Last week an interesting tweet from Robert Loomes mentioning they would be showing a new movement at the salon QP this year.
In the interests of investigative journalism I sent an e-mail to Robert himself to see if he was prepared to say more before the official unveiling. Somewhat to my surprise I got an very interesting reply back.
Robert clearly does not want to give away all his secrets but he is interested in the word getting out with a drip drip of information.
To wet our appetite he sent me over this picture of the “Stamford ” movement without jewels or wheels.
The key desire is to have a watch movement with no imported parts, Robert says he has been working towards this for ten years. His company has gradually been making more and more parts to use in their watches based around a stock of 1950’s Smiths movements. They are particularly proud of their enamelled dials.
Robert has gone round the country and re-discovered many of these skills that were popularly believed to have been lost to the country.
The mainplate, cocks and bridge for the “Stamford” are all designed and machined and hand finished in our workshops. Most of the other components are manufactured by small specialist machine shops around the country, either turners ( Robert himself does not use a lathe at work except for a bit of prototyping). Wheels, pinions, winding gear, motionwork, anything which requires turning is easy to outsource once you have a design. Jewels are lasered out for us by another English specialist.
He does not want to get into “Haute Horologies” with weeks of mirror hand-polishing and finishing. He is more interested in producing wristwatches. So the price should be a fraction of AHCI luxury watch producers, ever if it is still a very expensive beast compared with their previous offerings.
This interview with Robert by Hodinkee on there recent tour of British watchmakers gives some great insights into what he is trying to achieve, interestingly he does not mention the movement.
I am really looking forward to seeing this movement at the Salon QP.