An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches
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  1. #1
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    An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches

    Chip Yuen, founder and owner of Holland based Aevig Watches, could never be accused of not listening to his customers. Somewhere within the make-up of his soon to be launched diver ‘Huldra’ could be your design suggestion, because CY has consulted extensively on the WIS forum and taken on board a great deal of inspiration from members ideas and comments.

    The result is a new dress/diver watch which should find plenty of appeal in terms of the three P’s – Presentation, Performance and Price. We asked CY to tell us more about Aevig and the new Huldra diver.

    1) As a regular contributor to Watchuseek, how much influence have members had on the design of your watches?

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    CY: Watchuseek is a great place to do research on just about any watch or watch style. The combined knowledge on all things watch related is mind boggling. When I started submitting designs for forum watches, members were quick to point out flaws or to suggest design cues from obscure brands and vintage gems. Then I add all the comments and images to my inspiration folder for a particular design and let it all sink in. Then I try to distill the essence. What comes out of it can be polarising to the community but a few iterations later it mellows out and will have a character of its own without being watered down or being any kind of homage.

    2) For those who may not know, please explain how you arrived at the unusual brand name of Aevig and why you chose a name with Scandinavian roots


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    CY:
    It is really hard to find a name that is short, I don’t want a whole paragraph on the dial, also meaningful and not already in existence as a domain on the internet.

    After scribbling down pages full of names, meanings, connotations and even consulting random generators I settled on Aevig which is very close to the Dutch word “eeuwig” when pronounced. Aevig is ancient Norse spelling, in itself a derivative of the ancient Germanic language hence the resemblance to Dutch. Aevig means eternal. Appropriate when talking about time. As a side effect the connotation for being seen as Scandinavian are the myths and legends associated with this part of Europe or the greater part of Northern Europe. Many a watch enthusiast or collector is after the grail or a unicorn. So in that sense I hope I will conceive a classic worthy of baring the name Aevig.


    3) When you say your diver Huldra is custom made, please explain how that works

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    CY: The Huldra isn’t a replica or an homage to any existing watch. Some micro brands start out with or currently have a homage/replica of some sort. Other brands may share an existing case and simply rebrand and mix up handsets and dials to be “different”. This may work for the uninitiated but if my base cličntele are WIS, the BS is cut through faster than a lightsabre through a Wampa.

    The Huldra, with the help of WUS members, became what it is now. Every part except for the movement and bracelet is originally drawn and made. Nothing is off the shelf or replicated. My goal was to make an original vintage diver that would fit in 20 years ago or 20 years in to the future.


    4) How do you position yourself against the many other affordable micro brands offering diver’s watches?

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    CY: Affordable is a stretchy term between $300-$1000. At about $450-$500 retail (exchange rate to Euros might fluctuate) for the Huldra, it is situated below the middle of the affordable range for a quality diver. At this price point competition is fierce. Potential customers scrutinise every detail. One cannot satisfy everyone. The Huldra is different from the rest of the pack because it is 42x46x22mm and just 12mm thick. It isn’t designed to be a 1000m diver beast. It has 200 WR and can be used to dive but the Huldra easily goes from beach to boardroom with a touch of class.

    The tool diver segment is crowded, the dressy divers less so. Retro divers that aren’t a homage, a reissue or the umpteenth reiteration of a 50 year old concept are rare. I steered clear of ploprof or snowflake hands. I can’t predict what will be popular. I guess the sales will be the judge of that.


    5) Again, please tell us where the name Huldra, and other model names such as Corvid and Balaur came from


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    CY: Personally I like names for watches instead of model numbers. Heck I even coined the name Caesar for the Seiko SNDA13 (had to look that number up). Beside difficult to remember model numbers lack soul. Naming also helps with designing.

    The model names are mythical creatures or in the case of the Corvid it means the species of Raven. A Huldra is a Scandinavian forest/water nymph much like a Lorelei. A Balaur is a two or multi-headed dragon mostly found in Eastern Europe.


    6) How do you find the Chinese Sea Gull movements perform as opposed to the much tried and tested Japanese Miyota 9015?


    CY: The Sea-Gull ST2130 that I plan to use in a few designs has been around longer than the Miyota 9015. Sea-Gull sometimes get a bad rep. The cause of that is not the inability of SG to put out a decent product but I guess there is a whole shady circuit of subcontractors and counterfeit operations that make use of rejects and sourced parts.

