La Brestoise by Le Forban Sécurité Mer
The diver I’m going to present to you was sent to me by a French brand that had unfortunately disappeared in the 80s and which was happily resurrected by Jean-Sébastien Coste just 1 year ago with the launch of its first model, “La Malouine” in reference to the city of Saint-Malo, and it is therefore in all logic that was born “La Brestoise” in reference to the city of Brest, very large port city located in Brittany.
“Le Forban Sécurité Mer” is a French brand that experienced its glorious days in the 70s and 80s.
This brand is known for having proposed the first french diver watch and it was worn by some divers of the French National Navy in those same years.
“Le Forban Sécurité Mer” offered real toolwatchs and one could read on the black and white advertising posters of the time: «indispensable for the Sea and the Snow».
It is by respecting this concept and this history that Jean-Sébastien Coste revived this brand by offering watches assembled in France, very inspired by the models of the time, affordable and quality since the price is less than 500€.
“La Brestoise” from “Le Forban Sécurité Mer” is a diver with a resolutely vintage look since it is inspired by the brand’s first iconic model released in 1969.
“Le Forban” therefore created “La Brestoise” by preserving the DNA of its ancestor in a contemporary way, in order to satisfy both the passionate and the neophytes.
The case of our Brestoise is made of polished steel with a contained size of 38.4mm, which is perfect for people not look for giant cases… and this size is in perfect coherence with the neo-vintage spirit desired by the brand.
The slightly curved shape of the lugs makes it very comfortable to wear as it fits perfectly the wrist and its screwed crown with an anchor engraved on it is in my opinion of a sufficient size to be handle.
It is a screwed back that is proposed on this watch, it is nicely engraved and numbered and we can read that our Brestoise is waterproof up to 150 meters, more than enough to enjoy in many conditions.
To complete this case, “La Brestoise” is equipped with a black unidirectional bezel in aluminum, easy enough to handle and not too wide, which gives a larger effect to the dial.
The black dial is the part I love about this watch because I really feel like I’m wearing a watch coming straight from the 70s. We have a super readability as proposed the first Forban of 1969 with however the technical advantages of today.
The indexes and large Arabic numerals located every two hours are luminescent (Superluminova C3) and bring a very appreciable reading comfort in all conditions.
The «Sabre» type needles and its «Lollipop» style second hand very seventies are also luminescent. We already found this same second hand in the original model of 1969 as well as the trapezoidal form date window located at 3h on our Brestoise.
The name of the brand and its logo (an anchor) as well as the name of the model are in white on the dial and there is a small blue-white-red border to recall the colors of the French flag.
Finally, the dial is protected by a double dome sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective treatment that brings splendid blue reflections to the dial, depending on its exposure to light and a very beautiful relief to the dial.
To animate our Brestoise, “Le Forban Sécurité Mer” turned to Japan to find its movement, choosing the Miyota 8215 reputed reliable and very robust.
For me it is the big downside of this very pretty watch because this movement risks blocking many buyers well informed on the subject because despite a very good reliability, we stay in the entry-level range and the oscillating weight of this movement is unfortunately renowned for its ubiquitous noise when it turns.
Like its ancestor, the Brestoise is equipped with a Tropic style strap in silicone rather than rubber, which brings more flexibility and comfort.
The Tropic style strap was widely used in the 60s and is more and more often found in modern watches as it brings a real plus in terms of comfort.
Finally, it is closed by means of a pin buckle engraved with the name of “Forban”. My only complaint would be that I find it a little short at the level of its length, which leaves little chance for the big wrist to be able to wear it.
Following the request of many customers, “Le Forban Sécurité Mer” created “La Brestoise” in homage to its illustrious ancestor while bringing touches of modernism and it is perfectly successful.
I must admit that I really appreciate this watch because despite its small size, the dial, the large Arabic numerals and the double dome glass give it a real presence on the wrist. It is difficult for me to describe what I feel but I really feel like I am wearing a new watch from the past. As if the nostalgia that one can sometimes feel took place on my wrist. A real madeleine of Proust for the lovers of watchmaking.
In spite of a movement that may displease some, “La Brestoise” is a quality watch with a look of its own that deserves to stop there because it carries a part of history in it. Offered at a price of 490€, it is an affordable watch assembled in Paris with quality materials and with a great comfort with a featherweight of 78 grams.
All you have to do is visit the site of “Le Forban Sécurité Mer” and discover more in detail their universe.