Oracle Time - Issue 79 - February Best of British

Page 1




The Great British Watchmaker






WELCOME Editor’s letter

COVER CREDITS Photography: Thomas Pettit Editor: Fraser Vincent Watch: Roger Smith custom Series 1

Welcome back! Have you missed us? Well, we’re back and ready to embrace 2022, which has the unassailable advantage of not being 2021. And to usher in the New Year, we’re celebrating all things British. From watches to style to fine hand-made craftsmanship, there’s a lot to be patriotic about. It’s impossible for example to talk about British watches without extolling the virtues of the best of them, Mr Roger W. Smith. The successor to the legendary George Daniels is one of the most sought-after watchmakers out there, despite (or perhaps because of) his five-per-year production. The model we have on the cover is years in the making and was made for Silas Walton over at A Collected man. It’s an absolute beauty and for an insight into the skill that went into it, head to page 46. Still, you don’t need to go all the way to bespoke to get yourself a decent British watch. Sure, not all of them are hand-made (or even made in the UK for that matter) but homegrown watch designers have been hard at work creating some of the most eccentric, colourful and downright cool timepieces in the world. Green’s the colour of the year? I’ll raise you burnt tangerine, sky blue and ruby red! And yes, plenty of green too, all on page 67. Things have been shaken up in the fashion world too, especially when it comes to the new wave of cool, with exceptionally cut tailoring labels making their sartorial presence felt. Just take a look at our style shoot for this issue on page 98 for our colourful, cultural melting pot of a fashion show on London’s very own Brick Lane. The old guard have been keeping up too and, against all odds, Savile Row has done more than survived the pandemic; the home of bespoke tailoring has been thriving. Check out Benedict Browne’s article on page 87 for more. Speaking of the old guard, the oldest names in British luxury have always been one of our greatest exports and, as Josh Simms explores on page 130, that level of Made in Britain artisanry is very much alive and well. As we’re now well into the New Year it’s time to start speculating for the year ahead. That means throwing out a few ideas about what the most hyped watch brand in the world will be showcasing over the next few months. You can find our mock-ups of hype aficionado Tim Barber’s potentially prescient picks on page 60. A two-tone Milgauss? Sure, why not? You’ll also find some incredibly hype-worthy timepieces on page 55, where we interview Patrick Getreide, the man behind one of the finest collections of watches in the world, which can be seen at The OAK Exhibition at the Design Museum. Fortunately, the New Year also means travel is on the horizon and, to ramp up the wanderlust to heights even lockdown could have hoped to achieve, we take a look on page 138 at the places you’ll want – no, need – to visit in 2022. I’ve already booked a wine tour in the Douro Valley, myself. In the meantime however, I need to start prepping for the next raft of releases for the year so without further ado, stay safe, stay sane and, as ever, enjoy this issue. Sam Kessler, Editor

KEEP IN TOUCH: @oracle_time | @oracle_time | |





Hicham Kasbi SUB EDITOR

Dan Mobbs

Shane C. Kurup

Shane is a men’s style editor who has worked for a range of leading titles, including The MR PORTER Journal, Men’s Health UK, Esquire US, PORT, The Telegraph and Wallpaper*. He’s rather partial to a jazzy silk shirt, wide-leg trousers and a gin and Dubonnet (or three).

Benedict Browne

Benedict is a London-based journalist, stylist, and brand consultant who champions British brands and artisanal menswear. He splits his time between Head of Content at the menswear and lifestyle agency Studio Graft and lending his services to magazines, both in the UK and internationally. You can follow him on Instagram at @ benedict_browne.

Jonathan Hughes

Jonathan is a collector of modern British watches, independent watchmakers and CWC military watches. He runs the website, blog and Instagram account, and perpetually gets grumpy when he writes about a watch only to see its price on eBay go up.





Kirsty Illingworth DIRECTOR

Mark Edwards

Timothy Barber

Timothy Barber’s writing on watches has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, Wired and the Economist’s 1843 magazine, among others. The Telegraph’s former watch editor, and before that editor of QP Magazine, he’s close to accepting that ‘watch journalist’ is actually a thing.

Aidy Smith

is a wine and spirits personality and presenter of the Amazon Prime TV Series, The Three Drinkers. He is often found scouring the globe for his next tipple. It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it. You can follow his adventures on Instagram at @sypped.

Josh Sims

is a writer and editor contributing to the likes of Esquire, Wallpaper and The Times, among others. His latest book, ‘Retro Watches’, is published by Thames & Hudson. MANAGING EDITOR / CO-FOUNDER


Oliver Morgan 020 7971 4615

George Parker 020 7971 4616 SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER

Phil Peachey 0203 985 1414 OT MAGAZINE is published monthly by Opulent Media 020 7971 4615

Printed by Stephens & George Ltd using vegetable-based inks onto materials which have been sourced from well-managed sustainable sources








Discover all the latest on our radar and what should be in your basket this month

He’s quite simply the greatest British watchmaker working today and with damn good reason

26 — NEWS

A round-up of what’s going on in the world of luxury and haute horology


Leading a new wave of British rap, Young T & Bugsey are also leading watch collectors


The words ‘Made in Britain’ resonate on a watch, but what exactly does that encompass?

Why does the master watchmaker take so long to build each watch and more importantly, why are they worth the wait? Roger W Smith, OBE — p46






There’s been a patriotic renaissance in homegrown horology of late


Having stoically survived lockdown, The Row is bustling with new ideas and genders


Step into early spring with some of London’s brightest and boldest tailoring names


113 — WATCH REVIEWS OT gets hands on with Vertex, Ball and Avi-8 timepieces


Sparkling wine from our fair isle that will make your taste buds pop with delight


The past, present and future of British craftsmanship, and the brands keeping it alive 130



Is it too patriotic to suggest the UK can claim pre-eminence in the sheer diversity of the highend craft products it makes? Made in Britain — p130


Meet the man with arguably the finest collection of Patek Philippes in the world

60 — ROLEX PREDICTIONS 2022 We speculate on the watches that have yet to be crowned



The inspiring international destinations to satisfy your wanderlust in 2022


Rediscovering the watch that keeps the Special Boat Service ticking over

148 – IN FOCUS

A rebellious channel ring and a brand inspired by Treasure Island go under the spotlight


Introducing the latest and greatest watches from the best small scale independents


aficionado The coolest things in the world right now


FRONT — aficionado


Influential tech event, CES, was held in Las Vegas last month and it showcased an array of futuristic concepts and cuttingedge tech that may or may not make its way to a home near you sometime in the next decade. One of the most outstanding concepts – which is saying a lot – was from Cadillac who are busy chasing down Tesla in the race for the ultimate autonomous car. The Innerspace concept is essentially a two-person loveseat on four wheels. There is no steering; instead the spaceship-slanted vehicle is like flying first class, with the chance to recline on your commute and a design ripped straight out of a five-star spa. Find out more at


FRONT — aficionado


The M series is the reference to which other high-end snappers are held – and generally come up short. Now the latest has dropped and the M11 is every bit as exceptional as its predecessors, with a few quality-of-life upgrades. Along with better battery performance, a lighter weight and cleaner streamlined display, the M11 includes new colour filter technology and intelligent multi-field exposure metering. In short, it’ll get your Instagram feed up to professional level easier and more effectively than ever before. £7,500,


FRONT — aficionado


While dropping an X or two onto a staple design and calling it a collab has rubbed some people the wrong way, it’s impossible to deny the heavyweight hype behind KAWS – something that outerwear specialists The North Face can feel in force. The pair’s capsule collection, KAWS XX, combines streetwear camo with mountain-ready performance and, yes, a few Xs here and there. There are some funky colours in there, but for our money the subtler black camo is the one. Just perhaps not on a night climb. Find out more at


FRONT — aficionado


If you’ve ever wondered just how much the wood of a cask influences your whiskey of choice, this is one for you. The latest in Midleton Very Rare’s woody series of liquids is aged in a barrel from the exact same Dair Ghaelach, or Irish Oak Tree. Each number in the series uses a different tree and each offers a completely different experience, curated specifically for the qualities of the wood. The wood for this whiskey comes from Kylebeg, County Tipperary on the beautiful Ballykilcavan Estate and the drink itself is impeccably Irish, in provenance and profile.

TASTING NOTES: Earthy and spicy on the nose with cinnamon, nutmeg and touches of zest and white pepper. On the palate are high intensity tannins that subside to sweet, stewed apple, honeycomb and vanilla leading to an exceptionally long finish.


FRONT — aficionado


No CES is complete without a whole new gaming concept and Razer – alongside releasing their latest glowing face mask – showcased theirs: the Project Sophia modular gaming desk. Well, gaming is a bit of a misnomer. While it’s set-up for high-intensity performance, the hot-swappable desk can be customised to any sort of task, from basic office work to video editing to, yes, gaming and creating. All you need are the modules. And yes, this being Razer, expect plenty of green neon. Find out more at


FRONT — aficionado


The Waffle One SE has finally returned to the Nike collection – and it’s cooler than ever in a new Pro Green/ Rust Oxide/Rush Orange colourway, with the iconic swoosh in black. The waffle sole means greater support and traction and the retro mix of suede and transparent mesh means you’ll need to pair them with some seriously eye-catching socks. A heritage design this may be, but it’s one of the hottest new pairs around. £89.95,


FRONT — aficionado


Pick-up-and-go projectors used to be a bit naff. Low resolution, awkward focus, and glare all posed a problem for the projector of old. Who’d have known we’d end up with something like this? Not only does the Nebula Cosmos Laster Projector show images at 4K definition, but it also does so at 2,400 ANSI lumens, making it bright enough for outdoor, daytime viewing. You probably shouldn’t look directly into it. Oh, and it has built-in speakers for a full cinema experience in a box you can likely fit in a decently sized rucksack. $2,199 (approx. £1,600). Find out more at and support the project on





(THEORETICAL) MOST AERODYNAMIC ELECTRIC CAR UNVEILED BY MERC Gone are the days when we could point and laugh at electric vehicles because they had to be charged for half a day just to make it to the shops and back. Now, you can find charging points in many car parks, and the efficiency and range of electric cars has increased substantially. The latest concept

from Mercedes-Benz, the Vision EQXX, is predicted to have a range of over 1,000km (approx. 625 miles) from a single charge. That’s equivalent of Berlin to Paris. What makes it special though is a drag coefficient of just 0.17, making it the most aerodynamic production vehicle… if it’s ever made. Find out more at


What makes it special is a drag coefficient of 0.17, making it the most aerodynamic production vehicle

FRONT — world news

ROLEX PRICES RISE IN 2022 It was a tough year for many in 2021 and Rolex weren’t excluded from that. Supply issues meant fewer Rolexes made their way to customer’s wrists, while at the same time demand went through the roof as people started buying watches instead of expensive holidays. All of which is to say that at the outset of 2022 the price of a Rolex has just gone up. In

2021 the Submariner Ref. 124060 had a price tag of £6,550 on and it now sits at £7,150. Similar increases of approximately 4% can be found on Daytonas, Day-Dates and more, with the Professional line hit the hardest. If you would like to avoid the pre-owned price hikes and get on a (long) waiting list, then visit

TUDOR WORLD SURF LEAGUE BIG WAVE COMPETITION BEGINS There are many sports that are partnered by watch companies, but one of the most exciting is the Tudor World Surf League Big Wave Competition. The season, which runs from November 2021 to March 2022 is in full swing and sees the best professional surfers tackle the biggest waves in the world. The first event took place in December at Nazaré, with the second due to take place in 2022 in Hawaii. With waves over 20m high, it’s not a sport for the faint hearted. However, a trip to the exciting waters of Hawaii or Portugal is perfect for trying out your new dive watch. Find out more at

In 2021 the Submariner Ref. 124060 had a price tag of £6,550 and it now sits at £7,150

EXPENSIVE FILLING PROVES TOO MUCH FOR SANDWICH THIEF On a distinctly light-hearted note, at the end of 2021 a watch thief was apprehended after using a unique method to try and escape with the goods. The thief, hiding amid the throngs of Christmas shoppers in Berlin, tried to steal a NOMOS Glashütte by… stuffing it inside their sandwich. It was a cucumber sandwich if you were wondering. Needless to say, they were apprehended in short order and potentially handed a New Year’s resolution to be a better criminal.

The thief tried to steal a NOMOS Glashütte by… stuffing it inside their sandwich 27

FRONT — world news

LUNAR NEW YEAR BRINGS OUT THE TIGER IN A TRIO OF BRANDS The Lunar New Year starts on 1 February 2022, ushering in the Year of the Tiger. That means a whole host of watches have been released in celebration of the event, including contributions from the likes of Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, Blancpain, and more. Vacheron Constantin have created the snappily named Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Tiger. It’s available in either platinum or rose gold with complimentary dial colours and features a large, engraved tiger on top of a grand feu enamel dial etched with vegetation. Inside it houses the calibre 2460 G4, featuring a hands free time display of hours, minutes, days and date in the four quadrants of the watch. Piaget on the other hand have focused on their grand feu enamel skills with an absolutely gorgeous rendition of a tiger in the cloisonné style. The watch itself is an Altiplano with a white gold case and 78 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel. Blancpain have released an updated version of their Traditional Chinese Calendar with a new tiger themed rotor. The Traditional Chinese Calendar function is also unique in that it combines Western concepts of time with Chinese symbolism, which are satisfyingly built into the mechanics of the watch. Speaking of symbolism, the tiger resolves around strength, braveness and exorcising evils. So perhaps 2022 will finally be the year we shrug off the pandemic and things start to look better. We can hope. Find out more at;;

The Traditional Chinese Calendar function combines Western concepts of time with Chinese symbolism built into the mechanics of the watch


FRONT — world news

MARK RONSON AND AUDEMARS PIGUET JOIN FORCES Between their sponsorship of the epic Montreaux Jazz Festival and their previous series of musical shorts dubbed 180, Audemars Piguet are surprisingly musical. The Royal Oak is also still one of the most iconic watches ever built, so it’s no surprise that the Le Brassus watchmaker has attracted the cool-asfunk Mark Ronson as their latest ambassador. The DJ, songwriter It’s no and all-round musical powerhouse surprise the is one of the most influential figures in modern music and, while Le Brassus the details of how this partnership watchmaker has will move forwards remains up in the air, one thing is for certain: it attracted the has to include a watch that plays cool-as-funk Uptown Funk. Mark Ronson

DAVID BOWIE’S MUSIC CATALOGUE SELLS FOR A COOL $250 MILLION Six years after his death David Bowie is still one of the most influential artists of modern music. This has been proven by the fact his entire music catalogue has been sold by his estate to Warner Chappell Music for $250 million (approx. £185 million). It’s a shrewd move for both parties, with streaming services making it harder than ever for new artists to make an impact and legacy artists remaining as big as ever. The music of Bowie is going nowhere. A large paycheque for the estate and a stable income for the music company makes sense all round. The deal includes 26 of Bowie’s studio albums and hit songs like Space Oddity, Changes and Let’s Dance.

A large paycheque for the estate and a stable income for the music company makes sense all round 29

FRONT — time out



So, last issue I asked you what our close-up was. Without any further preamble, it was the Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon 5345 Quai de l’Horloge, created for the anniversary of the not-so-humble tourbillon. The flying B is the cover of one of the mainsprings, of which there are two. Congratulations if you got it; it’s not a watch you see very often. This time however, we thought we’d let our readers do all the hard work. Over the break we asked you to take your own watch shot with our latest issue in the background and you didn’t disappoint. Yet while there were a few to choose from, this shot, courtesy of Simon @watchspirit,

eked out the competition. It has it all: a handsome centrepiece in the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight, an epic backdrop with a trio of Zenith Defy Extremes and, in the top corner, a subtle showing from Seiko. To enter for your chance to get a page of Oracle Time you can call your own, simply add the hashtag #OracleTimeOut. If you’re looking for inspiration, shout-outs go to @mancwatches and @timeinscotland for their shots last month, too.

Over to you. Oracle Time, out.


FRONT — introducing



VISIT THERE ARE LOTS OF WAYS to get your Oracle Time fix. Our favourite is of course within these lovely glossy pages to which you can subscribe via our website. An annual subscription containing 10 issues of the magazine is only £59.50, more value than a serious microbrand watch. Alternatively, you can come and say hello on one of our many digital channels. Instagram is the perfect place to share your wristshots and thoughts with us – remember to use #OTWristshot. Or you can watch our latest video content on YouTube, listening to the dulcet tones of our editor via our website using the QR code in the top right.



FRONT — introducing


Speedmaster Calibre 321 Canopus Gold


All the way back in 1957, Omega launched the very first Speedmaster. Since then, it has gone on to become one of the definitive chronographs of both classic and modern watchmaking. Outshining its humble racing heritage to become the official Moonwatch and now, in the year of its 65th anniversary, Omega have released an updated Speedmaster Calibre 321 in Canopus Gold.



39mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance. ETA 2892 calibre automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve. CHF 1,690 (approx. £1,350),


38.6mm Canopus Gold case with 60m water resistance . Omega calibre 321 manual wind movement with 55-hour power reserve. £69,500, •

MILUS Snow Star

It’s an odd fact of history that in the 1940s, US soldiers were given ‘life barter kits’, with a few precious objects they could use to trade for their lives. Really, it’s true. And in those kits was the original Milus Snow Star, a watch now revived with a re-issued take on the handsome vintage timekeeper. Available in Sky Silver, Night Black and a stunning Ice Blue, it’s clean, elegant and has a seriously cool provenance.


