So, recently I received the opportunity to so something nice for my father. Egard watch company ran a promotional Father's day giveaway because they are a Father and Son owned company. Seemingly mostly ran by the son, and inspired by the father. What each entry had to do was enter a story about a defining moment that they had with their father. To my surprise, I entered the contest and won. The only stipulation behind winning was that I had to remain friend's with them on Facebook for 6 months after the competition. No big deal to me, I planned on doing that anyways. If you would like to read about my defining moment, you are more than welcome to like their page and read about what I wrote on Facebook.
Égard Watch Company | Facebook
Anyways, the company was fantastic to me, and I was not even a technically paying customer. They kept me informed of how long it was taking them to build the watch and what was going on every step of the way (They are a micro-business at the moment), answered any questions I had, and even told me about a lot of the future plans they had for models. They even sent me a .PDF file of the instructions so I would always have a copy (though I don't need :P). I've heard a lot of people say that you don't buy the watch, you buy the company. Well, I can honestly say that I would not regret buying a watch from this fantastic business in the future.
So, the first thing that impressed me with the watch was the box. IT IS MASSIVE. Now, this is not a concern to me, and I'm sure that it is not to most as you can simply discard the box if you please. I do not recommend this though, because it really is a nice box. It is glossy in finish with silver lettering. I will show you a size comparison between it and the Orient Ray box (if you are wondering, I found a Invicta RESERVE box (much bigger than the typical Invicta box)... and this box significantly out-sized that.
It also comes with a cleaning cloth (I admittedly do not use these, but it's nice to see that I get one. :) )
The watch comes with two leather straps. Both of them are very nice straps with thick, VERY supple leather. I was very happy about this, but this really should be expected. I have received new watches that had the leather so dried out on the straps that I had to condition the strap before I wore the watch because I was afraid I would crack it. Now, I do not know who supplies the straps for this company, but I would like to find out. Because honestly, it is the most comfortable leather strap I have ever worn. The first strap is a nice black strap, (about a satin) that comes already on the watch with a deployment clasp. The clasp has the Egard logo with the two swords on it, a nice touch. The other strap comes with a chocolate strap with a tang buckle. If I really took the notion to wear the chocolate strap though, I would probably just reuse the deployment clasp. The tang buckle does come with the Egard name printed on it.
Now anyways, onto the watch. The watch I received was EXTREMELY well regulated as I have not calculated any time gained or lost since I received the watch (about three days). The watch does have a screw-down crown and case-back that allows this watch to have a 200M water resistance. This is actually quite spectacular for a dress watch. I do believe they are working on a bracelet that can be fitted to this, so you can swim with the watch if you please. However, you could always put any rubber strap or maybe even a shark mesh strap on it real quickly if you wanted to take it out there. This is most certainly not a diver's watch although it has impressive water resistance, primarily because of the hollow hands, chrome indices, and the lack of a timing bezel. The crystal is slightly domed (which I actually like on dress watches) with a inner and outer AR coating. The display crystal on the back is also sapphire The company sees themselves as a company that builds watches with a luxury appeal, so I suppose if you are having a Yacht party, and you fall over board, the water resistance is PERFECT. The lugs are very nice. Rather hard to explain. They use a straight line to curve, giving the watch a very boxy look on the wrist. The finish on the watch is actually great, a very nice polish, with no awkward swirlies on the case. The case is a little plump in thickness for a dress watch, but most certainly not too thick. I was actually worried that the watch would be too thick when I initially saw it, but it pulls the shape of the case off very well actually. The case diameter is 43MM, which to some may be too large, but this watch wears smaller than the size would indicate, while still having a good amount of wrist presence. This is a watch that is very artistically driven in design, most certainly not something that was drawn up in the 1800s. Now, do not get me wrong, I own several classically designed watches that I love, but this is one that I love that is not. First off, the name of the watch is the Shade. From what I gathered from Ilvan (owner of Egard), the inspiration came from the negative connotations of time (death, despair, etc.) as everything on the dial of the watch is "shaded". The open heart (which is done very differently with this watch) is actually to signify that even though there is so many negative things that comes in time, there is still the beauty of light in time, as the dial (which is 3D) actually has a little barrier wall around the open heart, but it is still there, shining.
