Today we are gonna look at something really cool. It is the watch from a company called Roue. And basically what they do is make 70s racing era inspired watches, which for me was instant click in the head as I love everything watch related or car related from that era. At first here is the interview with the founder of “Roue” Alex:
“My name is Alex Iervolino. I worked 20 years in finance and I always loved aesthetics since I was a kid. From Industrial design and Scandinavian furniture to architecture and classic cars. I studied and collect many of them. I also designed some of my furniture at my home.
I am a great enthusiast and a collector of industrial designers such as Dieter Rams (the German industrial designer of Braun), Hartmut Esslinger (the industrial designer of Sony-Wega fame and the first Apple products), and Richard Sapper.
My father was a long time classic car collector, so this universe has been in my life since I was born as well.
To unify all these two passions I run two Instagram pages:
- MOTOR_WATCH where I feature European classic cars and vintage watches. Trough this Instagram page I try to unite the classic car and vintage watches.
- ROUE.DESIGN where I show my passion for industrial design.”
2. What started your watch passion?
“I always loved watches thinking of small and precise machines that we carry out. I love the mechanical aspect of a watch combined with the aesthetics message on it. I also admire what the watch tells about the person. Its taste, its mood, its personality in some way.
Also, cars and watches have a lot in common. So probably this combination was perfect for me. Living in the classic car world since a child probably made me look carefully for watches.”
3. What makes a good wristwatch to you?
“The watch needs to transmit something. Either a design, a philosophy or a personality. It also needs to be designed with discrete elements. No shinning, no excessive details but lots of styles. I actually do not understand the today’s watch design. I hate big and bold watches that are the majority in today’s industry.
As a watch enthusiast, I certainly admire mechanic movements but I respect quartz as well. I just think it is so precise and liable for an everyday use.”
4. How many watches do you have in your collection? And maybe you could list them?
“My collection is actually quite small. I have five main watches:
- Early 1970s Rolex Air King, full stainless Steel with silver dial. True jeans and white T-shirt classic.
- Rolex Air King from the 1990s with a similar combination as the 1970s.
- Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. The original with winding and acrylic glass. In my opinion, the most beautiful watch ever made. The nicest dial ever created.
- Omega Dynamic with a brown and yellow multi-layers dial. One of those 1970s coloured oval ones. I love it!
- A very nice unpolished Omega Speedmaster Mk 4.5. Heavy and tall but reminds well a past era of motorsport watches.”
5. Who is your ideal customer?
“I try to produce a watch for those who admire the industrial design, architecture and obviously classic cars. I would say people interested in good design. People that have design sensibility and understand the different styles and its eras in the collection.”
6. Tell about what you like to do outside of watches. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
“I am also very involved with classic cars. I have some cars and I can say they require a huge dedication. I also love motorcycles. Either modern or classic ones. I also run bicycle to exercise myself. Also excellent for the mind.”
7. How do you see Roue watch brand in future?
“I like the Swatch concept where they pass different messages using the same watch. I would love to have ROUE with a similar concept. Probably narrower messages mostly in the design, cars world but also regatta and aviation themes. My plan is to launch around 4 models every year.”
8. Are there any new watches coming anytime soon?
“I will definitely release extra models next year. Same concept, different styles…”
So let’s dive into the review. The watch we are looking today is the Roue CHR One with black case and dark grey dial, in my opinion, the best-looking watch in their line up. In the CHR lineup, there are three version: 1.) black case, grey dial and black subdials. 2.) black case, black dial and white subdials and chapter ring. 3.) silver case, white dial and black subdials. From all three versions of the CHR, I think this one is the best looking! There are also other dial configurations in the same case (see the photos attached to the interview).
When I received the watch, I was thinking that the box will be just a regular one, probably in black colour, nothing special, but no. The box has the same design cues as the watch itself. It is this light grey with red Roue logo and yellow sides, it just reminds me the packaging of Heuer. And I got to say, the logo is really good looking. I’m a designer myself and I can say that this is the best logo I have seen on a watch that I reviewed. Inside there is a nice brochure with cool pictures, leather rally strap and silicone strap and of course the watch itself. At first, I was surprised to see how big it was. I actually thought it was a bit smaller.
