09 Aug Hands On Review: Lorier Falcon
The concept of a watch a man (or woman) can wear anywhere, whilst doing anything, has been around for a while now. Brought on by the popularity of classic brands like Rolex, whose watches are both elegant and durable, a market has developed for pieces that are all-rounders.
It’s this niche that the guys over at Lorier are looking to capitalise on with their watches.
Lorier (which is apparently pronounced lor-yé) was founded by husband and wife Lorenzo & Lauren Ortega, who operate out of New York City. They draw their inspiration from vintage pieces, and aim to produce affordable, versatile mechanical watches.
The Falcon is one such piece, and draws some inspiration from vintage Rolexes, but it also has a great degree of originality to the design. Lorier’s pieces seem to have gained quite the following, so I reached out to see whether or not they’d lend me one so I could see what all the fuss is about, and they very kindly obliged.
The Falcon has a 39mm steel case, with a 48mm lug-to-lug, and 12mm thickness. As someone with small wrists I’m rather fond of this size, and thanks to the thick bezel the Falcon has a decent presence on the wrist. I’m also a fan of the more angular case shape used on the Falcon. It’s a pretty unusual and distinctive design.
As I mentioned earlier the case is 12mm thick (excluding the crystal) and my first impression was that the watch was rather tall. On reflection it isn’t particularly thick, and plenty of watches are over 12mm, but the flat sides and domed crystal give the impression that the Falcon is thicker than it is.
Lorier opted for a functional brushed finish, but added some nice polished chamfers to either side of the case, and the edge of the bezel is also polished, which is a neat detail. Overall the finishing is rather good, with just the right balance of dressiness. The signed crown is wonderfully oversized, and as a result is very easy to use. It’s also screw down, a welcome security feature on a tool watch, and is well proportioned with the rest of the watch.
The Falcon comes with a water resistance of a healthy 200m. This is exactly what you want from a watch that’s touted as one you can take anywhere, and it’s nice to see that whilst the Falcon isn’t strictly a diver, Lorier didn’t skimp on the water resistance.
The crystal of the Falcon is a gorgeous domed plexiglass, just like you’ll find on a vintage piece. It’s the only way to guarantee that true vintage look, and indeed the domed plastic catches the light on its soft edges in a very pleasing way. Whilst Lorier’s use of a plexi crystal on the Falcon has the benefit of being shatter-resistant, it does come with the downside of being easy to scratch. Of course any scuffs you do pick up can be polished out pretty easily.
In keeping with their aim of harkening back to the simple tool watches of the 50’s, Lorier gave the Falcon a simple and extremely legible dial. Of course the first thing you notice about the Falcon’s face is the waffle pattern of the matte black dial. It adds a subtle depth to the watch that lifts what is otherwise a fairly conventional dial design.
The simple stick hour batons, along with the handset and minute track, are gilt. This adds a touch of warmth to the watch and further adds to the vintage charm. The date window has been placed at the 6 o’clock position, and it’s a good choice, for it preserves the balance of the dial. The date wheel itself is black and blends nicely with the dial. It’s good to see Lorier taking the time to sort out such details.
The handset is nice and legible, with an Omega-style broad arrow hour hand, and pointed minute hand. They’ve a brushed finish that blends into the toolish aesthetic of the watch nicely, and there’s a decent amount of lume on them too.
In true tool watch style the lume used on the Lorier Falcon is Super-LumiNova BGW9. It’s one of the brightest grades available, and on the Falcon it’s perfectly legible in the dark and lasts for a decent length of time. There could be more lume on the batons, but thanks to their length their still easily readable.
Powering the Lorier Falcon you’ll find the ubiquitous Seiko NH35A. It’s the movement of a true tool watch, as you’ll also find it inside many affordable pieces and Seiko’s own models. The NH35 has a proven track record for durability and reliability, and also hacks and hand winds. Whilst the beat rate is lower at 21,600 bph, the 24 jewel movement has a healthy 41 hour power reserve. Overall the NH35A is just the thing for an affordable tool watch, and the old slogan that comes to mind is “it takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’!”
The Lorier Falcon comes on a 20mm steel bracelet with fully articulated links. It’s this feature that makes the Falcon very comfortable on the wrist, and gives the bracelet a more unusual appearance. The links are also held in with screws, and Lorier do provide a small screwdriver in with the watch, so it’s a doddle to adjust!
Lorier designed the bracelet to taper down at the clasp to 16mm. Given the chunky nature of the case, I’d have preferred it if the bracelet didn’t taper myself. The clasp is signed with the Lorier logo, and whilst it’s not particularly remarkable, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a watch at this price point.
If the bracelet isn’t for you, the Falcon has drilled lugs for quick strap changes, and I think the watch would suit a variety of leather or NATO straps.
Lorier aimed to create an elegant versatile piece that can go anywhere. Have they achieved that aim with the Falcon? Well, in terms of what the average owner will put the watch through, yes. Its specs are solid, with decent water resistance and lume, and with a bulletproof movement, you’ll be happy to wear the Falcon for most activities. The Falcon strikes a good balance between dressy and toolish too in my opinion. On the one had it’s a very functional design, but on the other you’ve got the dressy elements of the polished chamfers and gilt hands and markers.
I think that the case could be a little more elegant, but I like the originality of the overall design, and the watch is certainly well built. Personally I’m excited to see how Lorier develop the ideas they’ve presented with both the Falcon and their other model the Neptune.
You can buy the Falcon for $399 from Lorier’s website here.
They’ll also donate a portion of the sale to the ocean charity Oceana.