If you dream about high-end luxury dress watches but your wallet says no, Thomas Earnshaw might be an interesting alternative. While the brand name comes from the famous English watchmaker, Thomas Earnshaw who is remembered for simplifying John Arnold’s process of marine chronometer production, the actual company is based in Hong Kong. They are specialised in dress watches for gents and ladies with a huge selection of models, in different sizes, different movements and complications, the one thing in common is their style that reminds me that of Breguet or Arnold & Son.
I got to try the latest version of their Longitude Shadow Automatic, a dual time skeleton watch with automatic movement. It has a 44 mm stainless rose gold plated, polished steel case, that with its 14 mm height it has quite a wrist presence and probably you might have a bit of a hard time fitting it under a tight cuff. Despite the fact that I have a small wrist, it feels comfortable and the leather strap that comes with is soft, but it’s a bit too thin compared to the proportions of the case. Thumbs up to the custom designed buckle that echoes the E from the logo.
As you can see there are a lot of things happening on the dial at the same time, we are as far as we can get from an easily legible tool watch. The designer tried mitigating the poor readability by placing a base dial that with its semi-transparent milky surface helps a bit with finding the thin Breguet hands on the dial. Here, I would have preferred the base dial to be brown instead of white, it would have matched a lot better the brown of the chapter ring and the strap and it would have offered a better contrast with the hands. The fact that the hands have a matt surface, does not help either, they too need polishing.
At 12 o’clock we have the day and night indicator, at six we have a full view on the escapement and at 9 there is the seconds time zone.
They did a great job with the back of the watch, the crystal is lightly lined a direct reference to the award Thomas Earnshaw received from the Board of Longitude in 1805. The rotor is rose gold coated and it has geneva stripe decorations as well as a cutout in the shape of the Earnshaw logo. I also enjoy seeing the two skeletonised spring barrels as it shows wound up is the watch.
My feeling is that the movement is a Chinese Seagull and while wearing it for the past few days, I did not notice issues with timekeeping, but then, it lacks the second hand and I could not track exactly the accuracy of the watch. Overall it performs correctly.
On the Earnshaw website the Longitude Shadow Automatic is selling for £320 which comes to about CA$ 520. Since you are on their website, take a look at their collection of Swiss Made watches too.