Today, we go hands-on with a unique-looking chronograph. The Czech-made Robot Minor will not be confused for a retro re-release. It also bucks the current trend of smaller watches with its 44mm diameter. Still, this is a well-made watch that takes a different approach to a tribute piece. Let’s strap in for a trip to France in 1949.

If you haven’t heard of Robot watches, I invite you to read Gerard’s informative article from earlier this year. The brand changed its name in 2021 from Bohematic due to a small kerfuffle with the Richemont group. Since then, we’ve reviewed several watches and have enjoyed them. I also recall meeting the brand in London late last year, and, as the husband of a Slovak, I enjoyed using my 10 or so local-language words with the marketing team. For this latest review, I purposely chose a watch that would likely qualify as too racy because I wanted to step outside my comfort zone. This watch in Le Mans Blue is no shrinking violet but, rather, a funky, cool (blue) customer.

Robot Minor Le Mans Blue

The Robot Minor

The Robot Minor is a model name and a family of five watches sharing the same architecture but with different colors. Presumably, the brand sent me the Le Mans Blue edition because the 24-hour race is happening this weekend (June 15–16). The reason for the model name is interesting. A Czech-made Aero Minor Sport won its class at Le Mans in 1949 running on a two-cylinder, two-stroke 743cc engine. While it seemed to run alone in its class alongside another Aero, it’s worth celebrating since only 16 cars managed to stay in the race that year.

Returning to the watch, the Robot Minor is a chronograph with a daring design. It’s also large at 44mm wide and 54.5mm long with a luminous, 60-click bidirectional bezel. It comes in at an even 15mm thick, which includes the slightly domed sapphire crystal. A Grade 5 titanium case helps wearability, but you’ll still want a beefy wrist — perhaps the kind that could manage a manual steering rack on a ’40s race car!

A distinct dial with traditional functionality

At first glance, the Robot Minor dial looks asymmetric with its two registers and an oddly placed circular window near 11 o’clock. However, this all changes on closer inspection. This watch utilizes a traditional three-register layout and includes a barely visible sub-seconds counter. The silver sub-dials consist of a 30-minute counter and 12-hour register, while the small oculus on the top left is a date window containing a black date wheel with polished silver numerals. The semi-transparent mesh dial is one of my favorite styling choices and reminds me of a car’s grille. Generous amounts of Super-LumiNova can be found within the large central hands and on the rotating bezel. The central chronograph hand has a small profile of the original car. That’s something I normally dislike, but it works here.

La Joux-Perret expands its reach

We’re seeing more La Joux-Perret movements than ever before and for good reason. These calibers typically boast nice upgrades over other ETA clones. Here, the Robot Minor works with an 8000-series automatic movement with a column wheel. It’s on display via a sapphire and titanium snap-on case back. As an aside, even with a non-screw-in case back and a normal crown, the watch is rated water resistant to 10 ATM. The display back features a relatively discreet outline of an Aero Minor Sport. Underneath this image, there’s a dial-matching blue rotor with a corresponding blue column wheel and screws. The uppermost plate contains striping for good measure.

Robot Minor Le Mans Blue wrist shot

The Robot Minor on the wrist

There’s no hiding the fact that the Robot Minor is a big watch. On the other hand, the titanium and the downward-sloping lugs help make the best of my small-wrist situation. The gray perforated 22/18mm rally-style leather strap is one of the nicer OEM offerings I’ve tried recently. It’s comfortable from the get-go and requires no break-in period. It attaches via some funky screws that are visible from the side.

The pushers are pleasant to use, and as we say around the Fratello offices, they feature some “nice action.” Impressions-wise, the Robot Minor is an odd watch. I’d love a 40mm version of this piece because it would work better under a shirt sleeve and fit my wrist. I have less than no business wearing a watch with a nearly 55mm lug-to-lug, but this one works in an over-the-top, track-day sort of way. It’s cool and looks very different.

Robot Minor Le Mans Blue

Thoughts and other notes

The Robot Minor comes in impressive packaging. A heavy and modern wooden box with a sliding top houses the watch and a Koh-I-Noor lead pencil. Both the pencil and the watch sit in beautiful black leather pouches. The wooden box, with its top off, wouldn’t look out of place as an organizer atop one’s dresser.

Robot Minor Le Mans Blue

Pricing and availability

The Robot Minor Le Mans Blue is for sale on the brand’s official site and at select retailers for €4,820. That’s not inexpensive, but considering the build quality, materials, and movement, it doesn’t seem outlandish. Of course, the size and styling must align with one’s desires. It is nice to see newer brands take chances when creating something like a chronograph. I am sure the desire must have been there to make yet another retro-inspired racing watch, but I am glad Robot didn’t. As always, leave your thoughts on this watch in the comments section below.

Watch specifications

Minor Le Mans Blue
Blue, perforated, with silver sunburst sub-dials
Case Material
Grade 5 titanium
Case Dimensions
44mm (diameter) × 54.5mm (lug-to-lug) × 15mm (thickness)
Sapphire with antireflective coating
Case Back
Titanium with sapphire crystal, snap-on
La Joux-Perret-based 8000-series chronograph: automatic with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 55-hour power reserve, 26 jewels, column wheel
Water Resistance
10 ATM (100 meters)
Gray perforated leather (22/18mm) with titanium pin buckle
Time (hours, minutes, small second), chronograph (12-hour and 30-minute registers, central seconds), and bidirectional 60-click bezel
Five years, additional three years after a service in year four