    These movements then end up in the $50 or less auction homages and the like. You do get what you pay for but in the end it hurts SG’s reputation. SG puts out tons of movements per year that leave the factory within spec. It’s up to the watch manufacturer to check and regulate the assembled product again before putting it into the market.


    7) Do you find the Chinese manufacturing company you use to be efficient and reliable?

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    CY: I’m not the first company to use China as a manufacturing source. It took some time finding a reputable manufacturer, though. The market for this is dense and all claim to deliver top notch products. Technically anything is possible but sometimes the details get lost in translation. I am a designer first and foremost and I’m getting up to speed with the technicalities of producing a watch. At times it is frustrating not being able to walk up to the engineering department and just point out what you want. Being Chinese myself doesn’t help in this case. My manufacturer speaks Mandarin and I am Cantonese, haha. Communication is key and during the whole process we’ve developed an understanding of each others thoughts and intentions.

    8) Of all the forums on Watchuseek where do you find you have the most empathy?

    CY: Across the board Watchuseek is a very friendly forum but you’ll find me most frequently in the affordables forum or the Chinese mech sub forum checking out some amazing vintage pieces.


    9) When will the Huldra line be available?


    CY: Currently the Huldra and Corvid are up for pre-order. Estimated release date is by the end of March (knock on wood).


    10) Finally, please tell us the price point for the watches


    CY: The Huldra with a Miyota 9015 is €399 VAT included (roughly $450 VAT excluded)


    The quartz Corvid with Ronda 307 is €119 VAT included (roughly $129 VAT excluded)


    During pre-order prices are reduced and shipping will be free of charge. Check website for all details.


    The automatic Corvid and Balaur do not have a set price yet but are estimated to be around $300 for the Corvid and $350-$400 for the Balaur, both VAT excluded.

    Visit the Aevig Watches website
    Last edited by Michael Weare; January 4th, 2014 at 10:27.

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches

    Interesting insights into the life of a small quantity vendor. Thanks!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
    Member om-4's Avatar
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    Re: An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    Interesting insights into the life of a small quantity vendor. Thanks!
    My pleasure.

  4. #4
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    Re: An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches

    These are incredibly simple, clean and good looking dial designs. This is nice to see after we had such a long discussion about a bulky piece of metal that goes by the name "Yes Man".

    Thanks for sharing, and best of luck. I might consider getting one of these at some point.
    om-4 likes this.

  5. #5
    Member dougiedude's Avatar
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    Re: An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches

    I've pre-ordered the Huldra in blue, and end of March will not come too soon for me. I haven't been this excited about a release since I became a WIS in August of 2012.

    Chip, you are an amazing designer, and I wish you all best on the success of your company...
    om-4 likes this.
    Nomos Orion Tudor Pelagos Ω Speedmaster 105.012, Speediorite, SMP300, '53 '58 Seamasters,'54 '58 Constellations, Naiad, Trench Zenith 146D vintage Longines Flagships, Conquests, GP, 30L, Ultra-Chron Wittnauer Alarm WUS Tourbillon, Moonphase, ST5 Aevig Huldra, Corvid Lew & Huey Orthos Halios Tropik B Benarus Bronze Moray 44 Green Ball Engineer II Moonphase, Fireman NightTrain Deep Blue DayNight Recon Prometheus Jellyfish, Baiji Vostoks Sea-Gull 819.380, China AF 1963 Bernhardt B Divers Dan Henry 1963 Other vintage: Enicar Nivada Grenchen Bulova JLC Cyma Alpina Yema Eterna Marvin Revue Movado Juvenia

  6. #6
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    Re: An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by dougiedude View Post
    I've pre-ordered the Huldra in blue, and end of March will not come too soon for me. I haven't been this excited about a release since I became a WIS in August of 2012.

    Chip, you are an amazing designer, and I wish you all best on the success of your company...
    Nice lineup you've gathered.
    How are you enjoying your ST-5 project watch?

  7. #7
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    Re: An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches

    Never heard of this brand before! Thank you for sharing! Really love designs and branding!!! Not great fan of pre-ordering stuff though... Simply have no patience.... Want one now!
    Last edited by Silly; January 6th, 2014 at 20:30.
    Silly me...!

  8. #8
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches

    Very nice pictures and interesting designs.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
    Groucho Marx

  9. #9
    Member myrr's Avatar
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    Re: An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches

    The Corvid w/ a date would be sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!
    Sinn 857 - GS SBGA011 - GS SBGX117 - GS SBGA031 - Ball Night Train

  10. #10
    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
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    Re: An interview with Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches

    I like the Huldra and the price is competitive. Good luck!

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