Over the last few months more and more readers have enquired about purchasing quality watches under the $1,000 mark. There are numerous well-designed fashion timepieces available that are predominantly made in China with Quartz movements. Essentially they do the job adequately and look pretty cool to wear. Up until recently this has been the only option available and as a result left many buyers feeling frustrated. A few months ago I wrote an article entitled ‘Style On a Budget’ showcasing five attractive well-priced timepieces. The phenomenal Égard Hunter Blue was one the watches featured.
When I first spoke to Égard’s owner Ilan Srulovicz earlier this year he told me about an exciting project he had in the pipeline. The details were kept very secretive, as he wanted to achieve the maximum impact on release. This project involved collaboration with screen icon William Shatner. Their shared vision was to create a watch that was both functional and visually striking. In my opinion they have achieved this feat with flying colours. The name of this creation is called Passages and there are four exciting limited edition versions (steel, black, rose and gunmetal) to choose from.
To launch the new watch Ilan is using Indiegogo (http://www.indiegogo.com) as a platform. This type of website seems to be a very popular outlet for marketing innovative new watches. It is also a great opportunity for buyers to get these amazing timepieces at well below the suggested retail price. The Passages has a respectable diameter of 45mm, which should appeal to a wide variety of buyers. I would also imagine the watch would feel fairly comfortable and lightweight on the wrist. Primarily this is down to the unique oblong shaped case and use of 316L stainless steel in production. Realistically this stunning timepiece would be a practical solution for most occasions both formal and casual.
Visually this is the most striking and original piece Égard has ever produced. The façade is multi-layered and has an absolutely superb three-dimensional quality to it. Ilan has incorporated different materials including carbon fibre and genuine asteroid dust. Ultimately this gives the watch a unique appearance and texture. The dial features two large apertures displaying a sun/moon indicator and open-heart view of the intricate mechanics of the watch. Other stylish elements include the distinctive hour/minute hands, William Shatner’s engraved signature (on the case back) and a domed sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating. The Passages perfectly combines cutting edge industrial and traditional design.
To power the watch Égard have opted to use a modified Japanese (Citizen) Miyota 8S27. This caliber comprises 21-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,000 vibrations per hour. I have reviewed a few watches (notably the SevenFriday P1) with this movement and have always found them reliable. The Passage features hours, minutes, seconds and a moon/sun indicator. It also is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres.
The marvellous Passage is limited to 999 pieces (each version) and is presented with a leather or stainless steel bracelet. At an unbelievably competitive introductory price of $399, this is a hard watch to resist.