Category Archives: British watch

Schofield Light – General Purpose Field Watch

Schofield watches for me are one of the founders of the re-emergence of British watch brands, I remember their stand at the Salon QP manned by Giles Ellis and his similarly hipster looking colleague. A style very different from the usual image of watchmakers, presenting watches very different in style to most other market offerings, as well as being one of the bronze innovators.

One constant of the brand has been the 44mm case in various materials, making the obvious branding on the dial  unnecessary. This was a design strategy that I admire, I often ask myself whether other companies would profit from a similar strategy, imagine for example the entire Fears range based on the Brunswick cushion case. The issue that Giles has with his case design is that it is very  expensive to produce. So to be able to offer the Schofield experience at a lower entry cost he has come up with the two new  watches, the Light One and the Dark One based on the same case design.

The first Schofield Light – Brighton September 2023

My first sight of the watch was the Dark One on Giles’ wrist at the Brighton British watch get together last September. As I was not expecting this deviation my first thought was that he was wearing a Braun, which did seem odd. I asked for a closer look, Giles explained it was a future new model. At this point I saw the opportunity to ask for an example to review when he was ready – of course you can. I left Brighton with a smile wondering when the watch would be ready as the example I had seen looked very finished.

The festive break came and went and then mid-January the announcement is made, the Dark One and the Light One are available, 150 examples of each variant. I e-mailed Giles straight away, hoping he would remember our chat. Of course he did, soon a package arrived.

Unpacking the Schofield Light

As soon as you remove the courier’s plastic envelope the treat that is Schofield packaging starts. The outer sleeve being protected by the oily looking paper I associate with ball bearings. Once you remove the outer sleeve you have the user guide and the watch box, which you can see is made from cork. Removing the red lid reveals two straps, a little screwdriver and the watch head neatly wrapped in its own compartment. Giles had sent me the Light One to review.

Even without the strap attached the first impression is that of a substantial weight, very reassuring. The straps come with the quick release attachment, the little screwdriver is for changing the clasp between the two straps. Being lazy and conscious of scratching the clasp, I put the watch on the grey strap, which for the Light One is, in my opinion, the best looking strap.

Whilst I am on the subject of straps, these two straps from Sugar Free ( a sister company of Schofield) are really impressive. As I say, my favourite on the Light One, was the grey version which has a red lining that peaks through at you various adjustment holes. Maybe the choice would be for the black India Rubber strap on the Dark One.

Now onto the watch itself, Giles describes it as a general purpose field watch, built for legibility and reliability – a functional watch with subtle military cues. Powered by an automatic, mechanical Seiko movement NH34A with 24hr GMT. Unusually the GMT is 24 hour not 12, so reading the time in the second time zone requires a little thought.t As I mentioned, The first sensation you have when you pick up the watch is one of substance, of solidity, very much what you would expect as part of the Schofield experience, at the same time it is easy to wear even with more “Smart casual” wear which can be challenging with previous Schofields. This is also helped also by the 4 o’clock position of the crown, avoiding it digging into you wrist.

The grey dial is very “Schofield” very clean and very easy to read, with very subtle branding. I particularily like the red tips of the second and GMT hands. One element missing which for an occasional rail user are the minute indications, which for me always makes setting the time seem a little more approximate, I can understand that it would be messier aesthetically.

I am a huge fan of solid casebacks, especially when the watch uses a pretty standard movement, in this case the Seiko NH34A. As usual Schofield have come up with a very different take on the case back – cool. It is here we discover the watch offers 200 metres water resistance which should amply cover most circumstances the wearer is likely to encounter.

