Well why not, why should I concentrate my commentary on “British” watches to mechanical time keepers. Part of the quirky London brand Hoptroff’s range is this Mecca watch.
It offers not only time and seconds, but also the direction to Mecca and the times of Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha
Under the elegant exterior, a built-in magnetometer in the timepiece and a Bluetooth transceiver to access the GPS in your phone, are used to determine the direction to Mecca and the prayer times.
950 Platinum £9000 + sales tax
Britannia Silver £1650 + sales tax
Available November 2014
Pre-orders now being taken
Last month saw the announcement a further “British” watch company, Garrick, founded by David Brailsford and two friends. They aim to produce a watch brand of “a distinctly British character”.
The first Garrick London watch, the sm301, a stainless steel time only model will be based around a hand wound Swiss Unitas 6498.1 movement, modified and enhanced in Britain with hand-bevelled bridges and thermally blued screws, then housed in a 316L stainless steel case manufactured by an English company.
The 42mm Shaftesbury are going to include a machined brass enamelled dial, and raised steel chapter rings secured with blued screws, for the hours and minutes track and small-seconds dial. It claims a 42-hour power reserve and will initially be offered only on alligator or leather straps.
Pricing hasn’t been confirmed on the Shaftesbury yet, but is expected to be around £3,000.
Image to be updated
I found this explanation of when a watch can be described as “English”. I assume the rules also would count for the other British countries. This is therefore a is quiet an important question for the purposes of this blog.
This is clearly an important question for Schofield Watches who published this explanation on their website.
According to the law, if a watch company wants to have ‘Made in England’ written on the dial, then England must be the place where the watch ‘underwent its last substantial, economically justified processing or working’. More recently a draft EU proposal recommends that watches will only be able to say they are ‘Made in England’ if at least 45% of the ‘value content’ can be attributed to this country.
Though we acknowledge the current definition and the proposed new legislation, at Schofield we have always said that we need much more for one of our watches to carry the ‘England’ motif.Clarity of process is essential. ‘England’ on the dial is not a cheaply won marketing tool nor is it something to be manipulated, but rather an aspiration to achieve with ‘industrious effort’. Endeavour must also be encouraged and commended as we seek to re-build the watch industry in this country returning it to the forefront of the global stage.Until May 2013 all Schofield watches were designed in England and made in Germany, the dial therefore stated ‘Germany’. Since then our watches have been designed and assembled in England. According to the current law all of our watches could have England written on the dial. In spite of this the Signalman and the DLC still retain the Germany label as we feel this to be the most sincere and appropriate description. By contrast our newest models, the Blacklamp Carbon and Beater, will have England on the dial. It is almost entirely made in England and we believe the details of its design and manufacture, the effort made and the endeavour warrant the label.The Blacklamp Carbon – Made in England 100% – Watch assembly in England 85% – Value content of Blacklamp attributed to England 100% – Watch Design in England 98% – Value content of associated Blacklamp items attributed to England 100% – Assembly of associated Blacklamp items in England.
These numbers will I imagine surprise lots of watch enthusiasts who imagine that the movement is the key ( most expensive ?) part of a watch. Well apparantly it is not, I have seen the cost of the Unitas movement used by Schofield is only a couple of hundred dollars.
But surely the definition of orgin should take into account what makes rhe watch tick ?
I must admit to having a soft spot for Pinion watches especially after having a chat with founder Piers Berry at the QP show last year. The brand remaining at the forefront of my mind as I use their watch app on my iPhone.
I am now trying to catch up on the news during my period of “writers block”. I have just spotted a press release from a few days ago announcing the latest Pinion watch, the Revival 1969, which will be produced as a limited edition of 100 pieces. The key feature of this Pinion’s first chronograph being the use of NOS Valjoux 7734 hand-wound movements from 1969.
Here’s a link that gives more information – http://www.pinionwatches.com/revival-1969/
Bremont: a turbulent take-off for high flying design – FT.com