It’s a pleasure to be able to say that the case design, in stainless steel, really stands on its own. Without the transitions from one material to the next that you can see in the other customizable Quai de l’Île models, you can see the the case design in a more integrated fashion, and its Deco lines and use of stainless steel make it look like something the founder of, say, a particularly ambitious iconoclastic young architect in a booming post-war economy might have worn (or maybe the founder of a utopian underwater city in a fictional alternate universe, if you prefer Andrew Ryan to Howard Roark). It’s got a combination of unified, harmonious design and an air of almost egalitarian utility that’s very hard to find elsewhere – generally, emphasis on the latter is at least to some extent at the expense of the former, and I almost feel as if the clarity of the Quai de l’Île case design is actually easier to see without the interchangeability of different materials obscuring it.

Fit and finish in the steelwork of the case is very good as well; this is the kind of watch that can look very different depending on how the light hits it, which gives it an almost jewel-like shimmer. It’s always great to see the aesthetic qualities of steel celebrated along with its practical qualities, and again, that’s hard enough to do that when it’s done well you often get very memorable (Royal Oak, Nautilus) watches.