On Total Watch Reviews, I write about many exceptionally talented designers. However, someone like Federico Restrepo is completely out of the ordinary. When I recently spoke with him I was fascinated to hear his back story. Originally Federico was born in Bogota, Colombia and is the grandson of humourist and watercolourist Hervé Baille. This ignited his passion for furniture design, architecture and fine artwork. As our conversation evolved I realised how much we actually have in common. In fact, we also have a penchant for exquisite watchmaking.
I first became aware of Federico Restrepo’s watchmaking aspirations via watch forums on Facebook. There are so many different timepieces on the market and many are unremarkable. With his brand Restrepo, Federico is aiming to create something completely different. Certainly, I was excited to see a cool timepiece with an ellipse shape polished steel 37.90 mm case. This was a familiar territory in the 1970s but is a rarity in the present market. In fact, there are very few examples. Last year I created a bespoke ellipse shape dual time watch called ‘Duet’ (with Ruslan Skiutte) and Hamilton devised the ‘Jazzmaster Face 2 Face’.
Within the range, there are numerous ellipse shape models to choose from with different dial options and movements. Probably my personal favourite is the ‘Blue Caballero’ which is powered by a Swiss-made Valjoux 7750 movement. This mechanism is used by many brands because of its quality and reliability. In fact, it’s one of the most recognised automatic chronograph movements in the world. The calibre comprises 25-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
Aesthetically the ‘Blue Caballero’ has a minimalistic appearance, which in my opinion is the essence of good design. The dial is uncluttered with three sliver counters and blue/silver chapter ring. Other fine details include raised indexes/numerals (3, 9) and top-mounted crowns. Functionally the ‘Blue Caballero’ features hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph facility. The watch also has a power reserve of 48-hours and is water-resistant to a depth of 50-metres.
As a perfect finishing touch the ‘Blue Caballero’ is presented on a black rubber strap with a complimentary steel buckle. To purchase this amazing timepiece follow this link