FRONT — introducing


37mm stainless steel case with 30m water resistance •

Elite 670 calibre automatic movement with 50-hour power reserve •

£5,900, limited to 250 pieces,



Defy Revival A3642

Given that Zenith love their revival pieces, a re-issued take on the original Defy was always in the offing – and after not too much of a wait here it is, the Zenith Defy Revival A3642. With a faithful octagonal case and a 14-sided bezel, it even has the same Gay Frères bracelet of the 1969 original. It’s a stunner, a great illustration of why the Defy is still around today. Now if only they’d re-issue the original Defy Extreme. That I’d like to see...

41mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance • Miyota 9039 calibre automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve • $475 (approx. £350), •



Montréal is a city that combines the traditionally European with the cuttingedge and ultra-modern. It’s no surprise then that the city gave birth to a watch like the Gladiateur. Conceived by emerging watch brand Héron, the Gladiateur MMLXV’s Roman roots can be seen on the raised numerals around the bezel, offering a classical (in the historical sense) take on a standard diving bezel. Particularly handsome in blue, paired with a dial-matched rubber strap, it’s ready to take on the competition – and will be doing so via Kickstarter from 28th February.


FRONT — introducing


Green guilloche and a titanium case for a De Bethune? Yes please. The independent watchmaker’s Dubai Watch Week release is a stunner, and a departure from their signature spaceage mix of steel and starry blue is a welcome update. It’s both a technically advanced and surprisingly clean perpetual calendar with the kind of ergonomic, tactile case De Bethune have made a signature flourish.


44mm titanium case with 50m water resistance. DB2324 Calibre automatic movement with 5-day power reserve • CHF 125,000, (approx. £100,000), •


Blue Shark III Black Edition

Big, bold and black, the latest iteration of Delma’s depthdefying Blue Shark III is as uncompromising as it gets. Even aside from its macho dimensions and scratch resistant DLC coating, this thing is built to survive 4,000m down. No, I didn’t add an extra 0 there. With bright orange indexes on both dial and unidirectional diving bezel, it’s more than practical enough to accompany subterranean explorer Klaus Thymann on one of his expeditions. Still, rather him than us.


47mm stainless steel case with 4,000m water resistance • Sellita SW200 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve • £2,250, •


truth be told


Sam Kessler

The Interview:

Young T & Bugsey


Lord Byron, Robin Hood, HP Sauce; Nottingham has done its fair bit to shape British culture (and breakfasts). Now however, the East Midlands city is having an equally substantial impact on homegrown sounds, all thanks to the musical pairing of Young T and Bugsey. The pair – real names Ra’chard Tucker and Doyin Julius – burst onto the scene with their debut mixtape, Plead the 5th, back in the far-flung past of 2020, and with their next having just landed by the time you read this, we took the opportunity to chat to the daring duo cresting a new wave of British rap.

As the first rappers from Nottingham to get signed to a record label, Young T and Bugsey have certainly put the home of HP Sauce on the map


truth be told

Young T and Bugsey’s tracks have been played on repeat across social media recently, allowing them to spend their cash on Rolexes, including two Jubilee strap Dayjusts, a Wimbledon, one in mother-of-pearl and a Sundust Datejust

“I got a Cartier but I’m looking to get a new one, the blue-faced Santos. Just gotta upgrade it when I can, all that rapper stuff. I like APs as well but not that diamond stuff, just plain Royal Oaks” So how did the pairing start? Well, for them it all kicked off in 2016. “There have been a lot of achievements along the way,” says Bugsey, the more verbose of the two, “but the one that we really felt chuffed about, that we really felt at the time was when we got signed in 2016 to Black Butter. We were the first rappers from Nottingham to ever get signed, putting Nottingham on the map.” Since then, they’ve been endorsed by the likes of Stormzy and gone from strength to strength. And even if you’re not into homegrown UK rap (for shame) then you’ll likely have heard one of their tracks on repeat, especially if you’re a TikTok junkie. Heard the funky backing track to the #Don’tRushChallenge? Yep, that’s them. “It was cool man! Any platform that’s helping people make their dream a reality, to allow people to have a career, to just express yourself, I’m super grateful for it. It’s still going on too. The other day I saw this video of a guy tying his shoelace, just tying his shoelace, and it had nine million views, two-pointsomething million likes and Don’t Rush

in the background. I was just thinking… wow, man. It’s a beautiful thing.” “We loved it,” chimes in Young T, “we did the challenge with the group of girls that started the challenge, it was cool.” Even if Don’t Rush is the only one of their songs you’ve heard though, it remains a pretty apt example of Young T and Bugsey’s approach to music, as they explain: Bugsey: “You can describe our stuff as feel-good music; music that makes you want to move, grind to, music with substance and a weight of rap in there. It has longevity, transcends region, it’s not just ‘British rap’.” Young T: “We take inspiration from so many places, 50 Cent, Nelly, J Cole, Big Sean, Drake, they were all a big part of our growing up, right up to the edgy stuff like A$AP Rocky. What I would say is most of it’s been US based.” Bugsey: “We have love for UK rappers – even Chip, Chip was Chip, you know what I mean? Guy’s crazy – but the US stuff is naturally what we listened to the most.” That stateside influence is a big part of


both Plead the 5th (which makes sense, given their debut mixtape’s title) and the new tracks on Truth be Told. The difference is that while the first introduced Young T and Bugsey to the world, the latter shows just what they can do. There’s a lot to unpack throughout Truth be Told. Trapwave, afro-swing, plenty of Skepta-esque grime, the pair aren’t shy about wearing their influences on their sleeve, blending them together into a new but familiar set of tracks, underpinned by the kind of feel-good vibe that makes you want to move. Honestly though, I had the opening – and title – track, Truth Be Told, on repeat. That smooth flow is aurally addictive. And in their mix of chilled-out party vibes and West Coast-slanted rap it’s hard to miss that Young T and Bugsey like a watch. Why else do you think we, a watch mag, got some time with them? Hell, their wrist game is on point in every video they make, and you can probably guess which maker has a starring role. Bugsey: “Me? I got two Rolexes. I got two Jubilee strap Dayjusts. I got a Wimbledon and one in mother-of-pearl.” Young T: “Same here, I got two Rollies as well. One’s also a Wimbledon and I got a Sundust Datejust. Predictable as those answers may be though, the guys are anything but posturing when it comes to their watch game. A few references in and the tempo of our conversation had shot up faster than a chopper after too many Red Bulls. Bugsey: “I also got a Cartier but I’m looking to get a new one, the blue-faced Santos. Just gotta upgrade it when I can, all that rapper stuff. I do like APs as well but not that diamond stuff, just plain Royal Oaks. I need to get along to them, see what’s what. I wanna get an OP Tiffany blue. Ever since the Patek came out they’ve been going mental! Saw one go for 80K the other day, mental. I was just thinking to myself, if I can get hold of one it’s gonna be bread.” Honestly, he’s not wrong there. And honestly, if Truth Be Told does half as well as it should do, he might just be able to get one of those bad boys at auction.

made in...

THE ORACLE SPEAKS The wizardry of the watch world explained Words by SAM KESSLER

[What does Made in Britain actually mean?]

There’s a certain pride to the words ‘Made in Britain’. It resonates with the kind of classic, stiff-upper-lip craftsmanship of yore, a sign to the world that yes, this is a product made in honour of Queen and country! It’s a term that resonates around the world in fact, with British products doing incredibly well, especially Stateside. That’s why we have the Made in Britain mark, a registered trademark that, on the surface at least, states outright that whatever it graces, be it cheese, car or indeed watch, is made right here in Britain. The problem is that the word ‘made’ is doing some seriously heavy lifting there. It’s easy to assume that Made in Britain in its simplest sense ensures that everything, every


material and every part that goes into a product is from here. That however is not the case, at least not as defined by the term. Instead, it’s a little more nebulous: the economic origin. Now, when it comes to heritage brands that have been here for centuries – your Florises, Ettingers and the other ancient labels covered by Josh Simms on page 130 - that’s not a problem. They tend to use local products that are turned into perfumes and bags locally. All good. Even in the case of fashion brands, which naturally have to import many of their textiles, it’s pretty clear-cut, turning raw materials into a bespoke suit. But when it comes to watches, things are a little trickier. A pile of movements, sapphire crystals and handsets only have wholesale value, which tends to be minimal, especially if said products are coming from China rather than Switzerland. It’s the assembly that turns them into ready-to-sell timepieces with some serious market value. So, if you import the vast majority of components and simply assemble them here in Britain, here will be the finished product’s economic origin and you can slap ‘Made in Britain’ right there on the dial. That’s the case even if your movements, cases and other swathes of the watch come fully built. But let’s take that ‘economic value’ to its logical extreme. British products have an inherent perceived value, so what if you simply bought a finished or semi-finished product elsewhere, imported it, repackaged it and sold with a significant mark-up? Here would be the economic origin, so would it be Made in Britain? Fortunately, not. There is no specific law pinning it down, but the Trades Description Act of 1965 does include one helpful line: ‘Goods shall be deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change.’ That rules out simply repackaging, thank God. Finishing though, it does not. If you take your ready-made timepiece, bought in bulk from a factory in the Far East that puts Rolex to shame. You bring it back home and add a custom rotor, jazz up the dial a bit and add a shiny new British leather strap, then that counts. It might be the very last stage in production, but the bottom line is that it’s all that counts. Now, it’s not just watches that have this issue of course. Not too long ago, ceramics were under fire, with teapots, plates and the like stating that they were ‘Made in Stoke’ when only the final glaze was done there. I mean, there was obviously something dodge going on; who wants to be from Stoke? But we’re a watch magazine so we’re always going to focus on timepieces.

made in...


made in...

Replacing gummed up sperm whale oil or a modern lubricant that’s evaporated is the reason why watches need regular servicing, as nothing else should really be going wrong

“ It’s all about transparency and splitting ‘Designed in Britain’ apart from ‘Made’ is a simple way of ensuring just that little bit more of it ” It’s also not like we’re the only country that does it. I mentioned Switzerland earlier; you’d be surprised at just how many Swiss brands order huge numbers of their parts from Chinese factories, which is slightly more egregious when they actually can make it all. In that case, it’s simply down to cost. Unfortunately, they can sell on to British companies that, in turn, take those Chinese, Swiss-made parts and turn them into British-made watches. The thing is, is it actually a problem? Yes, it’s misleading, but in a practical sense you can’t make a watch here unless you’re Roger W. Smith, and I doubt even he grows his own sapphire sheets, no matter how easily I could imagine him cackling in his lab. Even if you could, the cost would be


prohibitive and the quality not necessarily any better. In an ever more globalised world, this is simply how things are made, without a single origin. Perhaps instead, it’s a question of wording. As I said, the definition of Made in Britain is open to interpretation which, as I mused in our previous article on in-house, should be a loophole that needs to be closed. Made in Britain should, at the very least, mean entirely assembled here, with components – not assembled movements – arriving separately. Yes, it would be harder, but it would keep the purists happy while maintaining the practicality of accessible imports. For everything else, we should be focusing on what we do best here: design. Design is where we excel and why, in recent years, the best British watches have been accessible ones. Farer, Christopher Ward, more recently Prestex Duckworth and Studio Underd0g, they all offer impeccable, innately British design – just without the pretence of being Made in Britain. As with anything, it’s all about transparency and splitting ‘Designed in Britain’ apart from ‘Made’ is a simple way of ensuring just that little bit more of it.

46 © Stephen Daniels

FRONT — roger w smith





FRONT — roger w smith

Revered as one of, if not the finest watchmaker in the UK today, Roger Smith learnt the skills that have kept his timepieces in such high demand from George Daniels, who educated him in The Daniels Method at his Isle of Man studio, which he put into practise in his Series 1 watch (right)

I’m always open to other people’s opinions on watches. So much about what we wear on our wrists is down to personal preference and what you’re actually going to wear it for that I’d hate to outright tell other watch lovers what’s what. That is, of course, unless I’m asked who the finest watchmaker in the UK is. Because that’s pretty damn obvious: Roger W Smith, OBE. First, a bit of context. It can be hard to pin down exact production figures, but Rolex makes well over 800,000 pieces a year. At the other end of the spectrum, legendary independent watchmaker F.P. Journe produces around 700. Roger W Smith on the other hand has an upper limit of around five. Not 500, but five individual watches per year.

Why does the master watchmaker take so long to build each watch and more importantly, why are they worth the wait? 48

So rarefied are these watches that Smith has had to close his order book simply to work through the current backlog. The question is, therefore, why? Why does the master watchmaker take so long to build each watch and more importantly, why are they worth the wait? First, it’s worth discussing another name to set collector’s hearts aflutter, the inimitable George Daniels. Back in the 1980s, Dr. Daniels set up shop on the tiny Isle of Man to demonstrate that the true, traditional way of making watches – one pair of hands working on one watch under one roof was still possible, coining The Daniels Method. There are 34 individual skills needed to hand-build a watch from the ground up and The Daniels Method requires master of at least 32 of those. It means making a timepiece alone and by hand, and is without a doubt the most demanding approach to haute horology possible. Today, vintage Daniels timepieces are the holiest of grails, the kind of pieces that are invariably auction headliners. Back in the summer, a 1999 Millennium wristwatch sold for £519,000 at Bonhams; a couple of years earlier, his Space Traveller I went for a cool £3.6m at Sotheby’s. While his legacy as a watchmaker – including the most technically-advanced escapement in 250 years, the Co-Axial escapement that powers most Omega watches these days – is unassailable, Daniels only ever had one apprentice at his remote studio. You’ve probably guessed by now who that was: Lancashireborn Roger Smith. After passing The Daniels Method test by making his own watch, start to finish, in 1998 Smith became a collaborator, rather than an apprentice, moving to the Isle of Man to work on Daniels’ Millenium Series. Three years later, Roger set up his own studio and the retrograde calendar Series 1 was born. It was however the Series 2 that put Smith on the map. The first modern, production watch by a British watchmaker, almost every single one of the Series 2’s 225 parts were built in the Roger W Smith studio, including the Daniels co-axial escapement. It was both technically and aesthetically magnificent, in short, the ultimate British timepiece. Today, there are five series of Roger Smith watches, starting with the understated beauty of the Series 1 and working up to the Series 5 with its open dial and

FRONT — roger w smith


© Ian Pilbeam 2020

FRONT — roger w smith

It might have been the Series 2 that put Roger Smith on the horological map, but the Series 4 (pictured) illustrates his approach best with an in-line day and month display, peripheral date and combined small seconds and moon phase display all packed into a graceful 41mm watch


© Stephen Daniels

FRONT — roger w smith


The Series 1

The Series 2

The Series 3

The Series 4

The Series 5

The most streamlined Roger Smith, the Series 1 leaves ample room for exquisite guilloche front and centre

The all-important The all-important evolution of the initial Roger W. Smith, a watch that apparently helped re-invent the studio

An aesthetically balanced piece that was Roger Smith’s first step towards a proper collection of fine British timepieces

The most complicated Roger Smith timepiece, the Series 3 includes a superbly streamlined perpetual calendar

This Open Dial beauty has had the entire dial removed to show off the impeccably finished movement underneath

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Retrograde Date Case Size: 40mm

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Day, Date, Month and Moon Phase Case Size: 41mm

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Up / Down (Power Reserve) Indicator Case Size: 38mm or 40mm

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds Case Size: 38mm or 40mm

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds and Up / Down (Power Reserve) Indicator Case Size: 38mm or 40mm

All pieces are available in platinum or 18 carat yellow, rose or white gold and come equipped with latest single wheel version of the Daniels Co-axial escapement.


© Images: Ian Pilbeam 2020

FRONT — roger w smith

magnificent level of finishing. Yet in many ways, it’s the Series 4, Smith’s most complicated timepiece, that illustrates his approach best. “Something George Daniels drummed into me as a young man were his ultimate principles of watch design - clarity and simplicity. George absolutely hated watches which looked like an Enigma machine and needed an Alan Turing to work out the time! As we curate a new British watchmaking tradition, I believe that elegant simplicity must be our design creed.” And so, despite the host of functions involved, the Series 4 Triple Calendar is anything but busy. An inline day and month display, peripheral date and combined small seconds and moon phase display all pack a lot of information into a svelte 41mm watch. As for price, it’s hard to say exactly how much a Roger Smith watch will set you back, especially as the studio’s order book is now closed, but expect a Series 1 starting point of £130,000. As every piece is built to personal specifications, it’ll only go up from there in line with the amount of personalisation involved. And if you were going for one of these, you’d want as much as possible, right? Of course, Smith doesn’t spend all of his time working away sequestered on the Isle of Man, even if that’s what a few of the collectors at the tail end of his wait list would like to hear. He’s also one of the biggest proponents of British watchmaking on a global scale. In 2013, as part of the government’s GREAT Britain

The watch includes a unique movement with incredible threedimensional architecture and one of the most impressive dials ever campaign, Smith created the aptly named Great Britain watch, based on his Series 2. The watch includes a unique movement with incredible three-dimensional architecture and one of the most impressive dials ever made by hand. Or a machine, to be honest. Smith wanted to show just what Britain could do and he did just that. Since then, Smith also established the Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers with Christopher Ward’s Mike France, a duo spanning both ends of the horological spectrum and both pushing their respective price brackets to ever more impressive extremes. Needless to say, Roger Smith earned his OBE. As for what the future holds… well, don’t expect wait lists for a Roger Smith of any series to get any shorter. The difference is however that Roger does have a decent team he’s working with, meaning that in time he may well be able to expand The Daniels Method to a wider ring of watchmakers than one. In the meantime, he’s doing his best to not only make the finest timepieces in our fair isles but push British watchmaking as a whole to the status it deserves. He very much is the Best of British.


