Page 1

The Magazine of Christopher Ward. Issue 15. Winter 2019


Resolute under pressure* When duty calls*

In the military, timing is all. Whether at sea, on land or in the air, achieving the right outcome can come

In a military operation, timing is everything. That’s why

down to a matter of seconds. Which is why our new

sailors, soldiers and airmen have always depended on

series of watches approved by the Ministry of Defence -

their timepieces. And it’s why our new series of watches

a tribute to the Royal Navy, British Army and approved by the Ministry of Defence - a tribute to the anRoyal ultra-accurate Royal Air Royal ForceNavy, - areBritish powered Armyby and Air Force - are

COSC-certified movement. You mayCOSC-certified never take part powered by an ultra-accurate movement. Something that ensures you’ll always in an operation yourself. But know that those who do

be on time, whether you’re on active service or walking

would be able to rely on the watch you’re wearing. down civvy street.

*

The C65 Dartmouth, Sandhurst and Cranwell

*The C65 Dartmouth, Sandhurst and Cranwell

from £795£795 each

christopherward.co.uk christopherward.co.uk


Resolute under pressure* When duty calls*

In the military, timing is all. Whether at sea, on land or in the air, achieving the right outcome can come

In a military operation, timing is everything. That’s why

down to a matter of seconds. Which is why our new

sailors, soldiers and airmen have always depended on

series of watches approved by the Ministry of Defence -

their timepieces. And it’s why our new series of watches

a tribute to the Royal Navy, British Army and approved by the Ministry of Defence - a tribute to the anRoyal ultra-accurate Royal Air Royal ForceNavy, - areBritish powered Armyby and Air Force - are

COSC-certified movement. You mayCOSC-certified never take part powered by an ultra-accurate movement. Something that ensures you’ll always in an operation yourself. But know that those who do

be on time, whether you’re on active service or walking

would be able to rely on the watch you’re wearing. down civvy street.

*

The C65 Dartmouth, Sandhurst and Cranwell

*The C65 Dartmouth, Sandhurst and Cranwell

from £795£795 each

christopherward.co.uk christopherward.co.uk


Contents

Loupe. The Magazine of Christopher Ward.

What it is with two-tone watches at the moment? They’re everywhere, but I’m rarely convinced they’ve got a great deal going for them. Sure, I’ve enjoyed vintage pieces with the bi-metal look, but anything more recent leaves me cold. The look just speaks to me of bad taste: all those Nautiluses and Cartiers and Submariners rendered unwearable by the blingy combination of stainless steel with yellow gold highlights, and their associated connotations with Rothmans-smoking playboys. And why am I talking about this now? Because I’ve just met a modern twotone watch I do love. It’s the C65 Black Gold, and we take a close look at it in The Brief this issue. There’s another material that stars this time around, though: ice. Yes, your eyes did not deceive you, we really did freeze the latest C65 incarnation, the Anthropocene, in a specially carved block of the stuff for this issue’s cover. Why? Because it looks spectacular, of course, but also because it fits in so well with a rather interesting story. Find out more on page 14… Matt Bielby

Not a “Fat Lady” in sight… Some of you will know that all three of us co-founders are huge music lovers (the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young in Mike and Peter’s case, and some pretty dodgy punk stuff in Chris’s). But perhaps it is less well known that our musical interests actually coalesce around an older genre of music – opera.

Features 14 – 21

32 – 35

The Abyss Gazes Also

And we've helped create it. ‘Anthropocene’ is a concept, an opera (with a very special star), and now a new C65 Limited Edition. We take a close look at all three…

22 – 27

Lotus Swarm The sexiest cars of the ’70s have a glamour unmatched in the annals of Formula One

28 – 31

Park Life Think opera is essentially elitist? Then you've not come across Opera Holland Park, where bold productions, a spectacular outdoor venue and community outreach projects bring some of the world’s greatest music to the most diverse of audiences

The complexities of both writing and staging an opera reflect the complication of creating a fine watch and both artforms have similarly long and distinguished histories, but perhaps more importantly (and contrary to what some may believe) both remain innovative, challenging and current. Composer Stuart Macrae’s latest opera, Anthropocene, with its hugely apposite themes of climate change, sacrifice and our ceaseless quest for knowledge, opened to wide critical acclaim in January of this year, inspiring us to create a watch in its name. (Mike, especially, was engaged with this – you'll see why when you read page 21.) As well as loving this new timepiece, perhaps it is being able to bring together the worlds of opera and watchmaking that brings the greatest satisfaction. We just need Bob or Neil to write a song about the new Tridents now…

A Whole New World

In an issue packed with handsome, rakish watches, the black-on-grey C60 Abyss has a particularly powerful, intimidating appeal

36 – 39

In Conversation

Cool World 14 — 21

Catching up with original kitchen bad boy, Marco Pierre White

40 – 43

The List How bright is your dog? Quite clever, right? But there are smarter animals out there, and they may not be the ones you would expect…

Need For Speed 22 — 27

Regulars 07 – 12

The Brief The Military Collection is now on sale, plus the last of the year's Get-Togethers and exciting developments at the CWArchive

45 – 50

Insight Inside Sinclair Harding, the great Yorkshire clockmaker. Plus: the first automatic chronograph in space, and how old – really – is the oldest human?

Chris, Mike and Peter Editor: Matt Bielby Art Director: Jamie Gallagher Designer: Sam Burn Photography: Peter Canning, Joshua Clare-Flagg

Deep Impact 32 — 35

Cover: C65 Anthropocene 1 Park Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1SL

4

5


Contents

Loupe. The Magazine of Christopher Ward.

What it is with two-tone watches at the moment? They’re everywhere, but I’m rarely convinced they’ve got a great deal going for them. Sure, I’ve enjoyed vintage pieces with the bi-metal look, but anything more recent leaves me cold. The look just speaks to me of bad taste: all those Nautiluses and Cartiers and Submariners rendered unwearable by the blingy combination of stainless steel with yellow gold highlights, and their associated connotations with Rothmans-smoking playboys. And why am I talking about this now? Because I’ve just met a modern twotone watch I do love. It’s the C65 Black Gold, and we take a close look at it in The Brief this issue. There’s another material that stars this time around, though: ice. Yes, your eyes did not deceive you, we really did freeze the latest C65 incarnation, the Anthropocene, in a specially carved block of the stuff for this issue’s cover. Why? Because it looks spectacular, of course, but also because it fits in so well with a rather interesting story. Find out more on page 14… Matt Bielby

Not a “Fat Lady” in sight… Some of you will know that all three of us co-founders are huge music lovers (the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young in Mike and Peter’s case, and some pretty dodgy punk stuff in Chris’s). But perhaps it is less well known that our musical interests actually coalesce around an older genre of music – opera.

Features 14 – 21

32 – 35

The Abyss Gazes Also

And we've helped create it. ‘Anthropocene’ is a concept, an opera (with a very special star), and now a new C65 Limited Edition. We take a close look at all three…

22 – 27

Lotus Swarm The sexiest cars of the ’70s have a glamour unmatched in the annals of Formula One

28 – 31

Park Life Think opera is essentially elitist? Then you've not come across Opera Holland Park, where bold productions, a spectacular outdoor venue and community outreach projects bring some of the world’s greatest music to the most diverse of audiences

The complexities of both writing and staging an opera reflect the complication of creating a fine watch and both artforms have similarly long and distinguished histories, but perhaps more importantly (and contrary to what some may believe) both remain innovative, challenging and current. Composer Stuart Macrae’s latest opera, Anthropocene, with its hugely apposite themes of climate change, sacrifice and our ceaseless quest for knowledge, opened to wide critical acclaim in January of this year, inspiring us to create a watch in its name. (Mike, especially, was engaged with this – you'll see why when you read page 21.) As well as loving this new timepiece, perhaps it is being able to bring together the worlds of opera and watchmaking that brings the greatest satisfaction. We just need Bob or Neil to write a song about the new Tridents now…

A Whole New World

In an issue packed with handsome, rakish watches, the black-on-grey C60 Abyss has a particularly powerful, intimidating appeal

36 – 39

In Conversation

Cool World 14 — 21

Catching up with original kitchen bad boy, Marco Pierre White

40 – 43

The List How bright is your dog? Quite clever, right? But there are smarter animals out there, and they may not be the ones you would expect…

Need For Speed 22 — 27

Regulars 07 – 12

The Brief The Military Collection is now on sale, plus the last of the year's Get-Togethers and exciting developments at the CWArchive

45 – 50

Insight Inside Sinclair Harding, the great Yorkshire clockmaker. Plus: the first automatic chronograph in space, and how old – really – is the oldest human?

Chris, Mike and Peter Editor: Matt Bielby Art Director: Jamie Gallagher Designer: Sam Burn Photography: Peter Canning, Joshua Clare-Flagg

Deep Impact 32 — 35

Cover: C65 Anthropocene 1 Park Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1SL

4

5


A smart watch that does less

Imagine being monitored by your watch. Every step calculated. Your sleep pattern analysed. Bit weird, isn’t it? Meanwhile, the mechanical C1 Moonglow tells the time and charts the phases of the moon. All without spying on you. Do your research.

christopherward.co.uk

Gold rush

News, reports & innovations. This issue: The amazing new CWArchive. Plus! The Drawing Board is back.

The C65 Black Gold channels a sexy 1970s glamour all its own…

The C65 Diver is a watch that looks pretty damn great no matter what colour scheme you use, but here’s one to really knock your socks off. Called Black Gold, referencing a nickname given to the John Player Special Formula One cars of the 1970s, it offers a particularly attractive variation on the two-tone, bi-metal theme currently having an unexpected resurgence in the fine watch world. But instead of the standard steel-and-yellow-gold look, this piece combines black with truly striking golden bronze for a watch that whispers of Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti. “Few people of a certain generation can look at these colours and not think of the JPS cars,” says Christopher Ward co-founder Mike France. “But the look actually comes from a unique prototype sample watch, which I wore to our Edinburgh Get-Together back in January. That one was made of actual bronze metal with black DLC portions, and it got an absolutely phenomenal reaction; people were buzzing

7

around it like flies. In fact, the only negative comment we heard was from those who liked it so much that they wanted it to stay in its pristine state. They were unsure about the patination you’d eventually get with actual bronze. We thought, okay, why don’t we do it differently? Instead of bronze, we could use a DLC coating, giving the same look but guaranteed to keep box-fresh.” Limited to 200 pieces, Black Gold’s 41mm C65 Trident Diver case is therefore rendered in black DLC and bronze-brown PVD, while inside is a hand-wound Sellita SW210. The face, caseback and bezel are in black, while the lugs, crown and sides of the case are golden bronze-brown. “If the reaction from Edinburgh is anything to go by,” Mike says, “it’ll attract admiring glances like little else.” The C65 Black Gold LE is limited to 200 pieces, and costs £845. Read about the JPS Lotuses that inspired it on page 22


A smart watch that does less

Imagine being monitored by your watch. Every step calculated. Your sleep pattern analysed. Bit weird, isn’t it? Meanwhile, the mechanical C1 Moonglow tells the time and charts the phases of the moon. All without spying on you. Do your research.

christopherward.co.uk

Gold rush

News, reports & innovations. This issue: The amazing new CWArchive. Plus! The Drawing Board is back.

The C65 Black Gold channels a sexy 1970s glamour all its own…

The C65 Diver is a watch that looks pretty damn great no matter what colour scheme you use, but here’s one to really knock your socks off. Called Black Gold, referencing a nickname given to the John Player Special Formula One cars of the 1970s, it offers a particularly attractive variation on the two-tone, bi-metal theme currently having an unexpected resurgence in the fine watch world. But instead of the standard steel-and-yellow-gold look, this piece combines black with truly striking golden bronze for a watch that whispers of Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti. “Few people of a certain generation can look at these colours and not think of the JPS cars,” says Christopher Ward co-founder Mike France. “But the look actually comes from a unique prototype sample watch, which I wore to our Edinburgh Get-Together back in January. That one was made of actual bronze metal with black DLC portions, and it got an absolutely phenomenal reaction; people were buzzing

7

around it like flies. In fact, the only negative comment we heard was from those who liked it so much that they wanted it to stay in its pristine state. They were unsure about the patination you’d eventually get with actual bronze. We thought, okay, why don’t we do it differently? Instead of bronze, we could use a DLC coating, giving the same look but guaranteed to keep box-fresh.” Limited to 200 pieces, Black Gold’s 41mm C65 Trident Diver case is therefore rendered in black DLC and bronze-brown PVD, while inside is a hand-wound Sellita SW210. The face, caseback and bezel are in black, while the lugs, crown and sides of the case are golden bronze-brown. “If the reaction from Edinburgh is anything to go by,” Mike says, “it’ll attract admiring glances like little else.” The C65 Black Gold LE is limited to 200 pieces, and costs £845. Read about the JPS Lotuses that inspired it on page 22


Morgan free, man Well, not quite. But money off is the next best thing…

Drawing board Here's something to look forward to: a new chronograph iteration of the C60 Trident

Reporting for duty

Morgan, the singular and highly independent British sports car manufacturer, is celebrating its 110 year anniversary this year, and as part of the celebrations it repriced its classic Morgan 3 Wheeler for a limited period. One of the most iconic, unusual, attention-grabbing and sheer fun-to-drive cars on the road, the first ever Morgan 3 Wheeler was delivered in 1909, so for orders placed during a two-month period this summer, the company contributed £3,000 to the cost of the car. In the spirit of this, Christopher Ward is now doing something similar with the C1 Morgan 3 Wheeler Chronometer, powered by CW’s own inhouse Calibre SH21, and reducing the price by £300 until the end of November.

Three great new military inspired watches, created in partnership with the Ministry of Defence The three-watch Military Collection, amongst the most eagerly awaited of recent Christopher Ward releases, is now in stock. The C65 Dartmouth, C65 Sandhurst and C65 Cranwell – all using different iterations of the popular C65 case – represent the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force respectively, and have been created in conjunction with the UK’s Ministry of Defence. Each one takes influences from significant UK Armed Forces watches of the post-World War II era, but filtered through a modern Christopher Ward sensibility, and is powered by a COSC-certified Sellita SW200 chronograph movement; they also proudly feature the insignia of a branch of the UK Armed Forces deep-stamped on the back plate. These are high-quality, historically-influenced pieces at very wearable modern case sizes – 41mm for the Dartmouth and Cranwell, 38mm for the Sandhurst – and look sure to become regular fixtures in any owner’s wrist rotation.

Normally £1,695, the C1 Morgan 3 Wheeler Chronometer is £1,395 for a limited period

This is our first look at the new chronograph verison of the acclaimed new C60 Trident Pro 600 dive watch, to be released in 2020. Few details as yet, but the looks are shaping up to be predictably handsome, especially if black-with-yellowhighlights – as suggested by these early design concepts from Head of Product Design Adrian Buchmann – makes it through to the finished watch… 8

The C65 Dartmouth, C65 Sandhurst and C65 Cranwell each cost from £795; they're all in stock now

9


Morgan free, man Well, not quite. But money off is the next best thing…

Drawing board Here's something to look forward to: a new chronograph iteration of the C60 Trident

Reporting for duty

Morgan, the singular and highly independent British sports car manufacturer, is celebrating its 110 year anniversary this year, and as part of the celebrations it repriced its classic Morgan 3 Wheeler for a limited period. One of the most iconic, unusual, attention-grabbing and sheer fun-to-drive cars on the road, the first ever Morgan 3 Wheeler was delivered in 1909, so for orders placed during a two-month period this summer, the company contributed £3,000 to the cost of the car. In the spirit of this, Christopher Ward is now doing something similar with the C1 Morgan 3 Wheeler Chronometer, powered by CW’s own inhouse Calibre SH21, and reducing the price by £300 until the end of November.

Three great new military inspired watches, created in partnership with the Ministry of Defence The three-watch Military Collection, amongst the most eagerly awaited of recent Christopher Ward releases, is now in stock. The C65 Dartmouth, C65 Sandhurst and C65 Cranwell – all using different iterations of the popular C65 case – represent the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force respectively, and have been created in conjunction with the UK’s Ministry of Defence. Each one takes influences from significant UK Armed Forces watches of the post-World War II era, but filtered through a modern Christopher Ward sensibility, and is powered by a COSC-certified Sellita SW200 chronograph movement; they also proudly feature the insignia of a branch of the UK Armed Forces deep-stamped on the back plate. These are high-quality, historically-influenced pieces at very wearable modern case sizes – 41mm for the Dartmouth and Cranwell, 38mm for the Sandhurst – and look sure to become regular fixtures in any owner’s wrist rotation.

