Humbert-Droz HD1 Open-Heart

When I discovered the brand Humbert-Droz a bit more than a year ago, I immediately felt like I should keep a close eye on it. As opposed to some brands popping out of nowhere and lasting not more than a couple of years, Humbert-Droz is a family business. It all started in 1956 when Marcel HUMBERT-DROZ launched the company REPARALUX in Besançon (FR), a historical city of watchmakers, where the family worked for the most famous brands. In 2016, after 60 years working for other brands, over 4 generations, they decided the creation of their own brand with the launch of the HD1, HD2 and HD3 watch collections.

The HD1 was an absolute success, and 4 years later a new version was released: the HD1 Open Heart. It comes in multiple colorways, each one available with either a two-tone or a full black case. The one I’m reviewing today it the HD1 Open Heart Gold. 

The specs

  • Assembled in France
  • Width: 43mm
  • Thickness: 13.5mm
  • Lug-to-lug: 24mm
  • Case: Stainless steel 316 L with black PVD coating
  • Crown: Screw-down crown – carbon
  • Glass: Mineral
  • Movement: Swiss made automatic ETA 2824 openwork in France
  • Dial: Blue / YellowHands: Satin-finished hour-minute hands with luminova, yellow second hand
  • Bracelet: Bracelet in navy blue cordura fabric and yellow stitching
  • Bracelet buckle: Deployable / steel
  • Casing bottom: Steel with open worked bottom for visibility of the movement
  • Water resistant: 100m
  • Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
  • Warranty: 2 years 

The package

The watch comes in a beautiful glossy wooden box. It’s provided with a strap tool and all the papers. 

The Case

The HD1 is a one-of-a-kind! Its cushion-case is made of polished stainless steel, which for once isn’t too prompt to finger-prints. The large crown-protection rotates to the top to give access to a comfortable screw-down carbon crown. It feels robust and doesn’t suffer from any back-play when locked-in. the PVD coated bezel offers a beautiful contrast with both the rest of the case and the dial, especially with the 4 visible screws on top of it.

The watch sits very well on my wrist thanks to the slightly curved lugs. It’s really light and could be easily forgotten if it wasn’t so eye-catching!  

The Dial

Although I’m usually running away from open-heart dials, I must say this one is absolutely gorgeous! I love how the contrast of the sunburst blue dial with the yellow second hand or the yellow section of the chapter ring. It gets even more intense when playing with the light, becoming a real eye-candy 🙂 Give it a closer look and the wide open-heart at 12 o’clock will catch your attention and show you that it’s alive. 

The Movement

The watch is equipped with an ETA 2824. The movement can be seen from the open-heart on the dial or thanks to a see-through caseback. All the openwork and the regulations were in Besançon, where Humbert-Droz operates. 

The Strap

The strap tapers from 24mm on the lugs to 22mm on the deployment buckle. It’s made of cordura, an almost indestructible fabric. Its navy blue with yellow stiching pairs perfectly with the colors of the dial. 

The HD1 Open-Heart is a fantastic watch. It combines strong visual elements for a well-balanced result, giving it a genuine identity. It’s also an achievement of 4 generations of craftsmen and a watchmaking legacy.

For those wanting to celebrate a special event or planning on offering this watch as a gift, please note that you can get a personal message engraved on the caseback. 

You can find out more information here:

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