Lesablier Sport Classic Review: A Cascade of Correct Design Choices

Le sablier is French for the hourglass, which is a clever name for a watch brand. Horology is about the measurement of time, and while not commonly used today, the hourglass is indeed a tool of that artform. The Sport Classic was the result of a successful kickstarter campaign in which Lesablier set out to create a watch with its own identity and soul. In this, they have surely succeeded.

A Very Unique Case and a Sapphire Crystal

  • Case: 40mm
  • Lug to Lug: 49mm
  • Lug Width: 20mm
  • Thickness: 13mm
  • Crystal: Flat Sapphire w/ blue AR coating
  • Water Resist: 100M

With the octagonal shape of the bezel and the excellent integration of the bracelet, at first glance this watch gives off a serious AP Royal Oak vibe. However, while this watch may be a nod in that direction, it has its own distinct identity.

The case is a combination of vertical brushing on the sides, grain brushing across the bezel, with high polish facets in between. There is also brushing on the hooded lugs, before the final angle down towards the bracelet which is high polish. The case is a bold statement, but at 40mm in diameter it is not overpowering.

The screw down crown is nicely signed with an hourglass, a perfect tie-in to the brand name. The lack of crown guards makes operating the watch via the crown easy to do.

I’m very happy to see the choice of a sapphire crystal here. While I am not a sapphire crystal snob (all crystals types have pros and cons), the rest of the watch feels very robust, so the durability of sapphire felt like the right choice. The anti-reflective (AR) coating on the sapphire crystal is well executed. There is no noticeable hint of blue, and the AR really helps with the visibility of the dial.

A Smoke Fume Dial

I know this watch is available with an aventurine dial which looks phenomenal. However, I  was very curious about this translucent grey dial, known as the Moonlight colorway. After experiencing it in person, I am happy to report the dial is perfectly executed. The opacity of the dial varies in different lighting conditions. However, it is always opaque enough around the edges that it is easy to read the time, while becoming translucent enough in the middle so that you can see the movement underneath.

I am a huge fan of open heart watches, because I feel a stronger connection to the mechanics of the movement. However, I recognize the hole for the open heart breaks up the dial too much for some. This dial accomplishes the former, without the downside of the latter.

The layout of the dial is very pleasing, with a railroad track index that helps enclose the Arabic numbers between a second ring further into the dial. The small seconds ring is tucked away towards the 5 o’clock position, and while it clips the 5, I feel like it adds dimensionality to the dial.

The one oddity on the dial is the number which finds its home right under the brand name at 12 o’clock. The Sports Classic is limited production and individually numbered. This type of numbering usually appears on the back of a watch. You are able to select a specific number if it is available to the ordering process.

Long Elegant Hands and BGW9 Lume

The handset is elegant, with a slight gable on the hour and minute hand that catches light nicely. The minute hand is long and terminates in the railroad minute marker track at the edge of the dial. A short minute hand is a pet peeve of mine, so bravo to Lesablier for getting that detail right.

My one complaint about the handset is the sub seconds hand. It tends to blend into the dial. I would have preferred if it was white rather than silver.

The lume is BGW9 and I love that the brand name and two inner rings are lumed in addition to the hands and numerals. It isn’t the nuclear level brightness of Seiko LumiBrite, but it was usable at night.

Straps – Spoiled for Choice

The Lesablier Sport Classic comes with three straps. An Italian leather strap, a silicone strap, and a bracelet with a butterfly clasp. All of the strap options utilize

quick release spring bars, including the bracelet. This was my first experience with a quick release system on a bracelet, and I must say, I could definitely get used to it.

The bracelet is a pleasing pattern of high polish and brushed links. The links connect in a gentle curve that don’t articulate as much as I am used to. This concerned me, but only briefly. After getting the right size, the bracelet wore almost like a solid ring and served to balance the head of the watch nicely.

The transition from the case to the bracelet is also excellent. The top of the lug angles down into the first link of the bracelet. While this does add slightly to the overall lug to lug, the overall wearing experience on the bracelet is very satisfying. It wears almost as if the watch head and the bracelet were a single piece.

One note, the links seem small enough that you will be able to get a good fit, but keep in mind there are no micropositions on the clasp.

The difference between this watch on and off the bracelet is night and day. On both the silicon strap and the leather strap it feels more like a traditional watch and is lighter overall. I found the silicon strap was particularly comfortable, albeit a tad long. I have a 6 and ¾ inch wrist and I had to use the last available hole on the strap.

I did test the watch with a few aftermarket straps with quick release pins. I am happy to report it worked with all of them, including a personal favorite of mine, the Barton elite strap. With a 20mm lug width you will have no shortage of strap options. And with its unique design and monochromatic color scheme, I believe this Moonlight colorway has the potential to be a total strap monster.

Skeletonized, Handwinding Movement, and Fascinating Caseback

  • Caliber: Miyota 8N40 (automatic, handwinding)
  • BPH: 21,600
  • Stated Accuracy: -20 / +40 seconds/day
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours

To be honest, I was skeptical of this movement choice at first. I generally always want a watch to hack. But after spending some time with this watch I realized two things. First, a skeletonized movement was the perfect choice for this watch. With the translucent dial, there is so much more to see with the skeletonized movement. Second, because this watch features a small seconds complication, I found myself less concerned about getting the seconds set just right.

This watch is already so interesting from the front, I was surprised by the level of detail on the back of the watch. From the 8 case screws, to the matte blasted ring, to the fluted ring around the exhibition window – this caseback is a joy to behold. The cherry on top is the skeletonized rotor utilized by the Miyota 8N40. I believe this movement was the right choice from a design standpoint. The only drawback I noticed with this movement choice is occasional rotor noise.

Final Thoughts

I am a big fan of watches that have their own unique style. I think this is a place where micro and boutique watch brands have a distinct advantage when compared to major watch manufacturers and the Sports Classic from LeSablier excels here.

While it may not appeal to everyone, it is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the design of this watch. It isn’t another homage to a classic design, and moreover, it isn’t weird just for the sake of being weird.

The price varies from $495 to $520 depending on the colorway and case finish selected. While that price point is extremely competitive, if the design of this watch speaks to you, the Sports Classic will deliver.

More info at:

https://www.lesablierwatches.com/

PS.

I wasn’t sure where to fit this in, but this watch gave me a distinct feeling. That feeling was Battlestar Galactica. Yes, this watch gave me an intense science fiction vibe, and for whatever reason it made me think of Battlestar Galactica. Do with that information what you will 🙂

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