Some prefer the Nordschleife, others the city streets of Monaco, or Laguna Seca with its unique cork screw. Me, I prefer the winding race track of Spa-Francorchamps, in the heart of the Belgium Ardennes. High speeds and a technically very difficult lay-out, it is here that man and machine have been tested, pushed to, and often through, their limits, and all that since 1920. For those of you who have ever been fortunate enough to visit Belgium, you would know that the passion for cars runs deep there. In the case of Spa-Francorchamps, they revised the track in 1939, cutting out a slow, uphill U-turn known as Ancienne Douane, to replace it with a fast, straight road that heads right up the hill. By this, they created the hallmark of Spa-Francorchamps; Raidillon.

Raidillon03Raidillon is also the name of the Belgium watch brand that was introduced to the world on Spa-Francorchamps in June 2001. Although a truly Belgian brand, their slogan is “Swiss Powered, Race-Minded”. They really live and breathe that because all their watches are inspired by the world of racing, with a special focus on Spa-Francorchamps. Raidillon is also allowed to display the official logo of the famed circuit on its watches.

Raidillon05However, that is not where it stops for Raidillon. The whole dial of the watch is dedicated to the circuit and displays the names of corners at each hour indices as well as the acceleration zones. Yet it also shares another great hallmark with the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps – it merges the past with the future. The designers of Raidillon have successfully created a very current watch, with the brushed steel case and the use of carbon fiber on the dial. Yet at the same time, the watch also has something classic: leaf-shaped hands and nubuck buffalo leather strap give the watch a touch of an era long gone.

Raidillon07The straps are another signature part of the Raidillon in general and this watch especially. Hand crafted in Belgium, they form an integrated part of the Raidillon concept, which offers, next to the nubuck buffalo straps, also a wide collection of veal leather straps in different colors and of course, with or without rally holes. With most brands, the strap seems to be an afterthought or necessity, but Raidillon shows that when you take the straps seriously they can really add extra emotion to your watch.  Like they need it!Raidillon01

Martin Green
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics

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