Hands-On With The Stylish Beaubleu Vitruve Date Steel
It had been a while since I last reviewed two Beaubleu watches, but then the brand contacted me to review a new timepiece. When I was asked to review the Parisian brand’s Vitruve Date Steel, I was intrigued by its looks. The characteristic overall style of the Beaubleu case with the round hands stands out immediately. But for the Vitruve Date Steel, the brand combined it with a monochromatic steel look. A special dial and a mesh bracelet boost the design’s modernity and sporty character. That’s why I jumped on the chance to find out more.
It’s been almost three years since I reviewed two pieces from Beaubleu’s Union collection. Back in 2020, it was my introduction to this microbrand from Paris. The standout design feature of the brand’s Olympe and Brio Emerald Green models was definitely their circular handset. Three years on, that design feature has not changed. However, the overall looks of the new Vitruve Date Steel differ drastically from the classically styled models from three years ago. Having said that, the overall presence is still very much recognizable as Beaubleu. With a new dial and a mesh stainless steel bracelet, the style of the Vitruve series changes from classical to sporty with a classic twist. Let’s get into the details.
A familiar set of specs
We’ll start with some specs. The Beaubleu Vitruve Date Steel comes with a 39mm stainless steel case that is only 9.5mm thick and 45mm from lug to lug. Conveniently, it also takes a 20mm strap. The case is nicely sculpted with open sides and steep lugs. From the profile view, the open case sides accentuate the slim profile nicely. One thing that immediately stands out compared to the Union models is the new crown, which is worlds better. The sharp crown of the Union models was difficult and uncomfortable to operate, and with the new crown, that issue is resolved. The walls of the round inner case feature a polished finish, while the skeletonized sides feature a vertically brushed finish for an extra dramatic effect.
You will find the same dynamics on the face of the watch. The bezel’s flat top features a vertically brushed finish, while the bevels and the lugs have a high-polished finish. Overall, it’s a nicely executed case with many intricate details and a recognizable style. The Vitruve Date comes with the choice of two dials. The first is a black dial, but we had the version with a steel dial that also shows a vertically brushed finish. Combined with the stainless steel mesh bracelet, it creates an interesting all-metal look that we don’t see very often. Another watch that immediately springs to mind, however, is the stunning Bvlgari Octo Finissimo S with its steel dial.
The stainless steel dial with its integrated date window
It’s an overall aesthetic that I love, and it does more than just add style. It also takes the classically inspired design of the regular Vitruve models in a different, sportier direction. If you zoom in on the stainless steel dial, you will see that it has a sandwich construction. It features a set of circular cutouts with polished rings for every five minutes. Working inward from those, you will find hour numerals also placed in a circle from 2 to 10 o’clock. The Beaubleu logo takes up the space from 11 to 1 o’clock, completing the circle. Hovering above the dial are three circular hands. The smallest indicates the hours on the inner ring, while the second silver-colored circle indicates the minutes on the outer ring. Both have a small dot integrated into the circle to indicate the time. The biggest hand is the circular blue seconds hand, which does not feature the same indicator dot and hovers gracefully over the dial and the other two circular hands.
Beaubleu’s characteristic style of hands might seem a bit weird at first. But from my experience wearing the watch, I can tell you that it does not hinder reading the time quickly. That’s a slightly greater challenge with the date window that sits neatly in the 6 o’clock marker. Because the circular cutout is not very large, reading the date can be a bit trickier. However, with a blue date disc and white printing, the date does contrast nicely against the stainless steel surroundings. It’s simply the size that is the challenge here.
The Miyota 9015 Slim
Beaubleu equips the Vitruve Date Steel with the Miyota 9015 Slim movement. This automatic caliber operates at 28,800vph, has 24 jewels, and provides 42 hours of power reserve. The movement is visible through the display case back and reveals an industrially decorated finish and the central rotor featuring the Beaubleu logo. The case back also shows the unique limited-edition number out of the 888 pieces that the brand will produce. In addition, the 30m water resistance rating and the Beaubleu name are engraved in the screw-down case back.
As you can see, the mesh bracelet is easy to change for a leather strap thanks to the quick-change pins. But honestly, I would not change the bracelet as it completes the look of the Vitruve Date Steel perfectly. On top of that, it makes the watch incredibly comfortable to wear. Once on the wrist, the 39mm watch wears like a charm. The slim profile and size make for a very nice, humble daily wearer that packs plenty of vintage-inspired style. I adore that certain kind of vintage-sporty appeal that the monochromatic stainless steel looks give the watch.
Final thoughts on the Beaubleu Vitruve Date Steel
Overall, I love the steps that Beaubleu has made with the Vitruve Date Steel. It creates a completely different feel compared to previous models, which I greatly appreciate. I keep thinking about what the watch would look like with conventional hands. In my mind, it would take on a beautiful minimalist design that is beautifully executed in stainless steel with greater appeal. With the circular hands, the watch will always be a piece for the true fan of this handset and dial style. But I’m wondering whether the style is not preventing the brand from growing bigger. Uniqueness is worth a lot in the crowded world of watches, yes, but it’s a fine balance with mass appeal.
It will be interesting to see what is next for Beaubleu. The Vitruve Date Steel is available for €950 on the mesh bracelet and €820 on a leather strap. What you get in return is unique and stylish for the true fan of this look. I love the new aesthetic that Beaubleu has found for its timepieces and hope to see more of that — just like I secretly hope that we see some diversity in the style of the hands. There is definitely great potential for Beaubleu.
For more information, visit the official Beaubleu website.