August 20, 2008
by Ariel Adams
You typically see fashion designers from Europe use the Japanese to make their watches (especially the movements). Evisu has turned the tables on this, and is a Japanese designer that is using the Swiss to make their new lines of watches, which look pretty cool from a fashion perspective.
Evisu is mainly a clothes and shoes designer who started in the denim industry in 1991, based in Osaka, Japan. The name Evisu is based on “Evis” which is a name for the Buddhist god of prosperity; a very Asian style manner of naming a company if I may add. Good that they were optimistic from the start. Today Evisu items are clearly identified by their “Daicock” logo which is actually supposed to represent a drawing of a seagull in flight.
It is popular for fashion designers these days to release watch lines to compliment their other offerings. Designers are beginning to focus more on a “complete” look, and are realizing that a watch certainly fits in. Evisu plays it safe and focuses on their own interpretation of classic and neo-classic designs (modern looking watches that are enjoying a large variety of recognizable derivatives but are not necessarily attributed with any particular originating designer).
Before watches are designer, a pricing model and demographic must be established. Evisu has clearly targeted their core consumer who appears to be the younger, hip, or fashion oriented crown with reasonable budgets. Prices are likely to be in the few hundreds of dollars for the watches.
Having said that, you can expect of mix of watches with different materials and movements. There are ETA and Ronda movements, as well as quartz and automatic ones. Further still, there are digital and analog faces. Shown are a few select models that I like. The styles are quite nice actually given the looks they are trying to emulate. You have the aviator/pilot styled Shrio (Evisu ref. 7005) at 48mm, the Rolex-ish GMT inspired Shirase (Envisu ref. 7009) at 47mm, the Diesel inspired Tezuka (Evisu ref. 7013) which combines an analog face and OLED digital readout at 40mm, and the Ebi-Grand (Evisu ref. 7004) which takes from so many styles it is difficult to identify the source, and is 41mm wide.
I haven’t seen these watches yet, but I am optimistic about how they are going to turn out. Evisu does not have a large presence in the US, but you can find a few shops here. You are likely to see these watches available online and at Evisu stores. What is impressive is use of some interesting materials such as titanium carbide, marine quality steel, and a decent looking gold plating. I also like the little details such as interesting placements of the Evisu logo. Take the Ebi-Grand for instance and notice the Evisu Daicock at the end of the seconds hand. It is difficult to miss the large logo placed on the Shirase watch in the 12 o’clock position. You’ll also see the logo on the watch buckles which is a nice touch.
Japan is stratified right now between very large and smaller size watches. Traditionally, the Asian market has preferred sub 40mm watches for men, but recently Japan has taken interest in much larger watches. U-Boat and Panerai watches are all the rage there. Evisu watches will likely be a success among their core demographic and it will be seen the market penetration they enjoy in the US. Keep an eye out for them soon.See Evisu item on Amazon here. [phpbay]evisu, num, “”, “”[/phpbay]