One of the first things that I noticed about the watch was the hands. Not that they were hollow, but each hand on the dial, including the second hand, has a starting point at the center of the dial. Now, what I am talking about is typically, the second hand on the watch has what I call a tail, going back a little past the starting point. This may have a symbolic meaning to Egard, I think it's aesthetically really cool. The polished roman numerals also act as a bridge in between the walls of the dial. This is another touch that I really liked. I am glad that they did not decide to have steel blue hands on this dial. Reason being, is that in high light, I think that the polished numerals would be too much with steel blue hands The watch has vertical lines on the first layer that are very well done, with no variance in any of the lines. The quality control of this watch is actually outstanding. Normally, I can pick apart a watch until I eventually find a flaw in the quality control SOMEWHERE. This simply did not exist with this watch. Everything on the watch was assembled perfectly. No tiny fingerprint where it shouldn't be, no spec of dirt, no tiny spec unpainted, nothing. Actually, the picture almost makes it look like some of the letters in the roman numerals do not line up properly with the other letters in the group, however all the letters in the numerals are scarily parallel with the others. One thing that I did find really good was that the rotor was not engraved, the lettering was actually raised. I have never seen this on a watch, ever. Given, there wasn't much on the rotor. I completely agree with Breitling Source when they said that this watch gives off the presentation of a much higher end watch that it is, and it does. To be honest, I have not taken a picture yet that could come close to doing this watch justice. I hope to be able to take a picture someday that accurately shows just how beautiful of a watch this is.
I do have a couple of watches that I feel this one can be a little distantly compared to with the price point. The two watches are the Fleet Admiral by Deep Blue, and the Helson Shark Diver. Now, I know your mouths just dropped. These watches are nothing alike. The key is the price point for the movement. All three of these watches are in the 500-600 dollar range with a Miyota movement created by a rather small watch company. Although, Deep Blue has most certainly grown to a healthy size now. The fleet admiral is a dress watch with the most complicated movement. I was a little disappointed in this watch, not because it was an ugly watch, I actually love the looks of the watch, but because it only came with a standard 100M water resistance coming from a Dive Watch company. The Helson, is the most conservatively designed watch, but also leads in features such as a 500M water resistance, and a helium escape valve for saturation diving. All three are fantastic watches, and I compared it to these to explain the price point. Deep Blue charges their price based on the finish, and the more complex movement that they have to use. Helson charges what they have to because of their case design, and their impeccably known quality control. Egard finally, has to charge what they have to because this is an extremely limited model, only 100 pieces and you save money the more parts you buy, the finish that they have on the watch, and the amount of time cost to develop and create the design (remember, this is a very complex three dimensional dial). Not to mention all the other things I have mentioned above about the watch. It is important to explain what justifies this as a 600 dollar watch when it has a Japan movement, because most people will not understand. A watch is not all about where a movement comes from, as long as it is well built, and a great work horse. Seiko and Citizen prove this point over and over. There really isn't too terribly much of a difference in cost between the movements (I think about 100 dollars as that is the price difference between the ETA and Miyota Shark Diver). They will be producing an ETA version of this watch soon, though. I would not call this an extremely technical watchmaker's watch, even though it is meticulously regulated with fantastic quality control. I would not call this watch a designer or fashion watch, although it is very fashionable. However, I would call this an Artist's watch, as the creator Ilvan is. It definitely has great meaning and importance to the creator, and it is a piece of work that he should be proud of. Really, anybody who has the courage to follow through on creating their own business should be very proud of themselves.
Now, they will be producing more watches down the road, with one scheduled to be ready for pre-order pretty soon I believe. Just keep your eyes open. And if anybody sees anything wrong with what I wrote, please point it out, and I will correct it.
The most important part about this watch is this, my father loves the watch, and he will be wearing it this Sunday :).