Independent Watch Brand

Franc Vila

Francesco Vila was born in Valencia, Spain. After studying chemistry, art, and philosophy, Franc Vila embarked on a career as artistic director of the fine leather goods manufacture for which the region was renowned. But his passion for watches, which he had since he was a child, eventually got the better of him.

Franc Vila started designing his perfect watch in 2000. Vila wanted to create a unique watch that was unlike anything else on the market, equipped with a Swiss-made movement. In 2002, his first watch was ready. The watch had three complications: a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar, and a moon phase indicator. The case design called "Esprit Unique" had the form of an inverted "8", which became a key feature of all future Franc Vila watches. The number 8 plays an important role in the brand's philosophy, even the limited edition numbers often equal 8, 48, or 88 pieces.

In 2004, Franc Vila founded his eponymous brand. At Baselworld-2005, Vila presented his first collection of watches which had great success. The collection included four watches with such complications as a chronograph, perpetual calendar, GMT, and moon phases. Watchmakers and guests of the watch fair were strongly impressed by the case and dial design of Vila’s watches.

The main advantage of this recognizable Franc Vila design is that the lower part of the dial remains empty allowing to add complications, additional functions, or extra counters, and the movement has the same shape as the case.

Franc Vila traveled to Geneva, where he recruited the most respected engineers from the BNB Concept group. So while his watches are assembled at the brand's headquarters in Geneva, the movements are designed and manufactured by a group of suppliers who work with the company as one team. “The desire to become a manufacturer is nonsense,” Vila insists. “What's the point of wanting to make everything yourself when you can work with the best independent watchmakers in the world? I also want to emphasize that all my watches are 100% Swiss-made, including bracelets and straps. Moreover, almost 90 percent of my components are made in Geneva.”

At Baselworld 2006, Franc Vila released his own FVN°1 tourbillon movement incorporated into the Five-day Tourbillon Planétaire model. In the same year, Franc Vila introduced a series of watches: the FV5 with a universal time zone, the FV8 with a chronograph & large date, and the FVa8QA with a perpetual calendar & a large date.

In 2008, Vila's line of sports watches was highlighted by the El Bandido collection, featuring cases, dials, and indicators all dressed in black.

Franc Vila also launched his flying tourbillon skeleton watch – the FVaN°6 Tourbillon Planétaire Skeleton SuperLigero Concept, powered by a colored Lightnium movement made of aluminum and lithium alloy, which is used in the aerospace industry.

In 2009, the brand introduced the Franc Vila Cobra diving watch, which is water-resistant to 300 meters. The intricate, hand-finished watch movement is equipped with a chronograph and large date functions.

In 2013, the brand revised the proportions of the watch case, returning to a classic, streamlined appearance. This is how the Neo Alta watch collection was born. Collections like Cobra and Neo-Alta have given the Franc Vila brand prestige in the world of watchmaking, granting it an internationally renowned status.

During 20 years of luxury watchmaking, Franc Vila has introduced its own Haute Horlogerie concept, the so-called "emotional watchmaking". The company continues to design and manufacture contemporary handcrafted timepieces with superb handcrafted finishes.

Franc Vila


Address: 21 Quai Du Mont Blanc, Geneva, Geneva, 1201, Switzerland
Phone: +41 227318808