Flieger Friday: Autran & Viala NightFlight

Autran & Viala brand was started by Ickler GmbH based in Pforzheim, German, to offer entry level watches to customers. Ickler family is well known for their watch case manufacturing.

The Ickler portfolio contains Archimede, Autran & Viala, Defakto, and Limes brands. Archimede brand is their sporty mid-range mechanical watch line.  Limes is their flagship brand with elegant mechanical watches. Defakto brand offers affordable mechanical and quartz Bauhaus watches.  Finally, Autran & Viala brand offers entry level quartz and mechanical watches with Ickler manufactured case and high quality workmanship.

In a discussion with Lisa Ickler, responsible for both Archimede and Autran & Viala brands, she insightfully stated, “So far we have mainly produced quartz watches at Autran & Viala. In the future, more automatic watches should be offered at affordable prices. Of course, without concessions to quality and reliability.”

The brand name is a homage to Autran and Viala, two watchmakers based in Pforzheim, in the 18th century.  The first collection was presented in 2009, and the first automatic watch was NightFlight, a modern flieger with ETA movement and mineral crystal.  Ten years later, Autran & Viala is re-releasing the NightFlight with same design and case, but with useful upgrades.

The NightFlight flieger is encased in a 38mm stainless-steel case. It has long straight lugs with screw bars, and signed crown.  Unlike its predecessor, the dial is well protected by sapphire crystal.  The watch is water resistant to 50 meters.

The classic flieger dial has modern fonts with retro cathedral hour hand, and lollipop seconds hand.  This eclectic mix of modern and retro traditional makes for a good design.  All the numbers and indexes have a generous coating of Superluminova.  The date at 3 o’clock is well placed and has a matching back date wheel.

NightFlight is powered by Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement.  Sellita movement is now considered as reliable as an ETA movement, and is used widely by Swiss and German watch companies.  The movement has basic finish, and can be viewed from the see-through screwed case back.

The flieger has a smooth leather strap in black and brown color.  The brown strap looks sharp.  NightFlight is available now on Autran & Viala website for €436.97 (without tax).  Overall impression is a thumbs-up to good entry-level flieger with quality parts made by Ickler.

Photo Credit: Lisa Ickler