It can be difficult to find a new name for a watch that hasn’t already been trademarked by another brand but still has some appeal and a connection with the timepiece. But once such a name is established, even the brand name is no longer needed to tell a Carrera apart from a Daytona, or an Aqua Terra from a Terraluna. This is because people (thankfully) buy watches based on their designs rather than their names. So although the latest collections from Emile Chouriet and Ernest Borel are likely to be competing with one another, the fact that the former still has no name while the latter is called Yally will probably be of relatively minor importance to the customer.
Dedicated to the sun god
As if to underscore the difficulty of finding the right name, Emile Chouriet’s new gent’s watch still remains nameless several months after it was first presented at Baselworld earlier this year. The watch features subtle references to the sun, such as the stamped sunray finish on the dial that extends to ray-like hour markers and the grooved bezel. Emile Chouriet has also worked on the signature design of its lugs, creating a much more harmonious, classically themed watch.
Available with a tone-on-tone silver dial to match the stainless-steel bracelet or the blue that Emile Chouriet seems to do so well, the new collection comes in a 40mm case that is water resistant to 30 metres and is powered by the EC 9316 self-winding calibre and will retail for just over a thousand Swiss francs.
Yally for couples
The name of Ernest Borel’s new collection has less clear origins but is certainly distinctive. Like the watches of Emile Chouriet, these pieces have to fight it out in the crowded market places of Hong Kong and China, which probably explains their classic and ultra-conservative style. There is little to set the gents’ models apart from Emile Chouriet's new watch, other than the case being in red-gold PVD, the dials being in white and brown and the water resistance being slightly higher at 50 metres. Both are classic three-handers with a date at 3 o’clock, using proven Swiss Made self-winding calibres (Selitta’s SW 200 for the men’s Yally models).
Like all Ernest Borel watches, however, the big difference is that the collection is designed for couples. As the dancing couple in the company logo and on every watch reminds us, Ernest Borel is famous for appealing to this particularly Asian trend for buying watches in twos for a couple. The Yally collection therefore has its 29mm ladies’ equivalent to each gents’ model, in the same designs and with the beating heart of a mechanical movement – at this case size the default choice is the ETA 2671 – with the same 38-hour power reserve as the gents’ model.
Both brands are gradually expanding across Europe, where their affordable interpretations of the purest essence of a wristwatch are sure to find their fans.