French National Day Horological Celebrations for 14th July
The best 14th July watches for celebrating the French national day in style
On this day, exactly 232 years ago, France experienced a turning point in its history with the storming of the Bastille. To commemorate this historic moment, which is remembered and celebrated each year on July 14th, a National Holiday in France, WorldTempus honours France by proposing a selection of watches from French brands (or of French origin) in the colors of the tricolour flag.
With over 10,000km of coastline bordering some of Earth’s greatest bodies of water (the Mediterranean, the North Sea and the Atlantic), France is as much a maritime realm as it is a continental one. This Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver in bronze pays tribute to nautical history, referencing the material of traditional seafaring equipment, and its red dial provides a patriotic shade to complement the day’s festivities.
BR 03-92 © Bell & Ross
The Louis Vuitton Spin Time is the maison’s emblematic (and unusual) way of indicating the time, with spinning blocks on the dial periphery that turn over to indicate the hour. The Tambour Spin Time Air Vivienne features in place of the familiar hour blocks 12 miniature sculptures of Louis Vuitton’s mascot, first unveiled in 2017. If you’re missing out on the spectacle of a military parade this year, why not enjoy instead a parade of 12 mini-Viviennes as she indicates the hours of the day?
Tambour Spin Time Air Vivienne © Louis Vuitton
If one watch just isn’t enough to express your undying love for France, how about three watches? The Hermès Arceau Cavales and Arceau Casaque are a red-white-blue trio of timepieces that evoke the aesthetic hallmarks of this storied French maison, from the equine dial motif formed by graphic, sweeping lines to the repeating chevrons on the red and blue models.
Arceau Casaque © Hermès
The Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier is a subtle celebration of the French colours with its deep red alligator strap, blued hands, and white dial. With its row of sparkling diamonds and beautiful round form that incorporates the crown into bezel, it is not only the perfect timepiece for celebrating a National Holiday, but also classic enough to be worn and appreciated every day.
Ballon Bleu © Cartier
French style isn’t always about classic elegance and Parisian chic. RALF TECH is a French watch brand founded by professional diver Frank Huyghe in 1996. For close to two decades the brand has showcased rugged, sporty timekeepers that are equally at ease by the barbecue or at the depths of the ocean. What better way to celebrate July 14th than by supporting a young, homegrown watch brand?
WRB Automatic Ocean © Ralph Tech
The logo of Van Cleef & Arpels features the Vendôme Column, an ode to the nation’s Napoleonic glories and that has since come to be indelibly associated with the home of this watch and jewellery maison in the eyes of luxury lovers everywhere. Taking a slightly less militaristic slant is another icon of Van Cleef & Arpels, the Alhambra, which is inspired by the four-leaf clover and also the traditional Moorish quatrefoil, a motif with compound associations that parallels France’s rich multi-cultural heritage.
Sweet Alhambra © Van Cleef & Arpels
No other brand can be said to represent the spirit of French haute couture than Chanel. To celebrate the day in quintessential Parisian style, strap on the Chanel Boy.Friend TweedArt, which replicates the textures and colours of Chanel tweed in imperishable enamel. Traditional in its references, contemporary in its execution — the ultimate in 21st-century chic.
BoyFriend TweedArt © Chanel
Characterised by audacity and inventiveness, Cartier’s watchmaking history reflects a unique state of mind: “jeweller of kings and king of jewellers”. Its renown is bound up in the tradition of...Find out more >
Through her life, Gabrielle Chanel embodied strength, character and a fierce desire for independence. Maison CHANEL, avant-garde and constantly innovative, has come down through the decades to...Find out more >
“La Montre Hermès” has adopted an epicurean philosophy that values the creation of sober, contemporary timepieces.Find out more >
True to its founding spirit, Louis Vuitton makes watches that combine excellence, innovation and originality for the benefit of people who love travel and adventure. The watchmakers of La Fabrique...Find out more >
In 1996, professional diver Frank Huyghe created the RALF TECH brand: diving suits, buoyancy compensators, regulators, masks, etc. In 2003, on the strength of his personal experience, he designed a...Find out more >
Each of Van Cleef & Arpels’ creations is imbued with jewelry and watchmaking excellence, drawing inspiration from whether nature, couture or the imagination. Its creations evoke a timeless world of...Find out more >