Normally £1,695, the C1 Morgan 3 Wheeler Chronometer is £1,395 for a limited period

This is our first look at the new chronograph verison of the acclaimed new C60 Trident Pro 600 dive watch, to be released in 2020. Few details as yet, but the looks are shaping up to be predictably handsome, especially if black-with-yellowhighlights – as suggested by these early design concepts from Head of Product Design Adrian Buchmann – makes it through to the finished watch… 8

The C65 Dartmouth, C65 Sandhurst and C65 Cranwell each cost from £795; they're all in stock now

9


Happy together

Fresh meets

The new CWArchive holds all the info you could ever want on Christopher Ward. Sounds too good to be true? Not at all…

Meet the people behind the watches

The nights may be drawing in, but nobody at Christopher Ward is hunkering down against the cold and the dark just yet, as a series of events in which you get to hold and examine all the latest Christopher Ward releases – and meet some of the key people behind them too, of course – continues until the end of the year. Here are all the details you’ll need… Saturday 2 November Christopher Ward Bristol Get-Together This one's held at M Shed, Bristol. Expect to see the new C60 Apex, C65 Black Gold, C65 Anthropocene, the complete Military Collection and more.   Saturday 9 November WatchIt! Watch Fair This new one-day watch event takes place at a café bar in the centre of Rugby, opposite the famous school and called – somewhat a mouthful – Inside the 22 at CV22. It’s free to enter, and Christopher Ward will be attending and presenting watches, alongside a number of smaller UK online-only watch brands.  www.watchitallabout.com/watchit

Though the Christopher Ward website itself is packed with fascinating watch knowledge, and the CW Forum does a great job of representing a wide-range of views on the brand, this rabbit hole goes deeper. The more you know about watches, the more you want to know. This being the case, one of the most exciting pieces of news this year has to be that the new CWArchive is open for business. This incredible treasure trove of CW knowledge has been curated by the experts from the CW Forum, the culmination of 12 years of information gathering. “I think what I’m most proud of is that we’ve put all things CW in one place,” says Forum Moderator Kip McEwen, who led the project. “There’s now a searchable historical reference to all models, including details and pricing, resale values, manuals and catalogue links, movement info, a

Peter, Mike and Chris hold court

Thursday 21 November Showroom Open Evening At Christopher Ward HQ, 1 Park Street, Maidenhead SL6 1SL.   Thursday 12 December Christmas Open Evening At the Maidenhead HQ. This is the final open evening of the year, with mulled wine and mince pies on tap.

CW Timeline and press links. I really like the Timeline, as it gives a nice overview of the company’s progress through the years.” Other elements include many of the older owner’s manuals, and PDFs of past issues of both Loupe and its predecessor, The Christopher Ward Magazine. And there’s more to come, including – for starters – biographies of the Christopher Ward founders, and an in-depth look at the evolution of the CW logo over the years. “Even though this was my idea,” Kip says, “and I’ve put a tremendous amount of effort into it over several years, it couldn’t have been accomplished without the input and cooperation of the CW Forum Admin team, and Christopher Ward itself.” Indeed, and you can access the Archive through the CW Forum, or the link below.   For more, cwarchive.knack.com

100 club

Please email events@christopherward.co.uk to register your interest in attending an open evening. Spaces are limited.

Bentley turns 100, and the Birkin’s Blower is back

Full steam ahead for November's Bristol event

Only four of the famous Birkin’s Blower racing cars were made in 1929, but now 12 will follow in a new series of hand-crafted continuations, celebrating 100 years of Bentley. There is an easier way to celebrate this great marque, however: by picking up one of CW's few remaining Birkin’s Blower LE watches, each containing a disc of metal from Bentley Blower No.1. C8 Birkin's Blower TMB LE, £1,995

Thanks to Joshua Clare-Flagg of Watch It All About for the Get-Together image above

10

11

Packing heat Christopher Ward’s in the running for a gong, but it’s not for the watches

There are award ceremonies these days for just about everything, of course, and you perhaps wouldn’t normally expect Christopher Ward to be a contender at the 2019 Luxury Packaging Awards, held in November at top London hotel Grosvenor House. But this year is different, with the company’s new eco packaging – created in association with Ming Feng Europe and featuring high proportions of such environmentally-friendly materials as bamboo – being one of four contenders in the Luxury Resource Efficient Pack category, alongside well-known brands like Jameson. Even better, the new packaging – which launched with the new C60 Trident 3 – is now rolling out across the entire Christopher Ward range. For more, www.ukpackagingawards.co.uk


Happy together

Fresh meets

The new CWArchive holds all the info you could ever want on Christopher Ward. Sounds too good to be true? Not at all…

Meet the people behind the watches

The nights may be drawing in, but nobody at Christopher Ward is hunkering down against the cold and the dark just yet, as a series of events in which you get to hold and examine all the latest Christopher Ward releases – and meet some of the key people behind them too, of course – continues until the end of the year. Here are all the details you’ll need… Saturday 2 November Christopher Ward Bristol Get-Together This one's held at M Shed, Bristol. Expect to see the new C60 Apex, C65 Black Gold, C65 Anthropocene, the complete Military Collection and more.   Saturday 9 November WatchIt! Watch Fair This new one-day watch event takes place at a café bar in the centre of Rugby, opposite the famous school and called – somewhat a mouthful – Inside the 22 at CV22. It’s free to enter, and Christopher Ward will be attending and presenting watches, alongside a number of smaller UK online-only watch brands.  www.watchitallabout.com/watchit

Though the Christopher Ward website itself is packed with fascinating watch knowledge, and the CW Forum does a great job of representing a wide-range of views on the brand, this rabbit hole goes deeper. The more you know about watches, the more you want to know. This being the case, one of the most exciting pieces of news this year has to be that the new CWArchive is open for business. This incredible treasure trove of CW knowledge has been curated by the experts from the CW Forum, the culmination of 12 years of information gathering. “I think what I’m most proud of is that we’ve put all things CW in one place,” says Forum Moderator Kip McEwen, who led the project. “There’s now a searchable historical reference to all models, including details and pricing, resale values, manuals and catalogue links, movement info, a

Peter, Mike and Chris hold court

Thursday 21 November Showroom Open Evening At Christopher Ward HQ, 1 Park Street, Maidenhead SL6 1SL.   Thursday 12 December Christmas Open Evening At the Maidenhead HQ. This is the final open evening of the year, with mulled wine and mince pies on tap.

CW Timeline and press links. I really like the Timeline, as it gives a nice overview of the company’s progress through the years.” Other elements include many of the older owner’s manuals, and PDFs of past issues of both Loupe and its predecessor, The Christopher Ward Magazine. And there’s more to come, including – for starters – biographies of the Christopher Ward founders, and an in-depth look at the evolution of the CW logo over the years. “Even though this was my idea,” Kip says, “and I’ve put a tremendous amount of effort into it over several years, it couldn’t have been accomplished without the input and cooperation of the CW Forum Admin team, and Christopher Ward itself.” Indeed, and you can access the Archive through the CW Forum, or the link below.   For more, cwarchive.knack.com

100 club

Please email events@christopherward.co.uk to register your interest in attending an open evening. Spaces are limited.

Bentley turns 100, and the Birkin’s Blower is back

Full steam ahead for November's Bristol event

Only four of the famous Birkin’s Blower racing cars were made in 1929, but now 12 will follow in a new series of hand-crafted continuations, celebrating 100 years of Bentley. There is an easier way to celebrate this great marque, however: by picking up one of CW's few remaining Birkin’s Blower LE watches, each containing a disc of metal from Bentley Blower No.1. C8 Birkin's Blower TMB LE, £1,995

Thanks to Joshua Clare-Flagg of Watch It All About for the Get-Together image above

10

11

Packing heat Christopher Ward’s in the running for a gong, but it’s not for the watches

There are award ceremonies these days for just about everything, of course, and you perhaps wouldn’t normally expect Christopher Ward to be a contender at the 2019 Luxury Packaging Awards, held in November at top London hotel Grosvenor House. But this year is different, with the company’s new eco packaging – created in association with Ming Feng Europe and featuring high proportions of such environmentally-friendly materials as bamboo – being one of four contenders in the Luxury Resource Efficient Pack category, alongside well-known brands like Jameson. Even better, the new packaging – which launched with the new C60 Trident 3 – is now rolling out across the entire Christopher Ward range. For more, www.ukpackagingawards.co.uk


Team Spirit

Truck drivin’ man

Drive an automatic* this winter

This is Joe Keech, Christopher Ward’s new Head of Finance, and a mostly-deft forklift truck driver… Tell us about you, Joe. I’m the youngest of four and the father of two; my dad was in the Armed Forces and I grew up partly in Cyprus. I meant to become a solicitor but, with a slight nudge from my girlfriend, followed her into accountancy. I went on to work for the live car event Salon Privé, eventually becoming Finance and Ops Director and, along the way, picking up my last qualification: a forklift truck driving licence. When the opportunity to join CW came up, it helped that Mike and Peter were two people I felt could offer me the tutelage I wanted. (I still miss the forklift, though!) What do you do at Christopher Ward? I manage incomings and outgoings, help set the financial agenda, and refine internal processes to improve efficiency – while remembering that, first and foremost, we must make commercially viable, high quality watches. In a developing business there’s no time to rest on your laurels, and rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in is key. What takes up most of your time? I joined when CW were entering the final stages of seeking investment from the British Growth Fund (BGF), so I’ve been focused

Joe Keech: moving on from a TAG

on that, setting up financial models and running through deep dive due diligence processes that make buying a house look easy. Now that’s gone through, resulting in a £6.25m investment, my role is normalising. Day-to-day I manage the finance team, producing analysis, accounts, reporting – all those sexy financial things!    And what are your big challenges? The aim is to really kick on with the brand, particularly overseas. There’s a new website in development; we need to overhaul the stock management systems; and, knocking on from that, we need to integrate the financial processes and systems into that. With all that working, management will be better informed when making the decisions that drive the business.   How into watches are you? My parents gave me a TAG Heuer with a message engraved on it as a present when I graduated. Until I joined CW, this was the only ‘smart’ watch I’d ever owned, but unfortunately it got run over by a forklift. (I only had myself to blame; I was driving it.) Right now I love the C60 Trident Elite, as I got one when I joined the company in April – I almost had to, as it launched just a few

12

days later. My wish list is quite long, but at the top is the new C65 Dartmouth. What else do you get up to? I’m interested in nearly all sports, and rugby is right up there; you can bet I’ll be talking about little else during the upcoming World Cup. But I’m a family man too, a bit of a film buff and I love photography. Whenever I get the chance to travel, you’ll see me with my DSLR in my hand, snapping away.   What’s the one thing you wish more people understood about your role? In a large company, someone in my position would be viewing the big picture, having minimal interaction with the detail generated further down the ladder. But in a company like this one, with a clear cycle of growth, you need to keep that overview while also being more hands-on. One moment I’ll need to look at the picture from 30,000 feet, and the next I’m at ground level, managing the traffic. Bouncing between the two is not an easy skill.

*no batteries required - ever Some say retro watches are like vintage sports cars. These people are wrong. Because, while a 1963 coupé may turn heads in the supermarket car park, it’ll also break down on the hard shoulder and drain your bank account. The C65 Trident Auto diving watch is different. Aside from its late-’60s looks, self-winding ‘automatic’ movement and water-resistance to 150m, it’s also rather competitively priced (from just £695). And thanks to its five-year guarantee, it’ll keep perfect time long after your pride-and-joy is in the repair garage. Again. Do your research.

Finally, Joe, what’s next? The growth potential was a big deciding factor in my joining CW, so to now be on the path to that future is very exciting.

christopherward.co.uk


Team Spirit

Truck drivin’ man

Drive an automatic* this winter

This is Joe Keech, Christopher Ward’s new Head of Finance, and a mostly-deft forklift truck driver… Tell us about you, Joe. I’m the youngest of four and the father of two; my dad was in the Armed Forces and I grew up partly in Cyprus. I meant to become a solicitor but, with a slight nudge from my girlfriend, followed her into accountancy. I went on to work for the live car event Salon Privé, eventually becoming Finance and Ops Director and, along the way, picking up my last qualification: a forklift truck driving licence. When the opportunity to join CW came up, it helped that Mike and Peter were two people I felt could offer me the tutelage I wanted. (I still miss the forklift, though!) What do you do at Christopher Ward? I manage incomings and outgoings, help set the financial agenda, and refine internal processes to improve efficiency – while remembering that, first and foremost, we must make commercially viable, high quality watches. In a developing business there’s no time to rest on your laurels, and rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in is key. What takes up most of your time? I joined when CW were entering the final stages of seeking investment from the British Growth Fund (BGF), so I’ve been focused

Joe Keech: moving on from a TAG

on that, setting up financial models and running through deep dive due diligence processes that make buying a house look easy. Now that’s gone through, resulting in a £6.25m investment, my role is normalising. Day-to-day I manage the finance team, producing analysis, accounts, reporting – all those sexy financial things!    And what are your big challenges? The aim is to really kick on with the brand, particularly overseas. There’s a new website in development; we need to overhaul the stock management systems; and, knocking on from that, we need to integrate the financial processes and systems into that. With all that working, management will be better informed when making the decisions that drive the business.   How into watches are you? My parents gave me a TAG Heuer with a message engraved on it as a present when I graduated. Until I joined CW, this was the only ‘smart’ watch I’d ever owned, but unfortunately it got run over by a forklift. (I only had myself to blame; I was driving it.) Right now I love the C60 Trident Elite, as I got one when I joined the company in April – I almost had to, as it launched just a few

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days later. My wish list is quite long, but at the top is the new C65 Dartmouth. What else do you get up to? I’m interested in nearly all sports, and rugby is right up there; you can bet I’ll be talking about little else during the upcoming World Cup. But I’m a family man too, a bit of a film buff and I love photography. Whenever I get the chance to travel, you’ll see me with my DSLR in my hand, snapping away.   What’s the one thing you wish more people understood about your role? In a large company, someone in my position would be viewing the big picture, having minimal interaction with the detail generated further down the ladder. But in a company like this one, with a clear cycle of growth, you need to keep that overview while also being more hands-on. One moment I’ll need to look at the picture from 30,000 feet, and the next I’m at ground level, managing the traffic. Bouncing between the two is not an easy skill.

*no batteries required - ever Some say retro watches are like vintage sports cars. These people are wrong. Because, while a 1963 coupé may turn heads in the supermarket car park, it’ll also break down on the hard shoulder and drain your bank account. The C65 Trident Auto diving watch is different. Aside from its late-’60s looks, self-winding ‘automatic’ movement and water-resistance to 150m, it’s also rather competitively priced (from just £695). And thanks to its five-year guarantee, it’ll keep perfect time long after your pride-and-joy is in the repair garage. Again. Do your research.

Finally, Joe, what’s next? The growth potential was a big deciding factor in my joining CW, so to now be on the path to that future is very exciting.

christopherward.co.uk


This is the limited edition C65 Anthropocene, a new GMT iteration of the popular C65 Trident with a striking, icy look and unexpected inspiration. It speaks of the human impact on the planet and the high culture world of opera, and takes Christopher Ward into uncharted territory indeed‌ 14

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This is the limited edition C65 Anthropocene, a new GMT iteration of the popular C65 Trident with a striking, icy look and unexpected inspiration. It speaks of the human impact on the planet and the high culture world of opera, and takes Christopher Ward into uncharted territory indeed‌ 14

15


planet, causing the mass extinctions of plant and animal species, polluting the oceans and altering the atmosphere. Officially, however – and according to the International Union of Geological Sciences, in charge of defining Earth’s time scale – there’s no such thing, and we’re still in the Holocene (or ‘entirely recent’) epoch, which began 11,700 years ago after the last major ice age. hristopher Ward has made watches inspired by classic cars or aeroplanes before, but never by a concept – or an opera. The C65 Anthropocene is unique, then, because it’s named for both. This limited edition version of the company’s highly popular 1960s-inspired diver is powered by Sellita’s SW330 automatic GMT movement, and features an unusually textured matt white dial and a highly contrasting orange-tipped GMT hand; the look is reminiscent of the icy Northern Wastes, with perhaps a small, brightly coloured human presence just visible against the white, some snow-cat or icebreaker or huge Arctic jacket by Canada Goose almost lost in the snow. So what’s going on here, exactly? Let us explain.

"We're in a new era, one in which human activity has permanently changed the planet, causing the mass extinctions of plant and animal species"

So that’s one thing. The second is the opera, named for the word. This fourth Scottish Opera collaboration between composer Stuart MacRae and librettist Louise Welsh enjoyed an extended run in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London earlier this year, and is a very modern piece with something of the flavour of Frankenstein and The Thing about it. In Anthropocene, a high-tech ship-board polar expedition of the near

First, the word: anthropocene. This has become something of an environmental buzzword since the atmospheric chemist and Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen popularised it some 20 years ago, but of late it’s picked up further velocity in both elite scientific circles and the popular imagination. Not bad for something that doesn’t, officially, exist. Coming from anthropo- for ‘man’ and -cene for ‘new’, it postulates that we’re in a new era, one in which human activity has permanently changed the

future – humankind in miniature – becomes icebound for the winter, after digging an ethereal, otherworldly and somehow still living creature from the ice. This figure is played by Jennifer France – one of the rising stars of modern British opera. And yes, that surname should sound familiar, for Jennifer’s father is none other than Mike France, CEO and co-founder of Christopher Ward. “The opera very much inspired the watch,” Mike says. “We wanted to do a new version of the C65 GMT, and thought a pure white dial could easily represent the polar elements of Anthropocene – with the orange of the GMT hand the bright cold weather gear some of the performers wear on stage. And it works beautifully, I think. The matt white texture of the dial is unique to this watch; it really looks like snow, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t hurt that white is one of the most requested dial colours – like white cars, it’s having a moment.” The watch is certainly part of a growing engagement at Christopher Ward with environmental issues. “There’s the new eco-packaging,” Mike says, “and while we know we can’t change the world ourselves, wherever we can do something small to contribute, we will; it’s becoming part of our business culture now.”

