Interview by WatchUseek
by Michael Weare
Although it may not seem like it right now, there is a life beyond Baselworld if you are interested in watches. A case in point is Raymond Chan. Raymond is not going to be paying top dollar to sit at a Baselworld booth any time soon, but he still makes beautiful and high quality diver’s watches. We interviewed Raymond about his watches and the inspiration behind them.
Q1. Please tell us about the first diver’s watch your father gave you
RC: It was a black color dive watch with round bezel, very similar to Oceanmaster II but smaller with simple dial and hands with date. It was left to me when I was at ten before my father passed away. It is not a famous brand nor was the design exciting. But it was lost.
Q2. You started designing a diver’s watch in 2014, but what is your career outside of designing watches?
RC: I run another business which sells glitter, pigment and dyes named King Sang Hong in Hong Kong which is a family business started by father nearly 60 years ago.
Q3. As you are based in Hong Kong, well known for producing affordable watches, how difficult was it to source manufacturing for your watches from Switzerland?
RC: It is very difficult. As I am completely new in watch business with no connections and know no one in the industry. It takes me quite some time to find a company who would like to work with me. Especially I want to do a 1000m dive watch. At that time there were only two companies interested in my project. I chose the one I am working with now.
Q4. At 47mm your watches are large, while watches are starting to come down in size, what is the rationale for that size?
RC: I think a dive watch should be slightly bigger. I like 47mm size watch. It actually is not that BIG. There are some watch companies designing very nice and beautifully 40, 42mm watches when big watch is the trend. So I guess it is ok for someone doing a slightly bigger watch when the trend is going towards small size. I guess no one want to see there is only 38-44mm size watches in the market?? Panerai, AP, Hublot and U-Boat are still producing BIG watches up to today. I guess there is still a market. We are a boutique design house. All our models only have 100 pieces each. It will be for someone special!
Q5. Which divers’ watches inspired your design? There is a touch of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five about the numerals
RC: I was influenced most heavily by Panerai. You will see the sandwich dial and the simple, chic design. But all WR1000m.
Q6. What made you decide on the ETA 2892-a2, it’s a reliable movement but ETA are restricting the sale of their movements outside of their own brands
RC: I want to use something slightly better than the standard ETA 2824 and something different. I chose ETA 2892-A2.
Q7. Can you explain the differences between Oceanmaster I and II?
RC: Oceanmaster I has a “twelve sided” bezel while Oceanmaster II is simply a “round” bezel.
Q8. Are you planning to focus purely on dive watches, or do you have plans for any other types of watches?
RC: Yes At this moment I will mainly focus on dive watch at least WR1000m. (Hope people like it.) Yes (shhh!!). (secret…
Q9. Do you dive yourself? If so, where are your favorite dive spots in South East Asia? Thailand? Philippines? Indonesia?
RC: No actually I do not dive, because my ears cannot stand the pressure. Very painful when I dive! (ha ha).
Q10. Which do you consider to be your most successful market, Europe, the States or Asia?
RC: Actually I hope I can sell it worldwide, that is why I choose to sell online. But at this moment I found the watches are more welcome in the Asia side.
Q11. Regarding the name Andersmann Watches, is the brand named after your son?
RC: My son is 6 years old his name is “Anders” and my Chinese name is Chan Wai ‘Man’. It just happened I combine “Anders + Man” and add one more “n” at the end. That becomes the brand name “Andersmann”.