THERE’S a new watch brand in town, and its development over the next few years should be of interest to buyers who are looking for something different – if they haven’t already been convinced to give its watches a try.

L&JR Step 1 chronograph model

Meet L&JR. This Swiss boutique brand was founded by a trio with extensive experience between them: Philippe Cros has had stints at Vacheron Constantin and Piaget before founding his own company to develop and produce movements components; Jorg Hysek Jr. has managed sales on various levels in the watch industry, then launched Evo Luxury with the brand’s third founder, Lionel Ladoire, another veteran who started out in the high jewellery space.

L&JR Step 1 day-date model

The brand’s proposition is clearly seen in Step 1, its inaugural collection: bold, masculine designs that depart from the norm while posting fairly aggressive prices that sit below S$2,500. The collection has two models currently – a day-date and a chronograph – and they’re both powered by quartz Ronda movements inside 45-millimetre cases. Some details will immediately stand out, even to a casual observer.

Note, for instance, the layered, architectural dials featuring large date and retrograde day displays, all of which sit below prominently domed sapphire crystals. The cases, meanwhile, feature avant-garde details such as  angular, hollowed out lugs and textured case middles.

Interesting enough, Step 1’s models are only available in monochromatic colourways. Stark whites and blacks offer strong counterpoints against each other here, while grey accents help to temper this contrast. It’s an interesting choice, but the lack of colours here work, as they further highlight the watches’ dial designs.

L&JR Step 1 day-date model

Although plans are still under wraps, L&JR’s founders have expressed an interest in developing timepieces with similar concepts that are powered by mechanical movements instead. There’s much to expect from the brand in the years ahead for sure.

L&JR timepieces are available at Watches of Switzerland boutiques in Singapore.

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