Tag Archives: Garrick

Garrick – David Brailsford

David Brailsford, the founder of Garrick watches tweeted he was in London on Friday afternoon and some free time if anybody wanted to meet and see some watches. I thought “why not ask?” the worst that can happen is he says “no”, luckily he said he had a free slot. I had the chance to meet another “pillar” of the British watch business.

Garrick launched at the Salon QP two years ago with their first watch, The Shaftbury, based on the venerable Unitas hand wound movement. Significantly worked on in Garrick’s  Norfolk workshop.

Garrick Shaftesbury
Garrick Shaftesbury

Early last year The Shaftesbury was followed by the Hoxton, a  pared down hours and minutes only version of the first watch. This autumn saw the announcement of the maritime inspired, Norfolk watch, as you can see from the photo below, I had the opportunity to try on.

Garrick Norfolk - on my wrist
Garrick Norfolk – on my wrist

The Norfolk is not a watch for wearers wanting to make a statement; it’s a watch for those of a more reserved nature, those who appreciate tone-down purity, who just want the essentials.

The watch that David was most keen on to discuss was the most recent addition to the Garrick range, the limited edition ( 15 pieces) Regulator, again seen on my wrist below. On sale for £6995, which for the amount of work that has gone into it would seem a bit of a bargain.

The limited edition Garrick Regulator
The limited edition Garrick Regulator

This watch features a calibre sm001 manual wind movement (modified Unitas with exclusive gear train with an in-house free sprung balance – tested and regulated to ensure a daily variance of +3 seconds which is significantly more accurate than required by C.O.S.C. . David tried to explain to me ( a layman) the complicated work needed for the three dials.

Two finishes for the Regulator, DLC and polished steel
Two finishes for the Regulator, DLC and polished steel

Personally, I find the regular dial a little less clear than the usual watch face. David assured me it just takes getting used to. There is though, no doubt, that this watch  will get attention. It is probably a shame only fifteen will be made.

The Shaftesbury and Hoxton will soon disappear from the range leaving the Norfolk , the limited edition Regulator and the soon too be announced Plymouth featuring an in-house movement. For this movement Garrick has been working closely with specialist movement designer Andreas Strehler and his highly regarded company UhrTeilAG on the creation of a new exclusive movement. Some of the movement components will be produced by UhrTeilAG exclusively for Garrick, whilst other components will be made in-house by Garrick’s own watchmakers in its Norfolk-based workshops.

The finishing, subsequent assembly and regulation of the new movement will take place in Norfolk.

From the outset, it has always been a stated aim of Garrick to be frank about the provenance of its movements and this continues to be the case. We have drawn upon the best of independent Swiss know-how where this has conferred an advantage to their customers but remained true to their original idea of adding as much value to our products in Great Britain, a nation they patriotically promote. David, like so many people I have met in the British watch business, is someone clearly very proud of what he is doing and with great dreams for the future of the Garrick brand.

 

 

 

Bespoke Watches

 

Struthers+diamond+watch+front

Britain has a long history and a worldwide reputation for bespoke luxury items. This fact has been acknowledged in a recent article in QP Magazine on bespoke watches. The article starts off with the usual raft of famous names but then goes on to give some coverage to Garrick and Struthers; well worth a read if you are looking for a special treat.

The QP article

Garrick teams up with Andreas Strehler – updated

SalonQP have given some more details. These are the highlights :

Garrick teams up with Andreas Strehler

CRw-TlAWwAA17m5

In a cryptic tweet yesterday Garrick Watches announced they will be working on a new movement with Andreas Strehler. If like me you have never heard of him this is what they have to say on Wikipedia   Andreas Strehler

From this entry you will see  he is a pretty talented watchmaker his most recent recognition being  in 2013 he was awarded the Prix Gaïa of the International Museum of Horology (MIH) in La Chaux-de-Fonds in the category artesanat-création for his technical and artistic creations.

All will be revealed at the Salon QP in November.

Garrick Regulator Update

As promised I contacted Garrick to see if they could give me more information about their new Regualtor model.


They are using a base Unitas but adding their own gear train, free-sprung balance and winding barrel. In reality is there not much left of the original movement.

They have been working on this for some time and mainly to show what they can do with standard movements.It’s to showcase their watchmaking.

They are only releasing a limited number because it takes some time to build. Remember they are not mass producing watches and everything is assembled and finished by hand or in-house including the hands, balance and gears.

