Franc Vila Goes Beyond His Usual Craziness To Create The FVF Emotional Horology No 1 Superligero
by Martin Green
Franc Vila has always been one to take creative freedoms.
He became known for watches like the Cobra and the Neo Alta, which combine distinct case shapes with complicated movements. Though they are not everyone’s cup of tea, in my view they add a pleasant dash of spice to the world of haute horlogerie.
With the FVF Emotional Horology No 1 Superligero, Vila’s new personal project moves beyond the craziness of the Cobra design to enter the realm of handmade, complex haute horlogerie delights that evoke emotion not only with the design and composition of the watch, but also the finish, which pays tribute to some of the oldest traditions in watchmaking.
At first glance, it seems that Vila has abandoned his usual knack for extraordinary cases with signature shapes; a second glace tells us that he just wants to make it appear that way!
This watch seduces you bit by bit and detail by detail as it is in fact as much a sculpture as it is a high-performance mechanical timekeeper.
It was Vila’s desire to make this watch ultra-light, high-performance, and rugged – a challenge as the realization of each of these characteristics would usually go at the expense of the others.
Skeletonization combined with the use of light materials indeed make the No 1 Superligero a feather-light champion. To increase the rigidness of the case, the watch features a unibody construction in grade 5 titanium as the metal of choice for the base plate and bridges.
Sapphire crystals protect both the back and the front of the watch, and the box shape of the front crystal puts the movement even more prominently on display while adding to the ruggedness of the watch as a whole.
FVF Emotional Horology No 1 Superligero has a philosophical side
While the FVF Emotional Horology No 1 Superligero has a very technical side, it is its philosophical side that makes it even more special.
A flying one-minute tourbillon takes the place of honor in the lower region of the watch alongside a blued-steel escape wheel, cleverly flanked by the interesting shape of the inner case ring, evoking reminiscence of one Vila’s earlier designs.
The top half of the watch features a day/night indication globe above which a roller is placed that offers the full day written out. It might be a bit strange to display the day rather than the date, but that is actually what makes this watch so spiritual in my opinion.
While dates are important, it is mainly the day of the week and the time of day that dictate our rhythms, as many activities in our lives follow a weekly rhythm.
And while the looks of the FVF Emotional Horology No 1 Superligero, as Vila has christened this watch to kick off what he calls his “personal signature collection,” are very contemporary (some might even say futuristic), the craftsmanship utilized to make it is not.
For the creation of this watch, Vila teamed up with a well-known independent watchmaker whose involvement pretty much guarantees that the No 1 Superligero is crafted and finished mainly by hand, bringing the FVF to life with some of the oldest traditions in watchmaking.
* This post has been edited to remove the involvement of watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi in the creation of the watch at his brand Akrivia’s request.
Quick Facts Franc Vila FVF Emotional Horology No 1 Superligero
Case: 46 mm, DLC-coated grade 5 titanium
Movement: manually wound caliber handmade by a well-known independent watchmaker, skeletonized, one-minute flying tourbillon, blued-steel escape wheel, 100-hour power reserve, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; weekday, day/night indicator
Limitation: 8 pieces, also available for personalization
Price: 195,000 Swiss francs