My posts have been a little infrequent of late. This is broadly as a consequence of real work, tax returns and another holiday. To try and put this right and buy myself a little time to write my next review I thought I would share my latest horological discovery – the “time4apint”podcast. Chris Mann produces these charming little chats on what seems like a monthly basis. They are an excellent way to pass a little dead time waiting for trains and other idle moments.
In particular and the most pertinent to the British theme of this blog was podcast 39 that was published last week, entitled “Jonathan’s Modern British watches” in which Chris discusses with collector Jonathan Hughes some of his watches. A Schofield, a Pinion, a CWC and a Bremont.
You can listen to it yourself following this link :
After several years of admiring the distinctive watches from Sussex’s most famous watch company, I managed to exchange a few words with the founder Giles Ellis. On an off chance, I asked if there might be the opportunity to do a review.
Just after the Christmas break an e-mail arrived out of the blue. Giles had remembered and asked if I would like to do the first review of their new Telemark, a watch I had admired at its launch during the Salon QP week.
The Telemark sits within the ‘Markers’ family of Schofield watches, which was originally pioneered by the Daymark. This model being inspired by the 1960s war film ‘Heroes of Telemark’.
This watch has features common to previous watches however, the Telemark stands alone as a bold addition to the Markers collection. It is Schofield’s first white dialled watch, Schofield’s first fully numerated dial and even Schofield’s first design to be inspired by a coastline outside of the British Isles.
Before giving more details I think it is important to describe what this very particular watch is like to wear.
But before covering the watch I cannnot ignore the very impressive black Osmo Ash box, below. Though it does make you wonder whether someone with a collection of several watches can find space to store the increasingly large and impressive packaging.
After a lifetime of relatively regular sized watches I have recently got used to my slightly larger than my usual, Pinion. The 44mm Telemark takes my “large experience” to another level, especially the case height.
To my surprise once on my wrist it actually doesn’t feel that large and it is perfectly possible to almost not notice your wearing it and I didn’t even once risk bashing it on walls or furniture which I frequently do with my personal Speedmaster. The watches distinctive character though does not really come from it’s size but the design itself and the white dial in particular. The white/grey/brushed steel combination does express a wintery “Telemark” vibe.
The first thing I did then was to put the watch to my ear, The dial does not mention automatic and I had not yet read the specifications, I wanted to understand wether it was an auto or manual. To my surprise I couldn’t hear the sound of a rotor inside the case. To be sure I then checked the spec sheet and discovered it was in fact an auto. I imagine the case thickness keeps the watch quiet.
Design wise there are some many details to be appreciated. The most obvious on my particular watch being the fucsia lining to the grey strap and the design of the caseback.
Should this strap not be to your taste one of the wonderful features of the Schofield range is the wide choice of straps available making the watches even more individual. Then we shouldn’t forget the customised straps from Schofield+Cudd. I kept thinking this watch would be great on one of the Harris tweed straps, something I would never consider for any other watch I can think of.
Once turned over the more design details become visible, for the first few days I continued to see something I had not noticed. For example the Schofield brand name being written very discretely in the number 6 position on the dial. There are so many little quirky features I will resist the temptation to list them but for me the dial hand combination works really well.
Then there is my favorite detail of all the crown and the groove in the case that makes it really easy to operate.
The Technical Details Are:
Fully numerated submarine dial
Dimensions – 44mm diameter base, 42mm bezel, 15.1mm high
The word ‘Schofield’ replaces 9 minute marks on the chapter ring
The hour markers in the chapter ring are black anodised appliqués filled • with Super-LumiNova C5
Case – Vapour-blasted stainless steel
Weight – 134 grams with strap
Date disk reprinted for horizontal readability at 4:30
All the parts of the hands and the windows line up when overlapping
The second hand tapers towards the tip and the counterpoise
The second hand counterpoise is filled with lume
The case has a nail rebate for pulling out the crown
The crown also has a groove for your nails to grip to pull out
The case has a slight radius on the outer edge of the bezel
The box is Osmo ash, the queen of English timbers
Colour – Silver
Crown – Push in, machine finish stainless steel, engraved
Case back – Stainless steel, engraved with Jomfruland lighthouse
Crystal – Sapphire
Water resistance – 200m
Strap – Your choice
Strap bars – Stainless, vapour-blasted
Buckle – Brushed stainless steel, engraved
Serialisation – Sequential numbering
Warranty – 2 years
For more information and lots of really super images you should visit the Schofield website.
