For those who have been captivated by the ever-evolving realm of independent watchmaking, the name Sartory Billard resonates with a distinct allure. Since its inception in 2015, this visionary brand has set out on a remarkable journey to craft timepieces that not only measure time but also embody the unique history and personality of their owners. The result is a collection of watch designs that goes beyond traditional wristwatches, becoming wearable tales of individuality and self-expression.
Although the concept of customisable watches is not entirely unfamiliar, Sartory Billard takes it to an elevated level of artistry. Granting their clients unparalleled creative freedom and an extensive array of customisation options, the brand truly stands out. Presenting a prime illustration of this ethos is this Sartory Billard SB05 we have on offer today, showcasing a tantalum case and an exquisite dial configuration crafted from black meteorite.
The SB05 presents an elegant starting point with its polished tantalum case, which measures 38.5mm x 8.5mm. Despite such dimensions, the SB05 somehow manages to maintain a slender and understated presence on the wrist, creating the illusion of a slightly smaller size that aligns perfectly with my personal preferences (many others as well, I am sure). Upon closer examination, you will notice that the case construction of the SB05 reveals a level of craftsmanship typically associated with considerably more expensive timepieces. The case has a mid-band section and its lugs are actually individual components secured to the case using screws. Personally, I feel that the choice of a tantalum case here is absolutely fantastic as it is a much more interesting case material to boot. Not discrediting precious metals (which I equally love), tantalum has a sense of refinement that is quite distinct from other precious metal cases. Given its somewhat subdued colour tones, it can also easily be worn as a daily driver if one wishes to do so.
Moving on to its multi-material dial, you can see that it is made out of a combination of various materials meticulously integrated into its design. Here we have a configuration with a chapter ring crafted from black meteorite, a fantastic deep blue enamel centre and small seconds featuring a luscious guilloche motif done by renowned Voutilainen-owned dial maker Comblémine. The dial is then complemented by a set of elaborately crafted hands in white gold with excruciating detail, exhibiting a captivating contrast in their finishing, with a polished outer section that catches the light and a frosted inner section for added visual interest. As we shift our focus back to the hour markers positioned on the chapter ring, it becomes visually apparent that they are not only substantial but also highly legible against the black meteorite background.
Nestled within the SB05 is a 21-jewelled, manual-wound Cal. 7380 by renowned movement manufacturer, La Joux-Perret. When you turn the watch and explore its mesmerizing exhibition caseback, an enchanting monochromatic display of the exquisitely decorated Cal. 7380 awaits you. It may be a simple time-only movement, but the execution and decoration on the movement here is just absolutely on point.
In my opinion, the SB05 is a timepiece that truly punches above its weight class, especially in this specific material configuration, which makes it a very unique and charming timepiece to own. If you are after a one-of-a-kind watch from an independent atelier that embodies the expression of technical mastery and individualistic style, look no further.
Do note, that due to the customizability of Sartory Billard’s, the price variation can be huge. With this example coming with a polished tantalum case, blue enamel guilloche and black meteorite chapter ring (all crafted on top of a gold dial), it is right at the top of the range. The use of tantalum is around 8,000 euro extra and the use of a gold dial with enamelling is around 10,000 euro.