If the design of this watch feels somehow familiar, you won’t be surprised to learn that Detroit Watch co-designers Patrick and Amy Ayoub have once again applied their classical blueprint to their American-based brand.
Two variations of the brand’s new stand-alone Pontchartrain collection are housed in an elegantly stepped 42mm stainless steel case. Both feature automatic ETA Swiss-made movements, one with a sub-second and the other with a choice of silver or gold moon-phase complication.
All the qualities you’d expect in a high-quality, high-value watch are here, including sapphire crystal, exhibition back, superior decoration on the Swiss movement and a calfskin strap, which all come together to make a fine watch. Under the loupe the hands are as superb as the dials, and even the crown looks, feels and functions beautifully.
Those outside the Detroit area might ask why “Pontchartrain” for a Detroit-based brand? The Ayoubs chose this name to recall the historic fort that was built in 1701 and actually ended up applying its name to the city. France’s King Louis XIV commissioned Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit as the first permanent French settlement in the area and as a center for the fur trade and French military power in 1701.
Built along the Detroit River in order to protect the French trade from the British, the fort was named in honor of Louis XIV’s minister of marine and colonies, Louis Phélypeaux de Pontchartrain. Le Detroit, French for ‘the strait’ eventually came to identify Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit and the surrounding area and after 1751, was known simply as Fort Detroit.
Founded in Detroit in 2013 by designing duo Amy and Patrick Ayoub, the Detroit Watch Company recently introduced the latest addition to its collection with the M1 Woodward automatic with a custom-decorated Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement showcasing the DWC Fleur-de-lys logo.
Visible through the sapphire crystal back, the Fleur-de-lys decoration adds a subtle touch that speaks to the local provenance of the brand as the same patterns grace the flag of Detroit.
According to founder Patrick Ayoub, the M1-Woodward Avenue is a highway notably referred to as Detroit’s Main Street and follows the route of the old Saginaw Trail that linked Detroit with Pontiac, and at the time, Flint and Saginaw. Originally created after a devastating fire in 1805 and one of five principal avenues in Detroit devised by Augustus B. Woodward, it derived the “M-1”designation thanks to its heritage as the location of the first mile of concrete roadway.
The watch itself is a full-figured stainless steel 44mmx14.5mm beauty and one of the best values on the market for such a beautifully designed and well-built structure framing a fan favorite movement within.Even though offered in very limited editions, if this watch was put to market by ANY big Swiss name brand you could fully expect to see the price as double the $1,895 that the Ayoub’s ask for their work. More at www.detroitwatchco.com