A Roger Smith Series 1 (top left) will set you back the best part of £130,000 and that figure doesn’t allow for any potential personalisation, but his Series 5 Open Dial (above) shows the Method behind his genius. Glancing at the time has never been so captivating

the collector

From humble beginnings, Patrick’s astonishing collection includes a Patek Philippe Ref 982/140G unique pocket watch, and a Patek Philippe Calatrava 1518R (bottom) pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph moonphases from 1948

The Collector:


Sam Kessler

Many of us consider ourselves collectors, with a few pieces dotted across a few decades, perhaps even with some serious auction-worthy rarities here and there. Patrick Getreide’s array of 163 timepieces, gathered over the course of 35 years, isn’t a collection. It’s the stuff of legends and is, after being postponed last year, the basis for The Design Museum’s OAK Exhibition in mid-May. The exhibition is the brainchild of both Patrick and auctioneer Geoffroy Ader, himself French auction house royalty and a widely respected independent advisor to collectors of Patrick’s calibre. That is to say, the crème de la crème of the watch world. That wasn’t always the case though and Patrick certainly didn’t come from money. As he says when we caught up with him virtually ahead of the previous exhibition date, “as a young boy at boarding school in Switzerland, I lived among the children of some of the world’s wealthiest


the collector

There are more unique Pateks than all but a scarce handful of collectors in the world can lay claim to, but it’s not driven by price or prestige as much as it is Patrick’s love of fine timepieces 56

people - but all I had was a small, weekly pocket money allowance. I didn’t feel envy, but I did want to be like these people and their parents. It gave me what I call ‘the Count of Monte Cristo syndrome’ - a determination to achieve a level of success that would give me freedom to do the things I loved.” It was a drive that cultivated an entrepreneurial mindset, swooping in to acquire then improve businesses with an almost prescient level of success. Yet like most collectors, Patrick never set out to create one of the top five collections in the world. As is the case with many a buyer, he bought on impulse. Indeed, his first watch was a Cartier Tank, bought to celebrate his horse winning a race. That was the case right up until he bought his very first Patek Philippe and met the inimitable Thierry Stern. “We share the same philosophy on life,” says Patrick of their continued relationship. “We don’t think ourselves so important. We’re not like some people who are too well known or too rich. When [Stern] did his new factory for 530 million, he paid in all cash – but normal! Like me, he’s really relaxed and we both respect people.” Evidently, it’s a relationship both Patrick and the Patek Philippe CEO cherish, to the point where Stern has actually advised Patrick on pieces he should buy. “This is a one-of-a-kind 3800 which has been done with quartz for the doctor of Mr Stern. When he died, Mr Stern proposed that I buy it. It’s mighty rare.” Honestly, ‘mighty rare’ is an understatement if ever there was one; an understatement that works for the entirety of the OAK Exhibition, which, incidentally, stands for One-of-a-Kind. That little fact alone should be enough to make the upcoming display a site of pilgrimage for any respectable collector – and Patrick was more than happy to give us a bit of a preview. There are 11 sections in the exhibition, six of which are dedicated to Patek Philippe. In the Calatrava section you’ll find what Patrick calls his ‘fantastic four’, a quartet of unique takes on the flagship dress watch, including the only known Reference 570J. The Chronograph section shows off a unique

patrick getreide

Reference 130J monopusher with a two-tone mirror dial while the World Time section includes a Reference 2523J two-crown World Time, one of just four known examples. Given the hype behind the Gentadesigned sports watch, it’s no surprise that the Nautilus section is visiting by itself and, as well as that aforementioned quartz 3800, includes a recent highlight. “I like modern Pateks too – and this is the famous green that everyone wants!” he says, referencing the ‘final run’ 5711/1A. It’s safe to say he’s fairly high on Patek’s list. Unlike most Nautilus buyers though, Patrick has a personal connection to the legendary designer: “I actually knew Genta you know. I had a diamond company and my partner was selling Genta the small diamond he needed for somebody’s watch. He was a genius. It was unfortunate he went bankrupt multiple times. If I had been here, that wouldn’t have been the case!” Perhaps the most important section however stands on the shoulders of one of the greatest collectors in history. In the Graves-Fullerton part of the exhibition you’ll find five of the pieces originally commissioned by the legendary Henry Graves Jr – a full sixth of the railroad tycoon’s surviving commissions. The only larger collection of Graves pieces is in the Patek Philippe Museum itself. It’s not all Patek though and there’s a

fair amount of space reserved for – you guessed it – Rolex. Three whole sections in fact, but not just your usual Daytonas, either. Prestigious as the collection is, Patrick evidently likes the occasional oddity too. “This is the Sky-Dweller,” Patrick says, proudly holding up a modern version of the most complicated Rolex to the camera. “Nobody wants the Sky-Dweller! I find it fantastic nevertheless.” More than anything else, that perhaps encapsulates the OAK Exhibition and Patrick’s approach to collecting. Yes,

there are more unique Pateks than all but a scarce handful of collectors in the world can lay claim to, but it’s not driven by price or prestige as much as it is Patrick’s own love of fine timepieces. He doesn’t care about trends or hype – because honestly, when you’re this calibre of collector none of that matters – but about what strikes a chord with him, whether that’s an incredible quartz Nautilus or an often-maligned Rolex. The OAK Exhibition will take place at The Design Museum 19 to 25 May 2022. Find out more at

Clockwise from top left: Patrick’s Patek Philippe 1579A circa 1950; the ‘mighty rare’ custom Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800; Patek Philippe Calatrava 2499J; Rolex Daytona Paul Newman 6239; Rolex GMT Master; Patek Philippe Calatrava 530A; and his Design Museum exhibition poster


rolex 2022




Let’s agree one thing up front. Nothing that is predicted, speculated upon, argued for or even merely hinted at in this article will come true; none of it. Rolex’s propensity to keep thwarting by wide margins – the assumptions of its fans, scholars and devotees seems to be as motivating a factor for its executives as is total dominance of the luxury watch market. My one absolutely nailed on prediction is that Rolex will be as successful at that in 2022 as in any year. Nevertheless, a little consideration of the hype and analysis of the clues – like the not entirely obscure fact that the world’s best sailor has been given a brand new, never-seen-before titanium Yacht-Master to put through its paces – can lead us towards some diverting speculative conclusions, all the better to watch them fall utterly flat come March 30, when the Watches and Wonders industry showcase is due to commence. Let’s deal with that Yacht-Master first. Sir Ben Ainslie, the British maritime superstar and sometime Rolex testimonee, has been provided with an all-new prototype he’s been wearing at sea. And it’s a doozy: a 42mm Yacht-Master with no date, cased not in gold but in lightweight, dark grey titanium with a distinctly utilitarian matte finish, on a dark fabric strap. It turns the Yacht-Master from a Cowes Week status symbol into a salty seadog of a tool watch. Rolex, of course, has never made a titanium wristwatch and doing so now would seem to be entirely at odds with its overriding focus on precious metals, despite the boiling fervour in the steel Rolex market. Indeed, on its fabric strap, the watch seems more like a Tudor concept than Rolex (though I’d expect a commercial version to be on an Oysterflex strap anyway). But you could also argue that the brand needs to divert some hype away from the steel market, and a tested-in-the-field action watch gives it a chance to re-affirm its legacy in purist professional tool watches, while adding something truly exciting. If it appears, it will be absolutely the hottest watch of 2022, and completely unobtainable. It will also unleash an avalanche of titanium watches from other brands, and cause an absolute

rolex 2022


rolex 2022

Voices online are clamouring for a canonical version of the GMT Master II (above) pictured in rose gold with rainbow bezel, while the Milgauss (right) makes up one half of the weird sisters of the Rolex Professional range. Previous page: The Yacht-Master 40 in matt dark grey titanium and the new-generation 3230 movement from the Oyster Perpetual

A much bigger anomaly is the continued existence of the weird sisters of the Rolex Professional range, the Milgauss and the Air-King

shitstorm in the Rolex pre-owned market. Here’s hoping. Meanwhile, the dominating factor in new Rolex watches since 2015 has been the upgrading of its various lines to a new generation of movements with profound increases in power reserve, precision, efficiency and resistance to magnetism and shocks. It’s a job approaching completion, though the fact that the all-conquering Daytona still has the 4130 movement introduced in 2000 seems increasingly anomalous (even if there have been improvements in that time). Six years after the big Daytona overhaul of 2016, is a new movement on the cards? I doubt it – the 4130 is a beast, and already has a 72-hour power reserve, Parachrom hairspring and Superlative Chronometer accuracy. If it ain’t broke…


A much bigger anomaly is the continued existence of the weird sisters of the Rolex Professional range, the Milgauss and the Air-King. They still carry the old-generation 3131 movement with an anti-magnetic soft iron shield – a feature the new gen movements made entirely redundant thanks to their built-in anti-magnetism. Things seem even more out of kilter when you consider pricing: the Milgauss costs £7,350 to the Air King’s £5,750, even though they’re technically the same watch, while the 41mm Oyster Perpetual with new-generation 3230 movement is just £4,850. Tudor’s 15,000 Gauss-repelling METAS-assessed Black Bay is a thousand pounds less. From a stylistic, conceptual and value perspective, both the Milgauss and Air-King don’t make much sense, but

rolex 2022


rolex 2022

neither does total discontinuation as they add some much-needed quirk to the line-up, and the Milgauss in particular has a foundational story that's just too important for Rolex to completely ditch. Still, imagining where Rolex can take either watch is rather harder. But, seeing as we’re dabbling in hypotheticals here let’s go extreme, if not downright evil. If the brand’s confounding recent tendency to issue two-tone variants of completely inappropriate tool watches (Explorer in 2021 and Sea-Dweller in 2020) continues, then how about a technically upgraded Milgauss or Air-King? If only for the sport of watching the forums ignite. Two-tone or not, upgrading to the new generation of movement surely means losing the soft iron shield; but a 3230-equipped, 41mm Milgauss seems worth keeping around. You could even make an argument for a new, superevolved anti-magnetic movement, presumably Calibre 3231, perhaps bringing Rolex’s Syloxi silicon hairspring into play along with the upgrades that Tudor have deployed in their METAS Black Bay. The Air-King, with its busy dial and charmless, Frankenwatch ambiance, seems less easy to justify, unless of course a total redesign is on the cards. So, expect it to stay as is for another five years at least. Speaking of the forums, there is as ever plenty of hankering for various canonical versions of two recently upgraded watches, the Submariner and the GMT Master II. I feel it’s possibly too soon to expect much change in the Submariner range, while the GMT Master II has been the focus of a fair bit of chopping and changing in recent years. Nevertheless, the red/black ‘Coke’ bezel surely cometh one day, so why not now? Perhaps this even edges out the white gold ‘Pepsi’ variant with a blue dial (I simply can’t see Rolex launching the Coke in steel). And filed under the category of ‘why the hell not’, how about a superdeluxe, gem-set rainbow bezel GMT as a sparkling addition to a run that’s seen

The GMT Master II in white gold with its red/black ‘Coke’ bezel is due an upgrade, but will it be in 2022? Or, how about a superdeluxe, gem-set rainbow bezel GMT providing a sparkling start to the year for Rolex?

You could even make an argument for a new, superevolved anti-magnetic movement, presumably Calibre 3231 64

similar models in the Daytona and Yacht-Master ranges in recent years? Now that really would be a glamorous way to travel. Oh, by the way: the Cellini range (remember it? Rolex’s little-seen series of classical dress watches) also still has the old generation 31XX movement. Does a watch as dryly unremarkable as the 39mm Cellini Time deserve a 70-hour power reserve, profound magnetic resistance and a Chronergy escapement? Somehow, I don’t think so. So book it in.

FRONT — best of british




Since the early days of watchmaking when Mr John Harrison was building the first proper marine chronometer (and helping Britannia rule the waves in the process), the UK has been a substantial figure in the watch world. Granted, for most of that we’ve been a hub of collectors rather than makers, but in the past decade there’s been a patriotic renaissance in homegrown horology. What began with Bremont and Christopher Ward in the mainstream (and Roger Smith at the upper end) has blossomed like an English country garden into a colourful, dynamic and distinctly British approach to timepieces. From strippedback tool watches to eye-catching hues just the right side of garish, we might not make all that many timepieces here, but designwise we’ve been nailing it. So, whether you’re after a fun quartz piece that won’t break the bank or something that can stand up to the Swiss heavyweights, here are the best timepieces our green and pleasant land has to offer.


FRONT —mbest of british

BELOW £400

Quirky impulse buys and elegant entry-level timepieces that won’t break the bank


Model 7410 Chronograph

Sure, it doesn’t have a particularly notable name but this racing chronograph from the ever-accessible Accurist doesn’t need one to stand out. The retro combination of blue, white and red with a classic tricompax layout makes for an eye-catching nod to 1950s four-wheelers. The tachymeter around the edge plus the split-second red chapter ring scream petrolhead louder than a revving V12. With a reliable quartz movement, solid water resistance and relatively hefty 42mm case, it’s also a pretty respectable daily beater.

THE DETAIL: 37mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance • Quartz movement • £195,


A Perfectly Useless Morning

British eccentricity that won’t break the bank? Enter Mr Jones. The watch designer’s poolside ‘A Perfectly Useless Afternoon’ is one of the most charming quartz pieces around and this autumnal follow-up ensures that lightning strikes twice. The peripheral forest serves as the indexes, while the hours are shown via a falling leaf and the minutes by a bird; all designed by illustrator Kirstof Devos. The curled-up fox isn’t a timekeeper, but it is the translation of the artist’s name from Flemish to English. Sure, it’s quartz but when it looks this idiosyncratically cool, who cares?

THE DETAIL: 42mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance • Quartz movement • £129.99,



Of the three GMTs in Iota’s collection, we had to pick the London, didn’t we? Not only is it named after the brand’s hometown (Iota is based in Greenwich, fittingly), but the minimal, Bauhaus-adjacent combination of stainless steel and white shows off their finer details nicely. The top half of the dial is defined by architecturally inspired diagonal lines, with the meridian debossed down the middle. It’s subtle – and the GMT hand is subtler, made to blend in but accented with a black tip. It’s a quartz, but a Swiss one and has the kind of finishing touches a watch lover can appreciate – including a proper sapphire crystal and quick-release Italian leather straps.

40mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance •

Quartz movement •



FRONT — best of british


You hear British, you hear racing, you think Aston Martin. It’s a fact of life. The marque has an incredible history on the track and, when it comes to endurance, that history began with their first win at Le Mans in 1959 – a moment that the Le Mans ’59 from racing-inspired watch brand Omologato pays homage to. That’s most evident in the British racing green dial and its vintage, bi-compax dial layout. Other nods are more subtle – like the yellow index at 59 - and the overall shape, which takes cues from the racewinning Aston Martin DBR1/300. It’s a watch you could easily imagine Jackie Stewart wearing as he passed the finish line.

THE DETAIL: 41mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance • SEIKO VK64 Meca-Quartz Movement • £385, limited to 50 pieces,

THE DETAIL: 40mm stainless steel case with 30m water resistance • Miyota 9039 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve • £325,


– Neo B (new)

As with many smaller brands, Paulin watches are made in batches and it’s not hard to see the shift over time between the original, very yellow Neo B to this much more orange, hand-dyed finish. It’s the kind of bold pop of colour I’ve come to love over the past couple of years (cards on the table, I bought the blue version) and the kind of watch British brands just do best. Opting for a Seiko movement over Miyota and encapsulated in a svelte case that lets the ever-verbose dial do all the talking, it’s a pop art splash of summer colour to rival any summer-ready timepiece.


Senate Cambridge Blue

Tiffany blue might be all the rage, but all that means is high prices a low chance you can get hold of one. This brightly handsome number from Cambridge-based Beaucroft might not be quite the same (it’s Cambridge blue, honestly) but it’s nevertheless an incredibly cool entry-level automatic piece with Doxa levels of eye-catching colour. Paired with a thin yet fluted crown and a crisp, clean dial layout worthy of an off-kilter independent watch brand, it’s one of the funkiest pieces in its price range. There are a fair few strap options (the midnight blue nylon is a standout) but you can’t go wrong with a killer mesh bracelet.


THE DETAIL: 38mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance • Seiko NH35A automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve • £395,

FRONT —mbest of british

£400 - £600

Solid automatic movements, heritage designs and a splash of colour


Nothing says British summertime like mint choc chip ice cream and, while we’re still in the frigid winter cold, Studio Underd0g’s latest is still cool enough to risk a brain freeze. A follow-up to the designer’s phenomenal Watermel0n, this watch is slightly more toned down yet still offers a quirky big-eye bicompax chronograph layout, this time in textured mint green and cocoa-dusted tachymeter scale and subdial. Consider the chocolate-coloured strap (made by British specialist The Strap Tailor) the flake on top. It’s more of an impulse buy than an ice cream in 30-degree heat; fingers crossed it’ll be back in stock soon.