The case is made from 316L stainless steel and is coated with black PVD coating. The case shape is very 70s,, and reminds me some of the early Heuer racing chronograph models and Omega MKII. The size of the case is 41,5mm, the thickness is 10,7mm, lug tip to lug tip it is 48mm and lug width is 22mm. On paper, the watch doesn’t seem that big, but when I got the watch, it wears actually bigger due to the case shape. But it is super comfortable, it may be big on the wrist, but as it is only 10,7mm in thickness, it wears really good. The case back is screw down and has this cool checkered flag pattern engraved in it. Another cool touch with some racing essence. Also on the case back, you will see the logo and the specifications. On the right side of the case, we have a push-pull crown and two pushers for the chronograph functions. The crown and pushers are bead-blasted and are in silver colour. The pusher action is really good, and they really feel like mechanical chronograph pushers. When you push the upper start/stop pusher you really feel that resistance and that “click” when activating the chronograph. The same is with the reset pusher. The crown action is really good despite the small size and how close it is to the case. On top of the case sits a flat scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. I would love to see how a domed mineral crystal would look on his, I think it would really finish the vintage look of this watch and make the dial really pop. CHR One is measured at 5ATM (50m), so no swimming with this one, but I don’t know why would you swim with it, as it is a racing chronograph.
The dial is in dark grey colour. Around the dial goes a black chapter ring with nice yellow accents on the hour markers and white minute markers. On the dial itself, we have tachymeter scale going around it. And the favourite part about the dial is how they placed the subdials, which are only two. On 9 and 12 o’clock. The subdials are black with white markings and white hands. The subdial on 12 shows the 1/20 seconds and the subdial on 9 shows 60 minutes of the chronograph. On 6 we have the Roue logo in white which really completes the dial and makes it more symmetric than it is. On 3 o’clock we have a date window. I usually don’t like date windows because many times the date ruins the proportions of the dial, but here it feels like it needs to be there. Minute and hour hands are black with yellow accents. The second’s hand is white. All the hands, also the subdial hands are lumed. The lume seems to be better on the second’s hand and subdial hands, but on the hour and minute hands, the lume isn’t so strong.
Inside the CHR One, you have the Miyota 6S10 Quartz movement with the sweeping second’s hand on the chronograph. The movement as always is very robust and works perfectly without a problem. The battery would last you 2-2,5 years although I had some watches with these movements surviving longer. The straps that come with watches are a black rally genuine leather strap and textured silicone strap. Both are really good quality and like that the rally strap really mimics the straps of that era. The no stitching and the square perforated holes, it is all part of the 70s racing design. And the buckles are really cool for the straps, I have never seen this style before. And each strap comes with quick release spring bar which as you all know is the thing that I want every watch brand to use.
Overall the watch is really cool and I think this is the best execution of a 70s racing era inspired watch that is available in price range to 500$, the second best would probably be my MHD CR-1 which has almost the same name 😀 The watch is super comfortable to wear, it looks good and get’s a lot of attention from my fellow watch friends. The Roue has really started its business with nice solidly built watches and stunning designs. There is definitely a watch choice for every taste and you really can see that every detail has been thought out. The guy really knows something about design. So, would I suggest this watch and brand? Yes! Definitely! Because at this price point you won’t find anything similar looking and so well built. I would choose the Roue watches over the overpriced in my opinion Autodromo watches. Go check them out at rouewatch.com!
Easy interchangeable bands system
2 bands included: soft genuine leather + sports silicone
Ultra scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass
High precision Japanese Miyota chronograph quartz movement
Chronograph function: Center hand displays seconds; top sub-dial displays time in 1/20 second; left sub-dial counts minutes
Case made of top quality 316L blasted stainless steel with brushed finishing
5 ATM (50 meters) water resistant
Case diameter excluding crown: 41.5 mm
Overall thickness: 10.9 mm
Lug width: 22 mm