When art deco meets minimalism – Dufrane -The Travis
Art and tool watches are very different, you could say that they are the total opposite, art has no purpose other than itself, its own beauty, and a tool watch, it is an object that is made to perform, propose it’s the reason for its existing. Imagine if an independent watch brand decided to combine both, a real tool that looks like no other, this is what I felt when I saw the Travis from our Americans friends at Dufrane, the pictures I took will not do justice, but I really hope they can give you a small idea on how the Travis looks, I really enjoyed those powerful lugs, the art deco dial and also the lume plots that have a style of their own. I have reviewed several watches from Dufrane and all of them punch above their weight, but the Travis, to me it’s the best one yet, it feels like a mature product, no case open case back, a crown that is easy to grip, 200 meters of water resistance and a bracelet that feels as solid as the whole watch, it really brings the best of the brand. As soon as I opened the box and stared at the dial, I knew I was hooked, here’s why.
The Travis feels familiar for some reason, the dimensions are 39mm in diameter and 47mm lug to lug, of course you do not need me to tell you that this is perfect for a diver, it has presence but is not overwhelming. The dial is where I spent most of my time, it is unique and bold, it reminds me of a design more in line with the 30’s, classy very classy. Inside of the watch we can find a Swiss Sellita Automatic Mechanical SW200-1 (Elaborè Grade) which is regulated to +/- 8 Seconds per day, it’s robust and precise, I am glad that Dufrane went for a close case back, it just creates a more cohesive package, there no need to add thickness, it is all about comfort. Coming back to the dial, we have round lume markers with X1 SuperLumiNova, so as the hands and bezel, it is a beautiful show to behold. The bezel is made of sapphire and it has this subtle orange line that is used to count down those 15 minutes at the beginning of the dive, looks sleek, elegant.
On the wrist
The Travis is comfortable, the 12mm height really helps but I will attribute most of this wearability to the bracelet. The 20mm bracelet tapers nicely to 18mm and it has a solid clasp with on-the-fly adjustment, it has a luxurious tool feeling that only a few brands can offer. With a dial divided by 2 parts the Travis becomes very legible, the silver handset contrast against the matte black dial and the black round plots do the same on that rail track, a timeless design. I wore the Travis for a week and got used to it very quick, the dimensions and look really fit any occasion, it’s a casual diver that can perform. The no date also add to the simplicity and symmetry of the dial, no cut outs, just hours, minutes and seconds.
Dufrane has created what is to me one of my preferred divers from an independent brand, it is a refreshing watch, and you cannot find this type of design language elsewhere, what I also like about the Travis is the quality that brings, all the details are refined and feels as well engineered as watches that cost more, much more. There are 2 other versions of the Travis, one in Teal and the other one in green called Juniper, this last one has a linen dial that I would really like to see under the macro, I would bet that it looks just as good as the other 2. Whichever version you decide to go for, you know that you are getting a great product home, it could fit any collection and really be your only watch.
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