Garrick is extremely busy right now and they have to have plans to produce realistic numbers. They also think it’s a truly unique watch and want customers to have something truly limited.

Monochrome – INTERVIEW: David Brailsford about Garrick and British Watchmaking

Monochome Watches yesterday published this interview on their website. The words are here, however if you also want to see the pictures follow this link :   Garrick Interview

by

This week we had the pleasure of sitting down with David Brailsford, the Founder of Garrick Watches to discuss British watchmaking, collaborations and what the future holds for the brand. Garrick was launched only last year, and they’ve already introduced a second model, the Hoxton with calibre SM302. Our new reporter from the UK, London-based Justin Hast, sat down with David Brailsford to learn more about Garrick and its future plans.

For starters some photos of the Shaftsbury that was introduced last year. In our write-ups on this piece, which also covered a part of history of British watchmaking, we told you about its seriously modified movement that is equipped with a free sprung balance – that plus some of the new bridges are made in Britain.

Mono: Why do you feel there has been a resurgence of British Watchmaking?

DB: I don’t feel that there has been a resurgence of watchmaking. There has certainly been a resurgence in British watch brands but not necessarily watchmaking. Britain has some great watchmakers, however, starting a watch brand is prohibitively expensive, indeed it is extremely difficult to build a watch in this country. The industrialised production of watches has seen the Swiss and Germans become the dominant players in the market enjoying great economies of scale.

Mono: What percentage of your business is bespoke commissions?

DB: Approximately 50% but we hope to increase this to 90%

Mono: What attracted you to the Unitas movement for both the Shaftesbury and Hoxton?

It was always our intention to build a hand-wound watch. The Unitas 6498 has been a reliable movement for many years. The movement facilitates modification allowing us to fulfil the needs and expectations of our clientele.

Mono: Where did you get the names for both models from?

DB: As a British brand, we wanted names that were synonymous with our great nation.

Mono: Why did you choose to have a free sprung balance wheel?

DB: We felt it was very important to create something unique and showcase our in-house technical expertise. A free-sprung balance using Invar, a thermally compensated alloy for the balance wheel and a Nivarox hairspring conferred benefits in terms of accuracy, however we appreciate that this approach would prove difficult for large organisations to serially produce reaffirming our belief that small is beautiful.The watch is accurate to +3 seconds irrespective of the position in which the watch is held in.

Mono: Why did you choose to finish the bridges with a Côtes de Genève style?

DB: It was very important to showcase traditional watchmaking skills. I think our clients take great delight in knowing that every movement is finished by hand. We chose to impart the Cotes de Geneve motif to the bridges employing a narrow stripe. This accentuates the slim bridges which freely disclose the micro-mechanics beneath.

Mono: Do you feel dress watches are moving towards smaller proportions (as seen in years gone by) as apposed to the seemingly larger and larger trend?

DB: Yes, I do. I have never been a fan of larger watches and have always found that most collectors dislike oversized wristwatches and I perceive that cases of 39-40mm will prove popular in the future. It is worth mentioning that the diameter of the movement dictates the size of the case.

Mono: Your dials and hands are made in-house, can you tell us a bit more about how you developed these?

DB: We turn the dial on a lathe from brass or aluminium and these are known as dial blanks. All surfaces have to be extensively cleaned prior to the pattern being imparted to the dial surface using engine turning techniques. This process alone takes one hour per dial. Thereafter, we bead blast the dial to remove any imperfections prior to it being dispatched to a local company to be anodised. Alternatively some dials are enamelled by our in-house artisans. The chapter rings are secured to the dial using either stainless steel or thermally blued screws. Our thermally blued screws are heat treated by hand, on a bed of copper filings.

Many people inquire as to why we don’t countersink the screws. The rationale for our decision was to confer depth to the dial surface. Furthermore, we wanted to accentuate the blue hues of the thermally blued screws which glisten in ambient light. Part of the Garrick paradigm is the concept of bespoke, therefore if a customer wants the screws to be countersunk we will gladly accede to their request. Potentially every Garrick watch is unique.

Mono: What is your vision for Garricks movements in the future?

DB: We are very proud to have Simon Michlmayr FBHI as part of our creative team. Simon along with a talented team of English based Swiss trained watchmakers, craft timepieces by hand to exacting standards.

It is important to Garrick that we continue to innovate new movements and timepieces and we are actively progressing new concepts and designs.
We are currently working on some exciting projects which include plans for a new movement.

