so-called ‘décolletage’ is highly competitive and there is ample capacity for it in Switzerland.
It did not bother us that this method leaves very little room for fancy design, however! On the contrary, Bólido was intended to be bold and out of step. Adding a second rotative axis not only tilts the face of the watch to facilitate time-reading in situations like car-driving, etc., it also increases the case height at the top of the dial to allow the integration of a large winding crown in an unusual but well protected position.
Lathing also facilitates the implementation of yet another feature of the Bólido design:
The Bólido monocoque case construction
With it, the movement with its dial and hands is inserted into the case from the top. This unusual construction eliminates a third of the parts, including the case back and gasket – what is not there cannot leak and costs nothing! This kind of systematic exploration of production-specific properties has allowed us to build the Bólido entirely in Switzerland economically and with the same high quality that applies to famous luxury brands.
The heart of the Bólido: the self-winding mechanical movement
The movement is supplied to us by a leading manufacturer and is hand-assembled by highly skilled craftsmen and women. The cost of such a movement relates to two main factors:
- Accuracy of adjustment in several position-angles
- The finishing of the parts: enhancing the precision by reducing tolerances to broaden the range of adjustability; the beauty of such finishing is a welcome side effect.
We do not cut corners in either of these two areas. On the contrary: the Bólido movements are built to our exacting specifications of regulation in 5 positions (instead of the usual 3), and the meticulous finishing is underscored by Geneva stripes and engine-turned decoration.
The dial face
The dial and hands match Bólido’s functionality; we spent a significant amount of time searching for the best readability from different angles, distances and in varying light conditions. We finally chose the simplicity of a generic instrument scale, because reinventing the wheel will not make it better; SuperLuminova plots on the dial and hands enable reading in darkness.
Band and folding buckle
The band is cast with natural latex-based rubber; it is highly resistant to saltwater, hence its popularity amongst professional divers. It only requires a rinse with soap once in a while to keep it looking like new, even after many years. The strap can be worn with either surface, -smooth or structured-, on top.
A quality watch is recognisable by its buckle, but even luxury brands often charge extra for an elaborate folding buckle with a safety clasp as is used for Bólido.
In spite of its fashionable size, Bólido watches fit almost every wrist size, even very small ones. This is because the distance between the axes of the two springbars holding the band ends underneath the case is only 32 mm. Regular gents watches of comparable size have a typical axis distance of 42 mm or more.