Cold weather suits in oranges and reds inspired the look of this very special C65

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planet, causing the mass extinctions of plant and animal species, polluting the oceans and altering the atmosphere. Officially, however – and according to the International Union of Geological Sciences, in charge of defining Earth’s time scale – there’s no such thing, and we’re still in the Holocene (or ‘entirely recent’) epoch, which began 11,700 years ago after the last major ice age. hristopher Ward has made watches inspired by classic cars or aeroplanes before, but never by a concept – or an opera. The C65 Anthropocene is unique, then, because it’s named for both. This limited edition version of the company’s highly popular 1960s-inspired diver is powered by Sellita’s SW330 automatic GMT movement, and features an unusually textured matt white dial and a highly contrasting orange-tipped GMT hand; the look is reminiscent of the icy Northern Wastes, with perhaps a small, brightly coloured human presence just visible against the white, some snow-cat or icebreaker or huge Arctic jacket by Canada Goose almost lost in the snow. So what’s going on here, exactly? Let us explain.

"We're in a new era, one in which human activity has permanently changed the planet, causing the mass extinctions of plant and animal species"

So that’s one thing. The second is the opera, named for the word. This fourth Scottish Opera collaboration between composer Stuart MacRae and librettist Louise Welsh enjoyed an extended run in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London earlier this year, and is a very modern piece with something of the flavour of Frankenstein and The Thing about it. In Anthropocene, a high-tech ship-board polar expedition of the near

First, the word: anthropocene. This has become something of an environmental buzzword since the atmospheric chemist and Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen popularised it some 20 years ago, but of late it’s picked up further velocity in both elite scientific circles and the popular imagination. Not bad for something that doesn’t, officially, exist. Coming from anthropo- for ‘man’ and -cene for ‘new’, it postulates that we’re in a new era, one in which human activity has permanently changed the

future – humankind in miniature – becomes icebound for the winter, after digging an ethereal, otherworldly and somehow still living creature from the ice. This figure is played by Jennifer France – one of the rising stars of modern British opera. And yes, that surname should sound familiar, for Jennifer’s father is none other than Mike France, CEO and co-founder of Christopher Ward. “The opera very much inspired the watch,” Mike says. “We wanted to do a new version of the C65 GMT, and thought a pure white dial could easily represent the polar elements of Anthropocene – with the orange of the GMT hand the bright cold weather gear some of the performers wear on stage. And it works beautifully, I think. The matt white texture of the dial is unique to this watch; it really looks like snow, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t hurt that white is one of the most requested dial colours – like white cars, it’s having a moment.” The watch is certainly part of a growing engagement at Christopher Ward with environmental issues. “There’s the new eco-packaging,” Mike says, “and while we know we can’t change the world ourselves, wherever we can do something small to contribute, we will; it’s becoming part of our business culture now.”

Cold weather suits in oranges and reds inspired the look of this very special C65

16

17


The watch is certainly part of a growing engagement at Christopher Ward with environmental issues; it’s becoming part of our business culture now. 18

A great watch, then, and a fascinating concept behind it. But what of the opera that was the watch’s direct inspiration? “Although I’ve wanted to be a composer since I knew how to read music, it took me a lot longer to become an opera fan,” says composer Stuart MacRae. “I gradually fell in love with the operatic singing voice though, and – at 30 – my first opera was produced at the Edinburgh International Festival. I met Louise at around that time, and we started working together on a short opera that Scottish Opera commissioned for their Five:15 project. The piece we produced went well – and we’ve now written three operas since, each longer than the last!” Louise seems a fairly unlikely co-conspirator, though – she’s a thriller novelist by trade (The Girl on the Stairs, The Cutting Room) who’d met Stuart on a year-long residency in Bamberg, Bavaria. “We work closely together on the initial ideas, the synopsis and the characters, until we have a strong proposal to show an opera company,” Stuart says. “Then, once we get a bit of encouragement, we continue until a full synopsis is written. It’s this bit that’s really crucial, as we both need to feel that the idea belongs to us equally.

After this, I leave Louise alone to write the libretto – the words, basically – and she leaves the music up to me.” Really? “Okay, I have to admit, I do interfere with the libretto drafts a bit, and often suggest changes, if I need more or less text for a particular aria, or a bit of re-ordering to fit the musical flow – but I also ask Louise what she has in mind musically for some sections, and our work overlaps quite a lot throughout.” Louise confesses to singing when no-one’s around, but has no real musical background. “As the words have to come first, it’s bad news for Stuart if I get stuck,” she says, “because then he can’t do anything. Short words can, bizarrely, seem very long when you sing them, and long words very short. If the words are too attention-grabbing, it might take an audience member out of the experience – so you can’t be too flashy.”

19


The watch is certainly part of a growing engagement at Christopher Ward with environmental issues; it’s becoming part of our business culture now. 18

A great watch, then, and a fascinating concept behind it. But what of the opera that was the watch’s direct inspiration? “Although I’ve wanted to be a composer since I knew how to read music, it took me a lot longer to become an opera fan,” says composer Stuart MacRae. “I gradually fell in love with the operatic singing voice though, and – at 30 – my first opera was produced at the Edinburgh International Festival. I met Louise at around that time, and we started working together on a short opera that Scottish Opera commissioned for their Five:15 project. The piece we produced went well – and we’ve now written three operas since, each longer than the last!” Louise seems a fairly unlikely co-conspirator, though – she’s a thriller novelist by trade (The Girl on the Stairs, The Cutting Room) who’d met Stuart on a year-long residency in Bamberg, Bavaria. “We work closely together on the initial ideas, the synopsis and the characters, until we have a strong proposal to show an opera company,” Stuart says. “Then, once we get a bit of encouragement, we continue until a full synopsis is written. It’s this bit that’s really crucial, as we both need to feel that the idea belongs to us equally.

After this, I leave Louise alone to write the libretto – the words, basically – and she leaves the music up to me.” Really? “Okay, I have to admit, I do interfere with the libretto drafts a bit, and often suggest changes, if I need more or less text for a particular aria, or a bit of re-ordering to fit the musical flow – but I also ask Louise what she has in mind musically for some sections, and our work overlaps quite a lot throughout.” Louise confesses to singing when no-one’s around, but has no real musical background. “As the words have to come first, it’s bad news for Stuart if I get stuck,” she says, “because then he can’t do anything. Short words can, bizarrely, seem very long when you sing them, and long words very short. If the words are too attention-grabbing, it might take an audience member out of the experience – so you can’t be too flashy.”

19


It’s a strange art form, opera, and many remain confused – or intimidated – by it. But it can have a unique majesty and magic, and a new generation of opera producers, creators and performers are determined to widen its appeal. “The crucial thing, for me, is that the singers act with their voices,” Stuart says, “and the drama is expressed through the music. Although the words are important, as are the scenery and costumes, it's a thrilling vocal performance by a great singing actor that makes it an unbeatable experience. To someone who’s new to opera, I would say this: don’t try to measure it against films, TV, theatre, or novels. Instead, it’s going to give you something new, in a way you weren’t expecting.” The initial idea for Anthropocene came through discussions Louise and Stuart had after their previous opera, The Devil Inside, an adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson story The Bottle Imp. “We talked about a situation where the characters were trapped and the relationships between them would be pushed beyond breaking point,” Stuart says, “then Louise suggested the idea of a mysterious outsider entering the fray. When we thought of the most isolated places one could be trapped, I remembered a documentary I’d seen where a group of people sailed to the north of Greenland to explore newly-unlocked land that had been revealed by the melting of the ice sheet.” Naturally, then, their characters would become a science expedition in search of early forms of life in the melting ice. “Anything with a group of people going out into a wasteland, whether that’s the

moon or the Arctic, will remind the audience of books and movies,” says Louise. “And that’s fun to engage with, because we share that consciousness too. Several people have mentioned The Thing having seen it, so that’s touched a chord, but during the writing process I certainly thought a lot about the ending of Frankenstein, which takes place in the frozen wastes. And Frank Hurley’s pictures of the Shackleton expedition to the Antarctic, where they get stuck but just manage to make it out. The danger was of getting over-influenced by it all.” A point of difference was that their story would be set in the 21st century, the icecaps melting and not a tweed suit in sight. “The themes are very human, though – greed, ambition, sacrifice, love,” says Stuart. “But also the sense that humans have over-reached in our dominance of the planet, hence the title Anthropocene, also the name of the ship our crew are trapped on. This proposed new geological epoch isn’t synonymous with global warming, or pollution, or mass extinction, but it is related to all of these through the activities and influence of humans. We have had to explain that quite a few times during the process and the performances – but that’s a good thing, because we are, somewhat unintentionally, helping to raise awareness of something that is caused by people, and that affects us all.”

20

The Icewoman Cometh

Both Stuart and Louise know nobody comes to the theatre to be preached at, but at the same time this piece can’t help but be at least a bit political. And it’s also an important piece because it shows new directions that opera could move in too. “Opera is a living genre so it’s always changing, like the movies and music do,” Louise says, “but that doesn’t mean you throw away what you already have. I love classic opera, and traditional opera audiences, but it was so thrilling that Anthropocene attracted a distinctly younger audience – especially the performances at the Hackney Empire. There were young folk there with their hair dyed green and incredible clothes, and the existing audience was so pleased to see them. There was no shock or animosity, just excitement.”

Inside Anthropocene with singer Jennifer France What are you into, Jenni? The classics, or contemporary pieces like this? I have the great privilege of singing some of the most exquisite music ever written, and adore Bach, Handel, Mozart – but, for me, the most exciting thing is brand new opera, written by living composers. Stuart Macrae wrote Ice with my voice specifically in mind, and I got to work on the music with him from conception to the stage. The role is very challenging vocally, but I had input into the way it was written, and there’s great joy in being able to ask the composer exactly how they want something to sound. Contemporary opera has grown into a real passion for me now.

C65 Anthropocene, limited to 300 pieces, is available now from £995; 5% of that price goes to the eco-charity ClientEarth, www.clientearth.org. Anthropocene the opera is enjoying an extended life: there’s a brand new production of it, to be performed in Salzburg in May

Do you feel part of a generation that’s changing opera in any way? The art form is sometimes seen as irrelevant and elitist, but I don’t see it like that. People come to the theatre to be entertained, to escape for a few hours, and maybe to be challenged in a different way to their normal lives. Opera does all of this. My generation of ‘millennials’ are facing a world that’s changing quicker than ever, and challenges no one could have predicted. Operas like Anthropocene are highly relevant, and that’s exciting to me. That is how we keep this art form alive. In order to get the younger generations coming to opera, we need to be telling their stories – which many composers, such as Stuart, are doing. And all the major opera companies offer cheap tickets for younger people, which is a great thing.

21


It’s a strange art form, opera, and many remain confused – or intimidated – by it. But it can have a unique majesty and magic, and a new generation of opera producers, creators and performers are determined to widen its appeal. “The crucial thing, for me, is that the singers act with their voices,” Stuart says, “and the drama is expressed through the music. Although the words are important, as are the scenery and costumes, it's a thrilling vocal performance by a great singing actor that makes it an unbeatable experience. To someone who’s new to opera, I would say this: don’t try to measure it against films, TV, theatre, or novels. Instead, it’s going to give you something new, in a way you weren’t expecting.” The initial idea for Anthropocene came through discussions Louise and Stuart had after their previous opera, The Devil Inside, an adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson story The Bottle Imp. “We talked about a situation where the characters were trapped and the relationships between them would be pushed beyond breaking point,” Stuart says, “then Louise suggested the idea of a mysterious outsider entering the fray. When we thought of the most isolated places one could be trapped, I remembered a documentary I’d seen where a group of people sailed to the north of Greenland to explore newly-unlocked land that had been revealed by the melting of the ice sheet.” Naturally, then, their characters would become a science expedition in search of early forms of life in the melting ice. “Anything with a group of people going out into a wasteland, whether that’s the

moon or the Arctic, will remind the audience of books and movies,” says Louise. “And that’s fun to engage with, because we share that consciousness too. Several people have mentioned The Thing having seen it, so that’s touched a chord, but during the writing process I certainly thought a lot about the ending of Frankenstein, which takes place in the frozen wastes. And Frank Hurley’s pictures of the Shackleton expedition to the Antarctic, where they get stuck but just manage to make it out. The danger was of getting over-influenced by it all.” A point of difference was that their story would be set in the 21st century, the icecaps melting and not a tweed suit in sight. “The themes are very human, though – greed, ambition, sacrifice, love,” says Stuart. “But also the sense that humans have over-reached in our dominance of the planet, hence the title Anthropocene, also the name of the ship our crew are trapped on. This proposed new geological epoch isn’t synonymous with global warming, or pollution, or mass extinction, but it is related to all of these through the activities and influence of humans. We have had to explain that quite a few times during the process and the performances – but that’s a good thing, because we are, somewhat unintentionally, helping to raise awareness of something that is caused by people, and that affects us all.”

20

The Icewoman Cometh

Both Stuart and Louise know nobody comes to the theatre to be preached at, but at the same time this piece can’t help but be at least a bit political. And it’s also an important piece because it shows new directions that opera could move in too. “Opera is a living genre so it’s always changing, like the movies and music do,” Louise says, “but that doesn’t mean you throw away what you already have. I love classic opera, and traditional opera audiences, but it was so thrilling that Anthropocene attracted a distinctly younger audience – especially the performances at the Hackney Empire. There were young folk there with their hair dyed green and incredible clothes, and the existing audience was so pleased to see them. There was no shock or animosity, just excitement.”

Inside Anthropocene with singer Jennifer France What are you into, Jenni? The classics, or contemporary pieces like this? I have the great privilege of singing some of the most exquisite music ever written, and adore Bach, Handel, Mozart – but, for me, the most exciting thing is brand new opera, written by living composers. Stuart Macrae wrote Ice with my voice specifically in mind, and I got to work on the music with him from conception to the stage. The role is very challenging vocally, but I had input into the way it was written, and there’s great joy in being able to ask the composer exactly how they want something to sound. Contemporary opera has grown into a real passion for me now.

C65 Anthropocene, limited to 300 pieces, is available now from £995; 5% of that price goes to the eco-charity ClientEarth, www.clientearth.org. Anthropocene the opera is enjoying an extended life: there’s a brand new production of it, to be performed in Salzburg in May

Do you feel part of a generation that’s changing opera in any way? The art form is sometimes seen as irrelevant and elitist, but I don’t see it like that. People come to the theatre to be entertained, to escape for a few hours, and maybe to be challenged in a different way to their normal lives. Opera does all of this. My generation of ‘millennials’ are facing a world that’s changing quicker than ever, and challenges no one could have predicted. Operas like Anthropocene are highly relevant, and that’s exciting to me. That is how we keep this art form alive. In order to get the younger generations coming to opera, we need to be telling their stories – which many composers, such as Stuart, are doing. And all the major opera companies offer cheap tickets for younger people, which is a great thing.

21


John Player Special

22

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John Player Special

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d; ol k

G

The Lotus story is a strange and convoluted one, but two things are undeniable: in the 1970s and early ’80s their Formula One cars were very fast indeed, and throughout that glory period they wore probably the most striking, sexy and beautiful colour scheme of any racing car ever: the black-and-gold of John Player Special. Back in the 1970s, motor racing was dangerous – and racing Lotuses possibly more dangerous than most – so it’s perhaps fitting that the cars of the time were more often than not painted in the colours of that most risky of habits, tobacco: the red-and-white of Marlborough McLaren, for instance, was almost as iconic, but the JPS colours linked the sex appeal of both death (black) and money (gold) like nothing else. Team Lotus was the motorsport sister company of Lotus cars, maker of lightweight, beautifully-handling glass fibre sports cars and junior-league supercars like the Elan, Europa, Elite and Esprit. Founder and chief designer Colin Chapman was the driving force behind both companies, and

se

e

Th

e JP pa Sge infl 7 ue fo n r m ce d or C e 65

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ac

In their striking blackand-gold livery, the John Player Special Lotuses of the 1970s looked like nothing else on the grid – and, at their best, drove like nothing else too

Team Lotus was a huge hit in all sorts of motorsport series – Formula Two, IndyCar and Sports Car racing, as well as Formula One – for 40 years from the mid-’50s till the mid-’90s, and one of the winningest teams in that period. They’d bag seven Formula One Constructors Championships and six Driver’s Championships, not to mention other major races like the Indianapolis 500. Part of what made Lotus successful was their bold, light-weight design, Chapman being highly experimental and responsible for many innovations. But his cars were also fragile, and many of the greats were injured or even killed driving Lotuses, including the celebrated Scottish driver Jim Clark in 1968. That same year, Lotus had experimented with four-wheel drive; in 1969 with a gas turbine car; and things got really wild for the 1970 season, with the arrival of the wedge-shaped, highly aerodynamic Lotus 72. Featuring hip-mounted radiators, torsion bar suspension, inboard front brakes and an overhanging rear wing, it was one of Chapman’s most innovative designs yet, and – after early teething problems – proved to be by far the fastest car on the grid. In it, driver Jochen Rindt dominated the championship – until he was tragically killed at Monza when a brake shaft broke and he crashed into a barrier head-on. The chasing Ferrari team started closing in on 24

