Franc Vila: Building the Future by Respecting the Past

Franc Vila: Building the Future by Respecting the PastHeading

Franc Vila was born in Valencia, Spain. When he was a young boy he discovered one of his fathers watches had stopped. His father explained that the watch only ran when in contact with humans. In an interview Vila said, This magic way to show the operating of a manual mechanical watch revealed to me that there is a magic relationship between men and watches by virtue of which we give them life with our own movements, with our own life. They live alone but thanks to us. From that day on Franc Vila had a fascination with watches and began collecting them. As years went by, Vila could not find a watch that could satisfy his own tastes. He couldnt find the perfect watch.


It was not enough for me to wear the gorgeous watches that previously had worn our grandparents and great-grandparents. I needed a watch not only technically perfect, but also built in the highest quality standards, that reflected the contemporary spirit. We live now, in our time, and our watches should be contemporary, but respecting the tradition and the exclusivity, the principal characteristic of luxury, together with excellence. Thus I started to think in building my own watch, but only for me and my friends. In the beginning I didnt have the idea to sell my watches. In fact, even now, I design my watches to satisfy my needs and tastes about time and exclusivity, which fortunately match my clients wishes. I have never designed a watch to satisfy the needs of my clients, I cant and I wont. I just do watches I love to wear myself..


Vila studied art, philosophy, and science. Before becoming a watchmaker, he was a biochemistry investigator in Valencia Biotechnology Institute, a director of chemistry laboratory, a science professor, and a creative director of a luxury leather raw goods company.

In 2000, Vila started designing watches. For his first watches, Vila used his education in chemistry to create a special stainless steel case structure consisting of two pieces. He used his knowledge of art to design a unique watch case that is now characteristic of the Franc Vila brand. His first watch had minute repeating, a perpetual calendar, moonphases, and a world premiere slide mechanism position inside the case. Franc Vila officially showcased the brand and his collections at Baselworld 2005. Since then each watch he makes is a limited edition between 8 to 88 pieces.


Franc Vila has an interesting way of designing his watcheshe only creates watches he would wear. His watches are by no means simple, there are many complications inside each watch. Vila wanted to introduce new classics through building into the future by respecting the past. His main consideration when designing has always been the technical strength of the watch. He has mentioned that nothing is created, everything is transformed. Vila takes his inspiration from contemporary art, mixed with new technologies and new materials, with a touch of mechanical engineering.

I think its good to learn the norms and then try to break them, interpreting and adapting them to your own criteria. But if you dont know the norms you follow them not being aware. Its always funnier to know what you are faced with, so that you can transform it with a justification.

-Brittany Sims