Herve watches are based in the United Kingdom and are a new micro brand looking to make some waves in the watch community. Their vision is to design a future classic, a new watch, born in the 21st century, pairing vintage aesthetics with modern technology for accuracy, reliability and style.
Their first model is The Alvia, which was designed in 2019 and is their first attempt to break into the market. It comes in 3 dial options; Slate Grey, Matisse Blue and the model I have, Black Onyx. Each dial variation is limited to 100 pieces. Herve hope that this collection is the founding stone of a brand that will grow with its customers, marking their milestones and special occasions with increased sophistication.
The watch is delivered in a lovely package; almost Longinesque packaging. It arrives in a signed box, inside that is a paper Herve sleeve and inside that is a nice leather box that the watch sits proudly on a pillow inside.
The first thing that strikes you is the beautiful sunburst black dial that glistens from every angle that you look at it. I can only imagine how nicely the blue model glistens. The dial is cased in a 38mm 316L stainless steel case, a mid-sized watch that helps with the vintage theme that Herve are going for. It measures 12mm thick, slim enough to slip nicely under the cuff and measures 47mm lug to lug. The dimensions make for a nicely sized dress watch option. It features a gorgeous domed sapphire crystal that creates a bubble effect and absolutely screams vintage to me, to the touch it feels as though it’s actually acrylic glass, fitting with the theme.
The dial is uncluttered and consists of two layers, with a smaller central arena stacked on top of a larger stainless steel base to create a subtle sense of depth that can only be noticed on close inspection. The printed hour markers are brushed with Japan SLC1 lume, the baton hour and minute hands are brushed with Superluminova BGW9, the lume isn’t the greatest but it makes you feel as though you’re looking at a vintage watch and the lume is slowly deteriorating over time. The white hour markers and hands accompanied with the word ‘Automatic’ written in red provide contrast on the dial and works wonderfully.
The case and lugs have a brushed finishing that is done nicely, but on closer inspection some sides of the case are slightly rough to touch, but overall for the price point it’s done excellently. At the 3 o’clock position sits a nicely Herve signed ridged screw down crown, the addition of a screw down crown is something I don’t fully understand here, added water resistance is always nice but is it really necessary on a watch designed to be a vintage inspired dress watch?
The watch is powered by the affordable but reliable Seiko NH35, a 24 jewelled movement that beats at 21,600 beats per hour and has a power reserve of 41 hours, the watch also features hacking which is always a nice addition. The watch has kept time as expected and falls well within the parameters quoted with this movement. It is visible through the display case back that is covered by a flat sapphire crystal, not the prettiest of movements to look at but it’s something I generally like my watches to have. It features a Herve signed rotor which is a nice addition but on the model I have it has scratches on it, a lack of care taken on that part but you can’t expect perfection on a watch at this price point, it slightly tainted my view on the watch when I first laid eyes on it.
Another thing that lets this watch down is the strap that accompanies it; a grey genuine calf leather strap that really doesn’t feel like genuine leather at all, it feels almost rubbery and, although features nice stitching when you look at the strap closely it lacks quality and the colour coating on it appears to be wearing away already. But, I switched the strap out to a black silicone Zuludiver strap and it completely transformed the watch, when a strap of high quality goes onto this watch it highlights the qualities and brings out the best in it.
As a daily wearer this watch is a fantastically affordable option that feels and looks great on the wrist. In a world that appears to be heading towards smaller sized watches a 38mm option is increasingly becoming more and more popular and I can see this gracing many wrists. If Herve could brush up on some fine details then I feel that the next collection of watches they release could make some nice ripples in the watch community.