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Lorier Astra

The Watch to Go Anywhere and Do Anything

If you were to ask me to name my top five micro/independent brands, I would certainly mention Lorier. And perhaps more than once. That’s because the brand’s design ethos resonates with me more strongly than that of many other brands. Lorier focuses on designing mid-century inspired everyday watches, and I would further say, in making each model an instant classic. In other words, if you buy a Lorier Neptune (their diver,) it will be the only diver you will ever need. And if you buy the Falcon (their exploration watch,) it would be the only one of these you’ll ever need. Making vintage-inspired timepieces means smaller watches, and it also means elegant smaller watches. I’ve handled many Lorier models and each charmed me in its own way. The Astra is no different and perhaps the biggest charmer of them all. 

Before we get into the details, let me say this: I’ve always wanted a smaller vintage watch with a white dial. I did because they look timeless and cool, and each time I see one I feel it would look great on my wrist. This type of watch epitomizes the golden age of everyday elegant watchmaking which has become a lost art. And I cannot bring myself to buy a vintage watch because of the potential risks associated with their age. (i.e. servicing costs and usability.) The Astra, therefore, gives me a strong vibe of the vintage watches I’ve always wanted to have without having to compromise on reliability and durability. Putting the Astra on my wrist makes me feel cool and snazzy, a bit like James Bond was before he became a body-builder disguised as a secret agent.


Thus far, Lorier has never made a model with a case larger than 40mm. Thank Buddha for all small-wristed people like me! This fact is inherently due to Lorier’s inspiration stemming from the golden age of watchmaking of the 1950s-80s. A lot happened during these three decades, it seems. However, Lorier does not homage particular models like it is too often the case with micro and independent brands. Instead, the brand owners are inspired by certain ideas, or more accurately, a particular view for horology. In a nutshell: well-proportioned, versatile, and reasonably priced watches that could easily be anyone’s everyday timepiece. This philosophy is clearly visible when looking at the dimensions of the Astra: a diameter of 36mm, a lug-to-lug of 44mm, a thickness of 11mm, and a lug width of 20mm.

These dimensions are universally regarded as being great. If they would have opted for a lug width 18 or 19mm, the Astra would have felt dainty. If they had made the diameter 38mm, this model would have clearly shown an identity crisis. The 36 x 44mm ratio is almost mathematically perfect. The Astra, therefore, wears incredibly well on my 6.25”/16cm wrist. The wearing comfort is superb and the superior case finish also contributes to making the Astra a watch easy to wear all day long and everyday.  The top of the lugs, case sides, and bracelet come with a stain brushed finish (which is soft to the touch) while the side of the bezel and the chamfer are polished. The 7-link bracelet construction is outstanding: the bracelet drapes around the wrist and doesn’t pull arm fur.

For some reason, people are not comfortable making the following statement: a watch price tag can be kept reasonable by choosing a good, yet not luxurious movement. Lorier understood this a long time ago—long before I did—which is why the Astra is powered by the Miyota 9015 caliber. The latter beats at 28,800 BPH (4Hz) and comes with 42 hours of power reserve. Although people complain about the rotor noise and apparent “wobble,” it doesn’t bother me a tad. I actually find it neat to feel the rotor move around the case and I don’t hear the “noise” people speak about in evil tones. At the end of the day, the Astra is a great piece of horology and as such, is given a great movement.


Ok, we covered the most important specs. Or so I hope. Aesthetically wise, you can love or hate the design of the Astra. Design is subjective so here I will only share my (super) enthusiastic opinion. If you read Mainspring, you already know I like Lorier. I mean, you could have come to the same conclusion by simply reading the introduction to this review. Of all Lorier models, my all-time favorite thus far had been the Falcon SIII which came with a 3-6-9 dial layout, silver accents, and a waffle dial. The Falcon had this status in my head until the Astra found its way to my doorstep. While I profoundly love the design of the Falcon, the Astra does something different which has instantly charmed me. 

I’m actually at a loss for words today. But let me try to explain what works for yours truly. There is something uniquely magnificent about the Dauphine hands and how well they mingle with the polished applied markers. The hour hand is actually shorter than normal so that it fits within the central circular element of the dial. (The one where we can see the brand logo, text, and cross hairlines.) The hour hand, I would add, looks stubby because of that and I love it. I just do. The polished applied markers have the right size and perfectly fit within the second circular element of the dial—which turns out to be a ring of deliciously bright BGW9. Because it is lume and not dial, this circle creates a subtle contrast which makes the dial look anything but boring. 

After all, making a white dial dynamic can’t be easy folks.

Furthermore, the Astra comes with a fully graduated minute track which I find to be useful. The latter further adds visual dynamism to the dial and believe me, I feel many intense and positive emotions when I look at it. (The black print creates an additional contrast.) Furthermore, the way the light bounces off the polished hour markers and hands—and how it further dances with the subtle textures of the dial and the edges of the domed hesalite crystal—my oh my. I have never been this captivated by a dial before. And I’m starting to think that I could write a romantic poem about the Astra. (Who would read it, though?) To complete the package, Lorier added a framed trapezoidal date aperture at the 6 which integrates neatly with the overall dial design.

The Heart of the Matter

At the heart of the matter is the fact that Lorier does not cease to surprise me. It’s a brand I keep falling in love with over and over again each time they release a new 36mm model. (I do also like their other collections, for example the Neptune SIV and Hyperion SII.) In 2021, I borrowed a Falcon SII which left me speechless, so much so that I bought one. Then in 2022, as soon as I saw the first images of the Falcon SIII, I became possessed and someone made me move my cursor over the “Add to cart” button almost immediately. (You don’t believe me, do you?) So now it might not come as a surprise if I were to say that I’m head over heels for the Astra. It feels as if Lauren and Lorenzo know better than me what I like and what I’m looking for. 

Did I mention I also bought the Neptune SIV? 

I do have a sweet spot for 36mm watches as they tend to fit my wrist just right. Each 36mm Lorier I strap on my wrist feels and looks better than the previous 36mm Lorier I strapped on my wrist. I cannot get enough of their reinterpretation of the golden era of watch design, as they manage to blend their personal taste and affinities for certain models with design elements that made this period of horology special. In other words, only Lorier can design a Lorier and each model they release shows a heightened sense for design and proportions compared to the previous one. And you know what is perhaps the most outstanding fact about Lorier and the Astra? It retails for $499 which is peanuts given how good it looks and the attention to detail Lauren and Lorenzo put into designing it.


Honestly, I don’t think this review needs a conclusion. You can clearly feel my enthusiasm for the Astra and I won’t hide it. Just like you, I got into this hobby because watches mean something special to me. A watch is an extension of who I am, a mechanical apparatus which tells a story about me and what I care about. And I care about the following: objects which represent an ideal, a lifestyle, and a general philosophy for life which leans heavily towards debonaire adventures, honest living, a curiosity for the unknown and appreciation for what’s different. On a personal level, that is what the Astra represents for me and I applaud the duo for creating this marvel. 

Phew, that was intense, I know. That’s what happens when I write about a watch which looks like this. From a practical perspective, the Astra will be available on Lorier’s website in July and retail for $499. I suggest visiting this page to sign up to receive updates about the release. 

Thanks for reading.


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