I’m going to tell you the full name of this watch and this particular model once, because it’s entirely too much. Herein reviewed is the Beaubleu Union Intrepide Klein Bleu. Take a sip of water. Sit down, catch your breath. Alright. Let me break it down. Beaubleu is the Paris-based brand that makes the Union collection of watches, of which the Intrepide is a model, of which the Klein Bleu is a colorway.
The brand launched in 2017 with a four-piece limited collection, but are back now with the Union family. Presented to prospective buyers as a watch that works well for both men and women, I had the opportunity to review the breathtaking (in name and design) Intrepide recently and below you can find my shrewd insights and thoughts on the watch.
On the Wrist
The Beaubleu Union Intrepide is an unapologetic dress watch. Its modest dimensions (39mm in diameter and 10mm thick), polished surfaces, and lack of a date window or lume reinforce this. The limited curvature of the lugs (the lugs seem to merely suggest the idea that they may be near a wrist) ordinarily could cause the watch to have a high-sitting feel, but the watches’ size prevents any overhang or bulk.
I love a good case cutout and the Union collection goes all the way, with the effect being a midcase that appears suspended between two wire supports. The strap’s supple leather and butterfly clasp further the comfort.
The signature of Beaubleu watches are the circular hands. The Russohorophiles among you will be reminded of the Raketa Copernicus, though the brand insists they are inspired by the works of Galileo. There’s a charm to them, but they certainly take getting used to when it comes to telling the time. I found myself wearing it more in part because I wanted to get to the point where I could read the time at a quick glance. Fortunately, the contrast of the white hands on the deep blue dial makes it a bit easier.
While I couldn’t get away from being reminded of the Raketa Copernicus, there’s a bit of IWC Pall Weber DNA here as well. The deep blue, almost enamel-like glossy dial is striking. It occasionally will play a bit lighter in bright light, but it never loses richness.
Circles abound. In addition to the hands, a thin peripheral rim has been applied, interrupted at 6 o’clock by text informing you the watch is a Parisian creation, plus there is an applied and polished hour track. Printed in white is a seconds/minutes ring, between the aforementioned applied circles. It’s not often that you see a gap around the edge of a dial as thick as this, but I think it allows the blue of the dial to stand out without sacrificing any legibility.
Dial text is kept at a minimum, but not enough so. While the Beuableu name is at 12 within the arc of the seconds/minute track, the brand logo is just above the center. I think it’s a bit oddly placed and they could’ve gone without it. For me, the more the blue dial is allowed to shine, the better.
Let’s talk about the hands. They’re quite cool, if in a gimmicky way. The sizes are on point, as the minutes and hours extend to their respective tracks perfectly. However, they are inherently difficult to read: the blue seconds hand not only clashes with the dial, but also is unnecessary on a dressy watch like this, only adding confusion when trying to read the time. On top of that, the white hour and minutes hands feature too-small pips making it hard to figure out just where they’re pointing—and the seconds hand doesn’t have a pip at all.
Case and Strap Details
You can fawn all you want over the neato-keen circle hands, but the star of the show for me was the case. The combination of black midcase and polished wire frame just clicks for me. If it doesn’t for you, your clicker may be broken.
The black PVD case features a brushed top with polished sides. The caseback is of the same material,features screws to secure it, and has text around the perimeter. But the best part is the two-piece wired structure. On the sides of the midcase, clasping the watch like two hands, are long polished steel pieces. From the top you’d not know it, but they are entirely hollowed out. Meeting those polished sides is a 3 o’clock crown that is slightly undersized but easy to grip.
Sapphire crystals grace the front and back of the watch. The movement is a simple Miyota 9015, with a brand-printed rotor, so I can’t really understand the desire for a display caseback. I mean, the screws aren’t even blued.
The Beaubleu Union timepieces all come on handmade leather straps with printed texturing. The leather is pliable and on my model, the dark blue main strap is complimented by brighter blue sides, mirroring the dial/seconds hand coloring. The strap is fastened with a butterfly clasp that will help prolong its life. As a word of warning, the strap is perfectly sized for my 7-inch wrist, with very little extra material on the tail—but that means that those with large wrists (8 inches+) may not be able to enjoy the watch on the stock strap.
I will say this: dress watches aren’t necessarily for telling the time extremely accurately or in a rush. Lots of them don’t have seconds hands (as should be the case here). Some argue that you shouldn’t wear a watch at a formal occasion, as you shouldn’t be checking the time, lest you be seen as rude. With that in mind, the Beaubleu Union Intrepide’s shortcomings aren’t shortcomings, just quirks.
The Beaubleu Union collection presents elegant and unique watches with no small amount of charm. The black midcase cradled by the wire lug structure is sleek and modern. The handset is unique if somewhat challenging at times. The dial itself is stellar. If what you see intrigues you, I’d recommend you look at the site, where you can browse all six models. At €740/€790 (depending on the model), as much as anything else you’re paying as much for the fact that there are no other watches out there like this. And sometimes that’s enough.
Check out more of Mike’s reviews at The Watch Clicker
Check out the Beaubleu website
|Lug-to-lug Height||44mm||Lug Width||20mm|
|Water Resistance||30 meters||Lume||Super-LumiNova® C3|