Mono: As we see more and more brands collaborate with groups and societies do you foresee Garrick doing the same in the future?

DB: Absolutely. Watch this space!

Mono: What does 2015 have in store for Garrick?

DB: We are delighted with our journey so far, however, we are not complacent and recognise that both challenges and opportunities lie ahead. We plan further innovative products imbued with a high degree of British content.

We believe that whilst we are a small company, compared to most larger players, this bestows benefits such as flexibility, short lead times and the capacity to meet individual needs and it is for this reason we are optimistic for the rest of 2015 and beyond.

Garrick Shaftesbury SM301 – Monochrome-Watches.com

http://monochrome-watches.com/british-watchmaking-introducing-the-garrick-shaftesbury-sm301-price/

England might not instantly leap out as a natural ancestral home for a new watchmaking company, but for Garrick and its owner David Brailsford, the location of its centre of operations was never in question. Watchmaking has a rich historical connection with England, and back when the foundations of the science were being established, the city of London was at the forefront of technical innovation in horology, and it is upon that history that the Garrick Watch company was conceived.

For a new company to cite such horlogic legends as Arnold, Mudge, Harrisson, Graham and Tompion as its inspiration is an eyebrow raising way to make an entrance, but the new Garrick Shaftesbury SM301 watch and the approach to its creation make for an impressive statement of intent.

Garrick Shaftesbury SM301 - 6

The Garrick Shaftesbury SM301 is a fresh and confident debut from the young London company, and its style and dial layout are very much in the classic vein, with gentle curvature, crisp legibility and elegant poise all themes throughout. It also has a lot of character too, and that becomes evident almost at once, as the eye begins to soak in subtle nuances such as the undulating decoration around the edge of the dial and the finely drilled slots which constitute the minutes, hours and seconds indices in the two steel chapter rings. The finely brushed rings hover slightly proud of the dial on their pedestals accentuated by three heat-blued screws, they cross paths either side of the 6 o’clock position to pleasant effect, where the dominant hours and minutes ring passes beneath the smaller off-centre seconds.

Garrick Shaftesbury SM301 - 2

Dials are offered in a choice between the classy lustre of oven-fired enamel in either black or white, or anodised aluminium, a malleable material which easily lends itself to colouration, thereby opening up a wider á la carte spectrum of personalisation options which Garrick will be happy to accommodate to the customer’s specific requirement.

Garrick Shaftesbury SM301 - 1

A handsome, gentleman’s watch, best suited to smart casual attire and above, the Garrick Shaftesbury is offered in a round 42mm polished stainless steel case with sapphire crystals to the front and rear, and a lovely compressed ‘onion’ crown. The sides are straight and tall, but round off gracefully as the bezel yields towards the expanse of glass above the dial. The lugs extend from the outer case profile, yet do not protrude far from the case, falling off abruptly at the tips. The buffed steel spear-tip hands are simple yet wholly complementary to the Shaftesbury’s distinguished demeanour.

Garrick Shaftesbury SM301 - 8

Flip it over to reveal the rear detail and the Shaftesbury impresses with an almost total vista of the Unitas 6498 NOS manual winding calibre which beats within. Garrick have taken this trusty 1950’s movement, favoured by among others Panerai and TAG Heuer in the past, and reduced it to its base components before gold plating and then reassembling using Garrick bridges, Cotes de Geneve stripes and their very own free sprung balance. A narrow squared lip around the edge of the caseback means that the entire spectacle can be appreciated without being obstructed with an overly intrusive rear bezel.

Garrick Shaftesbury SM301 - 5

The Garrick Shaftesbury SM301 is presented on leather straps only, although the choice again is wide and varied. A tang buckle secures the watch to the wrist.

Garrick Shaftesbury SM301 - 3

Priced at £3,950 / € 5,350 Euro, it surely comes in at a very attractive price point for such exclusivity, and it is clear that every aspect of this fine watch has been carefully considered, even down to the cost, because with most of its peers costing a lot more, Garrick believe that while it’s all fair and good to sell a watch for £10,000, that kind of investment requires faith in a brand, and that faith takes time to cultivate. Another view is that there are few timepieces which represent small scale watchmaking available at that kind of money, so there again Garrick have another USP.

With the Shaftesbury, Garrick have laid down a notable marker, and one which symbolises a brand which has its heart in the right place as it consolidates. The watch is refined, beautifully finished and earnestly constructed in England, and of course, where possible in-house.