THE DETAIL: 40mm titanium case with 300m water resistance • Miyota 9015 hi-beat automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve • £429.99, limited to 300 pieces,



This battle-ready tool is a proper box-ticker, and what looks large is in fact rather svelte at 40mm with an 11.5mm thickness and lightweight in full titanium. A tried-and-true tool watch with a sports-chic integrated bracelet, Arken’s debut is an uncompromisingly utilitarian 300m diver, defined by that big, toothy bezel and muscular shoulders doubling as a crown guard. With its three differently-shaped hands and two different lumes – blue for the handset and indexes, green for the second hand and 12 o’clock point on the bezel – there’s more going on after the first glance than you might expect.

THE DETAIL: 38.5mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance • Seagull Manual Winding ST-1901 movement with 45-hour power reserve • £440,



Hydrium Burnt Tangerine

40mm stainless steel case with 300m water resistance

According to Isotope, the brand’s always wanted to make a tangerine dial. From any other watchmaker that might seem like a stretch, but from the makers of the one of the most fun GMTs on the market, it sounds about right – and the Hydrium Burnt Tangerine is an eye-catcher if ever there was one. Aside from the colour, it’s enhanced with an elevated version of Isotope’s signature tear shape. The dial’s set off even more against the dark, microblasted stainless steel case and black rotating diving bezel, making for a tool watch that’s a world away from what you might expect.

Swiss automatic movement with 40-hour power reserve •

£533, limited to 100 pieces,


FRONT — best of british


Christopher Ward might seem like an odd brand to do an honorary revival piece, but if there’s one thing they do well, it’s hit on trends, of which re-issues are a big one. And to be fair, they are one of the most significant British brands around, so we’ll give it to them. It helps that the stripped-back C5 Malvern was always a handsome dress piece, and the Revival Special Edition is about as faithful as you can get, complete with now-vintage big-C emblem. It’s an entry level piece for Christopher Ward but with its lightcatcher case and Milanese bracelet, looks sharper than its price tag would suggest.

THE DETAIL: 40.5mm stainless steel case with 30m water resistance • Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve • £590,


BLOXWORTH Founder’s Edition

Not a lot of great stuff happened during lockdown. Fortunately, the Founder’s Edition of Elliot Brown’s Bloxworth is one of the rarities that did. Between the soft, cool grey dial and the bronze-coloured coating, this collaborative timepiece encapsulates the novel design language of the brand – and without turning your wrist green. The overhanging bezel boasts a ceramic insert for hardwearing diving style, while the basket-weave, sandwich dial has a bit more retro about it. Powered by a quartz movement (don’t worry, it’s Swiss), this might just be the best Elliot Brown to date. Lockdown agreed with them, apparently.

THE DETAIL: • 39mm case with 200m water resistance • Miyota 9039 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve • £595,


It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that we’re huge fans of recently revived British heritage watchmaker Prestex Duckworth. Not only have we included them here, we also used their eye-catching orange timepiece in our style shoot. This blue version, while certainly more wearable, is no less cool, complete with a high contrast yellow second hand. It’s a sportier take on the cushion-cased watches of the 1930s, powered by a workhorse Miyota movement and is one hell of a splash for a watch brand barely a year old. Here’s hoping we see a few more colours popping up soon.


THE DETAIL: 40mm stainless steel case with 200m water resistance • Ronda 713 quartz movement • £570, limited to 250 pieces,

FRONT —mbest of british

£600 - £2,000

Inspired materials and classical colourways with a surprising eye for detail


Resplendent in all the firefighter finishing touches a first responder could want, William Wood’s latest limited edition might be par for the course for the brand but, in a combination of deep burgundy dial and bronze case, is better-looking than ever. Available on a variety of colourful straps upcycled from the hoses of different fire departments – the standout being the new versions made from British Fire Uniforms – the Bronze Ruby encapsulates everything that William Wood stands for. It also has one of the most impressive watch boxes around, if you’re into that kind of thing.


Nautoscaphe IV Great White

Since their re-founding back in 2014, Alsta have built on the bones of the Jaws watch with four generations of Nautoscaph, the timepiece worn by Richard Dreyfuss’ Matt Hooper in the legendary tourist-scaring blockbuster. The version even has a cool alternate colourway – the aptly named Great White, THE DETAIL: with all the necessary diving accoutrements 40mm stainless steel like a rotating bezel and 300m water case with 300m water resistance, this time with a silver dial that resistance • Seiko NH35A echoes its apex predator namesake. While the calibre automatic case may be considerably different from the movement with 41-hour 1970s original, it looks killer with Alsta’s own power reserve • £695, ‘Valencia’ beads-of-rice bracelet. THE DETAIL: 41mm bronze case with 100m water resistance • Seiko NH35 Automatic Movement with 41-hour power reserve • £795,


Model 1 Fume Dial Green


Enamel dials are hard to make. Making them in Glasgow is pretty much impossible. And yet fantastic vitreous enamel dials are what the Scots at anOrdain have made their name with – the most spectacular of which is their most recent series of sparkling fume colours. The cartographic gold numerals, slim indexes and heat-treated hands add some matte gold contrast to the smoky green, wrapped up in a slim and elegant case. The only downside? The Model 1 Fume Dial has a serious wait list. For now, at least.

38mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance •

ETA 2824-2 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve •



FRONT — best of british


Peerless II Spiral V

Peerless by name, peerless by nature, the Wessex flagship offers two distinct sterling silver dials layered one atop the other for an unsurpassed depth to its construction. That depth is accentuated with superb spiralling guilloche – among other engravings – that can be customised to order. Obviously, the more work it takes, the more it’ll set you back but what would you expect for a bespoke finish? Things are equally impeccable inside with the movement (again of your choice) on full show through the wider-than-usual exhibition caseback. Finished with a large, fluted crown, the Peerless is ornate in the most traditionally British way possible.

THE DETAIL: 43mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance • Hand-wound ETA (Unitas) 6498-1 Élaboré or 6498-1 Art Deco Skeleton movement • £1,799 -£2,199,

MARLOE Pacific 52

THE DETAIL: 39.5mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance • Sellita SW330-2 automatic movement with 56-hour power reserve • £1,190, •

A celebration of the de Havilland Comet, the aircraft that changed the face of aviation back in 1952, this vintagestyled take on the Marloe Pacific embodies the golden age of air travel, albeit a little less lavishly than the jet-set lifestyle of the time. The fuselage colouring and subtle salmon highlighting all hark back to a bygone era of old-world class, a mix of utilitarian mechanics and luxurious finishing touches. As a first for Marloe, the case combines brushed, polished and frosted surfaces for the brand’s most nuanced timepiece to date. It’s not a pilots’ watch; it’s a watch for those flying first class.


Lander Midnight

After the success of their sea green dialled GMT, the next expansion of the Lander collection is a bit more pared back in midnight blue. It’s just as detailed as ever, with a stepped dial and a copper ring around the periphery of the dial to match Farer’s signature crown flourish. Overall, it feels like a more serious watch, elegant rather than eccentric and, while I’m always a fan of garish colour, it’s hard to knock the Lander Midnight for taking a different approach. If you’re looking for an everyday traveller’s watch with just a dash of British flair, look no further.


THE DETAIL: 40mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance • Sellita SW215-1 automatic movement with 40-hour power reserve • £1,195,

FRONT —mbest of british

£2,000 - £5,000

Watchmaking serious enough to worry the Swiss



Treasure Watch

Newgrange Moon Phase

It’s been ten years since Schofield first launched their ultra-cool Signalman and, to celebrate their anniversary, have graduated from lighthouse inspiration to the treasure washed up when they don’t actually work. Each of the new Limited Edition Treasure Watches is serialised with the name of a hoard found somewhere in the UK, starting with Sutton Hoo and running up to 29 models. Available in two variants – one in stainless steel, the other in gold-plated brass – the Treasure Watch is otherwise pure Schofield, with a clean, utilitarian dial. Less utilitarian is the fully gold-plated ETA calibre inside. There’s no sapphire caseback though, so you’ll need to take my word on it that the ultimate hidden treasure is, in fact, there.

The self-appointed representatives of Irish watchmaking, Sidereus’ unique case shapes take their design cues from ancient Celtic buildings, hence the characteristic side elevation. Otherwise, they’re downright lovely dress pieces, if larger than you might expect, of which the Newgrange Moon Phase is the standout. The multi-tiered, tone-ontone dial includes unique skeletonised hands and a flash of orange that’s particularly bright on the midnight blue dial. A subtly different timepiece in various brushed and polished finishes and backed by solid, modified stock movement, the Newgrange is more beautiful than a bottle of Redbreast.


44mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance •

Modified Sellita SW280-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve •

THE DETAIL: 44mm stainless steel or brass case with 100m water resistance • ETA 2824-2 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve • £3480, limited to 29 pieces,

€2,600 (approx. £2,150), limited to 50 pieces in each finish,


FRONT — best of british


40mm stainless steel case with 600m water resistance


M60 Aqualion

Sellita SW300-1 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve •


How do you create a dive watch, complete with all the ISO Standard necessities, that blends in with the pared-back, utilitarian vibes of the legendary Dirty Dozen? The Vertex Aqualion. The underwater alternative to the M100 can reach 600m down, has an incredible notched bezel inspired by a vintage Bren gun and somehow still feels in keeping with the brand’s military DNA. If that’s piqued your interest, you can check out our more in-depth review on the Aqualion on page 113.


FRONT —mbest of british


Broadsword Jet

By all accounts, Bremont’s partnership with the Ministry of Defence has been doing pretty well for the Henley watchmakers. Between the lower price point and military style, it’s not hard to see why – particularly in this latest, blacked-out version with rose gold indexes. The touch of gilt detracts a little from the utilitarianism of the original Broadsword, but it makes for a much more modern update of the Dirty Dozen-style timepiece. With a two-part case rather than Bremont’s signature Trip-Tick construction it’s a touch more basic than, say, the MBII. That doesn’t stop it being one of their coolest pieces to date. And hey, not a cannibalised historical artifact in sight.


40mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance •

Modified calibre 11 1/2’’’ BE-95-2AV with 38-hour power reserve •



FRONT — best of british

FEARS Archival

The biggest release from heritage British brand Fears, the Archival is a modern interpretation (read upsize) of an early model from the brand back in the days when they were based in Bristol. While the small seconds is now completely sold out, the timeonly – which is in my opinion the more handsome of the pair – is still available and offers a superlative Art Deco, 1930s look with a genuine vintage movement. Pay particular attention to the border around the dial; it’s a lot more than a bit of gilding. Fears have been playing off their old school good looks since the days of the Redcliffe Quartz and the Archival is the culmination of their overdue re-entry into the watch world.


40mm x 22mm stainless steel case with 30m water resistance •

New old stock ETA 2360 calibre manual wind movement with 40hour power reserve •

£3,500, limited to 135 pieces,


If you’re as much a mechanic as you are a watch collector, Zero West is for you. The Hampshire-based watch brand’s entire raison d’etre is an ode to vintage machines across land, sea and air. This chunky, industrially machined number is named after the Aston Martin 1958 TT which took a 1-2-3 finish at the renowned Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy. The TT5-R isn’t just aesthetically linked to those cars; it includes a machined disc taken from the drive shaft of one of the actual finishing cars – that driven by Sir Stirling Moss. It’s a piece of automotive history.

THE DETAIL: 44mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance • ETA 2824 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve • £3,700,


FRONT —mbest of british

£5,000 AND UP

The handmade elite of the British watch world


The Original, watchmaker Robert Loomes’ flagship is less about haute horology, guilloche and flashy techniques; it’s all about provenance. The classically styled timepiece, aesthetically driven by traditional clocks, is made from components built here in Britain, from blued steel hairpsprings to screws. Incidentally, the steel used throughout is hardened using charcoal, for added carbon, and nitrogen for sheer resistance. Fun fact: the latter is added by using hooves of the horses that graze around Loomes’ Stanford studio. Very locally sourced. The movement inside is as pared-back as the elegant dial, designed to be smooth and reliable through its runtime. The Original doesn’t shout about its hand-made origins; it doesn’t need to. Sometimes a whisper will do. THE DETAIL: 39mm yellow or white gold case with 30m water resistance • Loomes Made Movement with 30-hour power reserve • From £68,500,


Though it’s the least complicated of watches from the successor to legendary watchmaker George Daniels, the Series 1 is, in my mind, the definitive Roger Smith experience. Elegance incarnate, the various types of guilloche across the dial make for a deceptively restrained finish, while the Roman numerals and case shape hammer home Roger Smith’s classical sensibilities. Inside is the latest, single wheel version of the Daniels Co-Axial escapement with a free sprung Quadrajust balance, a haute horology evolution of what you’ll often find in Omega timepieces. And of course, the entire piece is made in-house, under one roof on the Isle of Man. Interested? You can check out our in-depth feature on Roger Smith on page 46. Or just check out our cover. THE DETAIL: 38mm or 40mm case in platinum, yellow, red or white gold • Roger W Smith movement • From £120,000, rwsmithwatchescom



Garrick made their second entry into the GPHG last year and, while they didn’t win, the S4 hammers home once and for all they’re easily up there with the big boys. Each S4 is made to order, meaning that they’re fully customisable – hence the incredible burgundy colouring on this particular piece. Even the base model is a masterclass in refined finishing and, thanks to its stainless-steel case, is far more accessible than it looks. In fact, even with a modified movement and hand-finishing up there with the most artisanal Swiss maisons, you can get one of these British beauties for less than 6K.

42mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance •

BF03 calibre automatic movement with 46-hour power reserve •

From £5,495,


Style \

109 /

All the kit you need

to help you keep that fitness resolution


82 /


96 /

Drake’s and Aimé Leon

Joseph Cheaney & Sons

Dore’s take on an

rebel with the rock n

outerwear icon

roll Thruxton Biker


84 /

The homegrown brands earning style stripes




for good old Blighty \

87 /

Savile Row has emerged from lockdown largely unscathed, but how? \

98 /

Step into early spring with some of London’s brightest and boldest

Best of British >—> We here in Britain know a fair bit about style. Whether it's the old stalwarts of The Row - who have been undergoing a lockdown-induced renaissance - or the raft of new designers coming up offering multicultural cool, the UK's innate design ingenuity is flying the flag for homegrown sartorialism. Indeed, our fair green isle is as much a player in the global fashion game, no matter what our continental cousins pretend. So, from practical necessities to cope with our meteorologically confused climate to pleats stiffer than a royal's upper lip, this issue we cover the Best of British style.


Oracle Style — Feb.22

tailoring names

STYLE — most coveted

WORTHY RECRUIT Michael Hill, Creative Director of Drake’s shares his top tips for picking out a decent duffle

1— Yarns of Substance The wool fabric should have a good heft in the hand to ensure many seasons of service

Edited by SHANE C. KURUP

2— / Making the Cut Factor in some room in the body and sleeves to allow for additional layering on colder days


3— / Stronghold Examine the toggle fastenings – they should feel robust enough to endure years of use

Drake’s and Aimé Leon Dore’s streetworthy take on an outerwear icon will get your style credibility shipshape

>—> The allure of a man in uniform goes someway to explaining why many enduring wardrobe staples have their origins in the drill ground rather than the runway – the trench, bomber and the duffle being a few prime examples. The latter

derives its name from the Belgian town of Duffel, famed for its heavy, water-repellent wool cloth used by the British Navy in the 1940s to make the familiar toggle-fastening coat worn by everyone from able seamen to Field Marshal Montgomery. In


subsequent peacetime, it found favour with John F. Kennedy, David Bowie and a certain marmaladeobsessed bear named after a London railway terminus. But with such a roll call of illustrious wearers, how do you follow suit in such a seasoned

classic? Combining forces with new-era preppy street label Aimé Leon Dore, London atelier Drake’s has the answer with a style-savvy iteration that doesn’t stray from the practical advantages of the original. “It has the easy-fastening jute toggles and roomy flapped pockets, but is cut from a highly tactile checked Italian Casentino wool, making it exceptionally warm and durable,” explains Michael Hill, Creative Director of Drake’s. Throw it on over a chunky roll neck, cords and hiking boots and you’ll look like a hero even if you’re catching the 7.47 to Victoria on a blustery morning and not actually shipping out to sea. Aimé Leon Dore for Drake's Buffalo check duffle coat, £1,195, Drake’s, 9 Savile Row, London, W1S 3PF

STYLE — style manifesto

The British Cut

The Row Revisited

>—> When Richard James set up shop on Savile Row in 1992, he came with an alternative vision to the starchier offering elsewhere on the street. Black, navy and grey were superseded by pastel and jewel-tones, while the structure of the tailoring followed a softer line. Today, its range of refined yet relaxed suiting and casual separates have a fresh, contemporary feel, while still staying true to the craft principles of the bespoke mecca. The current collection, entitled The Harder They Come, is a tribute to the 1980s club scene and it feels particularly on point with menswear’s current retrospective mood.

Edited by SHANE C. KURUP

Our green and pleasant land has a long tradition of design ingenuity and its contribution to the field of menswear is no exception. From forward-thinking tailoring on Savile Row to the weatherproof gear of Tyneside, these are the homegrown brands earning style stripes for Blighty

Alfresco Champion

Retrospective Modernism

>—> Although Dunhill started life as a saddle maker in 1893, the London house has had ample time to perfect its hand in high fashion, too. Helming the label today is design virtuoso Mark Weston, who has deftly combined the brand’s storied heritage and penchant for uber-luxe materials with a modern design sensibility. Nowhere is this evolution more evident than in the SS22 collection, which draws on archetypes of the British male over the decades from Deco dandies, to hi-vis handymen and 1980s casuals. Be prepared to jockey for position to bag a piece.

