Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The Email Jour/Nuit Antoine Tavan 1805 - Full Review

Okay, now that the annual odometer has officially "flipped", it's time to wrap-up my time with the  Email Jour/Nuit Antoine Tavan 1805.

Now as mentioned in the "warm-up", this little bijoux was available on a Kickstarter crowd funder for less than $1,000 US.  Well, as The Bard once mused - 
"If you snooze, you lose." And in this case, if you snossed you lost!  The Jour/Nuit has moved from Kickstarter to reality, and with it a far more realistic (but still unbelievably reasonable) price -
CHF 1,890.

So let's get right to it.  Visually, the Jour/Nuit is a stunner.  There is no point in me trying to be anything but brutally honest, this is the shit that killed Elvis!  
 The case is of stainless steel, and measures 40 mm in diameter and 12 mm thick.

The big attraction is, of course, the dial.  So let's talk about that.   The dial is of copper, which is then enameled using traditional (read NOT MASS Production) techniques.  Long story short?  The dial was made by Roger Zarzosa and his team.  It was not ordered from a bulk production house.  

Set atop the enameled dial is a set of arcs displaying the time scale for the 24 hours.  

The hands, like the dial, are an "in-house" affair -
Courtesy of Antoine Tavan
The top hand in the above image is the hour hand. You will note that there is a "Sun" on one end and a "Moon" on the other end.  You will further notice that the Sun (daytime hours) half is longer than the Moon (evening hours).  All of the time is indicated in the upper portion of the dial, and the hours are indicated by the two aforementioned arcs -
Courtesy of Antoine Tavan
You will note the upper arc ranges from 6 (6:00 AM) - 18 (6:00 PM).  The lower arc starting at 18 (6:00 PM) - 6 (6:00 AM).  Telling the time couldn't be simpler - as you can see the sun is just about at 16 (4:00 PM) and the minute hand is just about at 56 on the minute scale. Meaning that it is 
just about 3:56.  Or more precisely?  3:55 and 35 seconds ; )

A quick note on the strap - it is not standard to the watch.  As the watch is a prototype, it was sent with something pretty basic, so I reached out to Xavier Thomas of LIC straps (Belgium), and sent him a picture of the watch asking him to come up with something special to go with it.  The strap is ostrich foot, and really goes with the watch.

Now much has been mentioned of the soon to be shortage of ETA 2824s (among other ETA products), but luckily Antoine Tavan laid hands to sufficient stock. These are not your standard 2824s, they have been modified to be 24 hour as opposed to the traditional 12 hour version.  And like the dial and the hands?  Courtesy of?  You guessed it, Roger Zarzoso and Antoine Tavan.  And unlike the big boys who would simply slap a movement in the case, Antoine Tavan put some effort in -
And in case you missed it, the dial is guaranteed for life.  My understanding is that the watch itself is guaranteed for 3 years.

So what was it like to wear?

Well, let's be 100% honest, it is a very different dial set-up than most of us will use every day.  It did take me a day or two to get used to it. Having said that, once I did it was easy and natural.  

The size is more and more the "ideal" lately, 40 mm.  The finishing of the case is smooth and well executed.  The winding of the crown is smooth and the setting precise.

All in all?  Extremely impressed!  Now, if you can find a watch with an enamel dial with this level of finish, executed by hand by the brand owner himself at twice the price, you would think it was fair.  Add in-house hands, a rotor that can be customized, and the knowledge that you are one of a handful of people to get one?  Suddenly $1,890 is a screaming bargain.  

Now just imagine you bought one during the Kickstarter?

Here are the pertinents -


  1. I joined the Kickstarter pretty early.
    Now the long wait until March for delivery...

  2. And now it's early February. Getting closer! I've never anticipated a Kickstarter watch more than this one, by far. What a steal at $1850 for those dumb enough to see it on KS and not jump or those that just missed it. Thanks for the review.