When I first saw the Edmond Spray watch, the first question I asked myself was how I would categorize this watch – or rather, just simply explain it to a friend over the phone. As it is coming from a smaller brand with whom this is my first encounter, I always keep a very open mind: as far as I’m concerned, they have recently started from scratch – to do whatever they thought was best to do. As such, the Edmond Spray competes in the high quality, relatively more affordable watches that sport a modern size and design to win over the masses. Let’s see how this works out.
In line with what has just been said, the Edmond Spray is a massive, masculine watch, that comes in a 44mm wide, black PVD steel case – which is also available in brushed steel – with a Sellita SW200 beating inside. It is a chunky watch that looks and wears bigger than the 44mm size would suggest. I actually wanted to review this piece in black and not in steel because watches with darker cases tend to wear smaller than their untreated steel counterparts.
Beyond its proportions, the first thing that caught my attention was the large opening on the dial, revealing nearly all of the date disc – with a white framed three-date window indicating the actual date. I am familiar (and agree) with the general consensus concerning these triple-date apertures: for some, they are not as comfortable to read as a small window that only indicates the actual date. I can imagine how a single aperture would have looked out of proportion at the 6 o’clock position, and that somewhat justifies the larger opening – but I join the forces of those who say these larger ones cannot be praised for their ease of legibility.
By contrast, I appreciate how the two larger openings between 1-5 and 7-11 o’clock serve as a cool decoration on the dial, replacing engraved patterns and other elements. The endless line of white on black numbers look great and their location on the dial looks well thought out – despite the fact that the location of the date disc is a given by the caliber inside.
The large, applied, lumed, and silver-outlined indices work together with the generously sized hands to help enhance legibility – the shiny hands and indexes over the matte dial make reading the time very easy under just about all circumstances.
The brand communicates that the Edmond Spray collection’s name is in tribute to Joshua Slocum, who pioneered solo sailing voyages around the late 1800s: his first passage to Boston was aboard an 11-meter sloop called the Spray, and that is where the name is coming from. The only connection that I can find between the watch and sailing is exactly what we discussed above: the highly legible dial and good contrast between hands and dial, as legibility was indeed very important at those times when all sailors could use was a sextant and their timekeeper to keep their boats headed in the right direction.
What really stands out on the Edmond Spray, though, is not the positively surprising quality of its dial but its crown locking mechanism. When closed, the resemblance between it and that of Panerai Luminor watches is uncanny; however, there is some added functionality here that makes Edmond’s system more unique and, in fact, more clever than those of others.
The entire mechanism relies on some very smart geometrics. As it is opened up, parts move up and out of the way of others: two clamps lift the crown up from underneath, allowing the wearer to pull the crown out into its different positions just by pulling on the little handle of the lock. As the lock opens, one need not pull the crown out to one of its positions, as is the case on other designs, because the mechanism takes care of all that for you. I will say that before learning how it actually works, I thought that the lock would be more of an “homage” to Panerai’s design than something that actually took it a few steps further… However, having seen how it functions and how nonetheless compact it is, I feel any major brand would have been proud to have come up with such an ingenious design.
The case itself also has a number of more unusual design elements, such as a sandwich construction that comprises a brushed, slightly recessed middle element, held between two wider, polished components. The latter, as is the case on just about all black PVD watches that I have encountered, are quite difficult to keep clean, as the dark, polished parts tend to highlight dirt and fingerprints.
Proprietary straps are connected to the angled lugs with small allen screws – and while the integration of the rubber strap is as good as it gets (and the watch is also available on steel or PVD steel bracelets with similar integration), I do like to be able to change the straps every once in a while, and that is especially true for watches with monochrome colorways such as the Edmond Spray – I can imagine this watch looking great on a yellow or orange strap for the summer. This, however, really is a matter of preference: if you enjoy the look and feel of integrated straps (and why wouldn’t you?), then not being able to fit a wider variety of straps certainly is not got to be a dealbreaker for you.
As noted above, the movement inside is the reliable workhorse movement Sellita SW200, based on the ETA 2824. it is fully exposed through a large sapphire window on the back, and there is some clever play with the proportions here. Because the movement has been fitted with Edmond’s extra large rotor (which they refer to as the Power Ring), you actually have a skeletonized wheel on top of the movement and one whose diameter is considerably larger than that of the movement itself.
Thanks to this design, you are not looking at a large, wide case back with a tiny porthole in its center, but rather, the sapphire crystal is large enough to fill up the 44mm case back perfectly. While the SW200 in itself is nothing to write home about when it comes to aesthetics, the overall design of the case back is great, with more than enough eye candy to match the price tag.
Overall wearing comfort on the rubber strap is great: the texture of the strap is soft enough not to rub or irritate the skin, while the strap itself has some stiffness to it that actually works well at keeping this large watch securely fitted to the wrist. What is interesting and perhaps not immediately obvious is that despite the 44mm diameter and the deceivingly massive appearance, the Edmond Spray is a relatively thin watch, and that actually makes wearing comfort as good as, if not better than, most in its class.
While I occasionally can get away with wearing even larger (over 44mm) watches, because of the way the lugs have been angled, I will say that you would better have a wrist larger than mine at 6.75 inches (that is not a very difficult thing to tackle) to make sure the Edmond Spray wears as good as it can on the wrist.
With a price tag of 990 Swiss Francs or about $1,050, you do get a lot of watch for the money. A cool, proprietary case design with an even cooler crown locking mechanism, a comfortable leather strap with nicely executed integration, and a workhorse, reliable movement inside. If you want to leave the fashion watch segment behind you and get something that is of better quality – but is still arguably trendy and masculine looking – then the Edmond Spray is very much worthy of consideration. edmond-watches.com