Technical Details

  • General purpose Field watches. The Light One
  • Movement – Seiko NH34A. Hours, minutes and hacking sweep seconds and GMT
  • Power reserve – 44 hours
  • Diameter – 27.4mm
  • Height – 5.32mm
  • Jewels – 24
  • Frequency – 21,600 VPH 4Hz
  • Case – Stainless steel (The Dark One PVD). Anti-fingerprint coating
  • Diameter – 40mm
  • Crystal diameter – 32mm
  • Bezel – Brushed 12 – 6, 36mm diameter
  • Height including lugs – 13.5mm
  • Width between lugs – 22mm
  • Lug length – 48mm
  • Weight with strap and buckle – 96 grammes
  • Crystal – Box sapphire, multiple AR coatings
  • Case Back – Printed mineral crystal. Flush fit, orientated 12-6. Screw in with no opening holes
  • Crown – Double o-ring screw in type with nail groove, engraved with Beam of Light
  • Dials – Split-level, painted, lacquered
  • Date – None
  • Luminescence – Super-LumiNova C3 green emission
  • Hands – Lacquered greys

This watch offers 300, 150 of each version, people an opportunity to have the Schofield experience at a lower cost, currently £2190.


I very much enjoyed my time with the Light One. Schofield offer another very well built carefully designed watch that is different enough from the existing range, and by no means looking like a pared down economical alternative. I am now very curious to see where Schofield will take this case design, I am sure Giles will not leave it at as a two watch range.

In the meantime should you want to find out more or buy a watch visit Schofield’s website or take a trip to Sussex and visit the man himself.

New Redcliff from Fears

Anyone who has previously read this blog or seen my instagram feed will be aware that I have a soft spot for Fears. Nicholas Bowman-Scargill continues to tell everyone I was the first “journalist” he spoke to back in 2016.The first watches Nicholas shared with me before his launch at Salon QP was his quartz powered Redcliff collection.

The Redcliff No. 1

Eight years later I met up with Nicholas again to see the new Redcliff collection and I am mightly impressed, Fears now have the mythical steel “one-watch” in the collection. With the reassurance of 15 ATM water resistance.

The case size is the now “classic” 39.5mm supplied with both a beautiful bespoke steel bracelet and a woven textile strap. With a case height of only 9.98mm and micro-adjustable strap mean this Redcliff is very comfortable.

The New Redcliff with Cherry Red dial

You will see comparing the two images above that the new watch is a clear evolution of the original that has become even more “elegantly understated”

The hand-finished dials are available in four distinct colours they describe as :

  • Pewter Grey – a warm, mid grey that complements the tone of the 316L stainless steel case. Sharp black printing contrasted against a soothing cyan for the minute numerals and seconds hand. The baton appliques and hands are plated in Black Gold.
  • Raven Black – Taking its inspiration from the glossy black feathers of a raven bird this dial features a sophisticated black with a sunburst pattern etched on to the dials surface that catches the light beautifully. White and silver printing contrast the darkness of the dial with hands and baton appliques all plated in precious Rhodium.
  • Cherry Red – a bright red that perfectly captures the tones of fresh red cherries. White printing, a pure white seconds hand and coral pink printed accents complement the dials finish with baton appliques and hands plated in precious Rhodium.
  • Mallard Green – Exclusive to the Boutique in Bristol the deep shade of green is reminiscent of the colour of a Drake duck. White and silver printing that contrast brightly against the dial, paired with hands and baton appliques all plated in precious Rhodium.

La Joux-Perret movement

Given the various issues of supply and order numbers Fears like many smaller brands are moving away from movements from ETA and Sellita. Powering the new Redcliff 39.5 Date is a customised La Joux-Perret G100 movement made entirely in Switzerland. The movement features automatic winding, quick-set date and a generous power reserve of 60 hours, while each watch is regulated to 0/+5 seconds per day, within C.O.S.C. accuracy limits.

Component Origin

Despite being in the vanguard of the rise of British watches, Fears are very open about the origin of their British built watches constituent parts.The case , bracelet, strap and glass are from leading suppliers in Hong Kong who also work with several leading Swiss brands who are not quiet so open. The movement and hands are from Switzerland and dials from Germany


Fears have added another slogan to their marketing handbook to describe this range “Everyday Elegance” which is there way of describing a “one-watch”. This is an impressive watch at a very reasonable price. However, it also lands in a busy market segment. The first Swiss watch that comes to my mind being the Omega Acqua-Terra with a RRP of £5900. The new Redcliff is available from Fears or their authorised retailers for £3150.

British Prize Winner

This week the winners of the prestigious GPHG awards were announced and congratulations to Christopher Ward for winning the “Petite Aiguille”, for the Bel Canto chiming watch.

