Herve watches are based in the United Kingdom and are a new micro brand that wants to bring their watches to the market. Their vision is to design a future classic, a new watch, born in the 21st century, pairing vintage aesthetics with modern technology for accuracy, reliability and style.
Their first model is called The Alvia and is their first attempt to break into the microbrand market. It comes in 3 dial colour variations; Slate Grey, Matisse Blue and the model thate Herve sent me, the Black Onyx. Each dial colour variant is limited to only 100 pieces.
The watch arrived in a very nice box actually. In my opinion the presentation is very important when getting a watch, at least for me. I don’t like mega big boxes like some Omegas come with, but a good quality square and small box is good enough for me. The box has cardboard outer box and inside it has a brown leather box with suede like lining inside in orange/brown colour. Inside the box we have a warranty, instructions manual and the watch. The first impressions were pretty good, it looks better in real life than in the photos on their website and I’m glad I chose the black variant as I think the grey and blue wouldn’t look that good. The watch also kind of reminds me a vintage Heuer Carrera chronograph, I don’t know why, but it has similar look, just no chrono function.
The case of the Alvia is made of 316L stainless steel and is very well machined, all the lines are sharp and nicely made. The finishing on the watch is satin brushed and actually I’m glad that it has no polished surfaces as brushed finishing is more forgiving for daily use as you don’t see scratches that much. The diameter of the case is 38mm, a mid-sized watch that helps with the vintage theme that Herve are going for. It measures 12mm thick, slim enough to slip nicely under the cuff and measures 47mm lug to lug. The dimensions I think are just perfect for an everyday vintage inspired watch. It also features a gorgeous domed sapphire crystal that just makes the dial pop. To touch the crystal almost feels like acrylic, strangely. At my surprise at 3 o’clock we have a signed, screw-down crown which I think is a great addition as it makes the watch much safer to water. It isn’t any diver of course at just 5ATM (50m) water resistance, but it is definitely enough for a daily wear. The exhibition screw-in case back features a flat sapphire crystal which was another surprise as usually affordable watch range just puts sapphire on top and mineral crystal at the bottom, kudos to Herve for not making compromises!
The dial is simple, uncluttered and consists of two layers, with a smaller central area stacked on top of a larger stainless steel base to create a subtle sense of depth that can only be noticed on close inspection. The printed hour markers are brushed with Japan SLC1 lume, the baton hour and minute hands are brushed with Superluminova BGW9, the lume isn’t the greatest sadly, but I hope they make it better in their net model. The white hour markers and hands accompanied with the word ‘Automatic’ written in red provide contrast on the dial and works wonderfully and goes with the vintage/retro theme. I also love this watch because Herve decided not to put date on it, I just think so many microbrand companies ruin so many great designs with date windows and I don’t understand why they do it? Not that there is a lot of people who love date windows, atleast on the Facebook watch groups a lot of people want more no-date watches!
The movement that is inside the watch is Japan made Seiko NH35, which is running at +9 to +11 seconds a day, at least for me. This movement is pretty popular in the microbrand world as 50% of watches that are coming out have this movement inside them. It has proven it’s reliability and easiness to service within many years. You just can’t go wrong with Japan made movements from Seiko. It is an automatic 24 jewel movement with 41-hour power reserve and beating away with 21,600 BPH. The rotor is the original Seiko one, but it is also signed with small Herve logo.
The srap that accompanies the Alvia is a grey vintage style, genuine calf leather strap that really doesn’t look the best quality in my opinion. Although features nice stitching when you look at the strap closely it lacks quality and the colour coating on it appears to be wearing away already. The strap looks good on the watch, but I suggest Herve to upgrade their straps to better ones! The strap width is 20mm at the lugs and it tapers to 18mm at the buckle. The buckle is just a regular tang style one and it is signed with small Herve logo. On the wrist the watch feels pretty good and comfortable actually!
Overall I really like the Herve, the strap doesn’t bother me at all as that you can change easily + I like to swap stars anyway and 90% of my watches have aftermarket straps on. Anycase, the watch design wise and how well it is made and finished is great! I really like the smaller size of 38mm. And the black/white dial has that vintage appeal. Also the price of 360$ is really good for a watch like this, yes there are plenty of options, and I’m not saying you to buy this one as no matter how good the watch is, the main thing you consider when buying is the looks, atleast for me the looks are what makes me to buy a watch. So if you like it, get it as it is a great watch!