Indie Brands: Heron Gladiateur Offers Classic Style

We had a heads up from Heron in Canada, who have a new 41mm wide, automatic model in the pipeline. It’s on Kick right now and fully funded already, with prices on pre-order starting at about £235 which is great value for the spec we think. More here.

Here’s the press info;

Héron is proud to introduce our new model: the Gladiateur MMLXV.

Designed in Montreal, the Gladiateur is the fruit of an intensive creative process that lasted over a year. Powered by the Miyota 9039 automatic movement and available in 4 colorways, the Gladiateur is now ready to take on the world. Gladiateur borrows its name to the mighty colosseum fighters of ancient Rome.

Like them, it is robust, flexible and will certainly always be at the center of attention. The thought process behind Gladiateur is simple. We wanted to make a piece that would allure watch enthusiasts all while finding appeal in the eyes of a less initiated audience. Frankly, the type of piece we like to wear. 

The idea of a classic look revisited in a more modern fashion seemed obvious at that point. We moved on with a diver inspired look for the durability and timelessness of that design. It was also about coming up with a design original enough to be truly “ours” without relying on heavy gimmicks or you know.. make a watch that looks like a spaceship.

We vote the white dial option the best of the range, what do you think?

The Bezel

The 12h roman numeral bezel has been the talking point around this piece ever since we showed the first sketches around.  Sure, it’s not as legible or by the book as a 60 minutes “diver-style” bezel. But, as designers from the 21st century surrounded by robotically precise  timing tools and an array of  masterly crafted toolwatches from other brands, we figured we could let go of a bit of functionality in exchange for a little novelty. 

Roman numerals are popular on dress watches for their ability to instantly class-up a piece in terms of looks.

We thought revisiting this classic design element on a sportwatch, meant for a more casual wear, could result in a fun and innovative addition to a collection.  While a bit unorthodox, the Gladiateur’s 12h rotating bezel may also be used as a “alternative GMT” for travelers.

The Dial

The dial comes in 3 matte colors and was designed to be clean and efficient, displaying no more than what’s absolutely necessary. A meticulous blend of contrast and consistency between every element from the hands to the markers was crucial to achieve a perfectly balanced watch face.

The result is a sharp and minimalist look that makes the Gladiateur nice and easy to pair with a wide variety of outfits and accessories. But most importantly, the dial features a classic “lollipop” sweeping seconds hand. Which is great partly because it added a nice visual coherence to the design, but mostly because seeing that little white speckle smoothly sweeping around the dial is (and the following pun is totally intended) eye-candy.

The Caseback

The Gladiateur is equipped with a durable solid caseback. As per tradition, it features the name of the model and a couple of specs about the case (namely the material: stainless steel, and the water resistance of 10 ATM). The centerpiece is an engraved artwork  specially designed for the Gladiateur. It represents a highly stylized heron bird emblem   encircled by roman laurels.

The heron’s sharp outline and overall silhouette were inspired by the shape of a Gladiator’s fighting helmet. We named this artwork Héron de Combat.

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