Tag Archives: made in great Britain

Schofield Bronze Beater 2

If you don’t receive Schofields news letter you might have missed their latest announcement – The Bronze Beater 2 !

The Bronze Beater 2

The Bronze Beater B2 now in two finishes, raw and force-patinated. That is the raw at the bottom and the darker one above has been chemically treated to oxidise the case. The B2 will be available in less than two weeks!

The dials are double blue with a gold rim and centre. Luminescent numerals and hour markers with the other print in metallic bronze except the pink B. Hands are brushed bronze with little thorns as counterpoise.

Inside they will use an ETA 2824-2 Swiss auto.

Here are some more of Schofield’s excellent images showing more detail.

The Bronze Beater dial
Caseback

I am really looking forward to seeing these in the “bronze” at the Salon QP

 

Bronze watch on the beach

If you have been reading some of my previous posts or maybe seen my Instagram stream, you will know I have a Bronze Pinion Axis Pure LE for which I been giving updates on the development of the famous “bronze patina”.

Anyway slowly slowly the case of my watch  has been getting darker and I have been quiet pleased with the result.

Axis Pure – before my holiday

Having read about and seen the drastic effect contact with sea water can have with bronze , some examples I have seen such as some bronze Panerais or the Oris diver of which have gone pretty extreme. I was interested and slightly concerned how my watch would react to my two weeks in Sicily.

Before I show you the effects of seawater I must say the Axis Pure with a couple of Nato straps works out as a pretty good holiday watch. It is water resistant to at least 100m which avoids worrying about swimming. It is tough and any knocks it might take can only enhance its “lived in” look. Finally you don’t have that worry of it attracting the undesirable attention, some more famous Swiss brands get, from street criminals. With the bronze version you get the added interest of how the case will react to different environments like the chlorine of the swimming pool to salt water of the sea.

The conclusion is chlorine seems to have the effect of slightly brightening the metal whilst the sea is the most fun.

Pinion Axis Bronze + Sea water

The photos above and below where taken after the watch had been in the sea for an hour.

Pinion Axis Bronze + Sea water

My first thoughts were “wow, that looks pretty cool” quickly moved on to “will that come off?” Now I was pretty confident there are ways to bring the watch back to its original finish but I did not want to return to the “as new look` – fortunately with a bit of a rub you can bring the watch back to whatever level of patina you like.

My next experiment will be to leave the watch a little longer before taking it back to normal.

Pinion still have a few of the Bronze watches left and they are now available a special price here

https://pinionwatches.com/product/axis-pure-bronze/

Roger Smith – Grand Prix D’Horlogerie De Genève Jury

British Watchmaker – Roger Smith

This was obviously intended to be a Roger Smith week. I was planning to post a nice little video he had put on Twitter of a co-axial movement and then ….

I read he has been named as part of the jury for the prestigious 2017 Grand Prix D’Horologerie De Geneve. As well as a great personal honour for Roger I am sure we can take this as a great compliment to British watchmaking. Congratulations Roger !

Pinion – Piers Berry Interview

 

Piers Berry talks to "The Jewellery Editor"
Piers Berry talks to “The Jewellery Editor”

I thought this interview with Pier Berry of British watch brand nicely sums up many of the issues around the British watch revival.

http://www.thejewelleryeditor.com/watches/interview/truth-behind-revival-british-watchmaking-pinion-watches-piers-berry/

Salon QP 2016 – Saturday

This event has now the highlight of my Grinidgetime calendar. It is an opportunity for me to meet in person many of the people I have been writing about over the year. Given the number of people that also want to meet these people I limit these meetings to a quick hello, just to put a face to Grinidgetime. Last year I managed to shake the hand of the great Roger Smith.  This year  there was at least his “Great Britain” watch.

Roger Smith - Great Britain
Roger Smith – Great Britain

Again, I have to mention I was disappointed that neither Meerson, Pinion or Schofield were exhibiting this year.  I was also disappointed that Farer did not have a stand, the brand caught me a little by surprise and I really like their new range of automatics.

Our first port of call was The Deep Time diver’s watch exhibition where I really enjoyed seeing an early Panerai, a Blancpain  Fifty Fathoms and an Eterna Kontiki  helps which remind us there are alternatives to Rolex Submariners. The first British stop was the Bremont stand, which disappointingly look identical to last year’s.  So I moved swiftly onto the first floor where  to see the Christopher Ward stand, this year featuring  Morgan three wheeler to highlight the relationship between the two companies. There was also  their star watchmaker Johannes Jahnke working away at a bench.

 Johannes Jahnke
Johannes Jahnke

Then up to the second floor where I almost literally bumped into Nicholas B-W of Fears Watches looking very pleased with himself. The show was going very well. Chatting with Nicholas he explained a little more to me about the philosophy of the brand. Apparently, he had been advised that the brands history would permit them to be much more upmarket. Nicholas explained that he thought this would be a betrayal of what the brand had been, good value watches with Swiss movements. He went on to explain that one key design feature of the Radcliff watch was legibility in the dark, interestingly having the date window is key in being able to orientate the watch.

