This young brand literally blew us away. Earlier this year, we reviewed the Cortina 1956 3 Hands. Our choice was this particular model…because we had to start somewhere! The reality is that we wanted to see more, even before we had the first watch in our hands, and even more when we were able to witness the work ofEcho/Neutra. Today, we’re testing one of their new products (which seems to have slipped under the radar), theAverau 39 Phases Lunaires “Big Moona very special moon phase.
A modern interpretation of the moon phase
If you haven’t heard of Echo/Neutra yet, it’s quite normal. Based in Piove di Sacco, a commune near Venice, the Italian brand was launched just 3 years ago. Like many watchmaking start-ups, its founders, Nicola Callegaro and Cristiano Quaglia, chose Kickstarter to get started. Their first collection, Averau, is a modern interpretation of the field watch whose very idea originated in the Dolomites mountain range, to which they refer in all their creations. This watch has been perfectly thought out by choosing quality materials, a proven Sellita movement and stamped Swiss made. First in a small seconds version (hand-wound), then with a moon phase composed of two moons to display the appearance of the Earth’s natural satellite in both the northern and southern hemispheres. This historic complication is now available in a “Big Moon” version. big moonto show the moon as it appears graphically from our planet. A original idea which gives a boost to a complication usually used in very traditional city watches.
With its classic lines, the Averau 39 has a contemporary look: 39mm diameter46mm horn-to-horn length and 13.5mm thickness. Note that the latter includes the height of the domed sapphire crystalbringing the caseback/housing/lens combo to around 12mm. The case middle features a polished chamfer flaring out towards the tips of the lugs, while the rest of the case is brushed – horizontally on the case middle and vertically at the lugs – with the exception of the bezel flank. A alternating finishes give character to this well-proportioned piece. The crown, for its part, is screwed on, to enable 10ATM tightness and the solid caseback is adorned with a stamped mountain motif. In addition to the basic elements mentioned around the perimeter of the motif on a sandblasted background, there is a unique individual numbering positioned outside the other markings. The crown also features a gripped design for improved grip, with a diameter that’s neither too large nor too small, and the right depth to avoid frustration during manual winding or adjustment.
Let’s move on to the centerpiece of this watch, and start with the indexes. Fromthick white indexes on the cardinal points (3-6-9-12) with one-piece construction like the Pelagos 39mm. As a result, they are highly SuperLumiNova BGW9 with a blue photoluminescent finish, as are the coated hands. The minute scale features long batons indicating the minutes on the outside and the hours on the inside, making it easy to read the time. The second hand displays a red/white tip in reference to the used by the “Club Alpino Italiano”. in the Dolomites. This sporty tone is used on the “Automatic” label at 9 o’clock, as well as on the arrow indicators that point to both the four main lunar phases and the 8 phases that make up a complete lunar cycle of around 29.5 days. This large moon is surprisingboth in size and realism. The only drawback is its plasticized appearance, which captures a lot of light and creates a small halo. To set the latter, simply turn the crown counter-clockwise to position 2 – like the date – to align with the current phase of the cycle.
Echo/Neutra’s choice of movement is not limited by the fact that the movement is hidden by a solid case back. On the contrary, the caliber Sellita SW280-1 which powers this watch has been chosen for its grade Special (equivalent to ETA’s Elaboré), which goes further than the Standard grade, in terms of adjustment in 3 positions (as opposed to 2) with a average daily deviation of -7/+7 seconds (versus -12/+12), not to mention reduced maximum deviation and isochronism. In terms of autonomy, this self-winding mechanical movement oscillating at a frequency of 4Hz is limited to 38-hour power reserve. It’s a proven, reliable quality movement.
This watch is available on 3 straps black fabric, black water buffalo leather and steel with “H-Link” links like the Yema Navygraf. For this review, we opted for the nylon braceleton the one hand, because we love them in two strands (and let’s sulk about the NATOs that add thickness) and secondly, because this one has been the object of a little special attention. Firstly, its lined constructionIts steel loops are polished with a thick, angular design; then there are the markings “2649”, the model reference, and “Averau”, which you can display or hide by turning it over – the tool is supplied. The latter gives it a marked-for-adventure look, and is a nice touch. Finally, his wide, polished buckle completes the look. On the downside, for small wrists like ours (17.5cm circumference), it will be very difficult to make a return with the end of the bracelet in the loops, causing it to stick out and wander. This can be a real nuisance, so bear this in mind when selecting your frame.
Our opinion on this Echo/Neutra watch
The pitch is pretty clear: we wanted to do this review because Echo/Neutra had amply exceeded our expectations on our first try. It was astonishing to see such a young brand, and an Italian one at that, offering such accomplished Swiss made timepieces, to make some established brands pale in comparison. This Averau “Big Moon” offers a perfect technical data and at an almost unbeatable price. It’s well thought-out, comfortable to wear and pleasing to the eye. It’s a piece relatively versatile which will certainly merit several bracelets and which offers a modern vision of the “field” watch, while adding a touch of sportiness and a semblance of poetry. If that’s your cup of tea, this is a alternative worth a detour to your nearest AD. Price: €790 to €860
Echo/Neutra Averau 39 Phases Lunaires “Big Moon” watch / Features
- Case : 316L stainless steel / Polished & brushed finish
- Width : 39mm
- Length : 46mm
- Thickness : 13.5mm
- Lug spacing : 20mm
- Photoluminescence : Yes / SuperLumiNova BGW9
- Glass type : Domed sapphire crystal / Double anti-reflective coating
- Case back : Full screwed / Engraved and numbered
- Movement : Automatic / Sellita Caliber SW280-1
- Complication : Moon phases
- Power reserve : 38 hours
- Daily deviation : -7/+7 seconds
- Bracelets : Lined nylon, buffalo leather or stainless steel
- Buckle: Ardillon or deployant on steel
- Water resistance : 10 ATM / 100 meters
- Warranty : 2 years