>—> South Shields might not be the most exotic locale, but the benefit of coming from a spot known for its inclement weather is knowing how to dress for it. Which probably explains why the Tyneside town is the birthplace of Britain’s favourite outdoor apparel brand, Barbour. For spring, the label introduces its 55 Degrees North collection – a sartorial homage to the British coastline. Think signature waxed jackets with supremely warm wadding and smart, outdoorsy casual separates. It’s just the thing for rediscovering the world again in 2022, whether it actually stops raining or not.


STYLE — style manifesto

Bright Design

>—> Sir Paul Smith needs little introduction as the First Lord of British fashion. The menswear maven started his label in 1970 in his hometown of Nottingham using £600 of savings, which has since become a global enterprise and particularly big in Japan. His blend of tailoring techniques borrowed from Savile Row and southern Italian ateliers are combined with clever fabric combinations and avantgarde treatments. The spring collection – an homage to outdoor pursuits – is a case in point, which includes digitally-executed photographic prints and water-repellent tech materials in Smith’s trademark vivid palette.

Diverse Weave

>—> One of Britain’s greatest strengths is its ability to absorb and integrate outside influences – a concept which British designer Nicholas Daley knows well. Raised in Leicestershire by a Jamaican father and Scottish mother, Daley has leant on his heritage to create deadstock tweed outerwear, Suffolk-milled silk shirts and Rasta-inspired beanies, which all have the rich cultural tapestry of the British Isles woven into their very fabric. This tweed Curtis jacket – part of an exclusive capsule line for MR PORTER – puts an eclectic Scotch spin on a classic Western design. It’s definitely a step-up from your battered denim trucker. Nicholas Daley tweed Curtis jacket £545,

Flock Together

>—> In 1980, when style empress Lady Diana Spencer stepped out in a pillar-box red sheep sweater, Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne – the founders of Warm & Wonderful – couldn’t wield their knitting needles fast enough to meet demand. It became an overnight icon, with even the sartorially fluent David Bowie and Andy Warhol unable to resist its kitschy-cool charm. Today, the intricate intarsia pattern is still knitted on traditional looms in pure wool to the exact spec of the original, so it remains as warm and wonderful as ever. Bowie blue sheep sweater £280,


STYLE — savile row

Style Never Dies The advent of the pandemic, supply issues and Brexit uncertainty spelled the end for many British institutions, but not to be beaten, Savile Row had other ideas and a rousing re-fresh that welcomed new ideas, brands, and even another gender has given the historic street a new lease of life

Words by


Benedict Browne

STYLE — savile row

When the pandemic broke in March 2020, Savile Row was already in a precarious situation. The street was quiet, and, most crucially, empty. Legendary tailoring houses were closing down, footfall was at an all-time low, and the allure of this historic street, which is known around the world for crafting the finest bespoke tailoring you could ever bespeak, was being threatened by the reconfiguring of the male wardrobe. Julian Stocks, Property Director of The Pollen Estate, which owns most of Savile Row, says it had “been in a perfect storm with Brexit uncertainty, supply issues, VAT changes, changing retail habits, and finally Covid lockdowns and travel bans.”

With two distinctly different customer bases, Drake’s and Aimé Leon Dore’s exciting collaboration has brought an exciting energy to a recently rejuvenated Savile Row

“I think people who are newly introduced to us are pleasantly surprised that we are not an intimidating luxury brand” 88

In many ways, though, you could argue that it was a blessing for Savile Row, as its portfolio has been on the receiving end of a serious case of diversification with newly-opened lifestyle, womenswear and streetwear offerings that have done the street wonders in creating a new buzz. Adding to that, the pandemic ignited a renewed sense of interest in craft-based brands with a human connection to counteract the scarily fast-paced and digitised world we live in. Legends have jubilantly returned, and regular pop-ups are keeping things interesting. It is, by all accounts, flourishing, and 2022 will be one of the best years it’s had in decades. Just before we were all locked-down, menswear’s favourite brand Drake’s opened on Savile Row and injected an overdue dose of conviviality into the street through its contemporary and tailored clothing. “I often think people who are newly introduced to us are pleasantly surprised to find that we are not an intimidating luxury brand. Our clothes are fun and enjoyable to wear while also being made with the utmost care and quality,” says Michael Hill, co-owner and creative director. Drake’s complete wardrobe offering acts as a fine counterpart to the bespoke garments that Savile Row produces, but it’s the brand’s ongoing collaboration with Aimé Leon Dore, a New York-based sophisticated streetwear brand, that’s pushing The Row forward. Aimé Leon Dore has “its own identity and design sensibility that we feel complements our own here at Drake’s,” reflects Hill, and one of the reasons why it’s been such a hit is that both brands have very different customers, which has brought a new generation to The Row. “I think that, for the Aime Leon Dore customer visiting us on Savile Row for the first time, Drake’s serves as a great and varied introduction into understanding more about the heritage of the area and the craft of Savile Row, and hopefully makes them want to return and explore more of the area and the tailors and brands that make it such a special part of London,” Hill adds.


STYLE — savile row


STYLE — savile row

The arrival of The Deck (left) in October 2020 shook perception of The Row with the exciting introduction of a women’s outfitters. Tradition still rules though, as the upcoming unveiling of clothsurgeon (above), a bespoke streetwear brand that faithfully upholds the storied traditions of Savile Row


STYLE — savile row

“We’re bringing in the best menswear from around the world and making them part of the Savile Row story”

Having a younger generation of menswear enthusiasts is one thing, but the importance of The Deck’s arrival in October 2020 cannot be under emphasised. Since its inception, Savile Row has been predominantly for men which is an archaic way of thinking and The Deck, which was founded by Daisy Knatchbull as a tailoring house only for women, has made steps towards leveling the playing field. “The beauty of what we do is we cater to every size, shape and age,” says Knatchbull. “Not only are our clients investing in beautiful, timeless pieces made from the best quality cloths and craftsmen out there, but they are investing in something for life.” The seismic revolution our wardrobes underwent during the pandemic necessitated the influx of loungewear and ‘WFH-attire’, but that was only a preface to a return to formality and garments that are designed for a lifetime of wear. “Post lockdown consumer shopping habits have changed, and people are starting to be more considerate about what they are buying, and if that’s anything to go by, the suit will play a fundamental part in the modern women’s wardrobe going forward,” she adds. That same month, The Service cafe opened on Savile Row and then could appeal to the olfactory and gustatory senses with The Fresh Coffee Company, pastries, sandwiches and more. It was a welcomed move, says co-founder James Sleater, who also co-owns the tailoring house Cad & The Dandy, which has just moved into an even larger premises down the road. “We have really been taken quite by surprise at how popular it’s been and how much of a menswear hub it has become.” Naturally, you


STYLE — savile row

couldn’t have a cafe on Savile Row that didn’t champion its storied foundations, and The Service regularly hosts pop-ups and exhibitions, such as ‘Savile Row Bespoke: Tailored Casual’, which underlined the versatility of what bespoke tailoring houses can create. Arguably The Service’s top customer is Simon Crompton of Permanent Style, who for the last decade has championed Savile Row and its bespoke houses more so than any other figure in the industry. For the last few years, he’s run ‘Permanent Style Presents’, a regular pop-up that brings brands and tailors you can’t get in London to The Row, which has been a tremendous success. “We’re bringing in the best menswear from around the world and making them part of the Savile Row story,” he explains, and points towards Chicagobased Optimo – “arguably the best hatmaker in the world” – and Bryceland’s Co, a classic men’s haberdashery and custom tailoring house from Hong Kong, as examples. Simon plans on another two or three pop-ups this year, with the first due to take place at the end of February. Perhaps the greatest bit of news that broke surrounding Savile Row during the pandemic was the return of Edward Sexton – the legendary bespoke tailoring house that gave The Row rock n roll credentials and a newfound sense of attitude, via its strong, sexy and masculine house style. “We are respectful to our traditions and heritage while not being trapped by them, and we want to bring our own style,” says creative director Dominic SebagMontefiore. There will be little need for a bland and safe suit, he believes in the post-pandemic world, and so he will be focusing on separates that can be dressed-up or down, and showing customers how classic tailoring will remain relevant. The upcoming unveiling of clothsurgeon, a bespoke streetwear brand that faithfully upholds the traditions of Savile Row, will have a profound influence on its appeal from design perspectives. Founded by Rav Mathura, he’s collaborated with the likes of Coca-Cola and Harrods, and is lauded for reconstructing Nike sweatsuits into

Clockwise from top left: Rav Mathura operating in the clothsurgeon workshop; legendary bespoke tailoring house, Edward Sexton (above and below) returned during the pandemic to bring a bit of rock n roll credentials to The Row; and The Service café opened and hosted pop-ups and exhibitions


STYLE — savile row

Through a typical stoic way that’s redolent of the British, Savile Row has pulled through. But, it’s by no means out of the woods

Simon Crompton of Permanent Style (above) has championed Savile Row and its bespoke houses more than any figure in the industry, while Rav Mathura’s clothsurgeon have been lauded for reconstructing Nike sweatsuits (left) into unique tailored clothing


unique tailored clothing. He will also become Savile Row’s first South Asian designer to open on the street. “The support was truly overwhelming and emotional,” he reflects. “The true meaning for me, though, is to lead by example and continue to push the boundaries and idea of new bespoke, and hopefully open doors and thinking for South Asian creatives.” In juxtaposition to The Row’s old-school houses, Rav’s store will be fittingly modern with bright, contemporary lighting with an inclusive feeling and will act as “a platform to highlight young up and coming artists, all aimed to bring a new energy to The Row.” Through a typical stoic way that’s redolent of the British, Savile Row has pulled through. But, it’s by no means out of the woods. Earlier this month, it was announced that the owners of Gieves & Hawkes, occupants of the prestigious address 1 Savile Row, went into liquidation, which was a stark reminder of the situation. Nevertheless, “Savile Row continues to be the global centre for luxury bespoke tailoring, and as a more conscious consumer emerges from the pandemic the inherent sustainability of Savile Row is of great importance,” Stark says rightly. The Row just needs to continue to galvanise, welcome new ideas, genders and brands, while preserving the magic that it’s wielded for centuries.

STYLE — spring statements

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph £42,200,

Putting a spring in your step


Step into early spring with some of London’s brightest and boldest tailoring names. We’re taking a trip down Brick Lane in jolly tangerine suiting from Richard James, relaxed checks from Oliver Spencer and Yuri & Yuri’s statement Donegal jacket, along with structured separates such as the oversized coat and wide-leg trousers from Studio Nicholson. Paired with our most-wanted timepieces with some homegrown favourites, it’s all about positive vibes for the month ahead.


STYLE — spring statements

Yuri & Yuri Guise suit jacket £1,780, Guise suit trousers, £705, patterned Kerouac shirt £354 and cream polo neck £269, Russell & Bromley tan leather shoes £225,


STYLE — spring statements

Duckworth Prestex Verimatic £595,


STYLE — spring statements

Richard James copper suit jacket £825, copper trousers £825, orange and pink striped shirt £195 and pink cotton pocket square £125, Tateossian gold box link necklace £575, Russell & Bromley tan leather shoes £225, Kingsman + London Undercover orange umbrella with chestnut handle £295,


STYLE — spring statements

Farer Cobb Monopusher Chronograph £1,750,


STYLE — spring statements

Studio Nicholson overcoat £595 and blue cotton twill trousers £350, Mr. P green ribbed merino polo neck jumper £165, Grenson hand painted leather shoes £305,


STYLE — spring statements

Carl F Bucherer Manero Peripheral BigDate £6,900,


STYLE — spring statements

King & Tuckfield teal wrap blazer £495, cropped yellow shirt £245 and teal button belt trousers £355, Tateossian gold box link chain £575, Grenson handprinted leather shoes £305,

STYLE — spring statements

Bremont Longitude £21,995,


STYLE — spring statements

Oliver Spencer Finsbury check jacket £370,

Model: Malik Al Jerrari at SUPA Model Management.Thanks to Babel Grill House, Brick Lane, E1, Jen’s Plants and Florist, Princelet St, E1, Thy Barber and Specstacular Opticians and Eyewear, Cheshire Street, E2

blue striped shirt £140, drawstring check trousers £190, Tateossian blue sodalite bead necklace £429, Grenson brown leather sandals £190, Sock Shop bamboo ribbed socks £9.99, Acne Studios flannel tote bag £160,


STYLE — kit bag




Viva la Resolution It’s been a month since you made that fateful promise to get fitter and the novelty’s beginning to wear off. Every pub you pass on your route a potential pitfall, every restaurant a temptation to throw in the now rather sweaty towel. You’ve kept off the worst of the Christmas weight. That’s enough, right? 5






1/ 2XU Vectr Cushion No Show Socks, £12, 2/ Ultimate Direction Clutch, £35, 3/ Hoka Mafate Speed 3, £150, 4/ 7 Days Active Chief Running Tights, £120, 5/ Garmin Forerunner 55, £179.99, garmin. com 6/ The North Face Lightriser Futurelight Jacket, £270, 7/ ASICS LITE-SHOW Running Top, £50, 8/ District Vision Nagata Speed Blade Sunglasses, £185.09, 9/ Lululemon Pace Breaker Short, £58,


STYLE — wardrobe champion


BAD TO THE BONE The Thruxton Biker Boot proves that rebellion has no age, even if you’re a 150-yearold outfitters

>—> So far this issue we’ve delved into the renaissance of Savile Row and showcased a range of seriously cool British labels, but what if you’re looking for something a little more… rebellious? Enter the Thruxton Biker Boot, courtesy of none other than Joseph Cheaney & Sons.


Thoughts of the British shoemaker tend to veer towards classic Oxfords and Derbys, perhaps with the occasional Chelsea Boot for a bit of rah. Big, chunky biker boots don’t really come into the equation. The Thruxton however is a beast of a very different breed. Sure, it has the same quality of leather and it’s still made in the same place as Cheaney’s other shoes – namely Northamptonshire. But the industrial twang of the 10-eyelet fastening and the biker cap detailing on the toe make for a boot that’s less rah, more rockstar. The Double Commando Rubber Sole is as heavy duty as the leather, and makes for a comfortable, practical tread that’ll see you through the worst of the English weather more reliably than an old Land Rover Defender. That said, if the look's a little over-the-top for your morning meetings, you can tone things down a bit by removing the double buckle lace guard. Then it goes from a bad-to-thebone boot to a more classic everyday stomper. Though really, if you’re going to put them properly through their paces, you might want to keep it on for practicality’s sake. Cheaney is still a solid destination for the kind of traditional shapes to suit Savile Row bespoke and long may they be. Just remember that quality and classic aren’t always one and the same. The fact that the Thruxton comes from a brand nearly 150 years in the making might just be the most rebellious thing about it. Cheaney Thruxton C Derby Biker Boot in Black Hydro Pull Up Leather, £450

hands-on reviews


• 40mm stainless steel case with 600m water resistance • Sellita SW300-1 calibre automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve • £2,850,



Vertex takes to the water with a comfortable, spec-laden watch that won’t sink your budget


hands-on reviews



Well, this one has been a long time coming. The idea of a Vertex diving watch has been doing the rounds for a few years now and likely would have come out a long while back if it weren’t for… you know, obvious global issues. That’s given me plenty of time to ponder what it might be. Historically, Vertex themselves never made a diver, so would this be a fresh new look for a brand that’s relied extremely heavily on their Dirty Dozen DNA? Not really, no. The M60 Aqualion is… well, it’s very Vertex. I’m not saying that as a bad thing; far from it. It fits in with the rest of the collection – the M100 and MP45 – perfectly. It’s just perhaps a bit predictable or, to be a bit fairer, comfortable. Vertex managed to skirt the heritage issues quite neatly by paying homage to the Aqualion brand, which was actually the predecessor to what became Vertex. Hence the half-cat, half-fish engraved into the caseback. Otherwise, this is a Dirty Dozen riff fixed with a diving bezel, utilitarian military with a naval twist. The dial uses the same numerals as other Vertex models, but drops all but the three, six, nine and 12 in favour of a diving-style minute track. The date version switches out the three for a date window, but I much prefer the cleaner, more symmetrical look of the non-date. Both versions also use an updated Submariner-esque handset perfect for low-light locales. It’s worth noting that the numerals themselves are moulded lume, so brightness is not an issue. The bezel is a lot more interesting. The matte ceramic looks far better than it has any right to, with a pared-back, tool watch vibe. The diving scale itself helps, with only the bare minimum of info to go past the necessary 15-minute counter. This is also where the finishing is a cut above other Vertex pieces. To provide grip to the bezel, its edges have been knurled, with a notched silhouette taken directly from the rangefinder on a vintage Bren gun. Fun fact: it’s the gun that you can usually find in Vertex founder Don Cochrane’s bathroom. Don’t ask how I know that. The bezel knurling is mirrored on the crown, though obviously you shouldn’t be needing to wind this thing with diving gloves on. Unless you want its substantial 600m water resistance reduced to zero, that is. Indeed, the M60 Aqualion’s specs are solid. It’s built to ISO 6425 standards, so it’s a professional piece of kit, and comes with a Sellita SW300-1 automatic movement. That means a 42-hour power reserve and COSC certification, par for the course for the brand. Size-wise, it measures in at 40mm across, small for a diver of this calibre but again, not a surprise for a brand as rooted in wartime vintage as Vertex. It’s still a chunky bit of steel, but in the kind of way that it goes with more or less anything. You won’t be passing it off as a dress watch, but any other time sure, go for it.