My editorial assistant ( my just teenage son) was very impressed, He was even more impressed when Nicholas let him try on “watch No. 1”

#1 Redcliff + # 1 Son
#1 Redcliff + # 1 Son

The next stop was to say hello Toby Sutton to see how Dennison was going a year from their launch at last year’s Salon. He was wearing the material Denco53 with the French paratrooper strap which is a really great combination. This is the only picture I have managed to find, you must admit this strap looks made for this watch.

Next was Robert Loomes; I wanted to congratulate him on his talk the day before and of course to have a closer look at the new Stamford. I also had the pleasure of meeting his wife Robina, apparently the strategic mind of the couple. Robert was his usual enthusiastic self and was very pleased with the reception the watch had received at the show. It looks like he will be busy for sometime to come.

Our last “British” stop was to see the new “Portsmouth” at the Garrick stand. Here I had hoped to get some pictures of the watch, unfortunately exhibition cases and and an iPhone prevented this. So here is a picture from the Garrick website.

Garrick Portsmouth
Garrick Portsmouth

David Brailsford of Garrick was a another happy man. He told me sales at the show were going very well. They had sold out of there Regulator model and the Portsmouth was generating a great deal of interest despite the £17,995 price. So the Norfolk watchmaker is going to busy for sometime as well. Finally, I managed to resolve a doubt I had been harboring for a while, David confirmed to me that the watch was originally going to be called the Plymouth. Being Hampshire born I am much happier with this name.

So to sum up, another very enjoyable show this year. The best news being the great the great reception that the British brands exhibiting are receiving from everyone. Well done.

 

Two Roger Smith’s for sale!

Those clever people at Hodinkee tweeted a few days ago that they have discovered not one but two early example of British watchmaker Roger Smith’s work for sale.

Series 2 & Daniels Anniversary
Series 2 & Daniels Anniversary

Clearly these are not cheap. The gold Series 2 is up for £150,000 , the Daniel’s Anniversary for £235,000 .

For the complete story  https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/two-early-roger-w-smith-watches-watch-xchange

 

Time to buy a British watch

Google analytics tells me that I do have some readers from outside of the UK. From a watch point of view you are lucky people because the recent Brexit decision has had a considerable effect on the value of the British pound.

Both GasGasBones and Pinion have recently communicated this.

Here is what Pinion have published.

Pinion price promotion
Pinion price promotion

That looks like quiet a saving. The same is clearly true for all watches priced in Sterling. I imagine though this will not last long though as soon British companies using Swiss parts will be hit by higher costs.

Neither Schofield or Pinion will be attending Salon QP

The salon QP is where I first met with both Schofield and Pinion, so I am a little disappointed to discover that after the absence of Pinion last year, Schofield have decided not to attend either this year.

For the first year since Schofield launched its Signalman model watches they are not exhibiting .  The reasons are simple; wthey are very busy with a completely new watch called the Daymark and very busy with the production of the new bronze Beater B2. There is a risk that none of their new watches would be ready .

On the up side there will still be a significant presence from British watch brands such as Fears, who will be launching at the event, Dennison, Robert Loomes and Garrick. The last two with new movements.

W.T Author

W.T. Author arrived just after I started this blog and some how I managed to miss them, which is a shame. Yes, they are another British watch brand producing a range of watches with largely quartz movements the Swiss made Ronda 513S Quartz . One model , The Black cushion 1929 does have a Citizen 9015 Automatic movement. They do offer a distinctive design direction.

W.T.Author 1905
W.T.Author 1905
W.T. Author Classic 1914
W.T. Author Classic 1914
W.T. Author Classic 1929
W.T. Author Classic 1929

 

The brand is the idea of Sam Holland & Jonathan Shakespeare. According to their website it all started in 2013.

“At 13:00 Friday 13th September 2013 we launched an independent watch brand, the likes of which had never been seen before; the result of countless meetings at local coffee houses under Birmingham’s prestigious School of Horology. Discussing our love of fine watches, it soon dawned on us exactly how our friendship and passion for design could be directed into manufacturing a collection of our very own that charts the history of watches.”

Starting with the Classic 1905 they plan to produce a new model a year for thirteen years, each to mark a decade of watchmaking. Each watch to be produced in a series limited t 125 pieces, the latest, the 1929, being limited to 100 pieces.

Their workshop is based in the Shropshire countryside where they receive each tailor-made component from every corner of the globe (from USA to South America, Asia to Switzerland and of course, Great Britain). They assemble each product and fit precision movements, tested above and beyond the usual quality standards. They make and fit each strap from beautiful Buffalo hides onto the watch, where it will sit in the packaging with the signed book and limited edition screen print.

To read the considerably longer explanation of the two men’s philosophy and for more details of the watch specifications go to

https://wtauthor.com