For those of you like me that thought “amazing” but what is the prize for, I will save you time looking it up, “Petite Aiguille” means small needle. This is the prize for watches with a retail price of between CHF 3,500 and CHF 10,000.

I am especially pleased as a friend of mine is on the list to get one. A great news for British watch Christopher Ward a brand until recently known for worthy good value watches. Great news also for British watches overall, I hope this award encourages the public to no longer think the watches being of limited interest to a few enthusiasts her in Britain but finally making a mark on the world stage.

You can discover more detail here

Very Elegant Fears – Two “fishy”new models

We are now getting used to a regular stream elegantly understated watches from Fears. The latest variant of the now classic Brunswick watch is to my mind their most elegant so far, the Aurora.

The non-limited Fears Brunswick ‘Aurora’ features the first mother of pearl dial to appear on a Fears watch in its 177-year history. Housed in the 40mm Brunswick case, the dial is made from two sections of natural mother of pearl that are cut to different heights. Each piece is hand tinted to a achieve special and unique shade of blue that highlights the natural iridescence of the material. This striking base is then complemented by milled, hand-applied numeral indices in the Fears bespoke ‘Edwin’ typeset, with each numeral diamond polished and coated in precious Rhodium.

Along side the Aurora Fears have announces another “marine themed” variant of the 40mm Brunswick this time with a Copper/Salmon colured dial.

The new Brunswick 40 Copper Salmon, features the same tone of ‘salmon’ as the similar 38mm of 2020 but with a new impression through different dial finishing. The Brunswick 40 Copper Salmon dial features a raised section with hand-brushing in a vertical direction whereas the lower section features a fine sandblast, that gently sparkles when the light catches it. The Brunswick 40 Copper Salmon differs from its smaller sibling with diamond polished applied numerals and bevelled hands both coated in black gold that gives the watch a more contemporary feel.

The Fears Brunswick ‘Aurora’ and Brunswick 40 Copper Salmon are available to purchase from today directly from Fears and via the network of Fears Authorised Stockists around the world. The Brunswick ‘Aurora’ retails on a strap for £3,850 inc. VAT (£3,208.34 ex. VAT) and on a bracelet for £4,050 inc. VAT (£3,375 ex. VAT). The Brunswick 40 Copper Salmon retails on a strap for £3,550 inc. VAT (£2,958.34 ex. VAT) and on a bracelet for £3,750 inc. VAT (£3,125 ex. VAT). 

Oakleigh Watches – Surprise News

Some of you might be familiar with or have even bought watches from Oakleigh Watches, the established used dealer. The company has been in business now for ten years, so to mark this important point of their history they are marketing their own watch. The Oakleigh Chronograph.

The hand finished 36 mm chronograph case has a sapphire case back through which you can see the Valjoux 7750 automatic movement. The rotor is engraved with the company logo and anniversary details.

The silver plated dial has three sub-dials with a hand turned ‘Clous de Paris’ guilloche pattern and black Roman numeral hour markers and minute track.

The hands are in the Breguet style and are handmade and blued.

The caseback itself is engraved with the company name and the limited edition number of the individual watch.

Each watch is presented in a custom made leather wallet with two alligator patterned leather straps.  The straps, one in black and another in dark brown, are handmade by The Strap Tailor and finished with an Oakleigh Watches logo buckle. They feature a quick change spring bar to make them quickly and easily interchangeable.

Handmade by renowned watchmakers Michlmayr & Co in Norwich, there are ten chronograph watches available for advance order at £3000For more information contact – 

I have not seen or handled the watches but given the reputation of the team involved this would definitely a watch to consider for those who appreciate this classical style of chronograph.

Pinion Podcast – Talking Time

Grinidgetime was started as a place for me to share information about British watch brands. One of the most important brands in my watch journey is Pinion Watches. It was Piers Berry who first introduced me to the social side of the hobby.

So today when I came across this Talking Time podcast my first thought was to share it with anyone that might be reading Grinidgetime.

This link should take you to Spotify, the podcast is of course available on other platforms. Happy listening

The Return of Grinidgetime

Some of you might have noticed that my posts have become incresingly infrequent. There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly life commitments just didn’t allow enough time. Secondly, the sheer volume of information and news from the the British watch industry was getting a little overwhelming.

