Somewhere in Vendée, as if out of time, the sun rises. The doors of the paddock let a few rays fall on the cars’ bodies. Cold engines are there, as the circuit’s asphalt. Mechanics and drivers are busy with these beautiful ladies. In a moment the silence will give way to this sweet mechanical melody.
At any moment he can arrive. The design, the colours, the pilots’ uniforms… everything immerses you in its universe. Although he is only a fictional character, you can embody him for a moment. I am of course talking about Michel Vaillant.
Get onboard, we take you on a new adventure!
It was still dark when we set off to cross a part of France. Our destination: the circuit of Fontenay-le-Comte.
No, Tourbillon Watch didn’t change its subject! We are still passionate about watches and this adventure is no exception. We were to meet fiction becoming reality.
There, passion reigns. For some, the passion for cars is indescribable and indefinable, but it drives their whole being.
Our mission was to go meet these enthusiasts and try to capture and share what brought them together that day.
Used to watchmaking workshops, we were then facing more imposing calibers and power reserve not calculated in hours but in kilometers covered.
Here they are, ready to go. The final adjustments are made and the drivers in their cars are waiting for the signal to put their foot down.
What have we seen? Pure passion! Passion for a universe, for a character. Through the albums, the driver Michel Vaillant takes us in his amazing adventures. This character and theses comics were part of my youth, and to see its universe come alive on the circuit was a real chance.
A chance made possible thanks to some enthusiasts, driven by the mad desire to make fiction a reality. Their goal: make you live for a day what Michel Vaillant do in the comics, which is to drive.
To drive is to want to surpass yourself, to beat your competitors and to break records. Time is the key: unfalsifiable, it imposes its reality on you. Time ranks you on the grid and to beat it, you have to train. That’s where the Vaillante Adadémie comes in.
It is precisely in this shared passion for driving that Yema and the Vaillante Académie have come together.
The lexical field used is strong. The natural choice of words shows the depth of the passion and the demand for it.
Jean-Louis Dauger was the perfect interlocutorto understand Michel Vaillant and the Vaillant Académie.
7 years ago, he decided to relaunch the brand based on the universe and spirit of his hero. For Jean-Louis Dauger, loyalty, performance, courage and a strong sense of family are the characteristics of that Michel Vaillant’s spirit.
These characteristics guide him in his adventure and have found an echoe into the brand Yema. The brand’s family history, the quest to surpass oneself that drives the teams that we shared with you in our previous article are all elements that have facilitate the development of this partnership.
Through our discussion with Jean-Louis on the side of the circuit, punctuated by the Vaillantes by Crosslé passing, he explains: “My obsession since the development of Michel Vaillant is to have legitimacy. And here, [showing the watch] we were legitimate. Because we had a French brand, a family history like us with a link between the watch and Michel Vaillant’s story.”
If there are some similarities in whats drives Jean-Louis and Yema, passion is common because shared inside the teams. On the circuit was present William Germain, who was recently on our podcast, and we talked with him about his passion: “What I like most is the atmosphere, these smells, these noises that you find on a circuit. But also, to rub shoulders with instructors, drivers and teams on site and to see beautiful mechanics.”
It the two brands have many things in common, it doesn’t mean they have to develop a partnership. The idea of design suggested by Yeam’s teams did finish to convince Jean-Louis.
It’s not only a watch with a logo on it. Yeam’s teams went deep into Michel Vaillant’s universe to design the watch. To do so, they got their inspiration from the front grille of the first Vaillante car in the album Le Grand Defi.
By taking its shape and adapting it to the dial, Jean-Louis noticed that the teams had also appropriated the hero’s universe. The chrono counters are housed in the shape of the grille and the red and blue colour touches echoes to Michel Vaillant’s. You will also notice the V that separates the two counters. Another nod to the brand’s logo.
Check the watch in details here.
If we have not yet had the opportunity to step into the shoes of Michel Vaillant, we have been able to see his world come to life. If you want a taste of what it would be like to be Michel Vaillant, you can go watch The Gloved Driver’s video that will be published in a few days on his YouTube channel.
First of all, a huge congratulations to the Vaillante Académie because their promise is kept. Yes, for a day fiction was reality and drivers were able to taste the hero’s life.
And also a huge congratulations to Yema and the Vaillante Académie for their partnership. It is based on common values that are truly embodied by the respective teams. Furthermore, the watch is faithful to the driver’s world. So faithful, in fact, that he wears it in the latest album entitled: Pikes Peak.
The price of the watch is also affordable to allow a greater number of people to appropriate the hero’s universe.
For us, Michel Vaillant was a driver with amazing adventures that made us travel through the albums. Now, it’s a universe that came to life and was revealed before our eyes.
How about you? What does Michel Vaillant represent for you?