It's interesting: the high-tech 21st century, not having passed even a quarter of its life, has already been marked by at least three global economic crises. It would seem that there is no time for luxury goods in such turbulent times - as they say, no time for fat ... This should also apply to wristwatches. And at least, it should not be conducive to the birth of more and more new watch brands.
However, perhaps due to the specific magic of watchmaking, such brands appear in abundance. Of course, not all of them are successful, not all are equally interesting. But there are among the "newborns" and worthy of attention. One of them is Swiss Louis 16.
Who are they?
The brand was founded in 2012 in Zurich by a group of enthusiasts who are highly qualified specialists. Here is what they themselves say:
“People in the know strongly discouraged us from embarking on this adventure. They argued that only prestigious brands with many decades of history can be successful in the watch market. But we did not let ourselves be dissuaded, we boldly went towards our dream of creating our own watch brand that will conquer the world!”
Looking ahead, let's say: they did not lose. Three main principles were put at the forefront: impeccable quality, excellent design, reasonable prices. And the name of the brand was unexpected, but also successful and attractive. The fact is that the King of France Louis 16 was a passionate lover of watches! He ordered them from the brilliant Abraham-Louis Breguet, and he himself loved to tinker with clockwork ... The fact that His Majesty ended his days in a not the most enviable way (as you know - on the guillotine) ... well, that's a completely different story.
We also note the obvious inclination of the watch company from the German-speaking Zurich to the French style. This is evident in the names of all collections and models of Louis 16 watches without exception. However, they all deservedly bear the proud Swiss Made label.
One of these models is Majeste Iced Out Rainbow 1120. We will consider it in detail.
The French word Majeste means “Majesty”, and, perhaps, it is quite appropriate: the golden color of the case and bracelet, the radiance of stones on the bezel and dial…
The English phrase Iced Out is translated as "Ice". Apparently, it is the sheen of pavé on the dial that justifies this association.
Well, Rainbow - everything is clear here: the bezel is made just in the rainbow palette.
In front of us is a classic chronograph, with a central seconds hand, 30-minute and 12-hour counters (9.30 and 6 positions), a second hand of the current time at the 2.30 position and a date aperture at 4 o'clock. It is powered by the well-known worldwide Swiss quartz caliber Ronda 5030.D, with a diameter of 28,6 mm and a thickness of 4,4 mm, on 6 stones. Claimed battery life is 54 months. This is a good indicator, but, of course, we could not verify it on a specific sample.
But the accuracy of the course - it was appreciated! During the day, the countdown of the current time was checked, and within 12 hours, the readings of the chronograph drive were checked. Publicly available exact time signals were used as a reference. Naturally, things did not come to fractions of a second, but to whole seconds everything coincided “by zeros”!
We also note: pressing the chronograph buttons is moderately soft, setting the time (with the “stop-second” function) and date using a retractable (respectively, two clicks and one) crown is problem-free.
And finally, not for the first time already, we will express doubts about the real practicality (demand) of the chronograph function in wristwatches. However, we have to put up with it: fashion is fashion.
As mentioned above, the “royal” image of the model is partly determined by the golden color of its case and bracelet. True, the watch is still not gold, the material is, like all Louis 16 models, stainless steel. However, as already mentioned again, one of the main principles of the brand is impeccable quality in everything, and here this attitude is manifested, firstly, in the fact that steel is always used the best, namely surgical grade 316L, and secondly that the gilding is applied using PVD technology.
Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD), which translates as "physical vapor deposition", is produced in a vacuum under high pressure and results in the creation of the thinnest (1-3 microns) and purest (absolutely free of any impurities) coating. In this case, gilding. The PVD coating is highly resistant to external influences. We did not test it - for example, try to scratch it, because we believe. But once again we note the noble shade of yellow gold. Some of the surfaces are glossy (polished), some are matte (satin). Processing quality is excellent.
The case is made in a good "male" diameter of 43 mm, convenient for every taste. Its thickness is 12 mm and water resistance is 50 m, which allows you to even swim in the watch.
The five-row bracelet also alternates between polished and satin-finished links. It is not a problem to fit the bracelet to the wrist by removing one or more links; the direction of extrusion of the pins for this purpose, as expected, is indicated on the links by arrows carefully applied to them. On the other hand, the process of removing the watch from the hand is a certain problem - but this is only due to the fact that the folding clasp is equipped with a locking system. Accidental unfastening is extremely unlikely, because even intentional unfastening requires getting used to ...
The nominal weight of the watch assembly is 180 g; weighing on electronic scales showed 184 g, the difference is negligible. On the hand, the watch is tactilely comfortable, and their weight is felt only to the extent that in the event of an unforeseen slip (we repeat, almost unbelievable) from the wrist, one would feel: there is no watch, alarm!
The crown is corrugated and protected, and on its end there is a brand logo - a crown (the same one of the kings of France).
And, finally, in this section, about glass. It, again, in accordance with the principles of the brand, is the best - sapphire. Thanks to the anti-reflective coating, it seems that there is no glass at all, no matter what angle you look at. The back cover of the case is also transparent – for a quartz watch it is a non-standard, but pleasant solution. Through this glass, you can also see the gilded main plate - authorized, with the symbols of the Louis 16 brand. And, of course, the battery.
On the periphery, there is information, among which - let's pay special attention to this - an indication that the release of this model is limited to 1000 copies, and we have a specific copy at number 114 in our hands. So all copies are individually numbered, and this also warms the heart.
We have combined these two positions in the review, since they are also combined in the watch itself - with a jewelry finish, namely, with sparkling zircons. We will not refuse the temptation to make a contrast: if the Zircon hypersonic missile is a formidable weapon, then in the decoration of watches these stones are not just absolutely peaceful, they give the model a bright festive character. In this regard, it must be assumed that Majeste Iced Out Rainbow is not very suitable for everyday wear (the same Louis 16 has more strict models), but “to go out” (and even to the beach) is just right.
So, the bezel is decorated with larger zircons, and even in rainbow colors (Rainbow). We will not go on about all sorts of ... we will not specify who; the watch is definitely masculine, the rainbow is just beautiful and poetic! But on another occasion, we still express regret: we were unable to fix the textbook seven-color rainbow spectrum in its complete purity, especially with regard to the last color of the spectrum, violet, from whatever angle you look ... This is partly compensated by the temptation and mystery of the play of tones, but some annoyance still remains.
But the surface of the dial, lined with smaller zircon cubes, is simply ideal - both in terms of the harmony of setting the pebbles, and in terms of a peculiar visual effect: in daylight it seems silvery, in electric lighting - golden.
The hour and minute hands, as well as the hour markers, are coated with SuperLuminova. Everything is clearly visible in total darkness. The notorious Swiss Made appears at the very bottom of the dial, the background of small counters is contrasting black. Another small gripe is that the date numbers on the same black background are still too small, you have to strain your eyes pretty hard to distinguish them.