Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wrapping Up the Celadon Imperial

Okay, BaselWorld is meant to be a celebration of all things SWISS, but my BaselWorld timekeeper was in fact designed, fabricated and assembled in China.   Now point of full disclosure - my introduction to Celadon was from a former consultant to NOMOS Glashutte.  He said that he was drawn to the look of the watch, as well as the story.  Moreover, he was strongly drawn by the aesthetics, and not being drawn in by an established, famous brand name.  So I did a little digging, and connected and when I got back from the NOMOS press dinner last Wednesday night there was a Celadon watch waiting in my room.

So as many long suffering readers will note, I love red.  Well, the Celadon Imperial did not disappoint!  It is red, but the dial has a wonderful finish to it.

Celadon refers to this as Plum Blossom Guilloche.  And I have to be honest, I really dig it.  The stainless steel indices stand out perfectly from the dial, and the sword shaped hands are a perfect match.

Courtesy of Celdon
Another element that I really appreciate is the absence of a second hand.  It is simple and elegant.

The lugs are a very nice touch as they create a sort of "turtle" look which I love.  The crown is solid, and tactile and easy to use.

The overall fit and feel of the watch is, to quote Goldilocks, "just right".    The case itself is of stainless steel and measures 38 mm in diameter.  At a time where many people feel that 42 mm is just too small, I have to say that I LOVED wearing this watch!  It was big enough without being overwhelming.

Courtesy of Celadon
The lug width measures 20 mm.  And this brings us to the strap.  The strap is wonderfully comfortable and broke in quickly.  The only thing that I might consider changing about the entire watch would be the strap color.  And this is, of course, strictly a personal choice.  The brown patterned "Croco-calf" certainly works well.  A black or even navy strap would perhaps be my choice, but to be honest that would be looking for fault, when in fact this watch was faultless.

The hand wound movement worked flawlessly. The timekeeping was top notch. I did not have the capabilities to do a hard core timekeeping test, but I can say from a casual observance that I was on time, every time. This is important when if you miscalculate your timing you will be spending the night in the Basel train station!

The only thing that was not entirely clear was that this hand wound movement boasts 18 jewels when tradition dictates 17 jewels - but then again this makes it a bit special.  I will be back to the folks at Celadon to get a clarification on the "18th jewel".  The movement is from the Beijing Watch Factory.

 And last but by no means least is the packaging -

It is a very nice presentation, with a padded leather travel case that will actually be USEFUL in the future!  All in all, a very nice presentation.

So let's sum this up - this is probably one of the best watches for the money that I have had the pleasure of wearing for some time.  It is a proudly made in China product that really delivers in terms of quality and finish.

And what was interesting was the responses I got from the watch brand representatives as well as some fairly well-known independent watch makers.  As I was removing the watch to try on their watches, the did a double take.  Several of them picked up their loupes and gave the watch the "once-over" and expressed their appreciation.  Obviously, no names here, but a few fellow bloggers also became fans.

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