The 2011 Saint Honore Haussman Forty7-24 Le Mans automatic chronograph is massive but energetic. If you are familiar with the brand, you must have already got the idea that the new watch belongs to their Haussman collection that offers timekeepers both for gentlemen and their ladies.
Always coming in massive-looking, cushion-shaped cases with a round fixed bezel, which is bolted to the case with six screws, the pieces are available in different sizes ranging from 38 mm for the Haute Couture lady’s watch to a lot more impressive 47 millimeters for this particular Forty7-24 Le Mans chronograph model.
In this particular instance, the choice of dimensions allowed Saint Honore’s designers to make the watch not only more prominent on a wrist of a modern mildly overweight person but also more legible by equipping it with oversized chronograph totalizers that -a rare thing today- seem to be actually legible and therefore usable.
By the way, the case is made of PVD-treated titanium, so, however massive, it still must be relatively lightweight, especially compared to a similarly sized watch done in stainless steel or in solid gold.
These days, a lot of smaller watchmakers tend to equip their chronographs with common three-handers with add-on chronograph modules.
It is a simple, yet not completely honest solution where reduced manufacturing costs for a watchmaker become an increased cost of ownership for you.
This Haussman Forty7-24 Le Mans, on the other hand, comes powered by a slightly modified ETA Valjoux 7750 natural-born self-winding chronograph movement that, while being more expensive, will actually be less expensive to keep in normal working order in the long run.
As far as I understand, it is a standard mechanism that doesn’t feature any upgrades besides a branded oscillating weight that sports all the usual functions save for a day-of-the-week indicator.
There is a small date window at 4 o’clock; small seconds display at 9 o’clock and a pair of chronograph totalizers at 12 and 6 o’clock. The rims around the sub-dials, as well as the honeycomb-mesh motif on the silver-toned dial, remind us of instruments clusters of sports cars and their radiator grilles respectively. The orange-colored hands make reading the data especially easy while serving as nice color accents.
The hours and minutes hands, as well as the rectangular hour markers, are covered with milky-white Superluminova, so there will be no problem reading the watch at night. The only thing that looks strange on this watch is the large Arabic numeral “15” at 3 o’clock. According to the French company’s press release, the numeral “recalls the start time for the mythical 24 Hours races: 15 hours (3 p.m.)” Well, whatever.
Availability & Price
The bad news here is that the Haussman Forty7-24 Le Mans is going to be issued as a super-limited edition of only 47 pieces.
There is still no info regarding its recommended price, but it certainly won’t be cheap*.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
* UPDATE ON PRICE: I wasn’t able to find any official information regarding the Haussman Forty7-24 Le Mans’ MSRP, but what I did find was an online auction at Catawiki.
While an auctioneer’s estimate for this watch was within € the 1050-€1400 range, the highest registered bidder offered only €750 for this timepiece. This basically tells us that, first, if you have already bought this watch at the manufacturer’s recommended price, your luck is tough. Second, if you are interested in one of these timekeepers just for the “limited edition” sake, you should probably find one from a more reputable watchmaking brand.
I am still fairly certain though that if you are simply looking for a rare piece powered by a great caliber and don’t worry much about resale value and stuff, you should definitely at least consider one if you find it online in good condition and at a good price.
Photos: Saint Honore
Saint Honore Haussman Forty7-24 Le Mans specification
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, 28,800 vph, 25 jewels, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Cotes de Geneva decoration
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 44 hours
Case: Titanium PVD
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 47.00 mm
Hands: Orange, open-worked
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black leather strap with contrast orange stitching
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective