When Benjamin Chee founded Maison Celadon in 2012, his goal was simple, but bold: to put out into the world luxury watches that are “Made in China with Pride.” For the Swiss, putting out a luxury watch is a relatively straightforward proposition, but for a Chinese brand, it’s an uphill battle. Despite the growing importance of China to the watch industry over the last few decades, there remains a strong stigma attached to Chinese-made watches.
Maison Celadon’s early watches are pure elegance. From the guilloche dials of the Imperial to the enamel and silk dials of the Celestial, the level of detail and finishing across the brand’s earlier range was intended to elevate these watches above the ordinary, and not just relative to other Chinese-made watches.
The Yue Fei, Celadon’s latest offering, moves squarely away from the elegant cases, delicate dials, and hand-wind movements of those early models, and shifts toward a bold interpretation of a dive watch. Despite the shift, the desire to produce a higher-end watch remains intact.