Since the beginning of East Watch Review, I’ve always tried to find unique and interesting items to write about. I’ll be honest…that hasn’t always been easy. I don’t think anyone inside or outside of China will object to the fact that many modern Chinese watch brands simply blend a variety of popular design elements taken from famous international brands, and sprinkle them with bits and pieces of what's trending domestically. China has always been known for its speed and efficiency, but not always for its originality. That’s definitely changing. There are a few brands who aren’t afraid to take risks and move in a completely original and unique direction, and those are what I hope to bring you more of here. One look at Longio’s Telamon or Asmara watches and the words “original” and “unique” simply aren’t descriptive enough.
Founded in 1996 by Mr. Mi Changhong, Longio began as an O.E.M & O.D.M producer for various European and American brands. When Longio finally started putting their own name on watches, international recognition as being one of China’s finest and most original watch brands came soon thereafter. If you don't trust my opinion, I’m all too happy to share the opinion of others who are, without question, experts in the field. See the video below.
When I visited the Shenzhen Watch & Clock Fair in June, I was extremely lucky to finally meet Ron Good. I was literally on the platform about to step on the train to Hong Kong when he messaged me to come back and meet “some of the most important people in the industry.” That couldn’t have been a truer statement. Ron introduced me to Mr. Li Wei, leader of the Domestic Horology Department of the China Horologe Association, and after two days of mostly being ignored, I was suddenly going booth to booth in straight up VIP-style checking out some amazing watches. Following this, we were all invited to dinner with Mr. Mi and his family, and that ended one of the most amazing and important days so far in my watch-world experience.
More recently Mr. Mi has been expressing his artistic side with the newer collection of Mi Time Art watches, which showcase some insanely intricate hand-craftsmanship. And there is also a lesser expensive (but no less interesting, believe me) dive watch line called Dagger coming soon. I’ll write in more detail about Mi Time Art and Dagger later.