Now by happy coincidence there being more news to report comes in a period when I have more time, so I will endeavour to post with a more frequency. My new found enthusiasm has also been fired by this week’s Best of British meet-up organised by Redbar Southeast in Brighton.

As you might imagine this is not the only watch event I have attended recently, but it was one that inspired me. This is largely due to the one panel discussion I attended. The panel consisted of Giles Ellis, of Schofield, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill, of Fears and Richard Benc of Studio Underdog. What interested me was their view on the current state of the British watch industry. In particular the view that the sector is now more confident in its offering. When I started this blog it was because I was interested in the the use of heritage in marketing of British watch brands. Some of the companies and many enthusiasts become obsessed how much of the watch is British. The panel agreed that the sector now has the confidence to move away from this narrow vision, the brands own identities being strong enough to be able to present watches as British regardless of the origins of many of the components used. Here there are many similarities to the car industry. Is a Mini a British car ?

This event also gave me the opportunity to re-connect in person with the brands that have been very much part of by British watch journey. Other than Nicholas and Giles I managed to have chats with Jose of Isotope and Andrew of Zero West. All of whom beamed enthusiasm, the future looks bright . Unfortunately, the interesting developments they were very keen to discuss are all under wraps for future posts.

“Watch” this space

Coronation Watches from British Brands

In political circles they advise not to waste a good crisis. For the British watch world the same needs to be said for a royal event. Last year we had several releases for the Queen’s jubilee. This year we have the coronation of KIng Charles III.

The first release I noticed was from my friends at Fears who offer us a solid gold Brunswick.

In 18-carat yellow gold (rose gold option also available), this hand-built Brunswick features a crimson-red dial with a lightly vertically brushed texture. Adorning this royal canvas are raised yellow-gold plated ‘Edwin’ numerals, paired with solid ‘Fears-shaped’ hands, also plated in yellow gold.

The case includes a coronation hallmark for all pieces ordered during 2023. As with all of their precious metal watches, a flawless diamond is set into the ‘onion’-shaped winding crown. Completing this piece is a Bristol Leather watch strap finished in a matching crimson-red tone and accented with golden-coloured stitching.
Should you like the idea of a special gold watch but would prefer a different coloured dial or strap these can be specified as all the watches are built to order. The pricing starts at £17,850 inc. VAT (£14,875 ex. VAT). Reach out to Fears at to find out more.


The next option comes from Bremont, a company not known to miss the opportunity to present limited editions. Bremont offer a relatively restrained King Charles III MBII.

This Limited Edition timepiece is now sold out.

Limited to just 150 pieces ( 100 black and 50 white dialled), now all sold, and based on Bremont’s established MB design, this King Charles III Limited Edition celebrates the coronation of His Majesty with a special case back engraving and complimentary commemorative coin with each watch. If you managed to get your order in they were offered at a reasonable £4495. for more details try the website or a Bremont boutique.

William Wood

Again a limited edition, this time 30 pieces now all sold out. The bronzed cased, William Wood British Coronation chronograph features a British Racing Green Union Jack dial, a new up-cycled British Racing Green fire hose strap, green laser engraved Union Jack glass case back and their iconic “In Case Of Fire Break” lettering .

The substance of the watch is the “Triumph range”. Featuring a 41mm case and a The Sellita SW510 chronograph movement. Again more information can be found at the William Wood website.

Duckworth Prestex

The last of our collection come from the relatively newly reinvented brand Duckworth Prestex. Again we are looking at a limited edition, 365 of each colour (blue and salmon), the new watches feature the art deco numerals, previously used on the Bolton range, and a special Small Seconds sub dial at the 4 O’clock position with the year 2023 printed on it. 

The 39mm cushion case houses an automatic Miyota 82S5 movement and or priced at a very reasonable £795. You will find all the details at

So i conclusion, the British watch brands all have chosen to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the coronation, they have offered the market something to suit most pockets, if you moved fast enough. Fortunatelyat the time of writing the more economical alternative fromduckworth are still available and given the quantities involve I am confident Fears will find a solution.