Garrick Hoxton sm302 – watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Seeing red

Angus Davies provides an in-depth review of the Garrick Hoxton sm302, available with a broad choice of dial options. However, it was the red dial option which provoked a reaction in this self-confessed grumpy 47 year-old.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

Middle-age sneaks up on the unsuspecting. I have become a grumpy 47 year-old, experiencing a sense of repeated irritation. Indeed, some aspects of modern life quite simply infuriate me. The world has seemingly gone mad.

If I venture into a supermarket and wish to pay for my goods, I am suddenly expected to morph into a checkout assistant and scan my own shopping. Moreover, as an impatient queue assembles behind me, I have to try and pack my shopping. This in itself may not sound much of an issue, but the shopping bags provided are so thin they have merged into one homogenous fusion of polythene and, try as I might, I can’t separate them.

Then, all of a sudden, my till displays a message enquiring of my age. Now I have to wait for human intervention, whilst the ever lengthening queue stares at me with a sense of disdain. I am clearly over 18 years of age and a bottle of Chianti does not constitute a matter of life and death, but automation dictates I now need to be inconvenienced further. The queue is getting longer and I could readily seek refuge in a case of Chianti such is the magnitude of my annoyance.

Is it just me, or has the world gone mad?

Take aeroplanes, I can think of no other area in life where it is considered acceptable to shoehorn adults into seats which are unduly small. The airlines health and safety gurus have decided a reasonable precaution is to warn passengers of the potential risk of deep vein thrombosis. Exercises are described within the inflight magazine, accompanied with small pictures my myopically impaired eyes can barely decipher. However, should I wish to stand and stretch, mitigating the risk of clots forming in my arteries, my actions will be met with ‘the look’ from an angry air hostess who has a trolley to wheel down the aisle, laden with ‘tat’ no self-respecting sane person would ever really consider purchasing.

Indeed, the very notion of customer service doesn’t exist at 30,000 feet. Should you show the merest of annoyance at the brusque service and rancid sandwich presented, you will be met with a strong rebuke. We now live in an age where disappointed customers are labelled potential air rage perpetrators. Don’t even dare complain unless you wish to be tasered.

Is it just me, or has the world gone mad?

The introduction of speed cameras seems well intentioned. However, if you ever look at drivers on the M6 in rush hour, they are not looking ahead watching the road, they are transfixed on the needles of their speedometers, expending huge amounts of energy to ensure their average speed over a given distance does not stray a couple of miles per hour over the limit.

With variable speed limits becoming de rigueur on our motorways, drivers panic as the prevailing maximum speed displayed on a sign is reduced by 10 miles per hour. All of a sudden the driver ahead performs a near emergency stop, anxiously fearing a further three points and resulting in numerous cars behind, swerving in his wake.

Is it just me, or has the world gone mad? You get the idea!

The fact is, many aspects of modern life make me angry. Wherever my eyes look there are elements of living in the modern world which irritate me, causing me to see red. However, whilst I saw red when first encountering a vibrantly hued Garrick Hoxton sm302, very different emotions came to the fore. This is a timepiece sporting a red dial which confers a striking appearance and justifies further discussion.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

In 2014, Garrick launched its inaugural watch, the Shaftesbury sm301. This timepiece represented a departure from the norm. While I am accustomed to seeing watches in the sub £4000 segment being mass produced, by virtue of Garrick’s size, the sm301 is made on a one-man, one-watch basis, typical of manufacturing high-end wristwatches.

Garrick Shaftesbury sm301

Garrick Shaftesbury sm301

It is this low-volume production method which has allowed Garrick to incorporate its own in-house free-sprung balance. The inclusion of a free-sprung balance proves incredibly labour intensive, necessitating much effort on the part of the watchmaker to fettle the balance wheel to run to the specified +3 seconds per day.

Recently, Garrick launched its second, simpler timepiece, the Hoxton sm302. While this watch does not include a free-sprung balance, which is reflected in the price, this model loses none of the hand craftsmanship and aesthetic allure of its older, costlier sibling, the Shaftesbury sm301.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

Recently, I had the good fortune to share a few calm weeks in the company of the new Hoxton sm302.

