Two entrepreneurs and engineers have taken to Kickstarter to fund a new line of dive watches, EDI. The watches, in addition to looking just a bit like sword-hand divers of the early Blancpain era, use an EDI E-353 automatic movement with self-winding features, as well as a handsome steel case. What’s truly interesting, however, is the provenance.
Almost none of this watch is European, a serious departure for any watchmaker. The movement is designed to “EDI specifications” in a Liaocheng factory while the case, face and band are also milled in China. Most die-hards would sniff at this but we must remember that even venerable Panerai was once only assembled in Switzerland but mostly manufactured in Asia.
The creators, Philip Allen and Richard Harrison, designed the watch at their HQ in Spain and outsourced the manufacturing. The result is a classic-looking diver with three face colors, screw-down crown, and a micro-adjusting strap for wearing with wet suits. The price, in CAD, comes out to be about $500 US and they’re looking for an ambitious $180,000 to fund the project.
Chinese-made divers are, in truth, a dime a dozen. You can find hundreds of examples on eBay and Alibaba. However, if this team is working with a solid manufacturer to custom specifications, then we’re talking about an entirely different watch. As I learned from playing the McKenzie and Marr handmade guitar, great craftsmanship is great craftsmanship, wherever it happens. I think the guys at EDI have taken this to heart.