To mark St George’s Day (23rd April) we’ve prepared three different blogs celebrating the best English asset-makers in three different categories – watches, cars and wine.
Five Great English Watchmakers
The first looks at the finest watchmakers currently working in England, an industry that is dominated by the Swiss still features a wide range of bespoke and luxury watches made on English soil.
“Watch-making is a very British trade. Every major escapement design and around three quarters of related innovations came from these shores.”
Based in Henley-on-Thames, Bremont was founded by brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002, launching its first range of watches in 2007. Their watches are designed, assembled and finished at their headquarters in South Oxfordshire and will set you back anywhere from a few thousands pounds up to twenty thousand for limited edition pieces.
4. Robert Loomes
“At he heart of the in watch is a 1950s English movement. Originally made by Smiths, this is the same mechanism that Sir Edmund Hillary famously carried to the summit of Everest.”
Robert Loomes crafts unique, limited-edition timepieces in Stamford in Lincolnshire with a dedication to entirely English-made watches that are both extremely high quality, hand-made and stylish. Only 100 of their ‘Robin’ model was produced and sold at a price of £6,950.
3. Harold Pinchbeck
“Harold Pinchbeck are not merely an ‘English Brand’… they are actually designed, machined, built and finished in England. Our watch cases, dials, straps, and many components on most of our watches are all made here in the UK.”
The Pinchbecks have a long history of producing timepieces in England, a family history that dates all the way back to the 1700s. They now hand-craft their watches in Lincolnshire, incorporating Swiss movements with British components and assembled by individual craftsmen. Their range begins at a few hundred pounds and goes up to £5-7000 for their limited edition items.
“It is a watch that is intended to be worn, knocked about and enjoyed and sturdy enough to keep time through exposure to anything the elements can throw at it, whether in Britain or abroad.”
Another watch that makes use of Swiss movements, but that is assembled and finished in Meridian’s Norwich workshops. Company-founder Simon Michlmayr has been working in the industry for over three decades and is a second generation watchmaker. Their Meridian Prime MP-01 was launched in 2013, retailing at £5000.
1. Roger W. Smith
“Making just ten pieces each year, the Roger Smith Studio practices a unique approach
to British watch making which is the result of Roger having mastered the thirty-two skills required to design and make a watch in its entirety by hand…”
Roger W. Smith produces possibly the finest watches made in Great Britain (his workshop is on the Isle of Man, but Smith himself is a native of Bolton, Lancashire). Inspired by George Daniels, one of the greatest horologists that ever lived, Smith produces incredibly high quality unique watches as good as anything in the world. This is watch-making, not just for luxury, but for history.