So in conclusion, I really enjoyed my time with the Telmark. The perfect location for a review would have been my February ski break, but I already had other horological commitments for that. At the same time I was really pleased to have the opportunity to write the first review which I did not want to postpone. Maybe I have another chance for next February.
My thanks to Melodie of Schofield for organising the logistics of this loan and for her cheery notes.
After their first successful Kickstarter launch of the H1 diver’s watch the Southampton based brand is coming back with a second watch.
The difference this time is the new watch will use a Swiss automatic movment, an STP 1-11 from the Fossil Group. It also features a 316L stainless steel case in a choice of brushed or matte black PVD finish, a ceramic bezel, and grade-A Swiss Super-Luminova to aid legibility.
As well as the choice of case finishes the watch is available with a variety of different coloured Super-Luminova.
The watch is initially being offered for £269, with website accepting orders from January 30th.
I received an e-mail from Christopher Ward today telling me about their sale. I usually give the sale a browse to what bargains are on offer. Of the latest offers one really caught my eye, the C9 Pulsometer COSC.
This great looking chronometer is calibrated for use in measuring a person’s heart rate.
The tachymeter-style pulsometer scale of the dial is calibrated for 30 heart beats and both its red colour and the beautiful contrast of the optic-white dial make for easy reading.
Blued hands, a caduceus design on the second hand counter-balance and the finesse of the C9 case . This limited edition of only 250 pieces is on sale for £525. If it wasn’t for it being just after Christmas and just before the tax deadline I would be surly tempted to press the button on one of these.
If you are of the same mind have a look https://www.christopherward.co.uk/events/januarysale/30-percent-chronometers/tbc-fafcb5
For some reason I have steered slightly clear of Christopher Ward as a brand, I have not warmed completely to them. I think this might be because their positioning is based on a very commercial message, great value well made watches. I think I might have been doing them a disservice especially when you consider some of their recent launches.
Over the Christmas holidays I had the chance to see one of their watches for a little longer than the cursory trial at a show. My brother turned up with a Trident GMT on a “Bond” nato strap.
Although this model is one of the many “homage” to the Rolex Submariner, hence the Bond strap, it does have enough design details that make it a little more individual. For starters the case is 42mm. Then there is the trident shaped second hand and the textured ( I am sure there is a technical description) finish on the dial. The final obvious difference on this watch is the red second time zone hand.
Adding to the charm of this particular watch is the steel bezel and the old style Chr. Ward logo.
My brother tells me he bought this watch a few years ago in the sale, duty free, so paid well below the £700 plus of the current model. For this he has a well made GMT tool watch which he says he uses when visiting “dodgy” countries, were his more normal wrist wear might attract the wrong sort of attention. Maybe I should start checking eBay.
Due to the usual real life commitments common at this time of year I have had little chance to think of anything in particular to feature this week.
There are however two pieces of news I think is definitely worth mentioning appeared in the latest Pinion newsletter. Firstly, the original Pure range has come to an end but the new model line will feature vintage hand-wound movements in smaller cased watches.
In the same newsletter Piers also announces Pinions’s return to bronze watches with a revamped Axis II.
I am wondering now if these two announcements could be combined into a slightly smaller bronze cased hand wound Pure ?
Watch companies are often looking for a new niche to exploit, something around which they can build their own brand mystic and hopefully a cult following. The masters of this strategy through their military watches is Bremont. Now a small British brand has identified the potential of the law enforcement market. The brand “Patrolman” is launching on kickstarter.
This video explains the background.
The watch looks like a valid shot at what a regular law enforcement officer might be looking for in a watch for their work. An inexpensive, clear and robust quartz timepiece. Not costing the sort of money that jet pilots might want to invest.
They are offering the watch at £110 on Kickstarter versus an eventual retail price of £185.