It’s still a chunky bit of steel, but in the kind of way that it goes with more or less anything. You won’t be passing it off as a dress watch, but any other time sure, go for it

The Aqualion comes with a trio of potential strap options: a stainless steel bracelet, a single-strand Zulu strap (made by the fantastic guys at Zulu Alpha Straps) and a rubber dive number. While the Zulu is cool and the rubber is practical, I’d always opt for the metal for one reason: iron sights. As Vertex fans may have noticed, the iron sights normally flanking the 12 o’clock index, a brand signature, are missing. Instead, they’ve been moved to the clasp, two bright dots of red against the steel. It’s a tiny detail, easily missed, but one I love. As for price, the M60 Aqualion will set you back £2,850, slightly more than the M100 but a good deal less than the MP45. Given its specs, I reckon that makes it the best value of the bunch – and a decent value diver as a whole. It’s not going to set the world alight, but the bottom line is that if you like either previous Vertex model, then you’ll like this. For most fans of military timepieces, that’s more than enough. £2,850,

hands-on reviews


• 42mm titanium case with 1,000m water resistance • BALL RR1101-C automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve • £3,090,



ENGINEER HYDROCARBON DEEPQUEST CERAMIC The over-engineered engineer’s watch is ready for anything, even death-defying depths


hands-on reviews



1,000m underwater is not somewhere I ever want to find myself. The thought of the deep, crushing depths and the unknown creatures down there does wonders for my Thalassophobia and anyone that thinks otherwise has my (deepest) sympathy. They’re obviously insane – ask anyone that really wants to test the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon DeepQuest Ceramic to its full potential. If you know Ball, you know what you’re in for. Sure, the heritage brand has its roots in the American railway, but their recent slate of releases is a different species entirely, with the kind of over-the-top machining you’d expect from the Engineer moniker. There’s the occasional sprinkling of vintage style here and there, but overall expect serious mechanical watches. The job of the DeepQuest is, apparently, to show up other, equally serious diving watches. Water resistance, luminescence and a diving bezel; the triumvirate required by any deep-dwelling timepiece and three things that the DeepQuest has plenty of. As you might have guessed, the depth rating on this thing is 1,000m. That’s worryingly deep and, while it’s not the deepest of watches out there, it’s deeper than most at this price point. Then there’s the lume, something Ball are a specialist at thanks to their nightlight-bright H3 gas tubes, in green, with yellow on the hands and 12 o’clock index. It’s the most fun way to wear radioactivity. Finally, there’s the bezel, which in this latest version is rendered in green ceramic with some chunky, gear-esque notches for added grip. Now, all that doesn’t come without some drawbacks. For one, despite the case measuring a svelte 42mm, the oversized bezel, crown and crownguard make the DeepQuest feel a damn sight bigger on the wrist. It feels and looks like a submersible – and I mean the vessel, not the Panerai. There’s no passing this off as a ‘boat to boardroom’ timepiece. That said, the metal’s not nearly as heavy as it looks, given the entire case is made from titanium and half the bracelet joins it in the lightweight metal. In fact, if you can get over the oversized elements, it’s far more comfortable on the wrist than you might expect. Colourwise, Ball have done themselves a favour here, riffing off that most famous of divers, the Submariner and its soughtafter ‘Kermit’ colourway – i.e. a black dial with green bezel. It’s also available in the ‘Hulk’ (green on green) or a standard all-black, but I’d always go for the mix. It invites comparison, which shows off the DeepQuest’s specs sheet nicely. Still, past that cursory glance, it’s obviously not a stand-in for the Rolex. It is, ironically, like the angry version of the ‘Hulk’ – less refined, sure, but bigger, stronger and more menacing. If you can tear yourself away from the brand name, this would make a seriously practical alternative. Not that the DeepQuest doesn’t stand on its own merits of course; nestled inside that impressive shell is a COSCcertified movement, the RR1101-C (basically a modified ETA 2892A2), which has a 42-hour power reserve. Better yet,


It looks like a submersible – and I mean the vessel, not the Panerai. There’s no passing this off as a ‘boat to boardroom’ timepiece

it’ll keep that power reserve no matter what you put it through, as it’s shock resistant to 7,500Gs and magnetic resistant to 4,800A/m. God knows what gamma rays would do to it. Make it stronger, probably. Still, the bottom line for this kind of piece is price. It’s designed to go through hell, so you’d expect to spend a fair amount, but you don’t want to take a serious investment piece where it might need to use that design. So the price tag of £3,090 seems pretty fair. For that you get a COSC-certified movement, protected by heavy armour and wrapped in all the necessities for a dive straight down to 1,000m. Just don’t tell me if that’s what you do with it. I have enough nightmares as it is. £3,090,

hands-on reviews


• 42mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance • Japanese Meca-Quartz chronograph movement • £215,



SPITFIRE LOCK BRONZE GREEN The Spitfire Lock from aviation watch brand Avi-8 hits well above its weight class


hands-on reviews



Now, you hear Spitfire, and you hear Pilots and there’s probably one watchmaker that comes to mind: IWC. That’s especially true if you cast your mind back to the Schaffhausen watchmaker’s release slate of 2019, where their super cutting-edge, unique and not-to-bereplicated colourway of the year was green and bronze. Yes, there are some obvious parallels between the IWC and the Avi-8 Spitfire Lock, both from the aviation angle and in the combination of bronze and khaki green. But the former will set you back £6,000; the latter just £215. Comparing the two just isn’t really fair – though it has to be said, the Avi-8 holds up surprisingly well. The Spitfire Lock Chronograph takes its name from Eric “Sawn Off” Lock who, despite sounding like a mafia hitman was actually the highest scoring British pilot in the Battle of Britain. It’s not hard to see those inspirations in the watch. As is par for the course with these kinds of pieces, the dial riffs off Spitfire cockpit gauges, leveraging hands, indexes and numerals aesthetically stripped right out of the vintage aircraft. It’s pretty faithful, even if it’s all been put together in a bi-compax layout you wouldn’t find in any cockpit. It’s also an incredibly layered affair, with raised numerals and indexes, inset subdials, and a date window like a tunnel. There’s a lot going on and it does make for a relatively busy look. That’s not necessarily a bad thing given the technical nature of the design and influences, and you do get used to it quickly, but it’s not exactly a watch you can pass off as a dress piece. There’s a good reason both IWC and Montblanc leant heavily into the bronze and green mix a couple of years back; it’s a looker. The khaki makes the Spitfire Lock’s military links even more obvious and pairs perfectly with bronze colouring. It is just colouring though, so don’t expect the stainless steel to have quite the same feel as a solid bronze piece. At 42mm it’s a decent size, enough to read the chronograph without being overly chunky. The pushers do their part to keep things svelte too and are one of the highlights of the piece. Made to imitate Spitfire wings, they’re downright lovely. The crown takes a similarly rounded approach though more for practicality’s sake; you could operate that thing with three pairs of gloves. The entire case feels solid and weighty on the wrist, enough that you might be wondering by now why this is such an inexpensive piece. Well, that comes from the fact that it’s quartz. A Japanese meca-quartz of course, a serious bit of battery-powered engineering, but quartz all the same. It still feels like the Spitfire Lock is a serious value proposition, especially as the nature of the movement means it has a flyback reset and 1/5 second readout.


The Spitfire Lock Chronograph takes its name from Eric “Sawn Off” Lock who, despite sounding like a mafia hitman was the highest scoring British pilot in the Battle of Britain The bottom line is this: if you love your military aviation and can’t afford one of the big guns (or should that be Top Guns?) of the pilots watch world, this is a seriously appealing alternative. It’s less elegant than some, but is clear with its inspirations and offers a lot of watch for the money, quartz or no. £215,

CULTURE — english sparkles

WISTON ROSÉ BRUT NV One of the best examples of an English sparkling rosé, this 40% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay, 30% pinot meunier blend is bursting with ripe peaches, raspberries and that signature creaminess that just rounds everything together. One you’ll want to go back for again and again and again… £29.50 from Hennings Wine


Best of British:

English Sparkles Words: Aidy Smith

A British themed issue you say? Well, then it’s time for our spectacular English Sparkling Wines to have their moment in the sun! Year on year we continue to create some truly mouth-watering bottles and today I’m going to share a selection of the very best, alongside a couple of nibbles that are a total treat side-by-side. Welcome to 2022; it’s time to take a wine lover’s tour of Britain.


Another fantastic representation of our stunning rosé with a mesmerising elegance. This single vintage gem offers ripe red apples and cranberries on the nose with a bright orchard fruit and strawberry palate. Clean, bright, refreshing and full of life with a great finish. Like most English sparkles, this is going to work perfectly with cheese, pretty much any fish dish and desserts with a fruity twist. Trifle, anyone? £37.50 from Noble Green Wines

CULTURE — english sparkles



When you oak age wine before using it to produce sparkling wines, something magical seems to happen on the taste. Well, that’s what they did with this chardonnay-focused fizz. Here we have one of Ridgeview’s iconic offerings from vines planted in 1995. In fact, only 2,600 bottles exist, making it highly limited and quite unusual in terms of what we see in the English sparkling market. Unusual, but in the best possible way. Fresh fruit meets vanilla glazed brioche, as the two intertwine to create an unforgettable sip full of life, full of creaminess and full of elegance. Oh, it looks bloody gorgeous too. £83 from Harvey Nichols

I’m always astonished by the quality of our older vintage sparkling wines; there’s something so nostalgically brilliant about them, especially when they’ve been aged on lees (that’s what makes them have structure and creaminess). This 2014 vintage is a trio blend of pinot noir (45%), chardonnay (43%) and pinot meunier (12%). The super limited release is 100% barrel fermented and aged for 52 months on lees. I’m already drooling just writing this. Super toasty, ridiculously complex in all the right ways, you’ll find honey, nuts and zesty brioche on the nose with a creamy, baked apple pie and bakewell tart on the palate. Bloody fantastic. £80 from Grape Britannia

The super limited release is 100% barrel fermented and aged for 52 months on lees

GUSBOURNE ROSÉ 2017 Gusbourne was one of the first English wineries I came across and it was love at first sight. Their luxury feel balanced with a fantastic product was like a cupid arrow to my heart and I’ve never looked back. Their 2017 vintage is a blend of estate-grown pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier. At first it’s the meadow berries that capture your attention, followed by the jasmine and violets. When you take a sip the raspberry, apricot and juicy strawberries take over. The texture on this sparkle is something else and the finish just goes on and on… £40 from Hawkins Bros


CULTURE — english sparkles

Complex layers of orchard fruits continue on the palate with a burst of citrus carrying into a refreshing and bright finish

ADNAMS ENGLISH SPARKLING CLASSIC CUVÉE Adnams have become pretty good at many things. They’re one of those companies to have fingers in many pies - beer, spirits, wines and aside from the cracking Champagne they’ve been producing, they’re now getting stuck into English Fizz too. A total of 30 months on lees gives this pinot noir dominant (with a little chardonnay) English sparkling wine a zippy citrus and tangy baked apple feel. There’s a dollop of cream on the palate due to the ageing, with a burst of freshness on the finish. £23 from Adnams

LANGHAM CORALLIAN CLASSIC CUVÉE 2018 Another single site beauty from the heart of Dorset. All of the grapes are sourced from Crawthorne Vineyard, consisting of just 12 meticulously kept hectares. After 14 months on lees you’ll find a fruitforward nose with a splash of apple, pear and buttered croissant. Complex layers of orchard fruits continue on the palate with a burst of citrus carrying into a refreshing and bright finish. Yet another dream from Dorset. £26 from The Wine Society


CULTURE — british nibbles

British Nibbles PAXTON & WHITFIELD: THE ENGLISH CHEESE FEAST What could be better than a nice bottle of fizz with something else our country has become famous for? Cheese! Paxton & Whitefield are a leading purveyor of said gourmet custom and their English Cheese Feast offers the perfect pairing. Westcombe Cheddar, Stichelton (similar to Stilton), Sparkenhoe Red Leicester and Baron Bigod (similar to Brie) are all part of the parcel. Tuck in and get cheesy! £60 from Paxton & Whitfield

What could be better than a nice bottle of fizz with something else our country has become famous for?

DUNKELD SMOKED SALMON ROYAL FILLET When it comes to bubbles, salmon has a certain fatty texture that just works so well. The thing is, there’s lots of smoked salmon out there and some of it can be a bit average, despite how much you pay for it. Wherever possible, choose an independent. In 2019, I featured Dunkeld Smoked Salmon in our TV Series on Amazon Prime and since then it’s been my go-to. Exceptional quality, great mouthfeel, the perfect seasoning and all round just an explosion of flavour in your mouth that works a dream with English sparkles. Their royal fillet is the best possible cut, weighing in at 400 grams, let’s just say you’ll be going back for seconds, and thirds, and fourths… £40 from Dunkeld Smoked Salmon



Thoughts of Balearic hedonism inevitably tip towards Ibiza rather than the often-overlooked Majorca, but in the south west corner of the island you’ll find a hotel the match of anything on its club capital neighbour. Panoramic views of the Mediterranean, a spa experience up there with the best in the world and a professional level golf simulator, Hotel Pure Salt is a perfect slice of luxury.

Port Adriano is a small, sheltered bay about a 35 minute drive from central Palma and offers stunning views of not only the crystal-clear sea, but also a Phillip Starck-designed marina that complete with superyachts, would make a Monégasque feel at home. The design of the hotel itself is light and modern, with a large reception area

Luxury and sun drench everything at the contemporary Hotel Pure Salt, which offers a choice of Deluxe, Suites and Swim up rooms, an in-house restaurant, as well as a spa with an infinity pool and a range of treatments


opening out onto the terrace and infinity pool which offer exceptional views of the bay. The suites and rooms follow this same formula and offer generous amounts of space, exceptionally wide beds and well kitted out bathrooms complete with jacuzzi baths, rainforest showers and enough Penhaligon's grooming products to keep the SO happy. There’s a variety of different room types, Deluxe, Suites and Swim up, each offering their own charm. Though if the idea of rolling out of bed, making a quick Nespresso and settling down on the semi-submerged sun-loungers floats your boat then the Swim-up rooms can’t be beat. While Majorca might not boast as many DJ residencies as Ibiza, it does have one thing very much in its favour: golf. The island boasts 24 painfully well-manicured golf courses, and the attentive staff are more than happy to help organise a tailor-made experience that makes use of all that pre-dinner practice on the simulator. Speaking of which, the food options are of course excellent. The in-house restaurant, Adrianna, offers breakfast, tapas lunches and a la carte dinners, all under the vigilantly flavourful eye of head chef Diego Vázquez. The food follows the traditionally Mallorquin mantra of fresh produce, exceptional seafood and simple dishes that delight the palette. There is also an extensive wine cellar to ensure all the dishes can be paired with a fitting vino and vibrant cocktails for later in the evening. To pamper away all that selfindulgence come the morning, the Spa offers a heated pool, infinity pool, sauna, steam room and an excellent range of treatments. It really is hard to leave the hotel once there. Still, if you’re looking for a base from which to explore the likes of La Seu Cathedral, Bellver Castle and the Arab baths in Palma, then Pure Salt Port Adriano is the perfect base of operations. If you can drag yourself away from the pool, that is. Rates at Pure Salt Port Adriano, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, start from £250 per room per night. For further information or to book, visit

© Fraser Vincent

balearic suites

made in britain

The UK is in the ascendancy when it comes to the sheer diversity of high-end craft items with heritage it produces, such as Lock & Co Hatters (above), which can trace its roots back to 1689

Ask a disgruntled sceptic and they will tell you that British manufacturing is not what it was even a generation ago - that much of it has gone aboard, lost to globalisation. And they wouldn’t be wrong - except, maybe, when it comes to high-end craft goods. Country of origin labelling may not have the cachet that it once did either, and yet the fact remains that the United Kingdom is steeped in a tradition of hand-making small, often personal goods to world-beating standards - and a reputation for doing so goes with it. It was the Brits, after all, who some 160 years ago, and in the guise of the reformist Arts and Crafts Movement, first sought to give craft-making the intellectual credibility, integral worth and social standing on a par with painting and sculpture. Other nations would follow with their own movements of reappraisal only decades later. Jump forward to the 21st century and it is perhaps remarkable that the UK can still lay claim to some of the

Is it too blindly patriotic to suggest that the UK can claim pre-eminence in the sheer diversity of the high-end craft products it makes, from textiles to shoes, ceramics to bicycles to stationery, even umbrellas and shotguns? 130

most prestigious craft goods available names the likes of Cheaney, Graff, Creed and Smythson set globally-recognised benchmarks in their respective fields. Of course, it would be disingenuous to suggest that the UK was the only country to have successfully maintained a craft tradition. Many other nations thanks to their historic markets for craft products, notably European ones - have managed to sustain, and in some cases develop from scratch, a niche specialism with regards to specific goods: Switzerland with watches, Italy with clothing and furniture, France with its food and wines, Japan with its whisky. But is it too blindly patriotic to suggest that the UK can claim preeminence in the sheer diversity of the high-end craft products it makes, from textiles to shoes, ceramics to bicycles to stationery, even umbrellas and shotguns? Arguably this is a welcome side effect of the UK’s head start as a developed nation. After all, some of its best-known makers of craft products are also some of its oldest: to cite just a few, Lock & Co, the hatters, dates to 1689, the tailor Ede & Ravenscroft to 1689, Floris to 1730, Garrard to 1735. The fine-gauge knitwear company John Smedley was established in 1784, allowing its Lea Mills site to claim the title of being the longest continually operational factory in the world. Over that length of time, specialist skills get passed down through the generations, become embedded, are hard to replicate. It’s why many of the global names in luxury goods founded abroad still turn to British makers to provide certain products: a Louis Vuitton or Balenciaga raincoat is still likely to be made by Macintosh, for example. This is in no small part down to such manufacturers also being ready to keep up with new technology crucially, they’re makers with a past, but not stuck in it.


