LORNET is a young, premium watch brand based in Besançon, the watchmaking capital of France. The very first creation from the brand, the LORNET LA-01, is a limited edition of just 100 pieces.

The founding members of the brand – Anthony Simao, Mikael Bourgeois, and Benoît Monnet – have worked for two years to develop a mechanical movement that’s truly “Made in France”.  Together they have succeeded to create LORNET MLA-01, a caliber that is designed, manufactured, and assembled in France. It’s worth mention that no caliber made in France has met these three fundamental criteria since September 12, 1977, when LIP went into liquidation.

LORNET has therefore become the first brand in forty years to be able to lay claim to authentically French origins and traceability. As a result, it embodies the rebirth of French watchmaking. For other parts of the watch, the brand has partnered with reputed firms based in the French watchmaking region.

LORNET LA-01 Watch

On 03 November 2016, LORNET unveiled its first model: the LA-01- a contemporary mechanical wristwatch which is fully designed, manufactured, and assembled in France.

Design and Development

The original idea for the LA-01 came well before the first sketch drawings. The aim was to produce a playful yet technical watch.  Right from the outset, it was decided that it should have a visible balance wheel positioned at twelve o’clock.

Not only that; since the vast majority of watches are round, Anthony Simao also decided from the start that this one should be different, with a more rectangular shape. Lastly, the timepiece should create an impression of depth, featuring striking architecture on multiple levels, offering a plunging view of the movement.

The stylistic approach to the watch involved portraying an overall sense of lightness. This led to the decision to have a movement made from aluminium. Not only is aluminium very lightweight, its chemical properties allow it to be tinted in a whole range of shades and benefit from a range of different finishes. All this makes it ideal for the Fine Watchmaking finishes that will be used for top-of-the-range LORNET models in the future.

Drawings and Prototyping

This part of the work, a critical stage prior to physical production of the timepiece, fell to Mikael Bourgeois. Bourgeois drew up the plans for the case and exterior features, carried out stylistic research, made the first 3D models, and supervised the transition to production drawings. He also worked on the sapphire crystals, seals, screws, and engravings, as well as countless other elements of the LORNET style.

Construction & Exterior Features

These stages were supervised by Anthony Simao and carried out in Morteau, located in the heart of the Besançon watchmaking region, by an independent Besançon-based craftsman, who did all of his watchmaking training in Morteau.


Decoration of the LA-01, also overseen by Anthony Simao, is another key element of its identity. As the watch does not have a dial, each part is clearly visible, so particular care is taken with its finish, in keeping with the highest standards of traditional mechanical watchmaking.

Decoration is one of LORNET’s priorities, and the LA-01 is designed to be able to accommodate a great many different finishing options in the future, up to and including set jewels, for future Fine Watch models. For now, the LA-01 is destined to be available in two versions, Classic and Sport.


Right from the very first watch, assembly has been carried out in France in Besançon, right at the heart of the Franche-Comté watchmaking region. The 138 exclusive parts of the LA-01 are assembled entirely by hand.


The LA-01 strap is hand-made in a workshop located between Morteau and Besançon, by an independent leather craftsman. Both sides of the LA-01 strap are made from genuine alligator skin. Moreover, the leather undergoes special treatment – and LORNET is the very first manufacturer to benefit from this process.


The first step in the construction of the LA-01 was the caliber. This has a total of 158 parts, assembled using computer technology, corrected to within a micron, simulated by means of digital assembly, and then perfected.

In the end, it took 18 months to produce this automatic movement, unique and specific to the brand. In addition, the distinctive ‘multilevel’ architecture, featuring a raised balance wheel at twelve o’clock, adds a sense of depth to the LA-01.


After designing the movement using CAD, Mikael Bourgeois was able to express his talents as a stylist to the full, taking into account the key highlights of the design brief: modernity, sobriety, and uncluttered lines.

Constantly striving for perfection, Mikael supplied the team with a host of diagrams, drawings and simulations. The elegant, bold design of the LORNET LA-01 Watch sports a decidedly characteristic shape, featuring clean-cut edges and graceful proportions.


The team then set out to find top-level partners for the various stages involved in manufacturing the watch. In total, over 80% of the LORNET LA-01 Watch is designed, manufactured, and assembled by independent firms and craftsmen based in Besançon and the surrounding area.

Components and Partner Companies

  • Case and movement: Most of the parts are made by CREATECH in Besançon, specialists in parts machining for mechanical watchmaking.
  • Strap: CREATION PERRIN, based in Orchamps -Vennes, has provided LORNET with an innovative, genuine alligator strap, featuring a matte black finish and hand stitching.
  • Crystal: VERLUX, a Morteau-based firm, supplies LORNET with scratchproof sapphire crystals. A second crystal placed beneath the watch will allow customers to view the mechanism from a variety of different angles, displaying the movement’s skeletonised characteristics.
  • Presentation Box: Mr JACQUEMIN, a craftsman based in Cramans on the Doubs-Jura border, designs the presentation box for each LORNET watch, and makes them by hand.

Technical details

Model: LORNET LA-01

MLA-01 movement developed by LORNET
Aluminium alloy movement, chosen for its lightweight properties and adaptability to multiple finishes
Tungsten weight delivers enhanced winding performance
Two-position winding stem
Power reserve: 48 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/hour
Offset small seconds display

Brushed stainless steel case
Waterproof up to 50 metres
Sapphire caseback

Hand-made alligator strap


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.