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Humbert-Droz HD4-Wood

After months of deliberation, we finally called a company to repair the damage on our favourite car’s alloy wheels. Over the years, wheel trims have become much larger and therefore are susceptible to curb damage. Interestingly the contractor is originally from the UK and was brought up very close to where my father now resides. He also is a real character and so we had a lot to discuss. As he was leaving I noticed his small gold plated timepiece that was ironically inscribed with the word ‘Geneva’. Clearly, it was mass produced in China and proudly he informed me it only cost $5 from a local convenience store. Ultimately he had bought it for its functional value rather than aesthetic qualities. In contrast, I would only wear something that displayed some artistic merit. That is why innovative creations like the HD4-Wood from French brand Humbert-Droz really appeals to me.

Like most luxury goods writer’s, a great way to discover exciting new brands is via social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. However, Humbert-Droz isn’t a new company and has a history dating back to 1956. The original business (called Reparalux) was originally established 62-years ago by Marcel Humbert-Droz in Besançon, France. Over the decades his legacy was continued by Jean (son) Frédéric (grandson) and present custodian Julien (great-grandson). He now manages eight meticulous watchmakers’ in their new state of the art workshop.

It is fair to say that Humbert-Droz has survived because of its dedication to quality. All their timepieces are fastidiously manufactured in their state of the art facility at Parc Alpia, Besançon. Even though I like all their watches the HD4 is my favourite and in particular the wood version. The retro appearance is absolutely bang on trend and in line with what many other luxury brands (from different sectors) are creating. The modest scale (40mm x 35m x 15mm) of the satin polished rectangular case is also in line with this halcyon era, which should appeal to the unisex market. Certainly this it sits very comfortably on the wrist and could be worn for most occasions.

Visually the HD4-Wood is a phenomenally good-looking timepiece and definitely will attract a significant amount of positive attention. The façade is an absolute revelation displaying hours, minutes, seconds and date in disc format. In an ideal world, I would have preferred a real wooden dial and sapphire instead of mineral glass. However, this is being pedantic because for the agreeable sum of €540 you are getting a highly distinctive watch. As an added bonus this timepiece is powered by refined mechanical self-winding German made Bernhard Förster movement.

For more information about Humbert-Droz follow this link

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