Watches: Le Rhöne Genève Road Racer Collection (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on April 10, 2014

One could think that after a decade of attendance at Baselworld our visits are perfectly orchestrated and that we move from one appointment to the next with our eyes closed. However, if this may be true to some extent during the Geneva week, it clearly does not apply to Basel. And the reason is extremely simple: Baselworld has been, is and probably always will be the best exhibition to discover new brands. How many times have I taken the wrong hallways on my way to an appointment only to find myself in front of a new and exciting brand?

This year, however, it was surely not by chance that I stumbled upon the stand of Le Rhöne Genève. I had indeed planned my visit well in advance as I had sensed this new brand would be worth every minute of my time. And, since we are talking about a new brand, let me start by briefly presenting it to you.

I am not a marketing expert but it seems obvious to me that when you launch a new watch brand (or any product really) you need a story to tell. The idea of this new brand is to combine Swiss traditional watchmaking (hence the “Genève” in the name I suppose) with the spirit of grand American sports cars of the sixties (at least for the first collection). How do they plan on achieving this you may ask? Well, first of all they bought the engine block of a Camaro 1969 that will be transformed into pieces of the watch. Does this sound a little RJ-Romain Jerome to you? Yeah, to me too to be honest but I truly believe this is a tiny detail: the important is the look and quality of the watches.

In perfect line with the automotive theme of the brand, the six models of the Road Racer collection are chronograph timepieces with many design cues referring to sports cars in general or the Camaro 1969 in particular: the lugs are shaped like the hood of the car, the oscillating weight evokes its steering wheel, the inside of the straps is in rubber with the same tyre tread motif as the car’s tyres, and a small plate engraved with the engine number will be placed on the case band of the watch.

With a diameter of 45 mm, this tonneau-shaped watch sits perfectly on the wrist and won’t go unnoticed. There are two stainless steel versions with a vertical cream or grey guilloché dial with grey counters and brown calfskin leather or black alligator. A sportier stainless steel version (named “Racing” on the web site) features an opaline grey dial with red accents as well as red stitches on the strap. If your favourite racing colour is yellow, this option is also available with a black PVD case. Lastly, two more luxurious models boast a red gold bezel on a black PVD stainless steel case and a choice of cream or black dial. The watches are equipped with a very reliable Soprod A10 calibre with Dubois-Depraz 2017 chronograph module. They all come with a folding buckle.

Whatever you favourite, there is no denying that all models look stunning, even more so when on the wrist. There is a real attention to details here. The case is nicely shaped with a beautiful finish that alternates the brushed and polished surfaces. The hands, the dial, the rotor and the movement received the same attention. After seeing their watches, the Watch Agora team discussed them and everyone was impressed by how well-crafted they are. When some brands, exhibiting for many years at Baselworld, show you unfinished prototypes, it is refreshing to find a serious brand that does not take the journalists and retailers for granted and has the decency of showing you a great-looking watch that oozes quality and value for money.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: