There is another new watch brand around, and this one is based on the legacy of famed watchmaker Edouard Koehn, who lived until 1908. Koehn is most celebrated for working at Patek Philippe during a critical time in its history, namely as it made a large push into the American market. Collectors know that it was the American market and American clients that pushed Patek Philippe to the position it is today. During his life, Koehn made numerous trips to the United States as both an ambassador of watchmaking and a player in developing the important American market for Swiss watchmaking. Patek Philippe continued to do well in the United States despite the presence of powerful American competitors thanks to its focus on extremely high-end and complicated timepieces that American companies did not have an interest in when compared to the revenue they received from mass-produced timepieces. Now, in 2023, Edouard Koehn’s name returns to a Swiss Made brand whose debut models are the sportier Tempus and the more classic World Heritage models.

This aBlogtoWatch review looks at one version of the Tempus watches, which is the Edouard Koehn Tempus I Clous de Paris Blue. The latter part of the name refers to the dial texture style (clous de Paris) and, of course, the dial color. When you look at the debut collection of Edouard Koehn, you see a brand that is less about artistic originality and more about trying to supply something it feels the market wants. Thus, the Tempus is about taking a sort of luxury sports watch template and giving it an Edouard Koehn personality.

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When you look at the Edouard Koehn Tempus, you are immediately reminded of other watches on the market, even though the Tempus is not a direct emulation of any of them. When I look at this watch, I see Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore and Concept watches, Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute, and even previous generation Waltham watches when the brand wanted to be very modern and military in style. This means that the large steel case has a lot of interesting angular lines and is bold to wear, though there are some ergonomic considerations to discuss, which I get to below.

The Tempus case is in black PVD-coated steel (not sure why it doesn’t use DLC at this price point) and is 43mm wide, 15mm thick, and has an approximately 53mm long lug-to-lug distance. The case is also water resistant to 100 meters and has a flat AR-coated sapphire crystal over the dial, with another crystal over the movement on the caseback. Overall fit and finish are high-grade, making it clear that people who knew what they were doing assembled this watch, even though the brand is new.

Edouard Koehn has a number of Tempus models including these Tempus I pieces with traditional “closed” dials and the Tempus II with semi-open dials. I find that watch enthusiasts seem to prefer either entirely open or entirely closed dials, which is why I preferred to check out the Tempus I. The dial of the Clous de Paris Blue is a highlight of the watch in general, given its pleasant texture, effective proportions, pleasing colors, and very effective legibility. We can see that the Edouard Koehn design really put a lot of love into this part of the watch, and it is done very well. This particular Tempus I style has applied baton-style hour markers, no date, and attractively contrasting subdials for the running seconds and chronograph display. I would say that the Edouard Koehn Tempus I dial is just a little bit shinier than I normally like for a sports, watch, but it does look very handsome and modern, overall.

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Inside the watch is an automatic mechanical chronograph movement that appears to use a Valjoux 7750 architecture. Edouard Koehn’s website simply mentions that this was produced in La Chaux-de-Fonds, which could mean a few things including Sellita and La Joux-Perret, or others that might modify other base movements. The movement offers a lot of upgrades from a base 7750 architecture including better decoration and the use of ceramic ball bearings for the rotor (which increases automatic winding efficiency). The movement operates at 4Hz with 48 hours of power reserve and features just the time with a 12-hour chronograph.

One issue with the Edouard Koehn Tempus collection is the weight of the watch when worn on the wrist. This is a common issue with heavier watches and means that unless the watch is strapped securely to your wrist, it can flop around a bit. This issue is probably less pronounced on wider wrists where the watch has more space to spread out the weight. I want to repeat that the watch on the high-grade black rubber strap is quite comfortable on the wrist, but it does feel top-heavy given the weight of the steel case. Is there a future solution for Edouard Koehn? I think there is. Weight reduction would help this issue a lot,  and I think the Tempus could be produced in the exact same shape but with a titanium body and black ceramic bezel. The resulting weight reduction from using mostly titanium (versus steel) could very easily resolve the top-heaviness of the Tempus.

Edouard Koehn is clearly trying to make a space for itself in a crowded market but offering what it feels will do well immediately. Most brands like this start by offering crowd-pleasing watches and then getting increasingly original in design. Edouard Koehn has all the makings of a brand that can do much more, given an obvious connection to great supplier partners in Switzerland and an interesting and open-ended brand personality that the marketing team is free to develop. In other words, there are a lot of interesting directions that Edouard Koehn can take.

The Edouard Koehn Tempus I Clous de Paris Blue is an attractive and competent timepiece that is meant to compete in a very crowded space. The brand decided to price the watch sort of in the middle between much more high-end products and those which are “too low-end” for high-end collectors. That should help explain the pricing since that is a big part of the brand’s apparent sales strategy. For those who are eager to try something new, but not visually too different from established Swiss brands, Edouard Koehn is an interesting alternative at the moment.

Price is on the higher side, but, again, you need to compare the Tempus products with much of the market competition around this design. I think that with just a few tweaks, Edouard Koehn will really have something special on its hands. Already the brand is off to an excellent start. Price for the Edouard Koehn Tempus I Clous de Paris Blue watch is $7,950 USD. Learn more at the Edouard Koehn USA website.

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