Our Approach

Every watch is inspired by our coastal lifestyle in Dorset, built to the highest standard with specialised components and immense durability.


OUR PHILOSOPHY

With an obsessive, engineering background, we utilise deep reserves of specialist watch making knowledge from careers in extreme sports to bring to life the watches we always imagined. They’re built without compromise and every component is made up to a standard.

When we set about developing a watch, it’s because of a specific need. This need was to create immensely capable watches that were so capable they’d simply brush off the harsh conditions and environments that typically cause watches to fail.

Old Harry's Rocks, Dorset

OUR VALUES

Every watch shares the same unique capabilities including shock resistance, total water protection and ruggedised with weapons grade materials wrapped in functional, fit-for-purpose designs.

There’s no filter, no marketing focus groups and no averages. We’re not like other watch brands and in some ways we’re hopelessly uncommercial as we insist on doing the right thing and behaving in the right way first, because it matters. Everything we make, say and do is steered by our experience and what our hearts say. It’s more of an ambition than a plan and if you wear one of our watches, you’ll feel it.

We feel lucky as our experience allows us to achieve what some consider is near impossible. Our DNA will always run right through every watch that carries our names and we test every component beyond the limit because only then can we be certain it’s fit for purpose. AS an example of beyond the limits testing, in July 2017 as the official timing partner of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, we took a watch out of the box and fastened it to the bow of one of the Clipper 70’s using nothing more than its standard strap bars to hold it onto a metal plate fastened to the yacht. In August 2018 we removed it after 12 months at sea, 50,000Nm, seven continents and five oceans it was battered but intact and had kept perfect time. View the journey here.

We’re prepared carry out this kind of very public, real world testing because we’ve nothing to hide. Ask other watch brands how they test their watches and look carefully at what their warranties say about use in or near water because the reality may not be as straightforward as you might assume.

Walk down any high street and you’ll see windows full of watches proclaiming to be capable of withstanding immense pressure under water, 50m, 100m, 200m. Let's take the 50m example for a moment… have you ever been to 50m, that’s really deep and deeper than most will ever venture but on a watch it’s the bare minimum because these values are abused by marketing departments to the extent that a 50m watch might only be capable of withstanding a shower.

Try reading the small print of a 100m watch with advertising claims of sporting credentials and it will most likely say something along the lines of “suitable for surface water sports only”. It’s about cost saving and mass production where only a small handful of watches are actually pressure tested (in air pressure) and there’s an assumption that the other 95% that have probably never seen a test will perform the same. The producers of these watches naturally put the onus on you the customer to read the small print and to us that feels less than honest.

We’re not like that. We have no small print. Instead, we operate to a different standard our customers love because it’s honest and genuine.

If we claim 200m on the dial, the watch has actually been under water at 200m or more. We don’t see this as anything special, to us it’s essential and normal and we sleep well knowing we've done things properly.


OUR VISION

Looks aren’t everything. How a watch feels is so important. Try turning the crown that operates one of our inner timing bezels. The damped oily-smooth operation isn’t the work of five minutes, the cogs meshing and rotating should feel notchy but instead all you feel is a beautifully precise action/reaction as the inner bezel smoothly turns to your chosen point. It also happens to be blessed with triple seals so you can use it anywhere – even at 200m under water.

We continually hone and develop new ways of ruggedising watches that perform better, last longer and provide immense value. Wearing one of our watches takes the anxiety out of watch ownership because they never need to be removed when the going gets tough. By working with specialist branches of the military, emergency services, and professionals who hike, climb, row, cycle, swim, skydive, ski, snowboard, surf, sail and run to the far corners of the globe we understand how our watches (and straps) perform. Armed with this huge body of feedback we’re able to hone and improve the smallest details to make wearing our watches totally effortless. More than a few people have commented that they feel our watches become greater than the sum of their parts once worn for a while having gained a personal finger print on many journeys.

When we developed an interchangeable strap bar and tool system for a military project that needed to allow operators to change straps more quickly and reliably than before, the operators liked the system so much that it became the catalyst for a strap bar upgrade kit. Now every new model uses this system with the same tool that securely locks into the ends of the bar and reduces the risk of a screwdriver slipping. Every day is a school day when you're us!

That project also prompted us to completely re-design a NATO webbing strap for the 21st century that operates with total security, is infinitely adjustable with a naturally larger size range, has no holes to fray, is ultra light and compact, it sheds water, it won’t break and it won’t smell even after months on duty. It also has strong double woven edges that are only possible on a Victorian shuttle loom that weaves at a rate ten times slower than modern looms. It's a very technical slice of webbing fitted with a patented buckle and serves as a good example of how we approached something as apparently simple as a strap.

Elliot Brown Holton Professional Crown

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to build the best damn watches and straps, with years of highly specialist knowledge that allows us to follow our own unique path and we never cut corners for a quick win. We’ll stay humble as business pressures increase, operate at higher standards than any industry ‘norm’ and look after our customers like they’re our friends.

  • We plough our own furrow, doing what we know how irrespective of the ebb and flow of the industry.
  • We’re not interested in trends, because our watches are designed to last for years, not fashion seasons.
  • We’re disruptors, we’re not afraid to find a better path if we develop a new way of operating even if it means shunning traditional views.
  • We make extraordinary watches for ordinary humans to wear without the anxiety often associated with more expensive watches who’s value and condition are too precious.
  • They’re designed for normal sized wrists with effortless elegance and details befitting of watches costing ten times their value.
  • They stand head and shoulders above anything at a comparable price and would smash just about any watch to pieces in an impromptu game of watch conkers!

We’re on a path of continual development, sometimes we spend hours developing an internal component no-one may ever see or hear about but it’s these details that are so important to us and what gives our customers a tremendous sense of comfort in the knowledge that we’ve sweated the late hours and lifted the unturned stones to make sure your watch wearing experience is as effortless as it is a pleasure.

We service and repair watches really fast. It can take as little as three or four days (including two days shipping) for a customer to receive a watch back after a service. We pride ourselves on it and constantly delight customers with good old fashioned attitude and ethos.

When a watch needs some work, there’s nothing worse than dreading a huge bill so we don’t operate like that. A service on a quartz watch is less than £40 and whilst we’ve removed the case back, if you need a new glass, we'll bill you less than the two standard prices added together because it's logical and makes sense. We charge roughly what it costs us to administer and do the work rather than treating it as a profit centre. We don’t have to do it that way but it’s nice to be nice.

Every watch we produce is fit for purpose, designed and constructed up to an extraordinarily high standard with thoughtful touches everywhere.

The business has built up organically over years and years because it’s the only way to develop solid, loyal, trusting foundations. Paying a celeb to wear our watches and running a national ad campaign with them might work for some but it’s just not us.

When we collaborate with a group or organisation, we’re careful to make sure there's a natural fit and that the watches we create have the kind of esprit de corps you as a customer or they as a group would hope for. We find hidden nuggets in stories and bring them to life via subtle if you know, you know details rather than slapping logos on watches and calling them special editions.

"We care, we go the extra mile and we run the business from our hearts".