Tag Heuer’s marketing slogan is “Swiss Avant Garde…” Maybe I understand avant garde differently, but while a lot of Tag Heuer watches are really nice, I would not consider most of them to be avant garde. The term avant garde is one I use with particular frequency, and the concept is simple. The phrase itself is French for “advance guard” but the English analog does not translate really well. Basically, avant guard refers to edgy experimental things, art, or practices that push limits, and advance what ever genre they are in to new areas.
Avant garde design pushes into previously untested or new areas. If I call a design avant garde, I am suggesting that while the design is new and uncommon, it works for the open-minded and appreciative viewer. In my own lexicom when discussing watches, avant garde is the opposite of ‘conservative,’ which I used to refer to a tried and tested design.
So with having the concept of avant garde in mind, I wish to discuss the Temption CGK204, which is a different take on the Temption CGK203 (which I own, and love, and have reviewed here). Both watches share the infinitely capable ETA Valjoux 7751 automatic movement that as you can see has a ton of complications. This is probably the most complex movement that is as low priced as it is. Valjoux 7751are based on the very robust Valjoux 7750, and are typically contained in watches costing between $5,000 – $10,000. The price that you can get a Temption CGK204 is significantly lower than this. The Valjoux 7751 offers a lot of complications including, hours, minutes, seconds, synchronized GMT, 12 hour chronograph, annual calendar (with day, date, and month), and a moonphase indicator. All that, and Temption does such a splendid job of displaying the full functionality of the movement and keeping the face relatively uncluttered; an admittedly tough job if you’ve seen other watches that share the same movement.
I am not going to spend a lot of time discussing the design as I could never do it full justice. All Temption watches are a combination of modern minimalism, Bauhaus, and a Japanese aesthetic known as Wabisabi. What you end up with is a distinct look that really does not fall into any one design group, but has a healthy dose of each of them. Seeing the clean lines, you might think the CGK204 design is minimalist, but viewing all the specifically aesthetic design features on the watch, you’d agree it was too designer to be mere minimalism. I’d venture to say that the design of the CGK204 is almost futuristic, maybe not in the most modern of senses, but certainly something out of Star Trek or Star Wars (think of all the instrument panel designs).
One of the best parts of many Temption watches are the color variations offered. As you can see, the red theme is prevalent in this particular Temption CGK204. The same watch is offered in black, yellow, and I believe blue. Further, it is offered with white or black faces. The watch itself is about 43mm wide not including the crown. Temption makes extremely high quality steel cases with jeweled cabochons (in the crown and pushers) matched to the color trim, on the case. This is a really cool cosmetic features that Temption applies to most of their watches.
The red calf leather strap features a Temption folding metal clasp, that they do really well. The combination of the soft light weight strap and secure fit make for a nice comfortable wearing experience. It is a highly recommended watches, from a highly recommended company. The retail price is $3,000 plus, but one can be had on eBay right now in mint condition for closer to $2,000. What a deal!See Temption watches on Amazon here. [phpbay]temption, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]