INTRODUCING: The Old School by Massena LAB x Luca SopranaZach Blass
Once upon a time, I applied for a very prestigious and selective watchmaking school here in the USA. Sadly, I did not make the cut, which was probably fair given that I do not have the steadiest hands. A silver lining to this story is that, after my time working as a watch specialist for Piaget, I would eventually go on to join the Time+Tide team to write about my passion – which I believe was my real calling in this industry. But the one thing I am extremely envious of is the fact that those who did make the cut for the watchmaking school I had applied to would end their education by making their very own “school watch”. This is a watch designed and assembled by the apprentice watchmaker that is then evaluated by their superiors to see if they have what it takes to join the ranks of watchmaker. The best part? The students get to keep the watch they designed and assembled. So when I got the press release for the new Old School by Massena LAB x Luca Soprana, a montre d’école inspired limited edition crafted and assembled by master watchmaker Luca Soprana, the FOMO of not getting the chance to make my own school watch totally resurfaced. That being said, the work performed by Soprana, with two decades of experience as a master watchmaker, conveys the utmost tier of artisanship any true fan of horology would admire.
The Old School by Massena LAB x Luca Soprana watch case is fashioned in stainless steel, 41.5mm in diameter and 11mm thick including the sapphire crystal, and and exhibits a high degree of finishing to its case. The bezel and lug hoods are exquisitely mirror polished, while its caseband has a rich brushed finish that is interestingly performed in a vertical manner (when looking at the watch laying flat). In the spirit of hand-made, the stepped segmented dial is entirely made and finished by hand – its aesthetic inspired by marine chronometers of the late 18th century and the sector dials found on many chronometer wristwatches. The hands are made of hand-filed and hand-blued steel, and the sector-style outer ring of the dial is made of rhodium-plated German silver with a hand-polished bevel as you step down to the hand-frosted gold plated central medallion. Even the crown of the 3 ATM water-resistant watch is meticulously crafted by hand. To match the tone of the blued steel, the running seconds subdial at 9′ is signed in midnight blue, with both “Massena & Co.” and “Vaumarcus”, for the castle in Switzerland where Soprana operates his atelier and where Old School is made.
Flip the Old School by Massena LAB x Luca Soprana over and you are treated to a hand-finished movement, executed in a traditional German style. Its 3/4 bridge plate, made of German Silver, features rounded bevels and angle to the bridges, a blued steel balance spring, a swan-neck regulator with a micro-metrical screw, and a bi-metallic balance wheel, complemented by a black polished escapement bridge. The manually wound caliber, known as the LS-01, offers 40 hours of power reserve on a full wind. The Old School by Massena LAB x Luca Sopranais is paired with an exclusive midnight blue alligator strap, made by Jean Rousseau Paris, with a case-matching, stainless-steel tang buckle.
Old School by Massena LAB x Luca Soprana pricing and availability:
Old School by Massena LAB x Luca Soprana will be limited to 11 examples, and the watch will be exclusively for sale at massenalab.com, and will include a certificate of chronometer from the Horological Society of New York. Price: $39,500 USD
● Model: Old School
● Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds
● Case Material: Stainless steel
● Crystal: Sapphire
● Dimensions: 41.5mm case; height, 11mm
● Dial: Maillechort (German silver), rhodium, 2N gold
● Movement: LS-01
● Power Reserve: 40 hours
● Water Resistance: 3 ATM
● Strap: Exclusive alligator strap by Jean Rousseau Paris