Rindt’s now-undefended lead, but a young driver called Emerson Fittipaldi – untested at this level, but a hit in Formula Two driving a semi-works Lotus 59B – was now, in some desperation, promoted to Lotus’s No.1 driver, and started winning races too. At the United States Grand Prix Fittipaldi won again, while the chasing Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx finished only fourth: it meant Rindt won the championship, the only driver to ever do so posthumously. Lotus’s glory days were the ‘60s and especially the ’70s – glory days too for the entire Formula One circus, some might say, before the ’80s ban on ground effect aerodynamics, the arrival of electronic driver aids, and the domination of large, manufacturer-owned teams. This was a time when smaller, privateer teams could still compete, and compete hard. Lotus was always good, and the Lotus 72 was better than good, but one final piece of the puzzle was needed for this to become the sexiest team in F1. It arrived in 1972, when the ongoing Imperial Tobacco sponsorship was kicked up a gear by the arrival of a brand new livery, based on the just-introduced John Player Special brand. Lotus cars had been British Racing Green in the ’60s, and the red, white and gold of Gold Leaf tobacco – another strong colour scheme, in fairness – more recently, but

Lotus was always good, and the Lotus 72 was better than good. 25


d; ol k

G

The Lotus story is a strange and convoluted one, but two things are undeniable: in the 1970s and early ’80s their Formula One cars were very fast indeed, and throughout that glory period they wore probably the most striking, sexy and beautiful colour scheme of any racing car ever: the black-and-gold of John Player Special. Back in the 1970s, motor racing was dangerous – and racing Lotuses possibly more dangerous than most – so it’s perhaps fitting that the cars of the time were more often than not painted in the colours of that most risky of habits, tobacco: the red-and-white of Marlborough McLaren, for instance, was almost as iconic, but the JPS colours linked the sex appeal of both death (black) and money (gold) like nothing else. Team Lotus was the motorsport sister company of Lotus cars, maker of lightweight, beautifully-handling glass fibre sports cars and junior-league supercars like the Elan, Europa, Elite and Esprit. Founder and chief designer Colin Chapman was the driving force behind both companies, and

se

e

Th

e JP pa Sge infl 7 ue fo n r m ce d or C e 65

Bl

ac

In their striking blackand-gold livery, the John Player Special Lotuses of the 1970s looked like nothing else on the grid – and, at their best, drove like nothing else too

Team Lotus was a huge hit in all sorts of motorsport series – Formula Two, IndyCar and Sports Car racing, as well as Formula One – for 40 years from the mid-’50s till the mid-’90s, and one of the winningest teams in that period. They’d bag seven Formula One Constructors Championships and six Driver’s Championships, not to mention other major races like the Indianapolis 500. Part of what made Lotus successful was their bold, light-weight design, Chapman being highly experimental and responsible for many innovations. But his cars were also fragile, and many of the greats were injured or even killed driving Lotuses, including the celebrated Scottish driver Jim Clark in 1968. That same year, Lotus had experimented with four-wheel drive; in 1969 with a gas turbine car; and things got really wild for the 1970 season, with the arrival of the wedge-shaped, highly aerodynamic Lotus 72. Featuring hip-mounted radiators, torsion bar suspension, inboard front brakes and an overhanging rear wing, it was one of Chapman’s most innovative designs yet, and – after early teething problems – proved to be by far the fastest car on the grid. In it, driver Jochen Rindt dominated the championship – until he was tragically killed at Monza when a brake shaft broke and he crashed into a barrier head-on. The chasing Ferrari team started closing in on 24

Rindt’s now-undefended lead, but a young driver called Emerson Fittipaldi – untested at this level, but a hit in Formula Two driving a semi-works Lotus 59B – was now, in some desperation, promoted to Lotus’s No.1 driver, and started winning races too. At the United States Grand Prix Fittipaldi won again, while the chasing Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx finished only fourth: it meant Rindt won the championship, the only driver to ever do so posthumously. Lotus’s glory days were the ‘60s and especially the ’70s – glory days too for the entire Formula One circus, some might say, before the ’80s ban on ground effect aerodynamics, the arrival of electronic driver aids, and the domination of large, manufacturer-owned teams. This was a time when smaller, privateer teams could still compete, and compete hard. Lotus was always good, and the Lotus 72 was better than good, but one final piece of the puzzle was needed for this to become the sexiest team in F1. It arrived in 1972, when the ongoing Imperial Tobacco sponsorship was kicked up a gear by the arrival of a brand new livery, based on the just-introduced John Player Special brand. Lotus cars had been British Racing Green in the ’60s, and the red, white and gold of Gold Leaf tobacco – another strong colour scheme, in fairness – more recently, but

Lotus was always good, and the Lotus 72 was better than good. 25


Black arrows the new black-with-gold-pinstripes was jaw-dropping. Designed for both the cars and the cigarettes packets at the same time, it channelled 1970s glamour like little else – though, of course, it didn’t hurt that the cars kept winning too. In 1972, a now 25-year-old Emerson Fittipaldi surprised many when he became the youngest ever World Champion – a distinction he’d hold for over 30 years – and Lotus would continue to dominate in the middle of the ’70s too, now with American ex-NASCAR and IndyCar driver Mario Andretti and a run of new cars. These pioneered the effective, controversial ‘ground effect’ aerodynamics, which shaped the underside of the car to generate downforce while adding little penalising drag – and reshaped Formula One. The Lotus 78, and particularly the Lotus 79 of 1978, became two of the greatest racing cars of all time – while the 78 ‘wing car’ proved very fast, it wasn’t too reliable, but the 79 hit every ball out of the park. In it, Andretti won six Grand Prizes and took the 1978 title – but there was little celebration, as his team mate and friend Ronnie Peterson crashed, and later died, in the decisive race. Lotus would attempt to take ground effect even further with the Lotus 80 and 88,

The Batmobile lines of the Lotus 72

Three JPS Lotuses that built the legend

the latter an all-carbon-fibre car banned for its ‘twin-chassis’ tech, but Chapman – full of ideas – never gave up innovating. Indeed, he was working to develop active suspension for racing cars when he died from a heart attack at the end of 1982, aged just 54. The team was not finished – Chapman’s wife, Hazel, continued to run it for years – but rarely challenged McLaren or Ferrari again, and when, at the end of 1986, Lotus lost its iconic JPS sponsorship (to be replaced by the far less cool Camel), an era was over. It took a while, though, for the world to forget the JPS glamour. The black-andgold had extended way beyond Formula One – Norton Commando motorcycles would race in it, and Ford produced a limited edition Capri in 1975 wearing the livery – but would be forever linked to a particular era, and some remarkable cars. Lotuses were dressed like the bad guys, you might say, but they looked great doing it – and, together with their charismatic drivers (a young Ayrton Senna would also cut a dash in black) and risk-taking, forward thinking leader, generated a glamour that even Ferrari couldn’t match. Not so much Darth Vader, then; more like Zorro.

26

Lotus 72 1970-76 No Formula One car remains competitive for six years, but this one did. This wedge-on-wheels is the one Jochen Rindt posthumously won the championship in, and that earned Lotus the Constructors’ title in 1970, 1972 and 1973. Lotus 78 1977-78

The Lotus 77 of 1976 had been dubbed the ‘Adjustacar’, thanks to new suspension that allowed you to set the ride height to fit the track. The Lotus 78 wing car that replaced it, though, was something else: the model that started the ‘ground effect’ revolution, and uncatchable when working well. Skirts at the side hid the underside of the car, leaving chasing teams baffled as to why it was so good. Lotus 79 1978-79

27

The first Formula One car to take full advantage of ‘ground effect’, this was the car dubbed ‘Black Beauty’ in the press, and dominated the 1978 season, winning both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships. Even today, leading drivers say it’s the first F1 car to feel modern to drive.


Black arrows the new black-with-gold-pinstripes was jaw-dropping. Designed for both the cars and the cigarettes packets at the same time, it channelled 1970s glamour like little else – though, of course, it didn’t hurt that the cars kept winning too. In 1972, a now 25-year-old Emerson Fittipaldi surprised many when he became the youngest ever World Champion – a distinction he’d hold for over 30 years – and Lotus would continue to dominate in the middle of the ’70s too, now with American ex-NASCAR and IndyCar driver Mario Andretti and a run of new cars. These pioneered the effective, controversial ‘ground effect’ aerodynamics, which shaped the underside of the car to generate downforce while adding little penalising drag – and reshaped Formula One. The Lotus 78, and particularly the Lotus 79 of 1978, became two of the greatest racing cars of all time – while the 78 ‘wing car’ proved very fast, it wasn’t too reliable, but the 79 hit every ball out of the park. In it, Andretti won six Grand Prizes and took the 1978 title – but there was little celebration, as his team mate and friend Ronnie Peterson crashed, and later died, in the decisive race. Lotus would attempt to take ground effect even further with the Lotus 80 and 88,

The Batmobile lines of the Lotus 72

Three JPS Lotuses that built the legend

the latter an all-carbon-fibre car banned for its ‘twin-chassis’ tech, but Chapman – full of ideas – never gave up innovating. Indeed, he was working to develop active suspension for racing cars when he died from a heart attack at the end of 1982, aged just 54. The team was not finished – Chapman’s wife, Hazel, continued to run it for years – but rarely challenged McLaren or Ferrari again, and when, at the end of 1986, Lotus lost its iconic JPS sponsorship (to be replaced by the far less cool Camel), an era was over. It took a while, though, for the world to forget the JPS glamour. The black-andgold had extended way beyond Formula One – Norton Commando motorcycles would race in it, and Ford produced a limited edition Capri in 1975 wearing the livery – but would be forever linked to a particular era, and some remarkable cars. Lotuses were dressed like the bad guys, you might say, but they looked great doing it – and, together with their charismatic drivers (a young Ayrton Senna would also cut a dash in black) and risk-taking, forward thinking leader, generated a glamour that even Ferrari couldn’t match. Not so much Darth Vader, then; more like Zorro.

26

Lotus 72 1970-76 No Formula One car remains competitive for six years, but this one did. This wedge-on-wheels is the one Jochen Rindt posthumously won the championship in, and that earned Lotus the Constructors’ title in 1970, 1972 and 1973. Lotus 78 1977-78

The Lotus 77 of 1976 had been dubbed the ‘Adjustacar’, thanks to new suspension that allowed you to set the ride height to fit the track. The Lotus 78 wing car that replaced it, though, was something else: the model that started the ‘ground effect’ revolution, and uncatchable when working well. Skirts at the side hid the underside of the car, leaving chasing teams baffled as to why it was so good. Lotus 79 1978-79

27

The first Formula One car to take full advantage of ‘ground effect’, this was the car dubbed ‘Black Beauty’ in the press, and dominated the 1978 season, winning both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships. Even today, leading drivers say it’s the first F1 car to feel modern to drive.


A ruined mansion and a tiny park surrounded by highend housing doesn’t sound like a likely recipe for one of the most exciting, innovative and accessible of opera companies. But then Opera Holland Park rarely does things the way people expect it to…

You may not think you like opera, but there’s a company in London – running an annual season of performances, staged in front of the ruins of Holland House, a Blitz-bashed building not far from Kensington High Street – that’s out to prove you wrong. Opera Holland Park has been operating in this eponymous public space for 23 years now, enjoying major hits based on often unlikely material. As well as classics by the likes of Verdi, Mozart and Bizet, they produce an adventurous mix of more obscure rarities and the odd specially-commissioned piece too, like the family friendly Alice (2013), based on the Lewis Carroll books. ‘Accessibility’ is an overused word, perhaps, when talking about those trying to open up high culture to the masses, but it’s rarely been more appropriate than here. “Opera is a fusion of singing, orchestral music, set and costume design with

28

29


A ruined mansion and a tiny park surrounded by highend housing doesn’t sound like a likely recipe for one of the most exciting, innovative and accessible of opera companies. But then Opera Holland Park rarely does things the way people expect it to…

You may not think you like opera, but there’s a company in London – running an annual season of performances, staged in front of the ruins of Holland House, a Blitz-bashed building not far from Kensington High Street – that’s out to prove you wrong. Opera Holland Park has been operating in this eponymous public space for 23 years now, enjoying major hits based on often unlikely material. As well as classics by the likes of Verdi, Mozart and Bizet, they produce an adventurous mix of more obscure rarities and the odd specially-commissioned piece too, like the family friendly Alice (2013), based on the Lewis Carroll books. ‘Accessibility’ is an overused word, perhaps, when talking about those trying to open up high culture to the masses, but it’s rarely been more appropriate than here. “Opera is a fusion of singing, orchestral music, set and costume design with

28

29


James Clutton: a lover of ‘creative destruction’

incredible drama,” says OHP’s director of opera James Clutton, who runs the show with co-director Michael Volpe. “If you like movies, if you like rock music, and if you like plays, opera can bring it all together.” Really? Can you guarantee we’ll like it? “Well, if you don’t, don’t worry; it may be just that particular production you didn’t like. After all, you don’t go out for a poor curry, then decide afterwards you don’t like food. Be open minded!” And these guys certainly are… There’s been theatre, music and dance performed in Holland Park for many years, and opera was part of the mix. But then came Italia 90, and a huge postWorld Cup interest in the art form, thanks to the ubiquitous use of ‘Nessun dorma’ from Giacomo Puccini’s opera, Turandot.

Back then the theatre was owned and managed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and was a receiving house – renting the space to different producers – but in 1996 it was decided that, rather than only take shows in, a company would be set up to create new ones. Opera Holland Park was born. “There’s an old Pathé news reel of flamenco dancing there from the mid-1960s,” James says, “and I myself first saw a musical there in 1992 – not knowing, of course, how many evenings in my future I would spend watching shows on this stage.” His partner in crime – and current joint chief executive of the company – Michael Volpe was already involved when the new company started, but James had been up to other things. “After a few years as a commercial photographer I ran away ‘to join the circus’,” he says, “and started producing musicals and plays, initially by myself before working for the renowned theatre producer Bill Kenwright, the man behind West End hit Blood Brothers.” In 2000, though, James was on a short break ‘between jobs’ when he took on a role at the still-relatively-new Opera Holland Park for three months. “Nearly 20 years later,” he says, “I’m still here.” One of the great things about Opera Holland Park, of course, is the venue: built in 1605, and originally known as Cope Castle, there are enough of the ruins left to have earned Grade I listed building status. They’re also versatile enough to work as all sorts of different backdrops. “It’s been a square in Seville, a piazza in Rome and – naturally – a very realistic Elizabethan house, the setting for the opera Roberto Devereux. In fact, one critic, who’d never visited us before, said our set was a faux Elizabethan facade – when, actually it was probably the most realistic setting for that opera ever!”

30

"It’s an attitude. I like change, and I like to look at things differently"

These days, Opera Holland Park has a reputation as somewhere warm and informal, but with serious artistic chops too. “It’s an attitude,” James says. “I like change, and like to look at things differently. You could call it creative destruction.” It’s certainly an opera company with an impressive range of firsts. They do outreach work that won the International Opera Award last year, taking opera into care homes and hospitals. They run a schools’ matinee with dozens of workshops; regularly hold ‘touch tours’ of their productions; and were the first opera company in the UK to hold a ‘relaxed’ performance – a quieter, less dramatic version aimed at those with autism, learning difficulties or dementia. They did this with their production of Alice, and they’ve recently taken family operas like this and Fantastic Mr Fox to festivals around the country. Basically, they’re constantly working to break down all those barriers between opera and opera-goers – and the rest of us. “We also have an annual open day, where you can try things in our theatre,” James says, “including singing, and even conducting our resident orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia. Kids particularly love that – they have no inhibitions. Our artistic reputation is built on innovative productions, top quality casting – of

Christopher Ward clocks greet you as you enter Opera Holland Park

mainly young, UK-based talent – and giving the audiences what they want, just maybe taking them on a slightly different journey. I used to cast young singers and creative teams for economic reasons, but then it grew to be a philosophy. ” The other thing Opera Holland Park is known for is accessible pricing. “We make our budgets work, to ensure our prices are accessible. We also give 1,000 tickets away per season for under 18s, and almost as many for senior citizens. It’s a mixture of high artistic standards, 100% commitment to our outreach work, plus the way we tend to look after our artists. There is real camaraderie and sense of purpose here.” They’ve an exciting season planned for 2020, with five new productions: Eugene Onegin, Rigoletto and The Merry Widow, plus their rarities – a double bill of Le Villi by Puccini and Margot la Rouge by Delius.  

31

Before that, though, they’re launching a new scheme – Opera on Film – that’ll make films of their productions freely available to care homes, hospitals, schools and shelters. “Once again,” James says, “it’s about bringing the community to the opera, and opera to the community. Our rivals are not other opera companies, or even the theatres – they’re Netflix or Amazon Prime or anything else that makes it such a treat to stay at home. We need to keep getting people out of their houses and coming to see live art. Make it ordinary to come to the opera – and extraordinary once you get there.” For more, www.operahollandpark.com


James Clutton: a lover of ‘creative destruction’

incredible drama,” says OHP’s director of opera James Clutton, who runs the show with co-director Michael Volpe. “If you like movies, if you like rock music, and if you like plays, opera can bring it all together.” Really? Can you guarantee we’ll like it? “Well, if you don’t, don’t worry; it may be just that particular production you didn’t like. After all, you don’t go out for a poor curry, then decide afterwards you don’t like food. Be open minded!” And these guys certainly are… There’s been theatre, music and dance performed in Holland Park for many years, and opera was part of the mix. But then came Italia 90, and a huge postWorld Cup interest in the art form, thanks to the ubiquitous use of ‘Nessun dorma’ from Giacomo Puccini’s opera, Turandot.