The dial

The first aspect of this particular Hoxton sm302 to arrest my attention was the dial colour. It is a vivid shade of red with a wonderful metallic lustre to its surface. The dial is machined with a series of concentric circles populating the periphery of the dial area.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

I suspect for some readers, the ebullient colour scheme may prove a tad too conspicuous and they may prefer more subdued shades. There is no need to worry, Garrick offer an array of dial options suiting a broad range of would-be buyers. I must confess, the red dial option worked for me and proved incredibly versatile, matching an array of shirts and jumpers and provoking comment wherever I chose to wear the watch.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

Unlike the sm301, where the dial includes a small seconds display, the sm302 presents the hours and minutes alone. This succinct presentation of the prevailing hour represents a charming contradistinction to those dials proffered by some brands which seem at best rather ‘busy’ and in some cases, virtually impossible to read. No such affliction effects the sm302 which tastefully articulates time with seemly poise and absolute decorum.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

The hour and minute hands are produced in-house. Close examination reveals their hand crafted nature with small surface undulations on the recesses to the centre of each hand. They lack the homogeneity of mass produced stamped items typically used on mainstream brands. The resultant subtle nuances reveal a comely individuality which I appreciate, reaffirming this is a handmade watch.

A stainless steel chapter ring sits atop the red dial surface and is retained with three thermally blued screws. I noted the screws were not recessed and enquired of David Brailsford, Managing Director of Garrick, what was the reason for this decision. His answer was clear and unequivocal, ‘We wanted the thermally blued screws to sit above the chapter ring, to engage with light more readily and for the screws to yield beautiful bluish purple shades in ambient light. By recessing the screws we would have lost much of this interplay with light and sacrificed the delightful depths we have achieved using the screws.’ Listening to Brailsford, everything suddenly made sense. The brands attention to detail is incredibly impressive, especially in a company which is still relatively small and young.

The case

I appreciated the polished case of the sm301 with its effervescent mien. Simon Michlmayr and his team are masters of polishing and successfully infused the sm301 with an almost mirror-like gleam. However, with the sm302, the caseband is grained, adopting a gentler, calmer persona. Whilst I like the shiny flanks of the sm301, I favour the muted disposition of the younger, sm302.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

The 42mm case sits comfortably on the wrist and the crown does not impose its presence on the arm with unsightly red marks. This timepiece accords an agreeable fit which should appeal to a wide audience, avoiding the extremes of unduly small or excessively large, dimensions.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

An exhibition caseback reveals the inner psyche of the timepiece, with the finely decorated movement freely disclosed via one of the largest ‘widescreen’ sapphire crystal panes you are likely to encounter. Indeed, Garrick has utilised virtually all of the caseback to reveal as much of the movement as possible.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

The movement

Garrick used a hand-wound, ‘new old stock’ Unitas 6498.1 base movement on the sm301 and the sm302 repeats this formula.

Where the movement of the sm302 differs from the sm301 is with the absence of a free-sprung balance. However, the sm302 uses a screwed balance which will appeal to many purists, myself included.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

Garrick has also elected to eschew the Geneva stripes found on the bridges of the sm301 and employ a frosted finish which I personally find fresh and eye-catching. The appearance of the bridges on the sm302 appearmodern when contrasted with the sm301, but confer a degree of originality which is very endearing.

Traditional watchmaking crafts are still much in evidence, despite the modernity of the timepiece. The thermally blued screws are not mass produced in a large oven, but heated on a bed of brass filings to achieve the beautiful bluish purple hues.

Garrick Hoxton sm302 and Garrick Shaftesbury sm301

Closing remarks

The red-faced Garrick Hoxton sm302 makes me smile. It disarms me with its unique appearance and charming details. Some elements exhibit modernity, which, unusually for me, lighten my mood. I cannot help being drawn towards many ingredients of this mouth watering horological proposition and feeling a sense that all is well with the world.

It is refreshing to see British craftsmanship is still alive and well. Indeed, as a patriot and watch lover I can report, that for once, seeing red actually makes me happy. The future of Garrick looks assured if it continues to produce watches that display such breathtaking invention and skill.

Garrick Hoxton sm302

Technical Specification

  • Model: Garrick Hoxton sm302
  • Case: stainless steel; diameter 42.00mm; height 12.50mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes.
  • Movement: Vintage Unitas 6498.1 base, hand-wound movement; frequency 18,000 vph (2.5Hz), power reserve 42 hours
  • Strap: Black leather strap presented with a stainless steel pin buckle
  • Price: £2495 (RRP as at 3.6.2015)

Acknowledgement

All images bearing the ESCAPEMENT logo by © Euan Davies 2015

Garrick Hoxton sm302