Pinion – Bronze Trend Leader

After seeing Pinion watches at Salon QP and a couple of Pinion “get togethers” I finally took the bait and ordered my Pinion Pure Bronze, which after I ordering Piers Berry, the founder, suggested I have the watch fitted with a green dial that until then had been mainly used in the gunmetal case. At the time there were very few watches available with bronze case and I was only aware of the fellow British brand Schofield, which I don’t remember being available with a green dial.

Pure Bronze

It is now 2023, this watch is my regular weekend/holiday watch. It is robust, has 100m water resistance, is a strap monster and has an appearance that improves with age.

Somewhat disappointingly its look is no longer as unique as in 2016. There is hardly a significant watch brand that does not have, or has not recently offered, a bronze model in their range and green appears to be the dial colour of the year. The obvious exception being Rolex. Both Tudor, Oris and now Christopher Ward notably going full bronze offering not only bronze cases but also bronze cases with bronze bracelets, which however much I personally like the material, I find a little too much. Of the major Swiss brands I am very tempted by the bronze Omega Seamaster 300 which nicely combines a retro look with a case that will patina.

However this is blog about British watch brands so what are the alternatives this side of the channel?

Bremont offer their British military approved Broadsword and Argonaut with a bronze cases

Bremont Argonaut
Bremont Broadsword

Christopher Ward,

On checking the Christopher Ward website I find three of their C65 range are available in bronze, the Dune, even with a bronze bracelet, the Acquataine and Sandhurst. The dive watch stalwart of the CW range, the C60, is also available though only with a blue dial.

C65 Dune on bronze bracelet


As mentioned in my initial paragraph in my mind Schofield are the other original bronze watch producer and an updated version of their Bronze Beater, the B3 is still in the range. You can choose between a “raw” or “patinated” versions.

Beater – Raw
Beater – patinated

The patinated version looks great straight out the box, through in my mind one of the attractions of bronze is the development of a unique patina so given a choice I would probably go for the raw version.

Sadly, Pinion the pioneer of the sector, do not have a bronze case in their range, though this might be down to the company now specialising on smaller commissioned runs.

The good news though is that bronze cased watches are still cool and generally attract more attention than their steel equivalents. The even better news is the watches on offer from the British brands are at relatively affordable prices ranging from £985 for the Christopher Ward C60 to £3495 for the Bremont Argonaut. Not a huge amount to be distinctive. All of these watches can be found on their respective websites:

Bremont –

Christopher Ward –

Schofield –

Finally, lets recognise the Pinion Pure Bronze Green as being the watch that started the Bronze/Green trend.

Isotope Hydrium more to collect

You might remember my review of the Hydrium in which I commented on the collecting opportunity offered by this watch from British based brand Isotope. Well now two more have joined the line-up, the Hydrium Pro Nordblad and the Hydrium Nasa.

Hydrium Pro Nordblad

This is the second watch from Isotope developed as a tribute to the achievements of Johanna Nordblad, a the world-renowned ice diver. LIke the previous “Goutte d’Eau version this watch features a blue second hand. Limited to 100 pieces, it is the first of a series of Hydrium Pro watches, exceeding specifications above ISO 6425, the official divers watch certification . The watch case is made of sandblasted 316L stainless steel. All the crystals, including the bezel, are made of sapphire crystal and the movement is a top-finished and regulated Swiss Landeron. If any of these watches remain unsold they are offered at £900 (ex VAT) on the Isotope website

Hydrium NASA

As well as Hydrium collectors, this second officially NASA approved watch, launched on April 15th, should appeal to the many space fans out there.

Apart from the special NASA nato strap what makes this watch stand out is the polymer-ceramic coating, Cerakota that has been applied to the 316L steel case. This coating replicates the texture of the re-entry capsule’s vitally important heat shield. Then there is the NASA logo above the six o’clock position.

This watch is also available from the Isotope website for £825 (ex VAT) includedin this price is an extra grey quick release FKM strap

This watch is limited to 200 pieces, and available to pre-order through with expected delivery starting in August 2023. Currently priced at £825 (ex VAT) which includes a second grey quick release FKM strap.