Back then the theatre was owned and managed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and was a receiving house – renting the space to different producers – but in 1996 it was decided that, rather than only take shows in, a company would be set up to create new ones. Opera Holland Park was born. “There’s an old Pathé news reel of flamenco dancing there from the mid-1960s,” James says, “and I myself first saw a musical there in 1992 – not knowing, of course, how many evenings in my future I would spend watching shows on this stage.” His partner in crime – and current joint chief executive of the company – Michael Volpe was already involved when the new company started, but James had been up to other things. “After a few years as a commercial photographer I ran away ‘to join the circus’,” he says, “and started producing musicals and plays, initially by myself before working for the renowned theatre producer Bill Kenwright, the man behind West End hit Blood Brothers.” In 2000, though, James was on a short break ‘between jobs’ when he took on a role at the still-relatively-new Opera Holland Park for three months. “Nearly 20 years later,” he says, “I’m still here.” One of the great things about Opera Holland Park, of course, is the venue: built in 1605, and originally known as Cope Castle, there are enough of the ruins left to have earned Grade I listed building status. They’re also versatile enough to work as all sorts of different backdrops. “It’s been a square in Seville, a piazza in Rome and – naturally – a very realistic Elizabethan house, the setting for the opera Roberto Devereux. In fact, one critic, who’d never visited us before, said our set was a faux Elizabethan facade – when, actually it was probably the most realistic setting for that opera ever!”

30

"It’s an attitude. I like change, and I like to look at things differently"

These days, Opera Holland Park has a reputation as somewhere warm and informal, but with serious artistic chops too. “It’s an attitude,” James says. “I like change, and like to look at things differently. You could call it creative destruction.” It’s certainly an opera company with an impressive range of firsts. They do outreach work that won the International Opera Award last year, taking opera into care homes and hospitals. They run a schools’ matinee with dozens of workshops; regularly hold ‘touch tours’ of their productions; and were the first opera company in the UK to hold a ‘relaxed’ performance – a quieter, less dramatic version aimed at those with autism, learning difficulties or dementia. They did this with their production of Alice, and they’ve recently taken family operas like this and Fantastic Mr Fox to festivals around the country. Basically, they’re constantly working to break down all those barriers between opera and opera-goers – and the rest of us. “We also have an annual open day, where you can try things in our theatre,” James says, “including singing, and even conducting our resident orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia. Kids particularly love that – they have no inhibitions. Our artistic reputation is built on innovative productions, top quality casting – of

Christopher Ward clocks greet you as you enter Opera Holland Park

mainly young, UK-based talent – and giving the audiences what they want, just maybe taking them on a slightly different journey. I used to cast young singers and creative teams for economic reasons, but then it grew to be a philosophy. ” The other thing Opera Holland Park is known for is accessible pricing. “We make our budgets work, to ensure our prices are accessible. We also give 1,000 tickets away per season for under 18s, and almost as many for senior citizens. It’s a mixture of high artistic standards, 100% commitment to our outreach work, plus the way we tend to look after our artists. There is real camaraderie and sense of purpose here.” They’ve an exciting season planned for 2020, with five new productions: Eugene Onegin, Rigoletto and The Merry Widow, plus their rarities – a double bill of Le Villi by Puccini and Margot la Rouge by Delius.  

31

Before that, though, they’re launching a new scheme – Opera on Film – that’ll make films of their productions freely available to care homes, hospitals, schools and shelters. “Once again,” James says, “it’s about bringing the community to the opera, and opera to the community. Our rivals are not other opera companies, or even the theatres – they’re Netflix or Amazon Prime or anything else that makes it such a treat to stay at home. We need to keep getting people out of their houses and coming to see live art. Make it ordinary to come to the opera – and extraordinary once you get there.” For more, www.operahollandpark.com


Some Christopher Ward watches are brilliant at their price point, others are real horological innovators, and the new C60 Abyss? Well, look at it. It’s just plain cool‌

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Some Christopher Ward watches are brilliant at their price point, others are real horological innovators, and the new C60 Abyss? Well, look at it. It’s just plain cool‌

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"The Pantone shade used on the dial is actually called ‘cool grey’, which pretty much sums it up”

Blacked out watches certainly have a cult following, with all-ebony pieces – strap, face, case, hands – currently available at price points great and small. Some have the occasional bright moment of contrast in the lume or indices, or a tiny hint of colour – yellow, perhaps, or red – on a seconds hand or sub-dial. But many of them, very deliberately, do not. It makes them cool, for sure, but something of a blunt instrument too, like a matt-wrapped, smoked-windowed, all-black Mercedes. The C60 Abyss is different. It has all of this cool – and then some – but rather more in the way of sophistication too. What makes this such a

particularly striking iteration of the Darth Vader-meets-Knight Rider theme is that its 42mm steel Trident 3 case has been finished in an immensely attractive combination of gunmetal DLC and black DLC. This gives it a more subtle two-tone feeling while remaining, you’d have to say, extremely menacing. “There’s a wonderful mix of tones and finishes on this watch,” says Christopher Ward co-founder Mike France, “which really make it sing. It’s obviously inspired by the success of our C60 Trident Titanium Variation No.1, a high-end limited edition watch we put out a few years ago, but this one’s in stainless steel instead, so more accessibly priced. I love this thing; it’s just a fantastic looking watch.” There’s actually something of a black-and-gunmetal theme running through the culture at the moment, but particularly in the often-linked worlds of cars and watches. “You can’t look at any automotive range these days without seeing a two-tone black-and-grey story going on, and it's a colour-scheme that seems to flatter most models; indeed, I’ve got one myself, a black-and-grey Range Rover Velar. On that car, as with this watch, the two colours are balanced

34

so beautifully, making it look strong and a little bit dangerous, but stylishly so. That slightly scary feeling is something we’re playing with by calling this watch Abyss, as there’s a genuine sense of darkness to it.” Plus, of course, there’s that shock of red on the bezel triangle and second hand that just pings out, saying ‘look at me’. The strap continues that theme, the now familiar hybrid mix of rubber and Cordura® appearing mostly as a textured black on the top surface, but with bright red beneath and in strips along the sides. “Hybrid straps are really on trend at the moment ,” Mike says, “and have become an important part of our collection very quickly. You’ll be able to get this watch on black leather too, for a more classic look, but it certainly looks amazing on the two-colour hybrid.” But though the Abyss, powered by the familiar Sellita SW200 automatic movement, is water resistant to 600M, one

35

thing Mike is unlikely to do is go diving with it any time soon. “I’ll be honest, this would not be my first choice if the criteria was high legibility underwater,” he says. “Grey-on-black is not the answer to the diver’s prayer. But remember, this is designed to be an everyday watch, tough and stylish, rather than a dedicated diver’s tool.” It's certainly one perfectly capable of taking on any water-based challenge you might throw at it, of course, but nobody expects you to do so very often. “What I do think owners will do is wear it – a lot – because it looks so good. After all, one of the Pantone shades we use on the dial is actually called ‘cool grey’, which pretty much sums it up.”

The C60 Abyss is an open series model, available now, £745


"The Pantone shade used on the dial is actually called ‘cool grey’, which pretty much sums it up”

Blacked out watches certainly have a cult following, with all-ebony pieces – strap, face, case, hands – currently available at price points great and small. Some have the occasional bright moment of contrast in the lume or indices, or a tiny hint of colour – yellow, perhaps, or red – on a seconds hand or sub-dial. But many of them, very deliberately, do not. It makes them cool, for sure, but something of a blunt instrument too, like a matt-wrapped, smoked-windowed, all-black Mercedes. The C60 Abyss is different. It has all of this cool – and then some – but rather more in the way of sophistication too. What makes this such a

particularly striking iteration of the Darth Vader-meets-Knight Rider theme is that its 42mm steel Trident 3 case has been finished in an immensely attractive combination of gunmetal DLC and black DLC. This gives it a more subtle two-tone feeling while remaining, you’d have to say, extremely menacing. “There’s a wonderful mix of tones and finishes on this watch,” says Christopher Ward co-founder Mike France, “which really make it sing. It’s obviously inspired by the success of our C60 Trident Titanium Variation No.1, a high-end limited edition watch we put out a few years ago, but this one’s in stainless steel instead, so more accessibly priced. I love this thing; it’s just a fantastic looking watch.” There’s actually something of a black-and-gunmetal theme running through the culture at the moment, but particularly in the often-linked worlds of cars and watches. “You can’t look at any automotive range these days without seeing a two-tone black-and-grey story going on, and it's a colour-scheme that seems to flatter most models; indeed, I’ve got one myself, a black-and-grey Range Rover Velar. On that car, as with this watch, the two colours are balanced

34

so beautifully, making it look strong and a little bit dangerous, but stylishly so. That slightly scary feeling is something we’re playing with by calling this watch Abyss, as there’s a genuine sense of darkness to it.” Plus, of course, there’s that shock of red on the bezel triangle and second hand that just pings out, saying ‘look at me’. The strap continues that theme, the now familiar hybrid mix of rubber and Cordura® appearing mostly as a textured black on the top surface, but with bright red beneath and in strips along the sides. “Hybrid straps are really on trend at the moment ,” Mike says, “and have become an important part of our collection very quickly. You’ll be able to get this watch on black leather too, for a more classic look, but it certainly looks amazing on the two-colour hybrid.” But though the Abyss, powered by the familiar Sellita SW200 automatic movement, is water resistant to 600M, one

35

thing Mike is unlikely to do is go diving with it any time soon. “I’ll be honest, this would not be my first choice if the criteria was high legibility underwater,” he says. “Grey-on-black is not the answer to the diver’s prayer. But remember, this is designed to be an everyday watch, tough and stylish, rather than a dedicated diver’s tool.” It's certainly one perfectly capable of taking on any water-based challenge you might throw at it, of course, but nobody expects you to do so very often. “What I do think owners will do is wear it – a lot – because it looks so good. After all, one of the Pantone shades we use on the dial is actually called ‘cool grey’, which pretty much sums it up.”

The C60 Abyss is an open series model, available now, £745


In conversation

White There are few chefs more celebrated than Marco Pierre White, the original kitchen bad boy. We caught up with him for a chat – and he can certainly chat – to find a rather more mellow Marco, and one who enjoys the simpler things in life… #$@&%*!

It’s hard to over-estimate the importance of Marco Pierre White. He was the first British chef to be awarded three Michelin stars; the youngest chef to earn that honour anywhere; and, through both his cooking and his book, White Heat, became the inspiration to an entire generation. The reason the British food scene is as exciting as it is today? A good part of it, for certain, is down to Marco. But though he trained famous chefs himself – notably Gordon Ramsey, and the stories revolving around their relationship in the kitchen are legendary – the pantheon he learnt from is even greater. Think Albert and Michel Roux at Le Gavroche; Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons; Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico; and Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire. These days, Marco has his finger in many pies. There’s no over-arching Jamie’s Italian-style chain, but there are over 40

restaurants with his name on them across the UK – Mr. White’s English Chophouse, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill, Marco’s New York Italian, the brands are endless – and a few internationally too. Plus, he still does his TV work – somewhat reluctantly, perhaps – and promotes Knorr stock cubes. And he’s still extremely good at getting himself into trouble, too. Take one recent interview with the Irish Independent, for instance, where he claimed “men can absorb pressure better” and are more capable of carrying large kitchen pans than women; “rambling dinosaur” was one of the kinder comments from those who took against him for that. It’s certainly true that he can ramble – or, at least, he can talk. You don’t so much ask him questions as turn him on, then listen, rapt – he still has charisma to burn. Now living largely in the West Country –

36

Marco has a house in Wiltshire, and is often to be found at his Rudloe Arms hotel near Bath – he’s largely turned his back on fine dining, and is now all about much simpler plates of food. “I certainly don't like to spend time on excessive decoration,” he says, “or preparing a beautiful plate; I’d rather concentrate on the taste. Most Michelin starred restaurants don't create food you actually want to eat. They're about a master class in technical ability, yes, but a lot of the time technical ability doesn't taste delicious. You see a plate filled with technical ability, but do you want to eat it?” Er, yes…? “No! I love technical ability, but I love delicious food even more. I don't want to eat pig three ways, with three different sauces, and puréed black pudding with strange crackling. I'm sorry, but just give me a nice roast belly of pork with proper

37


In conversation

White There are few chefs more celebrated than Marco Pierre White, the original kitchen bad boy. We caught up with him for a chat – and he can certainly chat – to find a rather more mellow Marco, and one who enjoys the simpler things in life… #$@&%*!

It’s hard to over-estimate the importance of Marco Pierre White. He was the first British chef to be awarded three Michelin stars; the youngest chef to earn that honour anywhere; and, through both his cooking and his book, White Heat, became the inspiration to an entire generation. The reason the British food scene is as exciting as it is today? A good part of it, for certain, is down to Marco. But though he trained famous chefs himself – notably Gordon Ramsey, and the stories revolving around their relationship in the kitchen are legendary – the pantheon he learnt from is even greater. Think Albert and Michel Roux at Le Gavroche; Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons; Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico; and Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire. These days, Marco has his finger in many pies. There’s no over-arching Jamie’s Italian-style chain, but there are over 40

restaurants with his name on them across the UK – Mr. White’s English Chophouse, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill, Marco’s New York Italian, the brands are endless – and a few internationally too. Plus, he still does his TV work – somewhat reluctantly, perhaps – and promotes Knorr stock cubes. And he’s still extremely good at getting himself into trouble, too. Take one recent interview with the Irish Independent, for instance, where he claimed “men can absorb pressure better” and are more capable of carrying large kitchen pans than women; “rambling dinosaur” was one of the kinder comments from those who took against him for that. It’s certainly true that he can ramble – or, at least, he can talk. You don’t so much ask him questions as turn him on, then listen, rapt – he still has charisma to burn. Now living largely in the West Country –

36

Marco has a house in Wiltshire, and is often to be found at his Rudloe Arms hotel near Bath – he’s largely turned his back on fine dining, and is now all about much simpler plates of food. “I certainly don't like to spend time on excessive decoration,” he says, “or preparing a beautiful plate; I’d rather concentrate on the taste. Most Michelin starred restaurants don't create food you actually want to eat. They're about a master class in technical ability, yes, but a lot of the time technical ability doesn't taste delicious. You see a plate filled with technical ability, but do you want to eat it?” Er, yes…? “No! I love technical ability, but I love delicious food even more. I don't want to eat pig three ways, with three different sauces, and puréed black pudding with strange crackling. I'm sorry, but just give me a nice roast belly of pork with proper

37


“I’m just turning up to eat these days – not for the fluff”

crackling and delicious apple sauce, and I’m happy.” The TV, the books and all the rest have become a necessary evil, too. “When I entered the industry, working in a kitchen was just a job, simple as that. It didn't have the glamour associated with it that it does now. Well, they call it glamour – but making TV shows is not glamorous. It’s sort of mundane. Some chefs like doing it, but I don’t.” But there’s a good side, surely? It means you get to share your knowledge and experiences and philosophies… “There is that, I suppose. And you can inspire people, so everything has a positive and a negative. But then I don't like doing books, either. I like to be left alone, if I'm quite honest.” And he laughs; I don’t think either of us believes that’s quite true. “White Heat is a book that chefs still love, but it’s by default, really. I was so busy at the time” – it was published in 1990, at the very height of Marco's fame, part autobiography and part cookbook – “that I didn't finish it. It only had 35 dishes in it – interesting, isn't it? But what people really liked is that it gave a proper insight into the world of a kitchen, and most of

that was thanks to the photography by Bob Carlos Clarke.” Amazing pictures they were too, turning a young Marco – all hair and cigarettes and wild gesticulations, holding a dead baby shark or naked with a side of piglet in his lap – into a sex symbol. “But the person who really drove that interest in working kitchens home was Anthony Bourdain, who wrote all about it, God rest his soul, in his book Kitchen Confidential. White Heat showed off the kitchen life through photographs, and Anthony did the same thing through writing. He was one of my great friends; he used to come to Rudloe, and it was a real pleasure to have him around. It's so sad that he is no longer with us. I always described him as the Hemingway of gastronomy.” Marco likes Ernest Hemingway, and yes, that most macho of American writers’ economical, understated style would seem to tie in with his current philosophy of food. “I was as guilty as a young man of what most chefs are guilty of today,” Marco says. “That is, over-working food. I tried too hard, because if you have this technical ability you feel you need to use it. But in time I simplified what I did, and you know what? I started to earn even more Michelin stars.

38

When my food was complicated, I didn't even have one star, but as it became less complicated, I got more and more. The great writers write so simply, don't they? Look at Hemingway. Look at AA Gill. But it moves you emotionally, delivers a point, makes you smile or cry. And that's what great food should do, too.” One of Marco’s favourite restaurants of all time was the Connaught, back in the 1990s when the great chef Michel Bourdin ran the show. “I could go there for my boiled beef and dumplings with creamed horseradish, or my steak and kidney pie, or my oysters Christian Dior,” he says. “I'm not into 18 courses of little knick-knacks, and I hate being told what I’m eating and how to eat it. I might not have three Michelin stars any more, but now that I've travelled more, I know a lot more about food and restaurants than I ever did. When you step back for a little while, and you're not doing it every day – lunch, dinner, lunch, dinner – you can start properly thinking about food. I do that all the time, but when I used to work six days a week I simply didn't have that freedom.” Because you’re on a treadmill?

