Today, we have a writeup of a watch that I have patiently bided my time to have come in. Back in November of 2013, I first wrote about the Egard Passages over on aBlogtoWatch. As I had already established a relationship with the brand, I figured we would be seeing one in fairly quickly after that. Well, circumstances are what they are, and its a year and a half later. So, was it worth the wait to spend some time with the official watch of William Shatner, the Egard Passages?
The sapphire crystal on the Egard Passages is still one of the most striking aspects about the watch. When you look at it straight on, it has a sort of shield shape to it, which is odd in its own right. When you realize that it’s also curved then it’s even more in a class of it’s own. That’s not to say that curved crystals are rare (any number of Bulova watches do, as does the caseback of the Visitor Watch Co Duneshore), but they certainly are uncommon, especially with a non-round shape. Under that crystal is what I have come to regard as a sort of signature for Egard, a dial with multiple surfaces and finishes.
A good portion of the dial features carbon fiber, with the remainder being mostly smooth. Of course, you have the step down around the edge of the dial giving some extra dimensionality, and then another Egard signature – a color stripe – showing up from 9 to 12 o’clock. One very new thing for the dial asteroid dust. Yes, honest-to-goodness bits of rock that had been flying through outer space. These show up in small “bubbles” on the left side of the dial. No, this really does not do a thing for the watch, in terms of functionality. It is, however, pretty cool to think about that being there. And, of course, being a good tie-in to Shatner’s most famous character, Captain Kirk.
As I was when I first saw the images of the watch, I am uncertain about how the “open heart” portion of the dial was accomplished. I do like being able to see a balance wheel at work now and again, but here, the implementation is not the smoothest. The main issue I have is that large portions of the opening are actually covered. At first, this seems like it was to be a structural decision, and perhaps give some support (or a mounting point) to a portion of the movement. This does not seem to be the case here, however, which makes me question why they are there in the first place. Aside from adding a small bit of dimensionality, it seems odd to me.
What you see moving through there is the Miyota 8S27 automatic movement. This has had some modification in order to include the day/night indicator that shows up just above the cutout on the dial. Flipping the watch over, you have another sapphire crystal showing off a portion the movement. On the back of the Egard Passages, that’s really not the star of the show. Here, it’s actually Shatner’s signature that’s engraved in that takes pride of place. As to the circle surrounding both of those elements, that I would see removed. Frankly, it just reminds you of how small the movement is in comparison to the case. Not that it intrinsically affects the watch itself, but it does make you aware of the empty space inside the piece. That said, the Miyota performed flawlessly (as you would expect) and unless you’re looking at the back of the watch, you probably won’t think about that detail.
On the wrist, the 132g Egard Passages settles in fairly well due to the aggressively curved lugs. This is good that it helps to hold the watch in closer to your wrist,as the 45mm case is rather tall. Combined with the deployant clasp that they have included on the rubber strap, it makes for a bulkier presence on the wrist. Depending on your shirt cuff, you may have a difficult time fitting it under. Then again, with a watch with as unique a shape as this one has, you probably want to show it off a bit. With it out, reading the time at a glance is fairly easy to do. Though the skeleton hands are blue (and a touch hard to pick up against the black dial, depending on the lighting), it’s a fairly simple exercise to pick out the lume-filled tips of the hands. Of course, in bright sunlight, those blue (not blued) hands do stand out pretty starkly.
So, back to my original question I posed at the start – was the Egard Passages worth the wait? I think that it was. It has some rather unique features to it, while maintaining the sort of design DNA that I have come to expect from Egard. Past that, the fact that William Shatner had a hand in the design (and attached his name to it), does give the watch some additional appeal in my book, having been raised on watching the original Star Trek with my dad. If you do not have that same sort of sentimental connection that I do, then perhaps your buy/pass calculations on the $1,195 Egard Passages will be somewhat easier. For me, it would be a tough call, as there were some details that didn’t sit as well with me once I handled the watch. Taken as a whole, on the wrist, it was a fun watch to spend some time with. egardwatches.com
- Brand & Model: Egard Passages
- Price: $1,195
- Who’s it for?: This I think is best fit to someone who gained an interest in space due to Star Trek
- Would I wear it?: Sparingly, but yes – it’s too unique of a shape to not take for a spin now and again
- What I’d change: I’d close up the “open heart” – it just doesn’t make sense to me
- The best thing about it: After it’s unique shape, I’m going to go with the inclusion of meteorite dust