Josh Simms




made in britain

Floris have been producing perfumes since 1730, making them the oldest English retailer of fragrances and toiletries, and to this day the company remains under the same ownership with the eighth and ninth generations of the family currently at the helm of the national institution


made in britain

Lock & Co Hatters claim to be the world’s oldest hat shop, the world’s 34th oldest family-owned business and are also a Royal warrant holder. It’s hard to beat that kind of heritage

Specialist skills get passed down through the generations, become embedded, are hard to replicate. It’s why global names in luxury goods founded abroad still turn to British makers


made in britain

In 2018 it was estimated that craft contributes £3.4bn to the UK economy and employs almost 150,000 people, making Britain a nation of makers and not shopkeepers, like Ettinger (above and below). Nobody tell that to Napoleon


made in britain

“But when you have a national crafts-making base so well-established, over such a long time, that not only gives you the advantage of expertise and a reputation that can help to sustain business, but it also feeds into the wider populace too,” explains Rachel Jones, senior lecturer in fashion entrepreneurialism at the University of Westminster in London. “There’s that saying attributed to Napoleon, that the Brits are a nation of shopkeepers. But really, we’re a nation of makers. We just needed the shops to sell all we make too.” Certainly, it’s not all about the big names. The depth of the culture of craft-making in the UK tells in the figures. At the last official count, in 2018, craft contributes £3.4bn to the UK economy, exports £5bn worth and employs almost 150,000 people. Arguably it’s the culture of craftmaking in the UK that means almost 90% of these are sole traders, with lockdown, it’s said, driving a boom in new makers. As Arts and Craft movement co-founder William Morris notes, “history has remembered the kings and warriors, because they destroyed. Art has remembered the people, because they created”. Just as importantly, a Crafts Council report notes that we don’t just make high-end craft goods - we buy them too. That might not be a new thing - the fact that Fortnum & Mason was founded in 1707 suggests that we’ve enjoyed selling and buying luxury goods in a luxury setting for a long time. But importantly, it’s a habit that has lasted. In 2019 almost three-quarters of Brits bought craft goods. And a third of these purchases were by the under-35s, suggesting that the regard for craft products isn’t going away soon. None of this is to say that such a situation is bound to last though; craft-making at all levels needs celebrating, nourishing and protecting.

“There’s that saying attributed to Napoleon, that the Brits are a nation of shopkeepers. But really, we’re a nation of makers. We just needed the shops to sell all we make too”

The details and craftsmanship matter as much, if not more, than the name they carry, as shown by the care that Ettinger (below) put into every item


Yet arguably these more value- and environmentally-minded times seem more in line than ever with a high regard for the inherent substance of things, over the label they may carry. As Robert Ettinger, the CEO of the British leather-goods company that carries his surname, points out, “I think one reason craft goods are in the ascendant is that there’s something of a demand now for things that last, that can be repaired, that have character. That’s an attitude we can build on.”.

great britain


GREAT BRITAIN FIVE BRANDS KEEPING FINE BRITISH CRAFTSMANSHIP ALIVE In a post-industrial revolution England it’s easy to assume that most of what we buy are imports, especially when it comes to luxury. Italian suits, Swiss watches, German cars, these days you can pick and choose the best from around the world without much effort. And yet. Despite the driving force of globalisation, there are stalwarts here at home that are proving time and again that high-end craftsmanship is more than alive and well – it’s thriving. Sure, other countries have their caches, but Made in Britain has a gravitas all its own, a heritage and history that few can compete with. It helps that its attached to some pretty damn good products, too. Here then is a quintet of artisans that you can rely on for British luxury at its finest.

LINN Legendary in the high-end audio world, Linn cut their teeth back in the early days of sound-systems with the now legendary Sondek LP12 Turntable, a piece of equipment that’s still the foundation of many an audiophile’s set-up. Since then, each and every piece of equipment has been hand-built in Linn’s Glasgow factory, with incredible precision and tolerances demanded of the most avid listener.

Throughout their five decades of existence, Linn have continued pushing high-end audio forwards, but turntables are still very much at their heart. Turntables like the Klimax LP12, the latest generation of their original record player. Hyper accurate playback with a whisper quiet motor, it’s the beginning of a beautiful system. Linn Klimax LP12 from £23,300,

Every piece of equipment has been handbuilt in Linn’s Glasgow factory, with incredible precision and tolerances

EDWARDS GREEN Northampton is the home of British shoemaking and, among the town’s esteemed residents, Edward Green sit alongside the best. Since the eponymous craftsman set up his workshop in 1890, the brand has been synonymous with both English Goodyear welted footwear and consummate quality – as they put it, excellence without compromise. It’s a traditional outlook that lends a certain classical gravitas to their shoes and boots, whether that’s the practical Ambleside in storm waxed suede or the Berkeley, which in dark oak antique calf has all the understated elegance of its London namesake. Whichever piece you opt for, they’re built to last – in more ways than one. Edward Green Berkeley Shoes £965,


great britain

TETEOSSIAN While not as ancient and revered as some British craftsman, Tateossian – founded in 1990 – are nonetheless a creative powerhouse of haute joaillerie. It’s perhaps that relative youth that’s allowed the jeweller to become one of the most distinctive, playful and mould-breaking names in the world. Not many brands after all would have the confidence to make pieces from meteorite, dinosaur bones and fossils, paired with precious metals and gemstones. Perhaps the best expression of Teteossian’s unique style is their beaded bracelet. A sophisticated take on bohemian cool, they combined exceptional materials with expert craftsmanship for bracelets that are a world away from your old surfer beads. Tateossian bead bracelets from £125,


Given they’re a royal warrant holder twice over, John Smedley’s boast of ‘the world’s finest knitwear’ perhaps isn’t as hyperbolic as it sounds. At the very least, they’ve dressed the most famous of Brits, from Her Royal Highness to James Bond. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise though; they’ve had over 235 years to hone their craft to perfection. Even when it comes to something as simple as a chunky knit pullover, John Smedley is a cut above the rest. The Upson is made from a blend of recycled cashmere and extra fine Merino wool, constructed with an all-over rib for cool weather cosiness. It’s also good to know that John Smedley is now more sustainable than ever, so you can indulge in your dream knits guilt free. John Smedley Upson Pullover £295,

They’ve dressed the most famous of Brits, from Her Royal Highness to James Bond

LINLEY When David Linley founded his studio in 1985, he caused an immediate stir, and not just through his already impeccable furniture pieces. The son of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, he was the rare royal with a genuine vocation. That said, we wouldn’t still be talking about Linley today unless there was some serious substance beneath the regal affiliations. Extraordinary is the word most often used to describe Linley furniture. The combination of bold aesthetics and exquisite craftsmanship, along with a mastery of different types of wood, makes for the kind of eye-catching collection that’s most at home in a Mayfair townhouse. If there’s one thing Linley does better than anyone however it’s marquetry. The Caprea Low Bar, for example, is created in dark grey oak and ripple sycamore with an inlaid chevron pattern for an incredibly dramatic finish. Linley Caprea Low Bar £95,000,


new horizons

It’s been a hard few years for those of us cursed with wanderlust. Some of us have managed a flight or two recently, but nothing like we did in those halcyon days of… 2019. God that’s awful to think about. Well, surely that means we’re all overdue a getaway, right? And rather than re-tread the same old comfortable coastlines and resorts, now’s the time to try somewhere new, somewhere spectacular. That said, we’re a little out of the loop these days. Trying to keep abreast of where we should go over the last few months has been far too painful. And so, we enlisted Rebecca Masri, founder of private members hotel club, Little Emperors, for her Top Five Travel Destinations of 2022. If thoughts of these inspired destinations don’t get those wandering feet back on the right track, nothing will.


NEW HORIZONS The inspiring international destinations for your 2022 wishlist 138

© Fraser Vincent

douro valley

Where to stay? >—>>—>>—>

Six Senses Douro Valley


Set in a superbly renovated 19th century manor house, Six Senses offers commanding views of the valley and a perfect base from which to plan the inevitable slew of wine tastings.

Alto Douro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world, making it an ideal destination for oenophiles. And, if they're visiting towards the middle to end of September then they can even participate in the harvest and production. For others, both the walking trails and local cuisine make it a must-visit for 2022.

If visiting in September then [guests] can even participate in the harvest and production 139


YUCATAN One of the safest of Mexico's states, the geographic diversity of Yucatan's peninsula is one of the primary reasons to visit, boasting everything from beaches and pink lakes to cenotes and tropical rainforests within its boundaries. Many of the towns and cities are from the colonial era, dating back to the 1500s and should definitely be considered in any itineraries there.

One of the most dramatically designed (and beautiful) hotels in the world

Where to stay? >—>>—>>—>

Chablé Yucatán

Part luxury retreat, party Mayaninfluence wellness resort, Chablé Yucatán is one of the most dramatically designed (not to mention beautiful) hotels in the world, let alone Yucatan.


tel aviv


© Fraser Vincent

If you're looking for one destination to enjoy everything you've been missing over the past 20-months, then Tel Aviv is the answer. With around 300 sunny days a year, there isn't an "off season" when it comes to the weather; this combined with the food scene and a nightlife that’s sure to be the envy of all of us that have been stuck at home far too often makes for an epicurean getaway. The beaches and the desert guarantee a great break for pretty much everyone else.

With around 300 sunny days a year, there isn't an "off season"

Where to stay? >—>>—>>—>

The Norman

Despite sounding like a neighbour of The Ned, this arty boutique hotel offers breathtaking views of the Tel Aviv skyline, ideally taken in with a poolside cocktail.



MUSCAT While Dubai has remained one of our most popular destinations over the past couple of years due to the ease with which UK travellers have been able to visit, the less starry and glitzy Muscat in neighbouring Oman is the real shining star of the Middle East for 2022. The breathtakingly beautiful coastal city on the Persian Gulf perfectly encapsulates the country's ancient traditions, while still emanating a buzz that is both exciting and stylish. And as well as offering a plethora of sites and landmarks to sate culture enthusiasts, including the Grand Sultan Qaboos Mosque and The Royal Opera House, Omani hospitality is famed throughout the region, as enjoyed in the Old Muttrah souk, one of the most bountiful and captivating souks in the world.

Where to stay? >—>>—>>—>

Shangri-La Al Husn

Perched atop a cliff, travel brochure blue sea on every side and décor designed to charm a sheikh, the ShangriLa Al Husn rules over its very own slice of Middle Eastern paradise – and with no young children spoiling the serenity.




© Fraser Vincent

Having almost completely closed its borders to tourists for the past two years, many travellers and holiday-makers are longing to head to Japan in 2022. The reality of this is still uncertain, although some sources cite the second half of the year being a distinct possibility. This ties in perfectly with the start of the 2022/2023 ski season, which starts in early December in Niseko; one of the best places for skiing in Japan. The powder is endless and many believe to be the best in the world, the ski runs are extensive both in length and numbers, and the scenery spectacular.

Where to stay? >—>>—>>—>

Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono

With mountains in every direction – including the Annupuri ranges and Mount Yotei – this snow-covered branch of Park Hyatt makes the most of its natural charms, not to mention the superlative skiing they provide.

The powder is endless and many believe to be the best in the world

For more boutique hotels par excellence – and a chance to visit them – join the club at


Sa sin v

CULTURE — unsung hero


Ken Kessler



Rediscovering the watch that keeps the Special Boat Service ticking over 145

CULTURE — cwc sbs

British military dive watches exert a considerable influence on watch collectors, with the Omega Seamaster and the Rolex Submariner of the 1960s and 1970s the most iconic. But, what is currently being issued to the UK special forces and elite military units? It’s a blacked-out day-date quartz diver from CWC – officially known as the UKSF watch, but nicknamed the SBS, after the Special Boat Service, which first specified and ordered the watch. CWC – based in the east end of London – have been supplying the British military with watches for 50 years this year, and for many collectors the SBS diver is the quintessential CWC watch. Most other CWC watches and clocks have historical antecedents in other models, like the mechanical chronographs first supplied in the 1970s by Hamilton, or the aircraft timers first made by Heuer. But the SBS was specified and ordered directly from CWC, and no-one else has ever produced a similar watch for the British military. The CWC Royal Navy dive watch is famously the watch that replaced the Rolex Milsub. In 1980, as the Ministry of Defence was looking for a cheaper but still reliable watch, CWC won the contract to supply a time-only, stainless steel automatic dive watch, with a 60 minute graduated bezel, similar in aesthetic to the Seamaster, but using the Monin-style case popularised by Heuer in their 844 series. In 1983, the movement changed to quartz, and in 1987 the Special Boat Service specified a customised version of the watch.

The SBS was specified and ordered directly from CWC, and no-one else has ever produced a similar watch for the British military

Special forces operatives wanted a non-reflective black finish for night time operations – possibly inspired by Royal Marines based in Hong Kong who had their steel dive watches black-coated locally – and a day-date function as they spent considerable amounts of time on mission and found it helpful to keep track of the days. The watch was first issued in 1988, and original versions of this watch are incredibly rare – with only 100 manufactured in that first batch, only a handful are still known to survive. More batches were manufactured throughout the 1990s, and were issued to the SBS, SAS boat crews and other special units. And then in 2000, the decision was made to phase out the stainless steel Royal Navy dive watch, and make the SBS the standard dive watch in the British military, and several hundred were ordered in 2001 and 2005, including a large batch for the Royal Engineers. Since then, the MoD has flirted with other watch brands – including Citizen in the late noughties – but resumed large scale purchases of the SBS watch in 2016, and the watch is now seen on the wrists of special forces, Royal Engineers, Royal Marines, Royal Navy boat crews and the Paras. Military issued versions from the 1990s and 2000s can be found for around £2,000, although some of the rarer variants can go up to £5,000 or more. Or you can just buy the version that is currently worn by UK special forces direct from CWC.


First issued in 1988 in a limited run of 100, the CWC SBS has collectible roots, as well as a non-reflective black finish for night operations, which is said to take inspiration from Royal Marines in Hong Kong, who coated their steel dive watches in black




IN FOCUS — mjj exclusive


MJJ Exclusive channel their watchmaking skills with rebellious take on Channel Ring Time may be relatively malleable these days but it’s worth noting that Valentine’s Day is almost here – and all the expectations that come with it. You could phone it in with a standard piece of jewellery (after so much lockdown time with your significant other, a box of chocolates just won’t cut it), a nicely set diamond in a gold band, something like that. Or you could go for something that might actually be appreciated. MJJ Exclusive comes at jewellery from a distinctly non-traditional angle. Founder & director Matthew J. Jones cut his teeth creating bespoke haute joaillerie for the football elite, and that rebellious, contemporary take on fine jewels has transferred nicely to his brand’s permanent collection. Take, for example, the Channel Ring, a piece that’s become a bit of an MJJ Exclusive flagship. It’s about as far away from a simply set gold band as a bespoke Rolls-Royce is from a hatchback. It’s constructed like three rings in one, with two rows of brilliant stones separated by one bigger, middle row. Most of the time that middle row involves a host of baguette-cut gems, a solid ring of precious colour that contrasts the round stones of the shoulders with the kind of square cuts you normally find in fine watchmaking. While the baguette-cut gems are certainly the most striking versions, if you’re looking for something a little less intense but no less colourful, Pavé models are also available. Either way, the construction is the same – which includes MJJ Exclusive’s signature internal caging, which allows light to come through both sides of the stones, drawing in the maximum amount of light and highlighting the quality of the gems. As for who it’s for, the big, bold construction of the Channel Ring suits men’s fingers as easily as women’s, with the kind of go-big-or-go-home attitude that makes rainbow-set Rolexes among the most sought-after watches around. In fact, throw in edges set with rockstar cool black diamonds and the rainbow-set Channel Ring may be the only piece of jewellery out there that can match that particular breed of Daytona. And if you happen to have an emerald-set black Nautilus then thanks for reading, Drake. More importantly, there’s a perfectly matched black-and-emerald Channel Ring for you, too. Given the construction – and MJJ Exclusive’s history, of course – it shouldn’t come as surprise that the Channel Ring is also incredibly customisable. Have a colour combo you want to try out? Gotten your hands on a Tiffany blue Oyster

The signature internal caging of the Channel Ring allows light to come through both sides of the stones, which is available for customisation to suit nearly any style

The Channel Ring suits men’s fingers as easily as women’s, with the kind of go-big-or-go-home attitude that makes rainbow-set Rolexes among the most sought-after watches around Perpetual that just needs a few gemstones to match? It’s all in MJJ Exclusive’s wheelhouse. Which of course has one downside: if you don’t manage to order the perfect Valentine’s Channel Ring, then it’s entirely on you. Find out more at