Marco in White Heat: putting sex into the kitchen

“Oh, back then all my energies went into maintaining consistency, and delivering a standard day in, day out. Winning three stars is incredibly exciting – the greatest journey for any chef – but retaining them becomes the most boring job on earth. By the time you've won three stars you've built your infrastructure, and you’ve become this well-oiled machine. And that’s boring. The most exciting food, I think, is when you’re on two stars and knocking on the door for three. You're still being experimental, and still using your imagination, because you want to get your three stars. But when you do get to three, you start to play a very safe game.” Safe, but the food you serve will still be divine, surely? “You know the only thing that never dates in this industry? Romance. The most important aspect of any restaurant is the environment you sit in. The second is the service, and then you have to deliver food to a standard and at a price point that everyone can enjoy. But food is number three. And that's the same for a three star restaurant as it is for a little corner café. If you don't feel comfortable in a restaurant, what's the point?” So what does he like now? Where would he really recommend? Foolishly, I expect an answer like Bibendum or Balthazar in London, or one of Tom Kerridge, Nathan Outlaw or Yotam Ottolenghi’s places; per-

39

haps somewhere further afield, a Noma or Mirazur or El Celler de Can Rosa. But no. “You know what I like these days? Smashburger. It’s an American burger chain. I take my daughter there: she’s a teenager, and she thinks it’s fantastic. In Bath I go to The Scallop Shell, a fish and chip restaurant; it’s deliciously fresh fish, and what's on the plate and in the mouth will give you more enjoyment than most Michelin restaurants. Every Thursday I have the langoustines, the razor clams, the scallops, the smoked herring. And for my main course, eight times out of ten, I'll have the haddock from Peterhead – but if they've got lobster, turbot or dover sole, I'll have that. I must go 50 or 60 times a year. And in London I like a little Italian restaurant in Barnes called Riva; AA Gill told me to go there. I always take recommendations – from certain people.” Seems sort of unlikely. “Not if you’ve been listening. Remember, I’m just turning up to eat these days – not for the fluff.” The Rudloe Arms, Leafy Lane, Corsham SN13 0PA; 01225 810555; www.rudloearms.com


“I’m just turning up to eat these days – not for the fluff”

crackling and delicious apple sauce, and I’m happy.” The TV, the books and all the rest have become a necessary evil, too. “When I entered the industry, working in a kitchen was just a job, simple as that. It didn't have the glamour associated with it that it does now. Well, they call it glamour – but making TV shows is not glamorous. It’s sort of mundane. Some chefs like doing it, but I don’t.” But there’s a good side, surely? It means you get to share your knowledge and experiences and philosophies… “There is that, I suppose. And you can inspire people, so everything has a positive and a negative. But then I don't like doing books, either. I like to be left alone, if I'm quite honest.” And he laughs; I don’t think either of us believes that’s quite true. “White Heat is a book that chefs still love, but it’s by default, really. I was so busy at the time” – it was published in 1990, at the very height of Marco's fame, part autobiography and part cookbook – “that I didn't finish it. It only had 35 dishes in it – interesting, isn't it? But what people really liked is that it gave a proper insight into the world of a kitchen, and most of

that was thanks to the photography by Bob Carlos Clarke.” Amazing pictures they were too, turning a young Marco – all hair and cigarettes and wild gesticulations, holding a dead baby shark or naked with a side of piglet in his lap – into a sex symbol. “But the person who really drove that interest in working kitchens home was Anthony Bourdain, who wrote all about it, God rest his soul, in his book Kitchen Confidential. White Heat showed off the kitchen life through photographs, and Anthony did the same thing through writing. He was one of my great friends; he used to come to Rudloe, and it was a real pleasure to have him around. It's so sad that he is no longer with us. I always described him as the Hemingway of gastronomy.” Marco likes Ernest Hemingway, and yes, that most macho of American writers’ economical, understated style would seem to tie in with his current philosophy of food. “I was as guilty as a young man of what most chefs are guilty of today,” Marco says. “That is, over-working food. I tried too hard, because if you have this technical ability you feel you need to use it. But in time I simplified what I did, and you know what? I started to earn even more Michelin stars.

38

When my food was complicated, I didn't even have one star, but as it became less complicated, I got more and more. The great writers write so simply, don't they? Look at Hemingway. Look at AA Gill. But it moves you emotionally, delivers a point, makes you smile or cry. And that's what great food should do, too.” One of Marco’s favourite restaurants of all time was the Connaught, back in the 1990s when the great chef Michel Bourdin ran the show. “I could go there for my boiled beef and dumplings with creamed horseradish, or my steak and kidney pie, or my oysters Christian Dior,” he says. “I'm not into 18 courses of little knick-knacks, and I hate being told what I’m eating and how to eat it. I might not have three Michelin stars any more, but now that I've travelled more, I know a lot more about food and restaurants than I ever did. When you step back for a little while, and you're not doing it every day – lunch, dinner, lunch, dinner – you can start properly thinking about food. I do that all the time, but when I used to work six days a week I simply didn't have that freedom.” Because you’re on a treadmill?

Marco in White Heat: putting sex into the kitchen

“Oh, back then all my energies went into maintaining consistency, and delivering a standard day in, day out. Winning three stars is incredibly exciting – the greatest journey for any chef – but retaining them becomes the most boring job on earth. By the time you've won three stars you've built your infrastructure, and you’ve become this well-oiled machine. And that’s boring. The most exciting food, I think, is when you’re on two stars and knocking on the door for three. You're still being experimental, and still using your imagination, because you want to get your three stars. But when you do get to three, you start to play a very safe game.” Safe, but the food you serve will still be divine, surely? “You know the only thing that never dates in this industry? Romance. The most important aspect of any restaurant is the environment you sit in. The second is the service, and then you have to deliver food to a standard and at a price point that everyone can enjoy. But food is number three. And that's the same for a three star restaurant as it is for a little corner café. If you don't feel comfortable in a restaurant, what's the point?” So what does he like now? Where would he really recommend? Foolishly, I expect an answer like Bibendum or Balthazar in London, or one of Tom Kerridge, Nathan Outlaw or Yotam Ottolenghi’s places; per-

39

haps somewhere further afield, a Noma or Mirazur or El Celler de Can Rosa. But no. “You know what I like these days? Smashburger. It’s an American burger chain. I take my daughter there: she’s a teenager, and she thinks it’s fantastic. In Bath I go to The Scallop Shell, a fish and chip restaurant; it’s deliciously fresh fish, and what's on the plate and in the mouth will give you more enjoyment than most Michelin restaurants. Every Thursday I have the langoustines, the razor clams, the scallops, the smoked herring. And for my main course, eight times out of ten, I'll have the haddock from Peterhead – but if they've got lobster, turbot or dover sole, I'll have that. I must go 50 or 60 times a year. And in London I like a little Italian restaurant in Barnes called Riva; AA Gill told me to go there. I always take recommendations – from certain people.” Seems sort of unlikely. “Not if you’ve been listening. Remember, I’m just turning up to eat these days – not for the fluff.” The Rudloe Arms, Leafy Lane, Corsham SN13 0PA; 01225 810555; www.rudloearms.com


African Grey Parrots

Fantastic BEASTS We all know how clever some animals can be. Chimpanzees learn sign language and share 98% of their genomes with people; dolphins effectively call each other by name, and pass on tips and tricks (like sticking sponges on their snouts to save themselves from scratches while foraging on ocean beds); and killer whales, one of the sharpest and most powerful of all predators, are the only animals known to go through the menopause, humans aside. (Is this clever? We’re

not sure – but they’re bound to have a reason for it.) But enough of that lot – and you can forget your dogs, and all those other famously biddable animals, too. (Yes, we’re talking about you up there: you’ve got enough fans already.) What we’re interested in today are the unexpectedly brainy ones, those unsung masterminds of the animal kingdom who’re perhaps smartest of all, because they’re wise enough to keep their accomplishments on the down-low…

40

Studies show African Grey parrots to possess strong abstract reasoning abilities and understand the idea of causality, while their counting abilities and vocalisation skills have long been recognised. They can draw conclusions about where to find a food reward, not only from clues as to its location, but also from the absence of clues – an ability previously only seen in humans and other apes. This can make them a difficult pet – sensitive, demanding, and easily upset by changes to their routine – but the upsides are high, too: they’re brilliant and charming company. One African Grey called Alex was subject to a 30-year study which concluded that he was as smart as a fiveyear old, identifying over 50 different objects, boasting a vocabulary of over a hundred words, and identifying quantities of up to six. Best of all, he learned to actually ask a question. Whilst looking at his own reflection in the mirror, he asked, “What colour?”, then learnt the word ‘grey’ after being told six times. No chimp or dolphin has ever done this – but Alex did. It seem parrots are – or can become – fully aware of their own existence, a revolutionary discovery.

Cats

Bees Not all intelligence is the same, and bees enjoy what we call ’swarm intelligence’, a sort of ‘wisdom of crowds’ where up to 50,000 workers in a single colony come together to make democratic decisions. When a hive gets too crowded each spring, for instance, the colony sends out scouts to look for a new home. And if they don’t agree on where that should be? The bees hold what can only be described as a dance-off to help decide, each scout performing his ‘waggle-dance’ in the hope of convincing the others of a particular spot’s merits. Still not entirely understood, it seems that in this instance the wilder the dance, the more convincing the scout is deemed to be, and soon everyone else starts voting by flying to the spot they prefer and joining in.

41

We know dogs are smart – and can certainly be taught to perform all sorts of tasks, vital and pointless alike – but what about cats? While it’s certainly possible to train them (some cats have been taught to sit down, roll over, jump through hoops and perform other dog-style tricks), it doesn’t come naturally. Rather, these by-nature solitary creatures show their intelligence by being so adaptable, having now lived with and amongst people for some 9,500 years but forever, it appears, on their own terms. They always seem to know when their dinner time should be, and where we are and what we’re up to, for instance – and it’s often tempting to think there’s a lot more than that going on in those furry little heads too. (And there probably is: after all, a cat’s brain has 300 million neutrons, way more than a dog’s 160 million, and they must be doing something…)

Chickens Few would consider the chicken amongst the cleverest of animals, but wait! They can certainly differentiate between shapes and colours, remembering them even if they’re been rearranged in unexpected ways, designed to fool them. (When the shape they’ve been trained to peck at is removed, they’ll look for it, refusing to peck at any other shapes until it’s returned.) In fairness, the world’s most abundant domestic animal is not going to be rivalling the African Grey for smarts any time soon, but they can certainly reason, exhibit distinct personalities, show a simple form of empathy, and make decisions based on what’s best for them. We underestimate quite a few animals, but perhaps the chicken most of all.


African Grey Parrots

Fantastic BEASTS We all know how clever some animals can be. Chimpanzees learn sign language and share 98% of their genomes with people; dolphins effectively call each other by name, and pass on tips and tricks (like sticking sponges on their snouts to save themselves from scratches while foraging on ocean beds); and killer whales, one of the sharpest and most powerful of all predators, are the only animals known to go through the menopause, humans aside. (Is this clever? We’re

not sure – but they’re bound to have a reason for it.) But enough of that lot – and you can forget your dogs, and all those other famously biddable animals, too. (Yes, we’re talking about you up there: you’ve got enough fans already.) What we’re interested in today are the unexpectedly brainy ones, those unsung masterminds of the animal kingdom who’re perhaps smartest of all, because they’re wise enough to keep their accomplishments on the down-low…

40

Studies show African Grey parrots to possess strong abstract reasoning abilities and understand the idea of causality, while their counting abilities and vocalisation skills have long been recognised. They can draw conclusions about where to find a food reward, not only from clues as to its location, but also from the absence of clues – an ability previously only seen in humans and other apes. This can make them a difficult pet – sensitive, demanding, and easily upset by changes to their routine – but the upsides are high, too: they’re brilliant and charming company. One African Grey called Alex was subject to a 30-year study which concluded that he was as smart as a fiveyear old, identifying over 50 different objects, boasting a vocabulary of over a hundred words, and identifying quantities of up to six. Best of all, he learned to actually ask a question. Whilst looking at his own reflection in the mirror, he asked, “What colour?”, then learnt the word ‘grey’ after being told six times. No chimp or dolphin has ever done this – but Alex did. It seem parrots are – or can become – fully aware of their own existence, a revolutionary discovery.

Cats

Bees Not all intelligence is the same, and bees enjoy what we call ’swarm intelligence’, a sort of ‘wisdom of crowds’ where up to 50,000 workers in a single colony come together to make democratic decisions. When a hive gets too crowded each spring, for instance, the colony sends out scouts to look for a new home. And if they don’t agree on where that should be? The bees hold what can only be described as a dance-off to help decide, each scout performing his ‘waggle-dance’ in the hope of convincing the others of a particular spot’s merits. Still not entirely understood, it seems that in this instance the wilder the dance, the more convincing the scout is deemed to be, and soon everyone else starts voting by flying to the spot they prefer and joining in.

41

We know dogs are smart – and can certainly be taught to perform all sorts of tasks, vital and pointless alike – but what about cats? While it’s certainly possible to train them (some cats have been taught to sit down, roll over, jump through hoops and perform other dog-style tricks), it doesn’t come naturally. Rather, these by-nature solitary creatures show their intelligence by being so adaptable, having now lived with and amongst people for some 9,500 years but forever, it appears, on their own terms. They always seem to know when their dinner time should be, and where we are and what we’re up to, for instance – and it’s often tempting to think there’s a lot more than that going on in those furry little heads too. (And there probably is: after all, a cat’s brain has 300 million neutrons, way more than a dog’s 160 million, and they must be doing something…)

Chickens Few would consider the chicken amongst the cleverest of animals, but wait! They can certainly differentiate between shapes and colours, remembering them even if they’re been rearranged in unexpected ways, designed to fool them. (When the shape they’ve been trained to peck at is removed, they’ll look for it, refusing to peck at any other shapes until it’s returned.) In fairness, the world’s most abundant domestic animal is not going to be rivalling the African Grey for smarts any time soon, but they can certainly reason, exhibit distinct personalities, show a simple form of empathy, and make decisions based on what’s best for them. We underestimate quite a few animals, but perhaps the chicken most of all.


Crows Are these the cleverest birds? The crows – and their corvus colleagues, like ravens, rooks and jackdaws – are certainly crafty critters. They use twigs and feathers to winkle potential food from hard-to-reach places, even fashioning bits of wire into hooks. This tool-making is a trait they were born with, but they get better at it by watching their elders – a solid sign of higher intelligence. Their brains are about the size of a human thumb – doesn’t sound big, but it’s massive compared to their body size – and their intelligence is right up there with most primates, giving them the ability to solve complex problems. They recognise and remember individual human faces – different areas of a crow's brain light up when it sees a person it perceives as friendly or as threatening – and are known to both harbour grudges and bring gifts to their favourite humans. They can master basic physics to solve a problem, change their migration routes to avoid farms where crows have been killed in the past, and even memorise recycling lorry routes, making sure they’re in the right place at the right time to snag anything dropped on bin day.

Pigeons

Cuttlefish The bizarrely handsome cuttlefish is a specialised form of marine mollusc called a cephalopod – and an unusually smart one, perhaps even cleverer than the octopus, with the largest brain-to-body size ratio of all invertebrates. They have immensely odd-looking W-shaped pupils (meaning they can see forwards and backwards at the same time), plus three hearts, green-blue blood, eight shortish arms growing out of their faces, and a pair of longer grabbing tentacles. Though they can’t appreciate colour, they see contrast better than we can, and have developed an immense range of ways to communicate: by posture, by movement, and even by changing their skin surfaces from rough to smooth. Often called ‘the chameleons of the sea’, they can also change their colour to chat, hide or perform the underwater equivalent of a wolf-whistle, and can do so at great speed – sometimes a colour or pattern will last but a second before they’ve moved on to another. Divers love them too, for cuttlefish are inquisitive, playful and friendly, interacting with them like a dog might.

Octopus

Elephants

Mould

These guys never forget, they say, and those big heads certainly contain brains to match, their sheer size dwarfing those of any other land animal. Elephants have been seen consoling upset family members, communicating with each other through vibrations sensed in their feet and trunks, and even – altruistically – helping other species in times of need. Not many animals can recognise themselves in the mirror, but when a female Asian elephant called Happy did just that, she added her species to a short and elite list. And that memory thing? Well, they can certainly recall long and complicated journeys to specific watering holes they haven’t visited in years, and always remember a friend: when, in 1999, elephants Shirley and Jenny were reunited they immediately became animated, playful and excited – but what was most remarkable is that they’d only known each other briefly, back when they’d performed in a circus together, 22 years before.

No, really. We’re being serious. Slime moulds are fungus-like organisms, now classified as a sort of amoeba, that use spores to reproduce, which is why it’s especially creepy that a specific type, Physarum polycephalum, has been known to display intelligence – despite having nothing even vaguely resembling a brain. When a specimen was subjected to a cold, dry environment for ten minutes every hour, it learned the pattern and would respond, anticipating the coming hostile conditions. Then, when the cold was turned off completely, the mould eventually stopped responding – and later, when the cold was turned back on, remembered exactly the pattern it needed to get back into again. But it gets better – or worse, if you’re scared of intelligent mould – because in a separate experiment, scientists tried to get another sample to solve a maze to reach food – and it did so, and by taking the most efficient route possible too.

