The young Swiss watchmaker pays tribute to the old watchmaking tradition of “Blue Mondays”, which involved drinking at the local pub.
The story of Lundis Bleus dates back to 1994, when Johan Storni and Bastien Vuilliomenet met on the benches of the watchmaking school of La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. Having both earned their watchmaker diplomas, they continued in the industry but in their separate ways.
Johan continued with degrees as a restoration technician and later as a watchmaking construction technician. He then worked for the likes of Audemars Piguet, and since 2008 has been working for Richard Mille in movement development.
Bastien, on the other hand, continued at the University of Applied Arts of La Chaux-de-Fonds, where he earned his degree in industrial design and later went on to work as a watch designer for Corum Watches. By 2014 he was a product manager for the private-label company Roventa-Henex.
By then, clearly the duo had all the right experience to go off on their own. And by 2015 Lundis Bleus was born, with the first model - the ref. 1100 - coming soon after in November 2016.
With so many existing and new brands out there, the question of “why” is an obvious one. According to the duo, their goal is to “provide an accessible alternative to independent watchmaking.”
The good news is that that founders don’t seem to have any pretensions about it. The choice of brand name makes that abundantly clear.
The term “blue Monday” these days is usually given to a day in January thought to be the most depressing one of the year. But it actually refers to the 19th century tradition where the most skilled and well-paid workers in the watch industry would take a self-granted form of “freedom”. They would not go to work on Mondays, and sometimes only report back to duty by Thursday, usually rather spending their times at the pubs.
Alas, with the arrival of industrialisation, the workers gradually lost this type of independence, becoming employees with structured workdays. The end of Blue Mondays had arrived.
The logo that this brand bears is a graphical interpretation of an alcohol molecule, to evoke the conviviality of the brand. It is also a nod to the pubs where the watchmakers would go during their Blue Mondays.
Taking a closer look at the ref. 1100-01, this motif is self-evident with the Lundis Bleus timepiece. Powered by the reliable Miyota 9015 automatic movement, the three-hand watch also has the date at 6 o’clock. Dial side we have a clean and futuristic looking silver galvanic face with 15 rhodium plated applied indices.
It is all packaged in a stainless steel, basin-shape profile case measuring 40mm across. It provides water-resistance up to 3 bar and has a total thickness of 11mm – not bad considering that includes the anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The cool case back is also stainless steel, featuring the stamped logo and blue mineral crystal.
This model in particular retails for 1,350 Swiss francs. For that kind of coin you might have expected something a bit more "Swiss" in the movement department. But that is certainly offset with the quality execution and excellent design of the rest of the timepiece.