DuBois et fils DBF001-10

Sun-drenched topography

Angus Davies takes time out from the winter sun to review the DuBois et fils DBF001-10, a watch equipped with a big date display and flyback chronograph exhibiting a cheerful colour scheme.


DuBois et fils DBF001-10 - ESCAPEMENT - watch review blog by Angus Davies


As I write this article, I am sat by a swimming pool in Portugal’s sunny Algarve, grabbing a few moments of winter sun and topping up my vitamin D levels before returning to the inclement climes of my native Lancashire.


Looking at the terracotta coloured earth and sparkling blue sea, I feel a sense of wellbeing. I am now able to return to my native land, equipped to withstand the wintry temperatures and truncated daylight hours.


DuBois et fils DBF001-10 - ESCAPEMENT - watch review blog by Angus Davies


It is perhaps my predilection for the Algarve’s baked orange landscape and indigo blue seas which engenders my profound appreciation for this limited edition timepiece from DuBois et fils, the DBF001-10. The unusual colour scheme elicits a sense of optimism, courtesy of the judicious use of vibrant tones.


The dial

Deep blue hues dominate the landscape of this dial. The hour circle, adorned with white applied Arabic numerals denoting the hours, sports a lustrous guilloché motif. The crenellated pattern is reminiscent of the gentle sea breeze forging gentle waves upon a malleable sea, basking beautifully in brilliant light.


DuBois et fils DBF001-10 - ESCAPEMENT - watch review blog by Angus Davies


The central dial area appears lighter in tone, albeit I suspect this is attributable to the smooth sunray motif emanating from the dial’s fulcrum, juxtaposed against the textured hour circle that seemingly looks darker.


White luminescent treatment populates the central portion of the polished and gleaming hour and minute hands. The latter features an open-worked section to its central area, allowing a further glimpse of the blue sea below.


DuBois et fils DBF001-10 - ESCAPEMENT - watch review blog by Angus Davies


Three subdials grace the terrain of this composition. Each employs blue snailed detail, surrounded by smooth orange circlets, marked with neat black strokes. The said subdials consist of a small seconds display, 12-hour chronograph counter and 30-minute chronograph register, positioned at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, respectively. The hand on the small seconds display employs an arrow-like tip, providing a point of differentiation from the orange hands gracing the other subdials.


DuBois et fils DBF001-10 - ESCAPEMENT - watch review blog by Angus Davies


Arabic numerals adorn a seconds track populating the periphery of the dial. At the epicentre of the dial vista is a large date display. Two numerals, courtesy of two date discs are revealed via a large aperture, resplendently framed with a gleaming border.


The case

DuBois et fils has expended much effort refining each element of the case to a high standard. Measuring 41.5mm in diameter and formed of stainless steel 316L, there are a multitude of details which reveal the exacting efforts of the brand’s creative team.


DuBois et fils DBF001-10 - ESCAPEMENT - watch review blog by Angus Davies


The bezel is angled away from the sapphire crystal, featuring crimped detail and polished surfaces. Beyond this, the caseband is stepped. An aspect I find particularly agreeable is the recessed section of the caseband located adjacent the crown and pushpieces. Opposite, on the westerly flank of the case, this recessed treatment is repeated.


DuBois et fils DBF001-10 - ESCAPEMENT - watch review blog by Angus Davies


The upper sections of the lugs and caseband are satin brushed. They exhibit a slightly muted character and provide a stylish foil for the highly polished bezel and chamfered upper lug edges.


By employing a mixture of polished and satin brushed surfaces, DuBois et fils has incurred additional expense but the costs seem justified by the magnificently eye-catching outcome. The numerous facets created will no doubt have heightened production costs for the Swiss brand, but they should help confer a lasting joy which usurps the mere acceptable.


Appraising the rear of the watch, the underside of the lugs are satin brushed, whilst the caseback is highly polished. At the centre of the caseback, a sapphire crystal provides the wearer with a view of the movement within. The caseback is retained with four screws, each equipped with a unique head depicting the brand’s fir tree logo.


DuBois et fils DBF001-10 - ESCAPEMENT - watch review blog by Angus Davies


The cylindrical shaped crown features a neat grip along part of its section. It proves simple to adjust and does not rub against the wrist. The company’s logo is presented in relief on the vertical surface of the crown.


Each pushpiece is decorated with a chevron-like motif. The design is attractive and the operation of the pushpieces is positive and smooth.


DuBois et fils DBF001-10 - ESCAPEMENT - watch review blog by Angus Davies


The dark blue calf leather strap repeats the colour scheme of the dial with its cheerful orange stitching. It bestows a harmonious composition that proves engaging and colourful without appearing gauche. Furthermore, the broad, flat pin positively engages with the rectangular shaped holes and should retain its showroom fresh appearance for longer than a conventional round pin.


The movement

The self-winding Calibre DD44500 contains 49 jewels and has a power reserve of 42 hours. The frequency of the balance is 28,800 vph (4 Hz). This movement pairs an ETA2892 with a Dubois-Dépraz DD44500 big date, flyback module.


DuBois et fils DBF001-10 - ESCAPEMENT - watch review blog by Angus Davies


An open-worked oscillating mass helps provide a good view of the bridges below. DuBois et fils has adorned the bridges with a profusion of neat perlage. The appearance of the movement does appear a tad industrial, which is surprising bearing in mind the elevated standard of other elements of the watch. However, this would do little to dissuade me from succumbing to the smiling charms of the DBF001-10.


Where this movement excels is that it pairs a large date display with a flyback chronograph. This latter complication proves especially useful when timing consecutive elapsed intervals. The ability to press the pushpiece at 4 o’clock, whilst the stopwatch function is operating, and then, in one single stage stop, reset and restart the chronograph, proves very useful.


Closing remarks

DuBois et fils has produced a brilliant watch. It does not ‘play it safe’ by employing a conservative palette of colours but dares to employ vibrant hues which deliver a spellbinding spectacle.


Appraising each element of this timepiece in isolation, one is struck by the considered creation of each part of this composition. This is a high quality timepiece, especially considering its comparatively modest price point CHF 8,800 (RRP as at 24.12.2015).


This Swiss company has masterfully employed colour and texture to provide an intriguing horological scene. I find the cheery tones of the timepiece encourages a broad smile to appear on my face, heartening my soul with its sun drenched vista and fascinating topography. Indeed, if you can’t afford the time to fly to warmer climes, I suggest you try on the DBF001-10, it will warm your soul with its alluring specification.


Technical Specification

  • Model: DuBois et fils DBF001-10
  • Reference: DBF001-10
  • Case: Stainless steel 316L; diameter 41.5mm; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; large date; flyback chronograph.
  • Movement: Calibre DD44500, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 49 jewels; power reserve 42 hours.
  • Strap: Dark blue calf leather strap, presented on a stainless steel pin buckle.
  • Price: CHF 8,800 (RRP as at 24.12.2015)
  • Limited Edition: 33 pieces


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Angus Davies

Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.