42

Are octopuses smart? Damn right: in fact, they’re amongst the brainiest invertebrates in the sea. In many ways these cephalopod’s brains are nothing like ours – they’re wrapped around their throats for one thing – but they share with ours many complex features, such as folded lobes and distinct regions for processing visual and tactile information. Even more remarkably, threefifths of an octopus’s brain neurons are not located in its brain at all, but in its arms. (Each actually has a mind of its own, you could say, and if you cut one off, not only will the octopus eventually regrow a new one, but the severed arm will wander away on its own, even grabbing at food as it did while still attached.) How clever are they? Octopuses exhibit seemingly irrepressible curiosity, a loathing of boredom, and the ability to learn and use tools. They can pop the lids off screwtop jars, squeeze through the tiniest of gaps, assemble shelters from coconut shells, and – in at least one instance – spray water to short-circuit annoying overhead lamps. Rude to eat them, really.

Pigs Here's another one to feel guilty about eating. Pigs are perhaps the smartest domestic animals known, leaving dogs and cats in their wake. In one ’90s experiment, pigs were trained to move a cursor on a video screen using their snouts, picking between patterns they knew and ones they were seeing for the first time. How quickly did they learn to do this? As fast as chimpanzees. They also have amazing long-term memories, solve mazes easily, love to play (and play-fight) with each other, and can even understand simple language. One 2013 study revealed that untrained pigs learn from their trained peers to anticipate upcoming events, such as receiving a reward or punishment, depending on the genre of music playing. In social situations, pigs exhibit high levels of emotional intelligence, easily understanding their fellow pig’s behaviour and imitating their reactions, such as wagging their tails (positive) or keeping their ears back (negative). Rather adorably, they even make best friends.

Pigeons? Really? They may not look that clever, bumbling about the place, dodging buses and pecking up scraps. But studies show they can easily recognise individual people – probably by their faces – and learn abstract mathematical rules. (In fact, they’re the only non-humans – rhesus monkeys aside – who can do this.) These much-maligned birds also have very solid problem solving skills, are one of the few species to pass the ‘mirror test’ (being able to recognise their own reflection in a mirror), and can identify all 26 letters of the English language. Plus, of course, their navigation skills are legendary. They can tell the difference between photographs (and even differentiate between two different people in the same snap), and have been trained to save human lives at sea, identifying red or yellow floating life jackets. Indeed, as pigeons not only see colour the same way we do, but can also see ultra-violet – which we cannot – they’re brilliantly adapted to lifesaving.

Raccoons Some animals exhibit a very particular sort of intelligence, and so it is with raccoons, the Raffles of the animal world. If you were putting together a beast-based Ocean’s 11, the racoon would be your first recruit: indeed, in a frankly bizarre 1908 experiment, raccoons were shown to be able to pick even quite complex locks in under 10 attempts. More recent studies have shown their memory to be so good they’re capable of recalling the solution to individual tasks for up to three years. Plus, they’ve great ears – they can literally hear earthworms moving through the soil beneath them – and know how to dress appropriately. After all, should you all get arrested together for some heinous crime, they’ve already got their own prison outfit built in…

43

Rats Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a brilliant children’s book about super-intelligent rats, but anyone who’s been around them for any length of time knows just how clever regular rats can be, too. The ability to think about thinking is called metacognition, and rats, like humans, have it, making decisions based on what they do or do not know. They’re also surprisingly self-aware, immensely ticklish, and dream just like we do. Extremely sociable beasts, they form strong bonds with their owners, learning their own names and coming when they're called. And what do they love the most? Time out of their cage to play with their human friends.

Squirrels Few of us think of squirrels as being especially clever, but try watching them: few animals are as sneaky. The elaborate shows of deception they put on to thwart thieves they think might be after their hidden nuts are quite something. In one lab experiment, researchers made sure the squirrels saw them stealing their peanuts, then watched agape as they began going to increasingly elaborate efforts to fool them. One favourite trick was digging a fake cache for their nuts, ostentatiously scooping holes in the ground then refilling them and patting over the soil, while all the time hiding the actual nut in their mouths or armpits, like some grey-furred card shark. Other studies have shown squirrels make complicated three-dimensional maps to help them recall where they cached food, managing to remember thousands of different hidey-holes for months at a time.


Crows Are these the cleverest birds? The crows – and their corvus colleagues, like ravens, rooks and jackdaws – are certainly crafty critters. They use twigs and feathers to winkle potential food from hard-to-reach places, even fashioning bits of wire into hooks. This tool-making is a trait they were born with, but they get better at it by watching their elders – a solid sign of higher intelligence. Their brains are about the size of a human thumb – doesn’t sound big, but it’s massive compared to their body size – and their intelligence is right up there with most primates, giving them the ability to solve complex problems. They recognise and remember individual human faces – different areas of a crow's brain light up when it sees a person it perceives as friendly or as threatening – and are known to both harbour grudges and bring gifts to their favourite humans. They can master basic physics to solve a problem, change their migration routes to avoid farms where crows have been killed in the past, and even memorise recycling lorry routes, making sure they’re in the right place at the right time to snag anything dropped on bin day.

Pigeons

Cuttlefish The bizarrely handsome cuttlefish is a specialised form of marine mollusc called a cephalopod – and an unusually smart one, perhaps even cleverer than the octopus, with the largest brain-to-body size ratio of all invertebrates. They have immensely odd-looking W-shaped pupils (meaning they can see forwards and backwards at the same time), plus three hearts, green-blue blood, eight shortish arms growing out of their faces, and a pair of longer grabbing tentacles. Though they can’t appreciate colour, they see contrast better than we can, and have developed an immense range of ways to communicate: by posture, by movement, and even by changing their skin surfaces from rough to smooth. Often called ‘the chameleons of the sea’, they can also change their colour to chat, hide or perform the underwater equivalent of a wolf-whistle, and can do so at great speed – sometimes a colour or pattern will last but a second before they’ve moved on to another. Divers love them too, for cuttlefish are inquisitive, playful and friendly, interacting with them like a dog might.

Octopus

Elephants

Mould

These guys never forget, they say, and those big heads certainly contain brains to match, their sheer size dwarfing those of any other land animal. Elephants have been seen consoling upset family members, communicating with each other through vibrations sensed in their feet and trunks, and even – altruistically – helping other species in times of need. Not many animals can recognise themselves in the mirror, but when a female Asian elephant called Happy did just that, she added her species to a short and elite list. And that memory thing? Well, they can certainly recall long and complicated journeys to specific watering holes they haven’t visited in years, and always remember a friend: when, in 1999, elephants Shirley and Jenny were reunited they immediately became animated, playful and excited – but what was most remarkable is that they’d only known each other briefly, back when they’d performed in a circus together, 22 years before.

No, really. We’re being serious. Slime moulds are fungus-like organisms, now classified as a sort of amoeba, that use spores to reproduce, which is why it’s especially creepy that a specific type, Physarum polycephalum, has been known to display intelligence – despite having nothing even vaguely resembling a brain. When a specimen was subjected to a cold, dry environment for ten minutes every hour, it learned the pattern and would respond, anticipating the coming hostile conditions. Then, when the cold was turned off completely, the mould eventually stopped responding – and later, when the cold was turned back on, remembered exactly the pattern it needed to get back into again. But it gets better – or worse, if you’re scared of intelligent mould – because in a separate experiment, scientists tried to get another sample to solve a maze to reach food – and it did so, and by taking the most efficient route possible too.

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Are octopuses smart? Damn right: in fact, they’re amongst the brainiest invertebrates in the sea. In many ways these cephalopod’s brains are nothing like ours – they’re wrapped around their throats for one thing – but they share with ours many complex features, such as folded lobes and distinct regions for processing visual and tactile information. Even more remarkably, threefifths of an octopus’s brain neurons are not located in its brain at all, but in its arms. (Each actually has a mind of its own, you could say, and if you cut one off, not only will the octopus eventually regrow a new one, but the severed arm will wander away on its own, even grabbing at food as it did while still attached.) How clever are they? Octopuses exhibit seemingly irrepressible curiosity, a loathing of boredom, and the ability to learn and use tools. They can pop the lids off screwtop jars, squeeze through the tiniest of gaps, assemble shelters from coconut shells, and – in at least one instance – spray water to short-circuit annoying overhead lamps. Rude to eat them, really.

Pigs Here's another one to feel guilty about eating. Pigs are perhaps the smartest domestic animals known, leaving dogs and cats in their wake. In one ’90s experiment, pigs were trained to move a cursor on a video screen using their snouts, picking between patterns they knew and ones they were seeing for the first time. How quickly did they learn to do this? As fast as chimpanzees. They also have amazing long-term memories, solve mazes easily, love to play (and play-fight) with each other, and can even understand simple language. One 2013 study revealed that untrained pigs learn from their trained peers to anticipate upcoming events, such as receiving a reward or punishment, depending on the genre of music playing. In social situations, pigs exhibit high levels of emotional intelligence, easily understanding their fellow pig’s behaviour and imitating their reactions, such as wagging their tails (positive) or keeping their ears back (negative). Rather adorably, they even make best friends.

Pigeons? Really? They may not look that clever, bumbling about the place, dodging buses and pecking up scraps. But studies show they can easily recognise individual people – probably by their faces – and learn abstract mathematical rules. (In fact, they’re the only non-humans – rhesus monkeys aside – who can do this.) These much-maligned birds also have very solid problem solving skills, are one of the few species to pass the ‘mirror test’ (being able to recognise their own reflection in a mirror), and can identify all 26 letters of the English language. Plus, of course, their navigation skills are legendary. They can tell the difference between photographs (and even differentiate between two different people in the same snap), and have been trained to save human lives at sea, identifying red or yellow floating life jackets. Indeed, as pigeons not only see colour the same way we do, but can also see ultra-violet – which we cannot – they’re brilliantly adapted to lifesaving.

Raccoons Some animals exhibit a very particular sort of intelligence, and so it is with raccoons, the Raffles of the animal world. If you were putting together a beast-based Ocean’s 11, the racoon would be your first recruit: indeed, in a frankly bizarre 1908 experiment, raccoons were shown to be able to pick even quite complex locks in under 10 attempts. More recent studies have shown their memory to be so good they’re capable of recalling the solution to individual tasks for up to three years. Plus, they’ve great ears – they can literally hear earthworms moving through the soil beneath them – and know how to dress appropriately. After all, should you all get arrested together for some heinous crime, they’ve already got their own prison outfit built in…

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Rats Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a brilliant children’s book about super-intelligent rats, but anyone who’s been around them for any length of time knows just how clever regular rats can be, too. The ability to think about thinking is called metacognition, and rats, like humans, have it, making decisions based on what they do or do not know. They’re also surprisingly self-aware, immensely ticklish, and dream just like we do. Extremely sociable beasts, they form strong bonds with their owners, learning their own names and coming when they're called. And what do they love the most? Time out of their cage to play with their human friends.

Squirrels Few of us think of squirrels as being especially clever, but try watching them: few animals are as sneaky. The elaborate shows of deception they put on to thwart thieves they think might be after their hidden nuts are quite something. In one lab experiment, researchers made sure the squirrels saw them stealing their peanuts, then watched agape as they began going to increasingly elaborate efforts to fool them. One favourite trick was digging a fake cache for their nuts, ostentatiously scooping holes in the ground then refilling them and patting over the soil, while all the time hiding the actual nut in their mouths or armpits, like some grey-furred card shark. Other studies have shown squirrels make complicated three-dimensional maps to help them recall where they cached food, managing to remember thousands of different hidey-holes for months at a time.


Design matters | Watch history | How it works

Pogue won

Great watch wearers

Shines under pressure

The C60 Trident Pro 600, with a stainless steel case and full-lume bezel featuring top grade SuperLumiNova®, gives a glowing performance all the way down to 600m. It more than holds its own against other professional dive watches – at a price point they can’t reach without cracking their profit margins. Do your research.

What was the first automatic chronograph worn in space? You’d think one of the famous Omega Speedmasters of the Apollo astronauts, but no – they were all hand-wound. For years, people thought it was the Sinn 140, worn by the German, Reinhard Furrer, on a Spacelab mission. But that’s not right either. More recently, eagle-eyed watch-spotters have spied a different beast on the wrist of Lt Colonel William Pogue, an astronaut on the 1973-­’74 NASA mission, Skylab 4. It was a relatively humble Seiko 6139 Automatic Chronograph, which he’d bought from the post exchange store at Ellington Air Force Base and, although not NASA Flight-Approved, had sneaked into space anyway. Why, when he’d been given an official Speedmaster Pro for the task? Because, Pogue said, they only got those watches late in training, and he’d got used to his own Seiko for timing engine burns in the simulator. Popping it into a leg pocket, he’d kept it there until reaching orbit, from then on wearing both watches at the same time – the Omega (set to Greenwich Mean Time) on his right wrist and his Seiko (set to US Central Time) on his left.

subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock; there wasn’t even a running seconds hand. The yellow-dialled variation with its Pepsi bezel – as worn by Pogue – is the most iconic of the 6139s (they also came with blue or silver faces), and was the first in a solid run of collectable, but still highly affordable, early Seiko automatic chronographs. Indeed, the very similar 6138, which came – confusingly, considering the name – a couple of years later has developed quite a cult following too. This variation added a 12-hour register, and came in assorted cases, colours and variations, earning them a raft of nicknames: UFO, Bullhead, Jumbo and Kakume.

This 84-day mission was the third and last to use the United States’ original space station, and the Seiko performed perfectly throughout. What makes all this especially remarkable is that the 6139 was never an especially expensive or complicated watch, with a simple 30-minute counter in a single

christopherward.co.uk

45

The Seiko 6139 is an important watch for another reason, of course. In the late ’60s, a race had started to develop the first automatic chronograph movement. Zenith-Movado was in there, with its El Primero; so were Heuer and Breitling-Leonidas, which led a consortium now called the Chronomatic Group, also including Hamilton-Buren and chronograph specialist Dubois-Depraz, to create the famous Calibre 11. And then, on the other side of the world, there was Seiko. People still debate who ‘won’ – Zenith was first to reveal a prototype, the Chronomatic guys were the first to display multiple pre-production samples, but it was Seiko that seems to have sold the first watches to actual punters, albeit in Japan only. We’re giving that as two wins to the humble Seiko, then: the first automatic chronograph (arguably), and definitely the first automatic chronograph into space.


Design matters | Watch history | How it works

Pogue won

Great watch wearers

Shines under pressure

The C60 Trident Pro 600, with a stainless steel case and full-lume bezel featuring top grade SuperLumiNova®, gives a glowing performance all the way down to 600m. It more than holds its own against other professional dive watches – at a price point they can’t reach without cracking their profit margins. Do your research.

What was the first automatic chronograph worn in space? You’d think one of the famous Omega Speedmasters of the Apollo astronauts, but no – they were all hand-wound. For years, people thought it was the Sinn 140, worn by the German, Reinhard Furrer, on a Spacelab mission. But that’s not right either. More recently, eagle-eyed watch-spotters have spied a different beast on the wrist of Lt Colonel William Pogue, an astronaut on the 1973-­’74 NASA mission, Skylab 4. It was a relatively humble Seiko 6139 Automatic Chronograph, which he’d bought from the post exchange store at Ellington Air Force Base and, although not NASA Flight-Approved, had sneaked into space anyway. Why, when he’d been given an official Speedmaster Pro for the task? Because, Pogue said, they only got those watches late in training, and he’d got used to his own Seiko for timing engine burns in the simulator. Popping it into a leg pocket, he’d kept it there until reaching orbit, from then on wearing both watches at the same time – the Omega (set to Greenwich Mean Time) on his right wrist and his Seiko (set to US Central Time) on his left.

subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock; there wasn’t even a running seconds hand. The yellow-dialled variation with its Pepsi bezel – as worn by Pogue – is the most iconic of the 6139s (they also came with blue or silver faces), and was the first in a solid run of collectable, but still highly affordable, early Seiko automatic chronographs. Indeed, the very similar 6138, which came – confusingly, considering the name – a couple of years later has developed quite a cult following too. This variation added a 12-hour register, and came in assorted cases, colours and variations, earning them a raft of nicknames: UFO, Bullhead, Jumbo and Kakume.

This 84-day mission was the third and last to use the United States’ original space station, and the Seiko performed perfectly throughout. What makes all this especially remarkable is that the 6139 was never an especially expensive or complicated watch, with a simple 30-minute counter in a single

christopherward.co.uk

45

The Seiko 6139 is an important watch for another reason, of course. In the late ’60s, a race had started to develop the first automatic chronograph movement. Zenith-Movado was in there, with its El Primero; so were Heuer and Breitling-Leonidas, which led a consortium now called the Chronomatic Group, also including Hamilton-Buren and chronograph specialist Dubois-Depraz, to create the famous Calibre 11. And then, on the other side of the world, there was Seiko. People still debate who ‘won’ – Zenith was first to reveal a prototype, the Chronomatic guys were the first to display multiple pre-production samples, but it was Seiko that seems to have sold the first watches to actual punters, albeit in Japan only. We’re giving that as two wins to the humble Seiko, then: the first automatic chronograph (arguably), and definitely the first automatic chronograph into space.


