Elliot Brown – Military Watch

Many watch lover’s have a special attraction to military watches. I have posted recently about the “Dirty Dozen” and 6BB watches, both past and revived.

Holton – new military watch

Elliot Brown are now offering something slightly different a new watch designed together with the British military, not an old design refreshed or relaunched.

It’s the first military issued watch from a British company in over ten years and prior to being approved, was the subject of intense testing, surviving some of the most hostile conditions imaginable.

The Brief: capable of prolongued exposure to water and dust, durable, shock resistant, clear visibility day or night,  unidirectional timing bezel operable with a gloved hand, easy strap changes and comfortable strapping options that don’t break.

As a piece of equipment issued by the stores, the Holton has been assigned the NATO stock number 6645-99-303-0677: Time-measuring instruments; United Kingdom, and features the ‘Crow’s foot/Pusser’s Arrow/Broad Arrow‘ on the dial in subdued grey.

The watch will also be available for non-military wrists from £425. I have not seen a watch in the metal, but Elliot Brown do have a good reputation. I hope to get my hands on one soon. In the meantime you can get more detailed from the Elliot Brown website.

 

Meerson Mutiny

A couple of weeks ago I received an invitation to  an event presenting the Meerson Mutiny watch, unfortunately as regularly happens a “day job” commitment meant I was unable to attend.

Meerson is special brand for for me. Firstly because it made me question whether I should count them as a British watch brand. Then because they were generous enough to lend me a watch for my first review, the black Altitude Officier. Finally, they are really nice people.

The purpose of the September ( well it seemed like a few weeks ago) event, was to show two additions to the Mutiny range for 2019.

 

2019 Mutiny

The first sports a leather lined, dark jean strap and a complimentary light blue dial. Light brown appliques and strap stitching, alongside the steel case completes the colour palette.

Mutiny 2019 “Surfside”

The second, nicknamed the ‘Surfside’, was orginally crafted as very special bespoke piece for a client. A keen kite-surfer and lover of all things aquatic, she wanted a watch that paid tribute to her life’s passion. The end result was stunning, a two tone dial that changes colour depending on the angle it is viewed at. The watch face glis- tens as it turns from Turquoise to deep purple, and back again. These shades extend from the dial on to the fabric strap.

Meerson watches are beautifully built and completely off most peoples radar, watches for people that enjoy fine objects –  subtly.

 

Fears Brunswick Midas

Some of you might have seen this teaser shot I posted on Instagram a little while ago. Well now the facts are public, there is a second Brunswick version, the Midas. This watch has been officially launched at today’s Watchmakers Club event in London. Unfortunately for practical reasons I was unable to attend so I am really looking forward to hear what the reaction has been.

The prototype Nicholas Bowman-Scargill showed me look really nice, the cushion shaped case makes a perfect “gold watch”.

I am really looking forward to see what this young brand comes up with next – a chronograph maybe ?

You might remember my teaser
Fears Brunswick Midas – Teaser
Fears Brunswick Midas
Caseback of Fears Brunswick Midas

 

CASE

Phosphor Bronze plated with multiple layers of yellow & rose gold, 38mm x 38mm cushion-shaped, plated and finished in the UK

LUG WIDTH

20mm

MOVEMENT

Top-grade ETA 7001, manual winding, 17 jewel, 21,600vph (3Hz) and 40 hr power reserve. Movement bridges ‘stippled’ and gold plated in the UK

GLASS

Sapphire Crystals to front (with anti-reflective) and back

DIAL

Cold resin enamel with skeleton Fears hands, plated in yellow & rose gold, made in the UK

FUNCTIONS

Time with subsidiary seconds at 6 o’clock

WARRENTY

2 Year guarantee from date of purchase

STRAP

Fears Bristol Leather Strap – crafted from premium calf leather made in Bristol

SERIAL NUMBER

Individually numbered, sequentially

MODEL NUMBER

BS23801

RETAIL PRICE

£3,950 inc. VAT

Zero West Longitude

Zero West Longitude

I first came across Zero West on Instagram. Posts promising watches with links to many things I like to read about, fast boats, Spitfires and café racers. The final detail that tweaked my interest was the fact this company was based in an old boat house in Emsworth, Hampshire – an important place in the youth of yours truly. We exchanged some messages, Zero West promising to tell me more about their project when they were ready.

After several more intriguing Instagram postings the moment arrived; Andrew, one of the founders, was going to be in London and suggested we meet so he could tell me about their watches.

The story starts in much the way many of these do, two friends , Andrew and Graham, a common interest, unlike many of these conversations they actually started a company. Their advantage being Graham is an engineer and Andrew a designer, the ideal combination of complimentary skills.

At our meeting I was surprised when Andrew brought out not just not just one watch but several. I say several as Andrew has asked me not to discuss the whole collection, I think though I can safely they cover many of the themes outlined above.

So I will stick to the watch in hand, the first to market the Longitude, which if everything goes to plan goes on sale next week.

My first impression strapping the watch to my wrist was gosh, this is a big watch, at 44mm it equals the Schofield I reviewed earlier this year. For some reason though the case design makes it feel bigger. Then bringing the watch to my ear – almost silence, you barely hear a tick or the sound of the automatic movement through the hefty case.

The polished case is of an interesting construction in that the lugs are mounted by two screws to each side. It is certainly not a watch that goes unobserved. This first of all put me off a little as I was wondering when I might fell comfortable wearing something so large and visible. After a few days through I started to feel much more comfortable finding that the watch works really well with my predominantly blue office wardrobe, thanks to the heavy blue leather strap. The straps are also made by Zero West, after approaching several suppliers Graham decided he could make them himself, and a beautiful job he does to. My only criticism being a lightly large keeper.

Longitude Strap

The gentlemen from Zero West explained that the design of this watch was inspired by the H4 of the British horological innovator John Harrison.

Harrison H4 – photo National Maritime Museum Greenwich

 

Clearly it is not a straight replica. The black and white dial uses the  same roman numerals and blue enameled hands. The floral decoration around the original dial have instead been replicated on the case back.

Longitude caseback detail

In addition the dial features the date 22/10/1884 under the number six, this being the date of the International Meridian Conference in Washington. during which Greenwich Meridian was recognised as the international standard for longitude.  Then above the twelve you will find the longitude and latitude for the Greenwich Meridian.

These are the key details of the watch:

Main Crown

• Screw lock & sprung deep straight knurled & polished 316L stainless steel with triple seal technology

Crystal

• Custom double curved domed sapphire glass with blue AR coating on the internal surface

Movement

• SELLITA SW200-1 25.60mm 11.50 calibre 28,800vph

• 26 jewels

• Incabloc shock system

• Self-winding ball bearing rotor

• Date function

• Power reserve ~38 hours

• Water resistance: 10ATM (100m) 100% tested

Dial

• White enamel over brass substrate with over printed numerals

Hands

• Blue enamel

• Polished steel diamond cut sweep hand

Strap

• 22/22mm Custom handmade Horween water resistant Ink blue Chromexcel leather strap

• Single wide sliding keeper loop

• Natural burnished edges

• Waxed hemp hand stitching

• Polished 316L stainless steel ARD buckle with engraved ZW logo

Dimensions

• 44mm diameter

• 14.1mm thick

• 22mm lug width

• 49.6mm lug to lug pin spacing

RRP £1,950

Limited to 20 pieces

So in conclusion this is a very bold individual first watch that is very different to most of the watches on the market today. As mentioned earlier there are several more similarly distinctive models ready to follow this. Best of luck to Zero West.