This here is the Edmond Pole Guardian watch. When I first learned about it I was taken by the innovative dial, and then I started to ask myself what the name meant. It sort of sounds like a car racing term - like "pole position" - but I don't think that is it. Perhaps it is in honor of a flag pole that needs protection? Not likely. In fact the name has to do with protecting the Earth's poles. How it protects our planet's poles, I am not sure, but it is certainly a nice gesture.
Edmond watches are designed by Jean-Pierre Edmond. A French industrial designer who started his career in the auto industry. Edmond is a genuinely good designer with creations that feel modern and well thought-out. While different in style, the watches contain enough design familiarity that they don't feel too contemporary and made for only design junkies. It is a modern watch intended for more mass market appeal.
Using the same case style as the brand's other watches, the Pole Guardian comes in a few color versions and separates itself with the dial design. What you see is one of the most clever AM/PM indicators I have ever seen. It might not be the most minimalistic, but it is the most fun. The way it works is simple once you understand it. Attached to the hour hands are three connected gears. They turn with the time and are located at 12, 6, and 9 o'clock. On them are two numbers representing the time in that hour marker location for the time before or after noon.
To determine whether it is before or after noon, you look at the time and look to see which of the numbers on the discs is more upright. Basically if it is 9am or near 9am the 9 will be more upright while the 21 will be upside down. PM time and it is the other way around. Does that make sense? It takes some getting used to, but the system is fun. An added benefit is that the dial is always changing, and for me that is the most interesting element of the dial. Of course the greatest appeal is that this is all done with gears - hearkening directly to "watchness" of this watch.
On the dial you'll also find the date and nice design that seems to work well. It might be a bit to busy for my eyes sometimes, but there is a purpose and direction to the overall design that I appreciate. For a complex design it feels meaningful and well-executed. Over the dial is a sapphire crystal.
The case looks like a forward thinking version of what Panerai offers. Not exactly the same at all, but with the cushion style shape and crown protection system, you get the idea. The case is in steel and 44mm wide. There are screws on the bezel and you can get the case in all polished steel or with PVD black elements (entirely or just the bezel). The crown system is fun, but does not exactly add utility. The little level actually pulls the crown out for you - versus having to pull it out yourself. It works pretty well and due to patent and/or trademark reasons I don't think anyone is able to directly copy Panerai's system (update: just learned that Panerai's patent ran out long ago. So I believe this is more of a trademark/trade dress issue at this point).
I welcome the 200 meters of water resistance for the case. I quickly tire of sport looking watches that don't have the durability to back up the visual claims. This one looks like it can hack it. The dial uses SuperLumiNova and the overall feel of the watch is enjoyable. I think Edmond is on a role with their stuff. The strap is rubber, but I think Edmond could upgrade the rubber material a bit. The look of it is nice and I like how it works with the design of the watch.
Inside the watch is a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement with custom rotor that is visible through the caseback window. The movement isn't exactly modified as the AM/PM system is all on the dial. I like that additional functionality was added but nothing too expensive needed to happen with the movement. With the Pole Guardian Edmond really has a unique player and I think this watch will garner them a lot of attention. Price is reasonable at about $1,550 and you can buy them online at Edmond Watches' website here. Thanks to Beau Hudspeth Photography for the incredible supplemental images of the watch itself in addition to my own images.
Thanks to Edmond for the review unit. Opinions are 100% Independent.