Great clock-makers

For two such closely linked disciplines, the worlds of watches and clocks don't cross over as much as you might think. But then you see the work of Sinclair Harding, and even the most clock-blind watch fan is forced to give pause

Up in Huddersfield is a unique British company, clockmaker Sinclair Harding, where they do things the old fashioned way – though their hand-made clocks use modern techniques and technology whenever it makes sense, of course. Most of their pieces are skeletonised, so you can see the entire workings as they go through a set performance each hour, one that’s worth sitting down and simply watching. Their gentle, restful action is evocative of an earlier age, and each clock comes with a guarantee for the lifetime of the original owner, however long that may be. “Each year we make 90 or 100 clocks under our own name,” says owner and chief clockmaker Robert ‘Bob’ Bray, “plus prototypes and short series production for other brands. The total is around 120 pieces a year.” Much of the current Sinclair Harding range consists of 'sea clocks’, inspired by the work of the great Yorkshire-born clockmaker John Harrison. In the late 18th century he solved the nautical 'Longitude problem’ – while a ship’s latitude has always been relatively easy to determine from the high-point of the sun at noon, for centuries of sea travel longitude was impossible to determine accurately – with

46

the first of his sea clocks, the H1. By 1772, after a lifetime working on this problem, he’d produced the ground-breaking marine chronometer H4 – and was finally paid the last of his £20,000 reward, offered by the British government to whoever resolved the issue. It took the guys at Sinclair Harding nearly five years to complete their first homage to the H1. In this version, the movement is mounted on a granite base, which is in turn suspended on pivots, the whole thing then sitting on a table and counter-balanced by a large weight. Forced slightly out of balance by a tiny hidden electric motor, it all rocks gently, demonstrating the way the clock would work at sea. Equally fascinating are their moonphase sea clocks, their dials each hand-painted by artist Keith Warrington, which represent an alternative method for determining longitude, one that had been proposed by the Astronomer Royal of the time, Edmund Halley.

Sinclair Harding has been around since the late ’60s, founded by Bill Sinclair and Mike Harding and originally based in Cheltenham. They’d both worked at Smiths, and later started repairing and then making their own longcase clocks. “I don’t think Bill lasted long at the company,” says Bob Bray. “I believe he retired in 1971, due to ill health. But over the next few years, Mike started making a Three Train Fusee movement for a bracket clock, with help from a guy called Jim Habgood, who’d also worked at Smiths in their R&D department. Later, Jim developed a method for making Fusee chains which we still use to this day.” More skeleton clock designs followed in the ’70s and ’80s, along with several large architectural clocks, intended for the UK and the Middle East. “One was blown up by the IRA in the 1993 Bishopsgate bomb attack on London’s NatWest Tower,” Bob says. “Another, a Wishing Fish clock, was made for an arcade in Cheltenham.” When finally, in 1995, Mike decided to retire, he found it hard to sell the company – unsurprising, with the clockmaking industry of the time having real difficulties – and decided to close it down. Enter Bob, who

The Moonphase sea clock

47

knew Sinclair Harding through his uncle, who happened to own one of their clocks. “After one visit, I decided to take the company on, and officially became owner in December 1995,” Bob says. “I knew nothing about clocks at the time, but had a background as an engineer, making small gearboxes for aerospace, defence and medical applications. I figured I wouldn’t find it too difficult to understand the workings of a clock – not!” On the day he took control of the company, Bob received his first order: the Oval Cricket Ground in Lambeth, South London, wanted a large clock with automata, and that January he began working on it, pretty much on his own. By the summer, with that first clock complete, he moved all the machines to Yorkshire and started again. Bob, what’s the company like now? There are 14 of us, including two apprentices, with everyone trained in-house. There are lads in our workshop mainly running CNC machines – they tend to be flexible and move with the bottleneck – and two guys in polishing. Sometimes, of


Great clock-makers

For two such closely linked disciplines, the worlds of watches and clocks don't cross over as much as you might think. But then you see the work of Sinclair Harding, and even the most clock-blind watch fan is forced to give pause

Up in Huddersfield is a unique British company, clockmaker Sinclair Harding, where they do things the old fashioned way – though their hand-made clocks use modern techniques and technology whenever it makes sense, of course. Most of their pieces are skeletonised, so you can see the entire workings as they go through a set performance each hour, one that’s worth sitting down and simply watching. Their gentle, restful action is evocative of an earlier age, and each clock comes with a guarantee for the lifetime of the original owner, however long that may be. “Each year we make 90 or 100 clocks under our own name,” says owner and chief clockmaker Robert ‘Bob’ Bray, “plus prototypes and short series production for other brands. The total is around 120 pieces a year.” Much of the current Sinclair Harding range consists of 'sea clocks’, inspired by the work of the great Yorkshire-born clockmaker John Harrison. In the late 18th century he solved the nautical 'Longitude problem’ – while a ship’s latitude has always been relatively easy to determine from the high-point of the sun at noon, for centuries of sea travel longitude was impossible to determine accurately – with

46

the first of his sea clocks, the H1. By 1772, after a lifetime working on this problem, he’d produced the ground-breaking marine chronometer H4 – and was finally paid the last of his £20,000 reward, offered by the British government to whoever resolved the issue. It took the guys at Sinclair Harding nearly five years to complete their first homage to the H1. In this version, the movement is mounted on a granite base, which is in turn suspended on pivots, the whole thing then sitting on a table and counter-balanced by a large weight. Forced slightly out of balance by a tiny hidden electric motor, it all rocks gently, demonstrating the way the clock would work at sea. Equally fascinating are their moonphase sea clocks, their dials each hand-painted by artist Keith Warrington, which represent an alternative method for determining longitude, one that had been proposed by the Astronomer Royal of the time, Edmund Halley.

Sinclair Harding has been around since the late ’60s, founded by Bill Sinclair and Mike Harding and originally based in Cheltenham. They’d both worked at Smiths, and later started repairing and then making their own longcase clocks. “I don’t think Bill lasted long at the company,” says Bob Bray. “I believe he retired in 1971, due to ill health. But over the next few years, Mike started making a Three Train Fusee movement for a bracket clock, with help from a guy called Jim Habgood, who’d also worked at Smiths in their R&D department. Later, Jim developed a method for making Fusee chains which we still use to this day.” More skeleton clock designs followed in the ’70s and ’80s, along with several large architectural clocks, intended for the UK and the Middle East. “One was blown up by the IRA in the 1993 Bishopsgate bomb attack on London’s NatWest Tower,” Bob says. “Another, a Wishing Fish clock, was made for an arcade in Cheltenham.” When finally, in 1995, Mike decided to retire, he found it hard to sell the company – unsurprising, with the clockmaking industry of the time having real difficulties – and decided to close it down. Enter Bob, who

The Moonphase sea clock

47

knew Sinclair Harding through his uncle, who happened to own one of their clocks. “After one visit, I decided to take the company on, and officially became owner in December 1995,” Bob says. “I knew nothing about clocks at the time, but had a background as an engineer, making small gearboxes for aerospace, defence and medical applications. I figured I wouldn’t find it too difficult to understand the workings of a clock – not!” On the day he took control of the company, Bob received his first order: the Oval Cricket Ground in Lambeth, South London, wanted a large clock with automata, and that January he began working on it, pretty much on his own. By the summer, with that first clock complete, he moved all the machines to Yorkshire and started again. Bob, what’s the company like now? There are 14 of us, including two apprentices, with everyone trained in-house. There are lads in our workshop mainly running CNC machines – they tend to be flexible and move with the bottleneck – and two guys in polishing. Sometimes, of


“We’re always trying to improve everything we do: the aesthetics, the reliability, the engineering”

course, everyone is in polishing – it’s the most physical and labour consuming part of the operation. Your clocks aren't cheap, we take it? They generally range from around £8,000 to £45,000, but one piece retails at around £250K. They’re for the most part skeleton clocks, based on the work of English clockmakers of the past. The most popular piece is our Three Train Chiming skeleton clock, inspired by James Condilff, a Liverpool clockmaker circa 1855, but not far behind are our Harrison Sea Clocks. We’re guessing there aren’t too many companies like yours around any more? None in the UK. Internationally, I look at guys like Matthias and Sebastian Naeschke, a father and son from Germany, or Miki Eleta. We’re always trying to improve everything we do: not only the mechanism, but the aesthetics, the reliability, the engineering. It’s a process.

customer had it on his breakfast table, but something wasn’t quite right – and it was hard to work out what the problem was, especially as Skype wasn’t around at the time. So I just jumped on a plane and went to his house. He was a bit surprised to see me, but delighted when I fixed the problem in five minutes. It’s funny, but you can end up coming away with another order if the customer feels well looked after. Are clock people the same as watch people, or something different? There’s a little cross over, but some watch

The Fusee chain on a Three Train clock

And where can we buy them? Mostly through high end retailers, like Wempe, The Hour Glass and, here in the UK, Pragnell’s in Stratford upon Avon. We must have a good reputation – and, I like to think, a good aftersales service on the rare occasions it's required – as retailers need to be confident that they won’t get let down if there's a problem. When something happens, we do everything in our power to sort it. My very first problem was with a H1 in Los Angeles. The

48

49

collectors can’t even see a clock when they pass right by it at exhibitions. I think a clock is different, in that it’s got no element of fashion accessory. It’s for life, something you can hand down the generations. Both watch and clock fans appreciate mechanical things, though, and the work that goes into each piece. So they have that in common. Finally, what’s the future looking like? We’re always busy, but I can’t just sit back and expect orders to flood in. Right now we're targeting the Far East, and have exhibitions in Hong Kong and Singapore, then we'll be showing our clocks in Basel again. I’m also not sure how much more we want to grow. Right now, I’m happy – and I guess it’s up to my two sons and daughter to decide what to do in the future. What is for sure is that we grow each year in terms of the skills we can master as a team – and our next project is a tourbillon. The young guys here always want to do more, after all, so I have to make sure they’re kept interested. For more, www.clockmakers.com


“We’re always trying to improve everything we do: the aesthetics, the reliability, the engineering”

course, everyone is in polishing – it’s the most physical and labour consuming part of the operation. Your clocks aren't cheap, we take it? They generally range from around £8,000 to £45,000, but one piece retails at around £250K. They’re for the most part skeleton clocks, based on the work of English clockmakers of the past. The most popular piece is our Three Train Chiming skeleton clock, inspired by James Condilff, a Liverpool clockmaker circa 1855, but not far behind are our Harrison Sea Clocks. We’re guessing there aren’t too many companies like yours around any more? None in the UK. Internationally, I look at guys like Matthias and Sebastian Naeschke, a father and son from Germany, or Miki Eleta. We’re always trying to improve everything we do: not only the mechanism, but the aesthetics, the reliability, the engineering. It’s a process.

customer had it on his breakfast table, but something wasn’t quite right – and it was hard to work out what the problem was, especially as Skype wasn’t around at the time. So I just jumped on a plane and went to his house. He was a bit surprised to see me, but delighted when I fixed the problem in five minutes. It’s funny, but you can end up coming away with another order if the customer feels well looked after. Are clock people the same as watch people, or something different? There’s a little cross over, but some watch

The Fusee chain on a Three Train clock

And where can we buy them? Mostly through high end retailers, like Wempe, The Hour Glass and, here in the UK, Pragnell’s in Stratford upon Avon. We must have a good reputation – and, I like to think, a good aftersales service on the rare occasions it's required – as retailers need to be confident that they won’t get let down if there's a problem. When something happens, we do everything in our power to sort it. My very first problem was with a H1 in Los Angeles. The

48

49

collectors can’t even see a clock when they pass right by it at exhibitions. I think a clock is different, in that it’s got no element of fashion accessory. It’s for life, something you can hand down the generations. Both watch and clock fans appreciate mechanical things, though, and the work that goes into each piece. So they have that in common. Finally, what’s the future looking like? We’re always busy, but I can’t just sit back and expect orders to flood in. Right now we're targeting the Far East, and have exhibitions in Hong Kong and Singapore, then we'll be showing our clocks in Basel again. I’m also not sure how much more we want to grow. Right now, I’m happy – and I guess it’s up to my two sons and daughter to decide what to do in the future. What is for sure is that we grow each year in terms of the skills we can master as a team – and our next project is a tourbillon. The young guys here always want to do more, after all, so I have to make sure they’re kept interested. For more, www.clockmakers.com


WATCH SERVICING 60:60 GUARANTEE

Timespan

You own it. We merely look after it for the next generation Your Christopher Ward watch has been meticulously engineered to stand the test of time – and if cared for correctly should outlive you. To maintain the optimal performance of your precision timepiece we suggest a full service every 3 to 4 years. This is a thorough process that involves completely dismantling, cleaning,

How long can people live? American Sarah Knauss (1880-1999) claims 119 years and 97 days, yet France’s Jeanne Calment reckoned she could beat that. But could she? Knowing for certain how old someone is can be fraught with difficulty. For a long time, a French woman called Jeanne Calment was considered the oldest person who ever lived. She was born in Arles, Provence in 1875 – the same year Audemars Piguet was established in Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux – and once met Vincent Van Gogh as a young teen (“very ugly,” she said). She rode a bicycle until she was 100, and smoked two cigarettes a day until just a couple of years before her death. Jeanne lived 122 years and 164 days, finally dying in 1997. So what was the problem? After all, there was plenty of evidence to support all this, and it was generally accepted as fact – until just last year, when a new study threw everything into the air.

lubricating and reassembling the movement, whilst also repairing or replacing any parts that are showing signs of wear. We then rigorously test to make sure it conforms to the most stringent of precision standards. Regular servicing is the best way to ensure that your Christopher Ward watch will continue to run accurately for years to come – long enough for it to be claimed by a new family member! christopherward.co.uk/watchservicing

Might the ‘Jeanne Calment’ we knew have actually been her own daughter, Yvonne, born in 1898 and so only 99 years old? Yvonne, so the new story went, started posing as Jeanne upon her mother’s death – age 59 – in 1934, to avoid paying inheritance tax. The fact is, today’s supercentenarians – people over 100 years old – were born into a world battered by wars that destroyed often ill-kept records. Little surprise, then, that their ages occasionally turn out to be wrong – as often down to human error as outright fraud. So, was Jeanne Calment who she says she was? Most experts now agree that actually, probably, she was. Russian mathematician Nikolay Zak is the one who’d really pushed the fraud theory, but his evidence has started 50

looking shaky. Yes, Jeanne does seem to have deliberately destroyed many of her old photographs and papers; yes, she did claim to be three years older than her nearest competitor, a huge margin; and yes, the instability of the ’30s and ’40s would have been the perfect time to pull off such a fraud. But, on the other hand, much about Zak’s version of events is hard to swallow. After all, would Zak’s new ‘Jeanne’ – Yvonne in reality, he claimed – really have been able to pull the wool over the eyes of the entire city of Arles? And what about Jeanne’s husband, Fernand Calment? Would he have been happy to suddenly start passing off his daughter as his wife? For now then – and on balance – Jeanne Calment remains the oldest person who ever lived.


WATCH SERVICING 60:60 GUARANTEE

Timespan

You own it. We merely look after it for the next generation Your Christopher Ward watch has been meticulously engineered to stand the test of time – and if cared for correctly should outlive you. To maintain the optimal performance of your precision timepiece we suggest a full service every 3 to 4 years. This is a thorough process that involves completely dismantling, cleaning,

How long can people live? American Sarah Knauss (1880-1999) claims 119 years and 97 days, yet France’s Jeanne Calment reckoned she could beat that. But could she? Knowing for certain how old someone is can be fraught with difficulty. For a long time, a French woman called Jeanne Calment was considered the oldest person who ever lived. She was born in Arles, Provence in 1875 – the same year Audemars Piguet was established in Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux – and once met Vincent Van Gogh as a young teen (“very ugly,” she said). She rode a bicycle until she was 100, and smoked two cigarettes a day until just a couple of years before her death. Jeanne lived 122 years and 164 days, finally dying in 1997. So what was the problem? After all, there was plenty of evidence to support all this, and it was generally accepted as fact – until just last year, when a new study threw everything into the air.

lubricating and reassembling the movement, whilst also repairing or replacing any parts that are showing signs of wear. We then rigorously test to make sure it conforms to the most stringent of precision standards. Regular servicing is the best way to ensure that your Christopher Ward watch will continue to run accurately for years to come – long enough for it to be claimed by a new family member! christopherward.co.uk/watchservicing

Might the ‘Jeanne Calment’ we knew have actually been her own daughter, Yvonne, born in 1898 and so only 99 years old? Yvonne, so the new story went, started posing as Jeanne upon her mother’s death – age 59 – in 1934, to avoid paying inheritance tax. The fact is, today’s supercentenarians – people over 100 years old – were born into a world battered by wars that destroyed often ill-kept records. Little surprise, then, that their ages occasionally turn out to be wrong – as often down to human error as outright fraud. So, was Jeanne Calment who she says she was? Most experts now agree that actually, probably, she was. Russian mathematician Nikolay Zak is the one who’d really pushed the fraud theory, but his evidence has started 50

looking shaky. Yes, Jeanne does seem to have deliberately destroyed many of her old photographs and papers; yes, she did claim to be three years older than her nearest competitor, a huge margin; and yes, the instability of the ’30s and ’40s would have been the perfect time to pull off such a fraud. But, on the other hand, much about Zak’s version of events is hard to swallow. After all, would Zak’s new ‘Jeanne’ – Yvonne in reality, he claimed – really have been able to pull the wool over the eyes of the entire city of Arles? And what about Jeanne’s husband, Fernand Calment? Would he have been happy to suddenly start passing off his daughter as his wife? For now then – and on balance – Jeanne Calment remains the oldest person who ever lived.


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Loupe. Issue 15. Winter 2019.