IN FOCUS — von doren


IN FOCUS — von doren


The emerging Norwegian brand continue their nautical mechanical evolution When Norwegian brand Von Doren built their seminal Uraed back in the less-than-halcyon days of 2020, they graduated to the realms of serious mechanical timekeeping. The watch, inspired by nautical genius Ole Brude, is a solid, ocean-themed timepiece tapping into Von Doren’s signature Art Nouveau stylings. Yet the Uraed also stole the limelight from Von Doren’s older pieces, a particular travesty when it comes to the eye-catching little quartz numbers in the Runde collection. The collection’s name comes from a Norwegian island notable for its miniscule population of a mere 120 people and the enormous shipwreck just off the shoreline, that of the Akerendam. The Akerendam was a treasure ship that, after disappearing in a storm, washed up near Runde and, over the centuries since, spilt its bullion payload into the ocean – hence the island’s nickname of Treasure Island. That story is to explain precisely why Von Doren’s latest has been dubbed the Treasuremaster Mechanical. While the Runde is a tribute to the island itself with eye-catching gemstone colours, the Treasuremaster is its mechanical evolution – and notice we say mechanical, not automatic. While Perrelet invented the automatic movement as early as the 1770s, the Akerendam sank in 1725, a solid half-century earlier. So, Von Doren has stuck with a manual-wind number inside the Treasuremaster, namely the Sellita SW210-1. Like any Sellita, it’s a workhorse movement, with a 42-hour power reserve and the kind of affordability many a smaller brand needs in their line-up. While the 39mm stainless steel cases mirror the previous Runde collection, the dials are slightly more nuanced. They still maintain some of those jewel tones – restricted for now to green and blue rather than the yellow, magenta and aquamarine – but with a more, for want of a better phrase, grown-up addition of an inset chapter ring in a light grey. Paired with a yellow second hand and swordshaped hour and minute hands slathered with blue lume, the overall effect is downright lovely. Honestly, if they had a yellow version, I’d upgrade my own Runde to a Treasuremaster in a second. As a final flourish, the caseback is engraved in the same vein as the old 18th century gold ducats that still occasionally wash up from the Akerendam on Runde’s shoreline. This includes

Available in green and blue jewel tones, the Treasuremaster has maintained its historical authenticity with a manual-wind number to reflect the technology of the era when the Akerendam sank way back in 1725

Paired with a clean yet individual design, Von Doren’s latest mechanical timepiece is anything but a shipwreck the text “Concordia Res Par Cres Tra”, or in English, “Unity Makes Strength”. But, I hear you ask, just how many gold ducats will I need to shell out for this? Well, on average a single ducat is worth $300, and you’ll need roughly three of them to pay for your Treasuremaster. If you’re doing the maths, that’s just under $900 or, to be precise, just €795. If you’re exceptional at in-head calculations, you’ll also know that equates to just over £660. It doesn’t really matter though. By whatever currency you care to use, the end result’s the same: the Treasuremaster is exceptional value. Paired with a clean yet individual design, Von Doren’s latest mechanical timepiece is anything but a shipwreck. For out more at


BACK — microbrand corner



The golden age of air travel is usually dominated by airlines like Pan-Am, but when it comes to the actual aircraft that drove the glitz and glamour of transatlantic flight, none were more iconic than the superlative Douglas DC-3 – the namesake of the latest from aptly-named pilots’ brand, Aviator. With a case shaped like a DC-3 fuselage and tactile grooves inspired by Art Deco, the Douglas Day-Date is a more aesthetically luxurious take on the humble aviation tool watch, particularly handsome in the combination of military khaki and rose gold. Yet while a trip on the original DC-3 would have been pricey at the time, that’s not the case here, despite the handsome look and, incredibly, a custom Aviator calibre.

The latest and greatest from the ever-creative world of independent microbrands


Douglas Day-Date

edited by: SAM KESSLER


• AV-1000 calibre automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve • 41.2mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance • From £795,


• 39mm stainless steel case with 200m water resistance • Miyota 9039 calibre automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve • $474.99 (approx. £350),

HAIM Descent

After cutting their teeth with their debut Legacy and vintage chronograph followup, the Legacy SE, Chicagobased microbrand HAIM have now taken on the not-sohumble sports watch with their now-typical flair. Both versions of the new Descent come with gilt dials in either midnight blue or black,


complete with a lovely splash of guilloche dead centre. So far, so cool, but what sets the Descent apart is the ‘DuoBezel’. Part dive timer, part second timezone, it’s the only watch for travellers that expect to be crossing date lines underwater. Sporty, elegant but ultimately unique, the Descent is an impressive third step in HAIM’s plan for world domination.

BACK — microbrand corner

Spinnaker Piccard

No, not that Piccard. Spinnaker’s latest diver pays homage not to the baldest captain of the Enterprise, but Jaques Piccard, one of the pair of pilots that took the Bathysphere Trieste down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 1960. That said, there’s certainly something UFO-esque about the Piccard’s domed profile and chunky, retro design. With 550m of water resistance, in true Spinnaker style it’s also a lot of watch for the money.


• 45mm stainless steel case with 550m water resistance • Seiko NH35 calibre automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve • £430,


With a painfully retro case and a minimalist layout inspired by sundials, somehow GANE’s first watch comes out hitting the zeitgeisty sweet spot for colour and shape. The Type C – in particular the vintage salmon dialled version – is a beautifully machined piece of watch, using deep grooves in place of indexes and a vertically brushed case with surprisingly sharp planes. Throw in an integrated strap and you have a winner – and one that looks far pricier than it is.


• 38mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance • Miyota Caliber 8215 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve • From $495, (approx. £365),


BACK — microbrand corner

Bangalore Watch Co. Apogee Supernova

Bangalore Watch Co. are rightly proud of India’s massive contributions to international culture and correspondingly celebrate those contributions through their accessible and attractive watches. Having already tackled cricket with the Cover Drive, now they’ve turned to India’s 50-year-old space program for the Apogee. It’s a robust sports watch milled from a single piece of titanium with a second time zone on its bezel and the longitude and latitude of one of India’s foremost space centres in Sriharikota on its green fumé dial.


• 40mm titanium case with 100m water resistance • Sellita SW200 Automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve • £672.88,


Time & Space Meteorite Ula Diver The last couple of years haven’t been the ideal time to be launching a shiny new watch brand and yet Toronoto-based Zenea did more than that; they built a pretty fantastic watch, too. The Ula Diver is classic sea-dwelling fare, with all the requisite lumes and underwater paraphernalia that entails. It comes in a few colour options (including a handsome yellow) as well as this: meteorite. The precise meteorite is from Scandinavia with an impressive Widmanstätten crosshatch. Given the material is normally the purview of Rolex, Omega and the like, the only thing more out-of-this-world than the dial is the price.


• 41mm stainless steel case with 300m water resistance • ETA 2824-2 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve • £726,


watches and accessories

O r a c le


JEAN ROUSSEAU – ALLIGATOR CAMOUFLAGE BLACK Jean Rousseau are one of the foremost French leather ateliers and with that title comes a wealth of knowledge and experience. That means they can take a traditional craft, such as making an alligator watch strap and put a distinctly modern edge on it. The result is monochromatic camouflage in tactical shades of grey, perfect for winter climes or urban environments. Alternatively, if you have a particular vision for your strap you could use their bespoke service. £250, available at


TIDLÖS – MARIN BLACK CARBON The Marin from Tidlös captures the primary elements of Scandinavian design, while also maintaining superb ruggedness in keeping with the dynamic landscape of Scandinavia. The 43.9mm diameter stainless steel case has a helium escape valve and comes with 500m water resistance; an impressive feat considering it has an exhibition caseback. There are a number of styles available but this black carbon fibre option really captures its sporty essence. It’s powered by the Sellita SW200-1 Elaboré movement. £1,090 available from


Depending how you look at it, keeping your entire watch collection wound and at the ready is either a daily ritual or a chore. And if you view it as a chore then Modalo are here to help with their ironically named Timeless MV4. A dark mix of macassar ebony and sleek, glossy black, the winder can hold four automatic watches in a manner to which they can quickly become accustomed. There’s also space for two additional watches hidden under the wooden front panel. Available from

Carapaz is a specialised Swiss leather design company based in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, the home of many top watchmakers. Their cases have helped to reinvent the way watches can be stored safely for travelling with the introduction of a unique rail system a few years ago, which holds the precious timepieces in place. The integrated rail technology and stand feature make them the ideal cases for travel, storage, or display, with models that can hold between one and eight watches. They’re available in a variety of colours in high-quality soft leather. 3-Watch Case £240, available at and


Tom Ford – Ocean Plastic Sport Tom Ford might not be a name we associate with high end watches, but with the Ocean Plastic Sport they’re engaging with one of the most important areas of horology: sustainability. All of the plastic used in the 43mm case is recycled out of waste salvaged from the ocean – the equivalent of 35 plastic bottles go into every timepiece, of which there are a number of colourways available. They’re then powered by a Swiss automatic calibre. $1,495 (approx. £1,060) available from


Ross Oliver – Bridge-bit Loafers As we enter the seasonal transition, Ross Oliver’s Bridge-bit loafers offer the perfect blend of durability, versatility and style for the autumn months. Their inaugural collection is Britain’s first handmade loafer to be constructed from high quality and luxurious cactus leather, in a bid to merge traditional British craft with modern materials. Providing excellent comfort, looks and capability in all weather conditions. Shop the full, award-nominated collection at and follow them on IG: @rossoliverfootwear

TATEOSSIAN – RESIN GEAR CUFFLINKS You should always theme your outfit to your watch and with these Tateossian cufflinks you can take that to the next level. They use recycled gears suspended in resin to create a delightfully eccentric accessory, perfect for watch lovers or anyone working on a steampunk costume. They’re superbly finished in rhodium with a black enamel ring around the base to tie the whole thing together. There are a variety of styles and colours available but the red suits the month of valentine’s day the best. £229, available from

Marc Darcy – Jensen Three Piece Suit Marc Darcy have been creating quintessentially British suits since 1989 and nothing epitomises their style better than the Jensen Three Piece Suit. It’s a wonderfully versatile outfit that has plenty of heritage inspiration with a modern twist. The Prince of Wales check is suitable for work wear or formal occasions and it has dual panelled camo lining and as a fun bonus it’s available in both adult and children’s sizes. There are also three colours on offer: navy, grey and sky blue. £294.99, from

VIVVANT – LONDON BROWN PATINA JODHPUR BOOTS Vivvant use signature British design with Italian craftsmanship to create sophisticated footwear for the modern, urban man. The Alexis Brown Patina Jodhpur Boots are handcrafted in Florence with a hand applied patina effect that provides masculine character and that wellloved appearance that’s so desirable with leather boots. They’re completed with a stud fastener for comfort and security on the foot, as well as Vivvant’s signature triple V leather stitch logo on the back. £288, available from


RAINS – WEEKEND BAG LARGE The Weekend Bag Large from Rains is their adventure ready take on a contemporary gym or overnight bag. It features a single main compartment, webbed carry handles, a detachable shoulder strap, and adjustable lock slider buckles on the sides. At its core it’s a waterproof duffel bag made from Rains’ signature waterproof PU coated fabric and finished with coated zip and matte hardware. Whether you’re heading for a workout or on an expedition, it’s an essential. £95, available from



Garmin – Fenix 7 and Epix Garmin have always been a prolific producer of high end smart tech and in 2022 alone they’ve already released the new Fenix 7, Epix, Venus 2 Plus and Vivomove Sport. The Fenix 7 is the latest version of their flagship smartwatch with the Epix being its solar powered equivalent. They are sporty and ready for any adventures thanks to their robust and durable designs, while also including the signature functionality associated with smartwatches. Find out more at

BMW have debuted their newest piece of cutting edge technology, called E Ink, in the new iX M60. E Ink is a material that allows the exterior colour of the car to be changed at a moment’s notice with the simple press of a button. It’s a type of digital paint that changes pigment when an electrical current is run through it, although it is currently limited to black and white. An insight into the future of car customisation. Learn more at

Arcade 1Up – Legacy Edition Line In the last three years home arcade machines have become more popular than ever and leading the charge is Arcade 1Up. They’ve sold nearly three million units, which is more arcade machines than were sold in the entirety of the 1980s and 90s, which just goes to show the ascendancy of retro nostalgia. In celebration of this milestone, Arcade 1Up has announced a new legacy line featuring Atari, Pac-Man and Mortal Kombat themed machines. Learn more at


KOHLER PERFECT FILL The kitchen and bathroom specialists Kohler have showcased their next gen smart home bathtub feature, called Perfect Fill. As its name suggests, it allows you to pre-set your bath’s temperature, depth and more all through the voice controlled app. Saving you time from having to monitor your tub and letting you tackle more important tasks. You can also customise the settings to your individual preferences and make bathing a more enjoyable experience. Find out more at

While Linn is a company built on their fantastic turntables, they’ve also embraced contemporary means of spreading sound with their latest hi-fi music streamer system, the Klimax DSM. It won five Audio Product of the Year awards at the close of 2021, and that critical success has been replicated in how much customers love it. With a sleek and unobtrusive design, it suits any environment and is the pinnacle of the modern hi-fi experience. £30,000, available from



GENSAC – SOLO 2015 Only around 3,000 bottles are produced in the best of years, making it somewhat of a stunning rarity. It’s made from 100% tannat grapes, which are aged for over 36 months in entirely new French oak barrels. This wine is of immense character and intensity. We recommend opening it at least two hours before consumption and it should ideally be decanted to give it air and time to breathe. Available in the UK from

Tobermory 23 Tobermory 23-Year-Old is an exquisite and full-flavoured whisky that’s been rested in the finest Oloroso casks at the distillery in the Hebrides. The deep rose-gold sherried single malt has notes of vanilla, ripe oranges, toasted barley and fruitcake on the nose. With an obvious sherry influence on the palate, salted toffee, candied citrus and floral honey are also evident. The gold liquid and packaging will complement any drinks cabinet, for an extra special after-dinner Dram. £320, available from

Silent Pool – Gin in a Tin If you’re looking for the ideal gift for Valentine’s day, Silent Pool Distiller’s Gin in a Tin takes the UK’s fastest selling gin and reimagines it in stylish new packaging. Sustainably made in the heart of the Surrey Hills, the new design has an embossed floral pattern over a sleek teal base. Plus, it comes with a complementary copper coaster. Ideal for a tipple with your loved one. £40, available from


Hollywood director Paul Feig, known for hits like the Oscar nominated Bridesmaids, has turned his hand to gin with the launch of his brand Artingstall’s Gin in the UK. Colaborating with Minhas Micro Distillery, the gin is a blend of 11 botanicals to create a versatile liquid ideal for martinis. The bottle is inspired by iconic decanters from the 1960s and 70s. £39.50, available from

The word ‘Vellichor’ is a relatively new one, but one worth knowing. It refers to the sense of nostalgia brought about by the smell and presence of old books. It’s this feeling and scent that provides the inspiration behind Compass Box’s first limited edition of 2022, also called Vellichor. It’s a blend of liquids from Macallan, Highland Park and Caol Ila Distillery that has a smokiness and age to it that strongly evokes the wisdom of ancient libraries. £400, available from


END — no way home



Spider-Man: No Way Home Spider-Man: No Way Home might be the biggest Hollywood blockbuster from the end of last year (and indeed the beginning of 2022) but it’s very much an English affair with Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch starring as the lead actors. Holland reprises his role as Peter Parker while Cumberbatch is back in the cape and immaculate goatee of Doctor Strange.

The story is Spider-Man’s sixth solo outing in the Marvel mega franchise, which has grown so massive it can even extend across studio boundaries to pull in characters and actors from films made two decades ago. In a sort of reverse Avengers, No Way Home sees villains from across multiple SpiderMan reboots team up to face off against Holland’s Spider-Man.


Whether or not you can wrap your head around the crazy multiverse plot or not, one thing is sure, an ensemble cast of Alfred Molina, Willem Dafoe and Jamie Foxx is not to be missed. There’s even a slightly contentious cameo from Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock (he had met neither Spider-Man nor Peter Parker as required by the parameters of Doctor Strange’s spell) and his Bremont watch, which we explored a couple of issues ago. Other than Hardy, the best watches in No Way Home can actually be found in the film’s promotional material. It’s the interviews and red-carpet events that have allowed Holland and Cumberbatch to unleash their horological collections, without the limitations of playing a wizard and a kid from Queens. Holland and his on-screen and real-life girlfriend Zendaya were both seen wearing Patek Philippes. At the No Way Home premiere Holland wore the Ref. 5940R-001, a cushion cased perpetual calendar in gold. It houses the calibre 240 Q with day, date, month, year, moonphase and 24-hour indication functions with a 48-hour power reserve. It’s a surprisingly mature choice for such young shoulders and speaks of his British sartorial elegance – it would have been very easy to pick up a Nautilus and call it job done. Although Zendaya shows that Nautili are worthy of their status when she wore the Ref. 7118/1R-010 in an interview leading up to the film. Now, when I said Doctor Strange doesn’t have any nice watches because he’s a wizard, let’s not forget that in his origin film he starts life as a successful (read very, very rich) brain surgeon. And for the premiere of No Way Home, Cumberbatch touted one of the watches that he actually wore in character as Stephen Strange in the first film. It symbolised Strange’s loss of control over the world around him when it was smashed and provided the key inspiration for the climactic time prison. The watch in question is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar, a classically elegant watch that, on the red carpet, pairs beautifully with his English charm. His of course was in far better repair than Strange’s.

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